Can I ask about East Texas?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by urbanfarmer, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. urbanfarmer

    urbanfarmer Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to hear from those who are now homesteading in East Texas.

    Can you tell me the good and bad about East Texas as a place to buy a homestead for gardening, chickens, and a few animals?

    Can you tell me some good places that are friendy to homesteaders?

    Any places to avoid?

    Please help me and others understand what we need to know about East Texas.

    Thank you.
     
  2. modineg44

    modineg44 Well-Known Member

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    There is a Texas homesteaders Yahoo group. That might be a good place to post. I'm in Texas, but not the eastern part.

    Nancy
     

  3. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I Am down on the Border A stones throw to Old Mexico.
     
  4. Trixie

    Trixie Well-Known Member

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    What part of East Texas. That covers territory from the coast to Oklahoma border.

    We have a place in NE Texas now and lived there for about 25 years.

    Even with that, I am not sure I could answer your questions.

    Where I live, people are pretty friendly to anyone - as long as you are friendly back.

    As for chickens, Mr. Pilgrim has about a million here - and has them scattered all over East Texas - so you can raise chickens here. Were you thinking of raising them commercially? Or just for your own use?

    The climate is pretty good. It does get hot here - this past year was the worst I have seen, but it was unusual. There is usually enough rainfall to raise a garden - just not last year. We raised our kids on the 'farm' and there was only one year we were affected by a drought. Some say we are in the 5th year of a 7 year drought - I don't know. It was just vey dry and very hot in our part of East Texas last year.

    There is quite a bit of pollution. At least I think it is bad. The chicken houses account for a lot, although they have cleaned up their act on the air pollution. You can actually drive by a house and not smell it now. Some of the things they put in chicken feed is leeching out into the land and people do apply the chicken litter to fields, so that is getting into the land that way.

    There is also a large coal power plant and plans underway to build another.

    That brings up the subject of coal. There have been mining lignite there for the last 35 years, and they are acquiring more and more land. Just about 3 years ago, they made a big buy and told everyone it would be 10 years or more before they purchased any more, but the talk is, they are already going into the next round of purchases.

    I don't want to scare you off that part of Texas as I do like it, but these are things you might want to check out. In fact, anywhere you look in East or Central Texas, you need to check it out.
     
  5. TedH71

    TedH71 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Vast majority of my family lives in Tyler and I grew up there. Also used to live in Nacogdoches (first town in the USA and has the USA's oldest road-El Camino Real and still used today!) and Lufkin. Try this website link for land, homes, jobs, etc :www.peddlernet.com/ Jobs are plentiful but low paying unless you're in the medical or college field then they go up. Lots of farming, ranching, and aquaculture going on. Just be forewarned there are feral hogs by the thousands and the locals love to hunt them with dogs..same thing with coons. I've seen mountain lions, wolves, and bears in East Texas..they're making a big come back. I'm one of those locals that hunt hogs with dogs, lol. I moved to Kansas to be with my fiancee so I miss that area big time! Tyler is growing now so it's a good town to move to before the prices go up and there's still rural land out of town. For some reason, Houston is considered part of East Texas..I happen to disagree but..anyway just wanted to let you know if you're not used to the humidity (East Texas has the most water in Texas) so you'll be knocked over by the humidity and the heat but I grew up in it and am used to it. I would recommend that you check out Tyler newspapers for jobs, etc. Also check out the Texas Workforce for websites so you can job surf. Good luck and feel free to PM me if needed. Always glad to be of help.
     
  6. rzrubek

    rzrubek Flying Z

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    TedH71, How would you compare the humidity in Tyler to Wichita? We are considering Tyler, I grew up in Hutchinson and am used to the humidity there. Also, is there a "Good side of Town" and a "Bad side of Town" in Tyler? We are actually looking at the surrounding areas but you never know!!
     
  7. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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  8. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    My place is 25 miles from Tyler in E. Texas and we don't have a single fireant. TPW biologist said it was because of the type of sand we have (sugar sand) but I've heard that some people with sugar sand still have them. Our place in Rockwall County just NE of Dallas (80 miles away) has tons of fireants however we control them with Over 'N Out.

    BTW, I think the "bad side of town" in Tyler is the north side. Unlike most cities and towns in Texas, the best side of town is probably the south side. Lots of smaller towns and rural areas to choose from within 30 minutes drive too, along with lots of affordable land.
     
  9. TedH71

    TedH71 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm waiting to hear back from my folks because they've been living there for the last 10 years while I left over 15 years ago due to better job opporunties for deaf people elsewhere...fireants..yep we have 'em. Get used to it, lol. The worst thing I really dislike is that they have those soft plants with sweet smelling white flowers that have some sort of stingers that come off when you brush against it....stings like crazy! :rolleyes: lasts a long time..you learn to go around those plants..dunno what they're called but they're far more dangerous than fire ants.
     
  10. squeakyzig

    squeakyzig Well-Known Member

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    Bull Nettle.

    Such a pretty white flower, such a sting like you've never had before. Once you brush against it, you'll know what it looks like and you'll learn to avoid it.
     
  11. RoseGarden

    RoseGarden Well-Known Member

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    Prolly stinging nettle. Maybe prickly poppy, although I wouldn't call the plants themselves soft.... Fireants... I got into them today, splitting firewood. Thank goodness they were kind of sluggish from the cold weather or it would have been a lot worse. As it was, I got them all off before getting bitten, except for one of the buggers that went up my sleeve and bit me in the underarm :flame: I need to try that Over and Out stuff...
     
  12. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    People are real friendly tho.
     
  13. TC

    TC Well-Known Member

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    People, People, People......Texas is the heart of friendly people. I have lived in East Texas all my life, and would never live anywhere else.
     
  14. Trixie

    Trixie Well-Known Member

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    No fire ants!! Now that is where I want to be.

    They are vicious little creatures. My husband always controlled them by burning them out. He would scrape off the top of the hill, pour gasoline in and let it sit for a while - then light it. The gas that formed would burn the eggs inside.

    On this smaller place, I use grits and cornmeal. It works pretty good.

    Yes, the plant is bull nettle - it's easy to spot. By the way, a bull nettle makes a large seed pod. When it is dried, it is pretty tasty.

    I do hear that Tyler is doing pretty well. I believe I heard the union and the tire plant reached an understanding. It is one of the larger employers there.

    Do you want to live out in the boonies - or near a town?

    As I said, East Texas covers a lot of territory - the Big Thicket area near the southern part is truly a beautiful spot.
     
  15. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

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    I'm not Ted, but I've lived in East Texas and Kansas, and Wichita is like the middle of the Sahara Desert compared to Tyler.
     
  16. TedH71

    TedH71 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is according to my niece who has lived there her whole life: north and northwest is where all the minorities live and south side is the rich part of town.
     
  17. sleeps723

    sleeps723 Well-Known Member

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    mineola and lindale r nice. both booming. i dont like tyler much. lotsa nice little towns outside tyler. biggest jobs in tyler n longview, several factory jobs in terrell. lotsa country folk about. not many unfriendly towns around.
     
  18. rzrubek

    rzrubek Flying Z

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    Thanks for the replies and info sleeps and ted, I am a respiratory therapist and the fact that there are two large(ish) hospitals in tyler and one in longview is one of the main reasons we are looking at that particular area. As a plus, my wife LOVES roses!!! We want to be close to tyler, but not in as tyler has some rather restrictive regulations concerning the keeping of farm type animals.
     
  19. TedH71

    TedH71 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My brother lives about 20 miles out of Tyler on, I believe, 5 to 10 acres...he hasn't done anything with the property other than renovate the house!!! I would have had chickens and a garden. There are feral hogs and deer on his property. HE catches the hogs and pens them up to fatten them up before selling them..the deer just trots down the back acreage and jumps the fence every day and everybody's drooling because it's a 12 point buck and nobody can shoot it because his property is next to other neighbors. We do have a shooting range in the back yard though.
     
  20. ChickenFryChato

    ChickenFryChato Lone Star State of Mind

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    I was born and raised in Tyler (actually a little outside Tyler in a place called Noonday), lived there for 20 years, moved to Beaumont (about 3 hours south of Tyler) to finish college, got a job in Orange, Texas on the Tx/Louisiana border, and recently bought 5 acres and built a house in Mauriceville, Tx. East and Southeast Texas has always been my home, and it will forever be. Texas is such a diverse state to say the least. You have the dry West Texas plains, the central Texas Hill country (which is magnificent), and the east Texas forests. East and Southeast Texas has a tremendous amount of Pine. There are trees all over the place and a lot of lakes. If you like forests, then this is the place to live. For the most part, people are nice. There are bad apples in every bunch, however Texans are known for friendly southern hospitality. We make friends with strangers in the grocery store checkout lines, say "yes ma'am and yes sir," and "bless your heart," and the word "y'all" can be heard about a million times a day. We're friendly folk. The land is relatively inexpensive depending on the area, and in East Texas is all about the same looking. It's usually flat and filled with pine, brush, and thorns. It's thick, but pretty easy to clear. As far as homesteading goes, there are a lot of people that live in the country, however I'm not sure they would be considered homesteaders. Lufkin, Longview, Nacogdoches, Tyler, Beaumont, and Marshall are probably the largest cities in the area, but there are a lot of smaller towns around where land can be bought. The weather is usually hot in the summer, and cool in the winter, with rarely any hard freezes. I haven't seen snow since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. Here in southeast Texas, it is HUMID in Summer, and mosquitos are the size of birds. As far as entertainment, there is little of it, which I am fine with, although it drives my 13 year old daughter nuts. Anyway, if you're looking at living independently, then any place in east or southeast Texas would be fine. If you're looking at working as well, then you may want to check out areas closer to some of those larger cities (which are not that large by the way). Within minutes you can be in the middle of a forest from any city I mentioned above. Farms and ranches can be found all over this area, whether it be for chickens, cattle, or forestry management. As far as where to stay away from, I would say Vidor, Tx. Vidor happens to be in the same county I live in, and is 10 minutes from my house. It's sort of a low income, seedy place. Go to the CNN website and do a search for it and you'll understand. But again, if you enjoy mild winters, hot summers, forests and lakes, and have the desire to purchase land for homesteading, then this area is a good place to do it. If mosquitos are not your thing, heat and humidity drive you crazy, you need city life and cultural entertainment, and your allergic to pine, then this is not your place to live. We love to hunt and fish around here, barbeque is considered far more than just food, and we befriend everyone we meet.