Sister Grove Farm is a rolling piece of blackland prairie in Van Alstyne, Texas. Her 149 acres is nestled along the east prong of Sister Grove Creek in the Lavon watershed of the Trinity River basin. We raise primarily heritage breed chickens entirely on pasture along with Hampshire sheep and South Poll Cows. The chickens (with their meat and eggs) are the only ones currently contributing to our customer’s dinner table – and with heritage breeds, you can taste the difference because they are Grandma’s bird.
For centuries, families in the Wichita or Kitikiti’sh tribes called this area home. According to the Texas State Historical Association, these were a settled and agricultural people. The women cultivated varieties of maize, beans, and squash (known as the Three Sisters) and possibly tobacco for religious purposes. The men hunted deer, rabbits, turkey, and, primarily, bison, and caught fish. They tended to be friendly toward strangers, avoided confrontations unless provoked, and were noted for their hospitality.
Later this land was owned by Collin McKinney, the oldest signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. In his later years he deeded it to his son, Younger Scott McKinney, who built a home for his family in 1859. That farmhouse is still standing and a State of Texas historical marker designates the site. After an extensive restoration, the house now serves as our primary residence.
We are passionate about restoring this piece of earth and encouraging others to do the same through participation in regenerative agriculture practices. This involves raising and growing nutrient dense food in ways that build up soil health, increase biodiversity, improve the water cycle, and sequester carbon as an act of resilience in mitigating climate change. We also envision Sister Grove as a place of healing and community building. It is our hope that guests who visit here might be transformed in such a way that they can connect to the sacredness of place in their own story.