Friday, August 19, 2011

Farms and Ranches - Days Two, Four and Five - June 18th, 20th and 21st

In Elgin, we visited Coyote Creek Organic Feed Mill (the first commercial organic feed mill in Texas) where simple grain is turned into the very best organic feed for raising healthy animals. Jeremiah Cunningham raises some lucky chickens and cows who are able to live as nature intended, on open pasture. We were inspired by his love of the land and his committment to sustainable practices

Our journey led us to the Selah Bamberger Ranch Preserve where we met J. David Bamberger, a man who has dedicated his life to restoring 5500 acres of over-grazed, under utilized land in Johnson City. Selah means "to pause and reflect," and there is no better place to do just that than looking out at the breathtaking views at the Bamberger Ranch.

Co-founder of Church's Fried Chicken, Mr. Bamberger always wanted to make a difference; so 40 years ago, the day the company went public, he went out and bought a piece of the Texas Hill Country. He has brought springs, creeks and ponds to life where there was once no water to be found. He has planted native grasses on once cedar choked hillsides. He built a bat cave and enticed a colony of Mexican Free Tail Bats to come home. We braved flesh eating insects and the possibility of contracting deadly disease to enter the bat cave. It was a magical and rewarding experience.

After our brave adventures into the bat cave, we were appreciative of a relaxing evening swim, a comfy bed, fresh hot breakfast the next morning and some mighty fine hospitality at the Best Western in Johnson City. They have the very best Texas shaped waffles ever!

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