East Texas Homestead is our young family’s journey from a typical debt sacked, middle-class family to nontypical homesteaders.

We sold our cute little suburban home in a “nice HOA” and moved in with Jenn’s parents for three years. This gave us time to buy a $3,500 doublewide, with lots of issues, and turn it into a home we are proud of.

Now with a roof over our heads, we turn our focus to the rest of the property. We have lots of exciting dreams involving plants, animals, and earthworks.

Join our adventure as we learn out loud!

40 thoughts on “About East Texas Homestead

  1. Nice blog. What part of east texas? I recently bought some land near Crockett. Just a weekend place for now. Hopefully will be for an early “retirement”.

    1. Eric-TX says:

      Thanks! We are about 1.5 hours North of you just outside Tyler. Is the land pretty well developed or do you have a lot of work to do?

  2. ed hewett says:

    DeAun–where’s your place? We moved to Crockett in 2010 from Utah and have loved it although we’re still sorting through fruit varieties that actually thrive here. Our place is less than .5 miles from Davy Crockett NF.

    Eric–love the blog! Let me know how your Methley does once you get one. Ours is doing ok but hasn’t produced much yet (in the ground for 3 years but it’s partially shaded which could be a limiting factor).

    1. Eric-TX says:

      Thanks Ed! Hopefully this next year your Methley Plum will take off. I thought I was going to get something off my Santa Rosas this year but didn’t.

  3. About 10 miles outside of Rusk, been here for months and still trying to get started. Rain not helping. So far, land cleared, shell of home in place, more rain halting any real process. Did plant a small Fall garden, more to see if anything would grow as we’re from areas where Fall gardens are unheard of. Good harvest of Purple Hulled Peas, Okra, and Tomatoes. More rain today so searching out others in our area,

    1. Eric-TX says:

      Hey Jerry, sounds like you’re making pretty good progress. It’s so much bigger of a job then one would think. The rain really does slow things down as well. I thought it was going to rain all day today but I’m looking at blue sky right now. I’m thinking about using this time to put up some siding on the house. Where are you from originally?

  4. The rain has hurt us simply because the cleared land has not been planted and as you know the great red dirt that we all love in East Texas turns to mud like no other. But we are making progress. Originally both from Oregon, but most recently San Antonio area.

    1. Eric-TX says:

      I completely understand! Unfortunately we have now entered the time of the year where nothing ever dries out completely. One thing you can do that I have found really helps is to drive around town and pick up all of the bag believes that people so kindly leave out for you. These make an excellent free ground cover. Not to mention the fact that they begin to build topsoil, I’ll be it ever so slightly.

  5. Ric says:

    Have you ever tried to grow Chinese Chestnuts out there? My wife and I have a place outside of Paris Texas and have been “getting it ready” for retirement someday. I’m 45, so that’ll be awhile.

    We’ve planted hundreds of chestnut trees in tree tubes. Hopefully some will make it. We have heavy black clay though.

    1. Eric-TX says:

      Ric, I haven’t attempted any chestnut yet. I’d like to know how it goes for you though. Sounds like you’re putting together a nice place to retire!

      P.S. Sorry for the delay approving your comment. somehow I missed it.

  6. Ann McKelroy says:

    Its nice to see so many “East Texans”! I have just at 4 acres near Quitman….just starting the process. Eric, I was glad to see the Bob Wells nursery suggestion. I was excited to see you planted a cherry tree. I would love to have one, so will follow your progress.

    1. Eric-TX says:

      Hey Ann, since starting this blog and youtube channel, I’ve heard from so many East Texans. We will have to put together a meetup sometime. Unfortunately, I lost the cherry tree, but I learned some important lessons about trees in my soil. They really do well when planted into a mound so that the crown can get plenty of air. From what I can tell, the clay soil held to much water and the tree drowned. It stunk to see it go but at least there was a lesson there. Thanks for leaving a comment.

  7. Becky says:

    Hello neighbor! We’re on the Tyler side of Gladewater & just got moved on to our 20 acres. We have a son who will be 5 tomorrow & we homeschool as well. We are in the beginning stages of trying to get things going but we’re learning more everyday. We have had chickens for almost a year now & plan to add goats & rabbits In the next year or so. We’re starting to get some successes with the gardening & learning a lot along the way. We have lots of dreams!

    1. Eric-TX says:

      Hey there! We’re on the north side of tyler so probably within 20 minutes of y’all! I’d say “neighbor” is just about right. 🙂

      Not sure how much you’ve seen here but we’ve really just started the homestead thing ourselves. We’re gardening and have a couple mini orchards. Lots of ideas and improvement to make.

      Sounds like we have quite a bit in common as far as homesteading, homeschooling and the age of our kids, at least our oldest.

  8. Mike Shaffer says:

    I hope as I approach retirement to begin homesteading and am currently inclined toward Nacogdoches CO. so will be very much interested in your experiences.

    1. Eric-TX says:

      Hey Mike, we hope to continue bringing information and encouragement to those joining us on this journey. I’m glad you’re coming along with us. At times it feels like one step forward and three steps back, but it’s worth it.

  9. jerry says:

    hey Eric,
    we are close up past Lindale. we got good rains yesterday. good for our new blueberries.

    1. Eric-TX says:

      Lots of rain for sure in our area. I bet the blueberries appreciated it. Our driveway, on the other hand, was not so excited.

  10. How have I missed your blog and videos? I’ve no idea but glad they are found now. We are in east TEXAS too. Inside the Davy Crockett forest. We just starting our journey into homesteading. It’s proven a lot of work with great reward. Thanks for sharing all that you do.

    1. Eric-TX says:

      Welcome!!! Thanks for the introduction. Y’all have a great blog going yourselves over at texasroadrunners.org. Congrats on getting your septic in by the way! One of these days we need to do an East Texas Homesteaders meetup and meet everyone face to face.

  11. Krissy says:

    Hi there! I am really enjoying the content of your videos and blog, we seem to have a lot in common! We are currently looking to relocate to East Texas, and I was hoping you could tell me a little about the ground water in your area. Is it safe to drink? Do you filter your drinking water and if so what filter do you recommend? Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated, keep up the good work!

    1. Eric-TX says:

      That’s exciting! We have really good groundwater but it’s really deep (800 feet). With that depth comes a pretty high price tag in excess of 25K. As for filtering, we use a whole house greensand filter and an under the counter filter for drinking. The water comes out perfectly fine but I like to be on the safe side. The only problem is that it’s made me a water snob. I have a really hard time drinking water from anywhere else.

      I should mention that there is groundwater at a much lower depth, but it isn’t good. It’s full of iron and will turn everything it touches red.

      I hope this helps. If you have any additional questions let me know.

  12. krissy says:

    Yes, it does! Thank you!!

  13. shirefarms says:

    Hi Eric. We just relocated from NJ to TX. I got a job in a city in Collin County. We really want to start our family homestead and farm but don’t know where to start. Like you were before, we have some loans and debts to repay. We are now living in an apartment with a 13-month lease. I work in sales. It has been our dream to live on our farm and produce as much food as possible. We have seen many farms in TX already but don’t know how to make the transition. We like northern Texas. Cooke County seemed really nice. I think we have seen only a few counties so far. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thank you! Feel free to check out our website as well where we are sharing our experience trying to find our farm at journeytotheshire.com

  14. Esther says:

    Eric, I am really in need of some comfrey. I am in Houston. Can you please contact me and let me know if this is possible?

    1. Eric-TX says:

      Hey Esther, sorry for the delayed reply. Hopefully, you were able to get some. Unfortunately, I’m not really set up to ship/mail it at the moment. Check with Coes Comfrey or Amazon for your best bet.

  15. Charlie & Hattie says:

    Just found your channel , I noticed your post on comfrey and have been trying to locate some . We are in Livingston tx ( Polk county ) . Look forward to following your sweet family .

    1. Eric-TX says:

      Hey, thanks for reaching out. If you’re in the Tyler area this fall let me know and I’d love to get you some. 🙂

  16. andy says:

    Great YouTube channel! I really enjoy your videos.
    The family and I are moving to Palestine in a couple weeks. We will have 10 acres, 8 goats and are very interested in permaculture.

    We’d also be very interested in an East TX meetup if you ever want to do that.

    Howdy neighbor!

    1. Eric-TX says:

      Howdy! That’s really exciting. 10 acres is a ton of property! We’ve been talking about doing some sort of meetup but life has been crazy (hence the lack of content here). I’ve been thinking about meeting up at Tyler State Park this fall.

  17. Shirley says:

    Hello Eric! glad to see a blog from East Tx. I only have a 1/2 acre in town (albeit small town) I have a front yard garden that seems to catch everyones attention as they pass by..I am just getting started reading your blog and noting others you mention that are in East Tx. Please keep it going while I catch up 🙂 Best wishes!

    1. Eric-TX says:

      Hey there Shirley! Thanks for leaving a comment and letting me know a bit about you. We love hearing from those who find us on the web. It’s so cool that you have a front yard garden in the city (town). I would love to see more people doing that. We post a lot more on youtube that never quite makes it to the blog. I’d love to get it on both but I always run out of time. I’ll try to fix that. 🙂

  18. Barbara James says:

    Good afternoon. I watched your post on YouTube about mulberry cuttings. I live in Athens, and am looking for a source for mulberry cuttings from established fruiting mulberry trees. I live on 22 acres of sandy clay land with a creek running through. Would like to plant some long lived trees to help with the landscape and draw the local coons and possums away from my house. Thanks in advance. Barbara

    1. Eric-TX says:

      Hey Barbara, it sounds like you have a great place there. I’d be happy to sell you some cuttings at a reasonable price. I’ll email you to see if we can work something out.

  19. Harry Allbright says:

    Great job on the site & homestead. You’ve got a fine bunch there.

    This is Hogeye Harry from the pond workshop.

    Let me know if I can help out in any way. We are about 30 minutes away.

    Keep up the good work.

    1. Eric-TX says:

      Hey Harry! I’ve been so busy I’m just now getting around to approving blog comments from this spring. I hope all is well with you and your wife. I’d love to get together sometime.

  20. JoAnne says:

    Eric-TX, we are living in Tyler county and on a small lake,would love to plant the entire back with Comfrey, need some starts, please let me know. Thanks for your blog..

    1. Eric-TX says:

      Hey JoAnne, I’m planning to dig some up in the next few months. Not sure when, but I’ll put out a video on our YouTube channel when that happens.

  21. Jencie Dollar says:

    Been living at Atlanta, TX since 74. Great place to live. Thanks for info on Avocado. I just set one in a large pot. Have been getting limes for about 4 years. Outside in summer and sun porch in winter.
    Have long driveway with blueberries beside it. Has low ditch between. Has been productive.

    1. Eric-TX says:

      You’re welcome! We haven’t attempted limes but that would be fun.

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