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Learn regenerative farming, local history, and foundations of faith at restorative farm

Van Alstyne, Texas

Connect with regenerative farming, local history, and faith at beautiful Sister Grove Farm in Van Alstyne, Texas. This picturesque farm 20 minutes north of McKinney also offers visitors a chance to catch their breath and restore inner peace as they reconnect with a more agrarian lifestyle and legends of the past.

“If you get to know your place, it will get to know you,” says the Rev. Sarah Macias, owner of this 149-acre farm nestled along the east prong of sister Grove Creek in the Lavon watershed of the Trinity River basin. Sarah Macias, along with husband Rodney Macias, have been digging into local history since they moved to it in 2016, building a sense of place and community at the farm.

Sarah and her three sisters grew up on a farm in north Texas. Their father’s passion was soil and water conservation. Their mother was a recognized and respected local historian. From these beginnings, Sarah went to Austin where she worked for 25 years in parks and natural resource management. Rodney Macias studied agricultural production and is a Master Gardener, Master Naturalist, Licensed Permaculturist and an amateur astronomer. They are both experts in connecting with the land, and their greatest joy is in helping others connect, with it, too. The Maciases partner with local chefs another local farms to host exquisite farm-to-table dinners, as well as lower-key community potlucks to gather around the farm table.

The farm also features an exquisite Sister Grove Farm and Retreat Center, with and agrarian focus and accommodations for families, churches, community groups, and individuals. The original farmhouse on the property has been remodeled to create an incredible tribute to Texas rural history.

Regenerative farming, local history, faith

Tours can be customized based on group size (5 or greater) and group needs. Experiences are typically themed around one or more of the following topics, depending on group interest:

  • Regenerative Agriculture: The Maciases care for the land through regenerative farming practices and holistic planned raising. They will show you what they are learning as they implement these practices, and how they strive to build soil health, increase biodiversity, improve the water cycle, and sequester carbon to help mitigate climate change.  The Maciases have found that in applying these basic principles, flourishing ecosystems can emerge from depleted conditions. They enjoy showing visitors how their own lives and all lives on the farm are being transformed by our participating in this “common sense revolution”.
  • Local History: The farm is located on the homelands of the Wichita or Kitikiti’sh tribes, and as good stewards of the land, the Maciases seek to have an ongoing relationship with the ancestors of the land. ​They share with visitors what they’ve learned from the Texas State Historical Association about what these people grew and hunted, and how they lived on these grounds. The Maciases also share the story of Collin McKinney and his family, later inhabitants of the land, and the historic farmhouse they built on the property in 1859, which still stands today. See the layers of local history in the restored farmhouse, walk the paths of ancestors, and understand how the land and people who have lived here have shaped each other over time.
  • Land and Faith: Sarah Macias was called to ministry based on a sense that people’s relationship with God is reflected in our relationship with the land. She earned a Master of Divinity in 2015 from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and a Master of Sacred Theology in 2017 from Drew Theological School. In November 2018, Sarah was ordained to the gospel ministry by Royal Lane Baptist Church. She is happy to share her knowledge with visitors from all walks of life based on their interests, and to explore the connections between the land and faith.

TO BOOK: If you would like to visit the farm, the Maciases welcome you to come explore, relax, learn and catch your breath. Ensure you have a group of 5 or more people, and rates are $5 per person per hour, with a minimum of 2 hours booked. Alternatively, you can book by day (dawn to dusk) for a flat fee of $50 per person per day. Send requests or questions to, and make sure to include the time and day requested and group size. Visits must be prebooked, and proceeds support farm operations and the farm’s work in the community.

LEARN MORE: Read Edible DFW’s writeup of their visit to Sister Grove Farm.

JOIN THE MOVEMENT: Learn more about how you help the world when you take a farm tour, and why we believe in agritourism. Follow us at for updates about this and other local farm experiences.

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Sister Grove Farm is committed to building community: where strangers become neighbors and neighbors become friends. Where this happens is at the table. And with locally sourced food, the transformation reaches beyond just the people at the table.

The farm is 149 acres of rolling blackland prairie just 45 miles north of Dallas. Nestled along the east prong of Sister Grove Creek on the ancestral lands of the Wichita people, this patch of earth is now cared for by Rodney and Sarah Macias as a regenerative farm and small retreat center.

The land was once owned by Collin McKinney, oldest signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, and an 1859 farmhouse (restored as one of our accommodations) was home to his son and daughter in law, Younger Scott McKinney and Sarah Janes McKinney. The farmhouse can accommodate up to 9 people but is also perfect for a solo or couple’s get-away.

The farm also features two communally designed guesthouses and an indoor group-use space with a commercial kitchen and everything needed for meetings and dining.

Using holistic grazing and regenerative approaches to agriculture, Sister Grove Farm raises grass-fed cattle and sheep along with heritage breed chickens. Joining the farm in these tasks are two livestock guardian dogs and one barn cat.

At Sister Grove, the farm's mission is to “grow and raise a diversity of plant and animal species for food and beauty in such a manner that the land is healed along with all who visit and live here.”