Category Archives: Green

Beautiful repurposed timbers from 1800's barns

1000 River Trace Road, Columbus TX | WOW!

Today I toured 1000 River Trace Road in Columbus Texas and all I can say is WOW!

Beautiful repurposed timbers from 1800's barns
Beautiful repurposed timbers from 1800’s barns

This 6614 square foot custom home will blow your socks off!  The first thing you see as you enter the front door are the timbers….hand hewn Hemlock from two early 1800’s barns from upstate New York reassembled using mortise and tenon with oak peg construction.

Then you notice that the great room is three stories tall!  First thing that came to my mind was OMG can you imagine cooling all of this now when we are hitting record high temps? But the house was amazingly cool and that was due to it’s construction which used SIPs panels.  Sips are expanded polystyrene panels that yield an exceptionally high R factor.  Over the years I have sold numerous home built with SIPS in both hot climates ( AZ) and cold climates (CO)  and in every case their energy savings are amazing.

One thing you don’t see a lot of in Texas is rain water harvesting.  Very popular in other drier states but here with all the rain no one thinks of it.  This home has a 20,000 gallon cistern with water softener, plus a two stage filtration and UV sanatizing system.  The property also has a well.  (The  Earthship my husband and I built in Colorado back in 1999   had water catchment also as well as  a conventional well as “back up”.  If you build and use third party financing and build alternative style housing and utilities,  you generally need to have conventional utilities in place to get your COE.  Been there, done that! )

The great room is spacious but you don’t feel lost in it with only a few people here and there.  The kids wing is wonderful!  First floor has the mudroom off the garage with a bath and the kids TV lounge, second floor has beds and bath area, massive storage wall, and a ladder to a special kids room on the third floor.

There is a catwalk from the second floor over to the master wing so if things go bump in the night a little one can always get over to Mom and Dad for some comfort without having to down and up stairs.

The master wing is over the top.  Massive bathroom with sunken tub ( the only think I couldn’t appreciate as it would be near impossible to get in and out of for me!)  The his and hers closets are also two levels and the master bedroom will not disappoint.

The house looks over grassy acreage that leads down to the sandy beach of the Colorado River front.

There are so many other features such as programmable devices, wine cellar, amazing basement crawl space, heated and cooled playhouse, three car garage, equipment and storage facility, and more!

If you are interested in seeing this amazing country home please contact me to set up your private showing.  Deb 512-743-0516.

Here is a link to the virtual tour and some pictures of things that caught my eye that I posted on my Real Estate page on Facebook.  

Dancing Turtles Ranch in Bastrop TX

The beautiful  Dancing Turtles Ranch, a 52 + acre permaculture farm and ranch property, located at 493 Cottletown Road just outside of Bastrop Texas,  is now listed and is being offered for sale $474,336.00.  Appointments for showings will be available soon.   It is a oasis nestled in the foothills just outside of town and the amenities list is lengthy:

5 Acre Lake (stocked with bass, sunfish, crappie, catfish)

1.5 acre Pond (sunfish, crappie, catfish)

Roads into property, both sides of the lake and around the back fenced field

10 acres livestock fenced on east side, with all but a small section of the small pond is fenced out for livestock

Electricity hookup (Bluebonnet Electric)

Septic system

Pumphouse (fireproof), 2 rooms, includes dryer (washer?), 20×10?, with RV hookup,

Additional electric junction box and RV hookup near concrete foundation

Concrete pad for LP gas tanks

Water conditioning system

Well, 650’, in the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer

16 solar panels, all other equipment, just needs wire and batteries to be complete (more details coming on this)

Greenhouse, 19×31’, on concrete poured footer

100’s of plastic growing pots of various sizes

Chicken coup (4×8’, insulated) + rabbit cage

Herb spiral garden

Five high fenced raised bed gardens (3,400 square feet, 28×22, 18×18, 19×32.5, 20×29.5, 35×37.5’)

250 planted fruit/nut trees (pecan, pomegranate, mulberry (white and black), hazelnut, filbert, black walnut, plum, apple, crabapple, jujube, pear, cherry,                    choke cherry, chestnut, olive, fig, loquat, pineapple guava, citrus, Jerusalem palms)

Additional trees planted include cypress, redbud, mimosa, green ash, hackberry, several oak varieties, moringa, osage orange, black locust and magnolia

Native grasses/plants seeded include: Little Blue Stem, Indiangrass, Sideoats Grama, Sand Lovegrass, clovers, native sunflowers, partridge pea, cowpea,                      sunchokes, native wildflowers

Irrigation system to all gardens and swales

Swales: 16 swales ranging from 100’ to 440’ in length, total of ~3,300’, all with trees planted on and below them

Flock of domestic ducks (mainly Cayuga and runner ducks) and a pair of geese

Pictures of  Dancing Turtles Ranch

 

If  you would like to schedule a private tour of this property by Kawasaki four seat mule call me at 512-743-0516!

Permaculture oasis in Bastrop TX – Coming Soon

My newest listing – coming soon – is a 52+ acre tract of land located at 493 Cottletown Road in Bastrop, Bastrop County, Texas.   The central highlight of the property is the large pond that has never gone dry.  It is home to duck and turtles and it supports a myriad of other wildlife.  The ranch coined it’s name from the turtles that seem to dance on the water in the picture below –  the Dancing Turtles Ranch.

 

What makes the Dancing Turtle Ranch (DTR) a permacuture oasis? The swales!! The swales!!  DTR is  nestled in the hills just outside of Bastrop in the pine forest that was ravaged in the Bastrop Complex fire a few years ago.   DTR  only has a few “scars” from that burn  that are healing well.   The hillsides in DTR have been terraced with of swales to slow/ catch/ harvest/ use rainwater to support a plethora of trees that have been planted ( including fruit trees ). Swales are a permaculture favorite!   Those swales protected much of the vegitation as the fire raged.  Many trees were lost but near the swales and pond ( it was used as a water source to harvest water for air drops ) many  survived.

Unfortunately the existing home was lost, leaving the slab  – which has now become a picnic/social area overlooking the pond.  Although the slab may not be viable to use for a future new home, it’s functionality as a patio or foundation for a shop or garage or other outbuilding is undeniable.   The pond and home site are tucked back in off of the access road and it appears to be quite private and peaceful.  This property will be listed and on the market shortly.  The address if 439 Cottletown Road, Bastrop TX.  The list price for this amazing unique property is $496,774.00

Fayette County Recycle Center | La Grange Texas

If you are looking for a recycle center in Fayette County you will find it in La Grange at 210 Svoboda Lane.  Open Tuesday – Saturday.  Hours vary but generally open at 7 am daily.   When I was there this week to drop off the collection of wire hangers that we inherited with our historic home in Fayetteville I met Donald who was there coordinating drop offs  – what a nice man!  So informative, and helpful, and happy! Donald showed me around the place and gave me a hand out that identified all of the items that can be recycled there.

Here is a short list for reference (This is just an overview.  Please call the Recycle Center directly at 979-968-8446 for any questions you may have):

Newspapers, telephone books, magazines, cardboard, paper, plastics  PET and HDPE, glass, steel food cans, aluminum cans, motor oil.transmission fluid, scrap metal, aluminum wire, old tin, lawn mowers, oil filters ( .50 per filter ) , antifreeze ( up to 5 gallon container max ) , refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners ( 25.00 fee to remove the freon ), dishwashers, washing machines, hot water heaters, stoves ( 10.00 fee to remove elements and motors ), and solid waste( in FAYETTE COUNTY bags purchased at 2.00 each. )

There are also public collection stations located in Fayetteville at 8000 Columbus Hall Lane, Flatonia at 341 I -10 Frontage Road, Round Top at 600 Huenefeld Lane, Schulenburg at 135 FM 2672, Ledbetter at the Fireman’s Hall, Carmine at the Municipal Building, and Ellinger at the Chamber of Commerce Hall.  These locations all have very specific days and times for drop off so please call the Recycle Center directly for questions at 979-968-8446.

Buyer Testimonial | Land purchase

Buyer Testimonial | Land purchase – a happy Client of mine!

“I was looking for my first piece of land as a city dweller to build a %100 off grid green home and had no idea where to start looking for the right person. Someone who was not just looking to move a piece of land, but really get to know what I wanted to do with it. After seeing Deb had her own land and managed her OWN horses I knew I had the right person. Deb took no time in showing not only the properties that matched what I said I wanted to see, but also what she knew I should consider. If you are looking for someone who appreciates Texas for the land and what you can do with it Deb is your person. Working with her was a real pleasure.” Emory at Apple

Emory – thanks for giving me the opportunity to help you find your spot! It was a pleasure! If you are looking for a Realtor to work with to buy or sell land in Bastrop, Caldwell, Lee, Fayette, or Gonzales counties, or in the greater Austin area please call me! 512-743-0516! Deb

 

Smithville has a recyle center

Smithville has a recycling center on Hwy 95 just past the bridge over the Colorado River, across from Brookshire’s. Run by the City the center handles news paper and magazines, cardboard and paper feed bags, plastics # 1 and #2, auto batteries, aluminum and steel cans, waste oil. Visit the City of Smithville website for more specific information.

Bluebonnet Electric moving towards more sustainable energy

Living in Bastrop County it has felt like we ve just been a bit behind the times living in Austin’s green and eco friendly shadow, but I recently learned that Bluebonnet Electric Coop which serves this area, has been quietly doing a lot of work and research to address energy needs in a proactive and sustainable way.

Bluebonnet Electric has a trademarked their Sustainable Grid program which details how they are looking at the present and future needs of the areas they serve which includes Bastrop. They recognize that this area between Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. is no longer just a community on the Highways in between the big cities, but a big energy user base that is constantly growing.

Recently they have adopbed a net metering policy and will be actively involved the local economic development of the area. Bluebonnet will be proactively discussing the concepts and systems that can be implemented to create a partnership with new subdivisions and new industry which would move those new consuemer from a position of just being an energy demand to a potential partner in the creation of shared sustainable energy. It is easier financially to put energy saving or energy creating systems in place from the beginning rather than trying to retrofit after the fact.

Right now any customer of Bluebonnet Electric Coop can choose to use green – sustainable – renewable energy by participating in the Bluebonnet Green Rate on their existing accounts. This participation is a bit more expensive than the already established electric rate, they say by about $.005 per KW . As it is explained if a customer uses 1000 KW of service it would be approximately $5.00 more per month. There is no fee to switch, no length of term agreement to do this, a customer can call and change to the Green Rate and it will become effective the next billing cycle, and can always call and cancel to have the billing rate dropped back down to the established rate. The energy that is purchased comes from outside of Ft. Stockton from the Delaware Mountain and Indian Mesa wind farms.