About Us

Homesteading Family

Brian Schalk

My name is Brian Schalk.  My wife Mary and I were married in 1985.  In the years since, God has richly blessed us with our awesome family.  Our one and only daughter is Amanda with her husband Joe.  Joshua is the oldest son with his wife Yenifer and their sons Ezra and Jason.  Four other sons followed Joshua. They are Jacob, Caleb, Matthew, and Joseph.  Although the whole family does not live out here, everyone has input into Grace Heritage Ranch (GHR).

Begun in August of 2010, GHR was a dream of a self-sustaining homestead for our family.  Because we wanted to have a source of healthy organic food, become more self-reliant, and instill in our children the wisdom and perseverance of past generations, we downsized our home and upsized our land.  Endangered heritage breeds of animals, heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables, and wise stewardship of God’s provision have become a part of our plan and lifestyle.

Our Homestead in South Texas

Here, just outside the little Texas town of Santa Monica, we grow our own organic heirloom fruits and vegetables in a large, rotational, three section garden with soil amendments courtesy of the compost bin and the animals.

With the help of our cat, dog and donkeys we raise registered American Milking Devon cattle, Suri and Huacaya Alpacas, registered San Clemente Island and Nigerian Dwarf goats, registered Jacob sheep, Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, French Angora rabbits, Australorp chickens, Bourbon Red (Butternut) and Chocolate turkeys, Embden geese, peafowl and bees.  We hope to increase awareness of the forgotten qualities and characteristics in many of these unique breeds and be influential in their rediscovery.

Making Memories

Days out here are busily filled with the basics of life.  However, this life is never monotonous, as daily goings on may include any number of surprise situations and a sprinkling of any of these:  school lessons, milking, yogurt and cheese making, planting, weeding, harvesting, composting, dehydrating, canning, bread baking, soap making, animal care, tanning hides, egg collecting, and lots and lots of maintenance.

Mary SchalkAlthough we work hard, we have fun too.  In our free time we entertain ourselves through many activities like camping, hiking, bird watching, playing musical instruments, fiber spinning, knitting, growing mushrooms, reading, and photography just to name a few.  Some nights, we sit by the campfire roasting our dinner while just spending time together under the stars.  We also love to share what we already know, learn things we didn’t know, visit with old friends, and make new friends like you.   Come visit with us soon!

Our Facebook page, Facebook.com/VisitGHR, is updated regularly; it’s another way for you to interact with us.

Working Ranch

Besides working the homestead, we offer YOU an opportunity to join in on our adventure and experience Grace Heritage Ranch!

Volunteers are always welcome from the young to the old.  Come and get a first-hand experience working the ranch.

Make reservations to tour our homestead from January through May.  Visit with us for our Autumn Adventure in October and November.  Reserve a spot for birthday parties.

Animals for Sale

From time to time we have animals for sale.  If you are interested in any of our heritage breeds, please contact us here.

Nuisance Bee and Snake Removals

Our beekeeper Caleb humanely relocates nuisance bees to our apiary.  Contact him directly at 956-434-6571.

Our son Matthew has a lot of experience handling snakes.  Contact him at 956-743-5544 to humanely remove them.