A Country Getaway Turned City Retreat
Jul 01, 2014 12:28PM
● By Julie Thibodeaux
Ten years ago, Bill and Robin Mureiko bought 50 acres located in Kerens, Texas, about an hour outside of Dallas in Navarro County, planning to make it their weekend retreat. Bill, a lawyer, and Robin, a stay-at-home mom who was homeschooling their four children, explains that they were city folks with no experience in country life. “Initially it was a place where we could get out of the city and camp and enjoy nature,” says Robin.
Like many people these days, the Mureikos were interested in healthy eating and wanted to put fresh, organic food on the table. At the farm, they started growing vegetables and raising livestock, despite their lack of experience. “We wanted to live more holistically,” says Robin. “We were looking at our food as medicinal, as well as pleasurable.”
Soon they were on a mission to learn more about how their ancestors put food on their table. “We started a garden and it failed miserably,” jokes Bill. “We bought chicks and became enamored with trying to raise our own food. Eventually, weekends were extending into weekdays.”
In 2009, they decided to sell their Dallas home and move to the property permanently. “I think we saw a lifestyle there that we really wanted to embrace,” says Bill. “It’s just fascinating, it’s rewarding.” Today, those 50 acres have grown to 150 acres and they’re sharing it with others as Restoration Homestead, a unique bed and breakfast that provides guests with a real-life farm experience.
At the farm, they are raising pigs, cows, goats and chickens. Their children, ages 10 through 24, all live on the property and work the farm together. Robin and Bill have enjoyed seeing the next generation embracing a life connected to the land, and together, they’ve come up with creative ideas to make the farm self-sustaining. Their oldest son and his wife bake bread from scratch from flour they’ve milled themselves and baked in a wood-fired oven. Robin even ventured into making household items like soaps, which they now offer for sale.
In recent years, friends that stayed on the farm saw the potential and encouraged the Mureikos to share it with the public. After practicing on family and friends for a couple of years, they officially opened Restoration Homestead in January. The Mureikos say their location draws like-minded visitors from the city—people that want to know where their food comes from, and parents that want to give their children a real farm experience are their typical guests.
Homestead Restoration features three guest houses with fully stocked kitchens. The facilities can accommodate couples on a romantic getaway or groups seeking a rural gathering place. During their stay, visitors can hunker down in their cabins or join the Mureikos for a farm-fresh breakfast. While some of their guests enjoy antiquing in nearby Palestine, Corsicana and Athens, some tag along with the Mureikos as they milk goats, gather eggs and tend the garden. “People see animals in a petting zoo, but it’s a very different experience here at the farm, actually connecting with that animal and getting to walk through the day,” says Bill. He wan to recreate that connection to the land and their food and help others do the same. “We see a past that shouldn’t be forgotten.”
For more information, call 214-676-6349 or visit ResorationTX.com.