An Article from our partners Farmers Footprint
After 10 days of unrelenting triple digit heat in central Texas, an unexpected gift arrived from Mother Nature in the form of a heaping basket of clouds that set loose the summer rainfall the land had been yearning for. Over the course of the next few hours we would spend wayfaring through Luck Ranch, the 500 acre ranch of Willie and Annie Nelson, it was immediately clear this land had a story and something remarkable was astir.
With boots deep in the mud and the sweet serenade of pigs snorting around us, where we stood was the product of the deeply seeded vision of Orion and Tina Weldon, a vibrant husband and wife team combining traditional regenerative agriculture techniques with modern technology systems to regenerate soils and build a more vibrant foundation for nutritionally-dense food with a goal of empowering others to do the same.
And so their journey to start a regenerative farm began. But with land prices out of reach, their entrepreneurial muscles were put to work to create a business model to allow them to do the work they wanted to do – connecting people to the soil with regenerative land use – without having to own their own land or give up a significant portion of their business to a funder.
Not only did they start out without financial support, they were $38,000 in debt. Then an unexpected move back home to care for Orion’s Dad derailed their plans to move abroad to Turin, Italy where the slow food movement began. This left Tina holding down two jobs as a waitress and cashier at Whole Foods and Orion was collecting unemployment while caring for his Dad. So they found the silver lining in the haystack of obstacles and started to use the 5 acre as testing ground in Spicewood Texas.
“This work changes
the relationship of
humans to the land.”