Friday, March 15, 2013

Meet The Ilfreys: Our Road to Rockport

Nearly twenty years ago, David and I embarked on an epic journey from Plano, our hometown, through South Texas and the eastern half of Mexico.  For two months, we traveled by bicycle, bus, boat, with backpack and by airplane.  One night as we cycled through Karnes City and Kenedy, we found the RV park where we had planned to camp was closed for the season.  Radio station KAML was located across the street, and the owner graciously allowed us to camp behind the building.  Five years later, when we retraced our route, we stopped there to visit and thank him.  He was out for the day and had left his mother to look after the station.  She had recently retired from teaching in Rockport and recommended we check out this emerging artist community on the Texas Coast.  Our daytrip suddenly became an overnight excursion.

We watched the sunrise break over Aransas Bay and Rockport Beach Park.  Magical.  Instead of returning home to San Marcos – where we had recently completed our undergraduate studies – we spent the day exploring Texas’ First Blue Wave Beach, the Center for the Arts, Maritime Museum and Fulton Mansion.  This would be our new home…but we still had other adventures to pursue.

Fast forward to 2010.  Since our first look at Rockport in 1999, we had logged many more adventurous miles: we started our business (NativeDave.com), lived for a year in an RV in Northwest Florida, became parents, and relocated our company and family to Padre Island.  In January 2010, we began preparing for our first adventure-with-child…to transition our entire life to a 100% mobile environment.  For an entire year we “lived.worked.traveled together.”  A week or so before our departure, we received a call from a property owner in Rockport.  She was referred to us through a grapevine of business friends in Dallas-Ft. Worth and the Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners.  Her project intrigued us, and we were able to coordinate details of the design and installation while working and traveling to other locations across Texas.  Furthermore, her intent to restore the native vegetation fit snugly within our mission to conserve, preserve, restore and celebrate the Nature of Texas.

After a year of “being mobile”, we chose in the summer of 2012 to focus our mission and invest our family in Rockport-Fulton.  Today, we are residents and members of the business community.  NativeDave.com continues to create sustainable landscape designs but is also growing plants native to the Coastal Bend.  We will have plants available for purchase soon!  If you would like to receive our availability list, please send us a message at nativedaveinc@gmail.com.  RawYall.com is a brand new division of NativeDave that promotes a mostly plant-based diet as the foundation for healthy living.  Christy serves smoothies, soups, snacks and sweets Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to 2pm at Coastal Bend Health Foods.  Our family continues to live and work together, but we do not travel much anymore.  Instead, we find adventures in the simple yet meaningful life we are creating here in the Live Oak/Red Bay forest with our new friends, in our new hometown.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Sustainable landscape on Texas' Blackland Prairie


This Dallas-area project has not had irrigation on its wildflower prairie in several years. As in nature, more durable plants have survived the extreme weather events of the past several years. Plants native to other parts of Texas, e.g. Mexican Feather Grass, succumbed to the ice and snow of '11, allowing the Texas Bluebonnet population to explode.  Waterwise, low-maintenance, habitat for various birds and butterflies, native: this is definitely sustainable.
Bluebonnets everywhere...quick two-day trip to DFW. Austin. Springtime in Texas brims with unrivaled beauty.