The Herff Farm
Cultural History Meets Natural History
In 1852, German immigrant Dr. Ferdinand Herff (1820-1912) acquired large tracts of land at the confluence of Menger and Cibolo creeks to develop a farmstead that eventually grew to encompass 10,000 acres.
The Cibolo Nature Center in Boerne once was part of this historic farm, and in 2007, the Friends of Cibolo Wilderness began to acquire the last 62 acres of the Herff Farm that remained intact adjacent to the nature preserve as part of its efforts to protect and preserve the land and water for people and wildlife. The farm is a key element in the CNC’s Cibolo Conservation Corridor, a collaboration among a variety of partners aimed at protecting four miles of Cibolo Creek and its watershed.
In 2010, the Herff Farm was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. That same year, the farm was among seven sites that Preservation Texas named to its annual list of Texas’ Most Endangered Historic Places.
A physician based in San Antonio, Dr. Herff maintained the farm as a summer home until 1894, when his son, Charles, moved from San Antonio to manage the property until the early 1920s. In 1935, George and Erma Rozelle purchased 68 acres from Charles Herff's son. Last occupied in the mid-1980s, the property includes the family home – a two-story, limestone structure built in 1883 – as well as agricultural and domestic structures.
Our Vision for Herff Farm
The Cibolo Nature Center is expanding its educational opportunities with the opening of the Herff Farm at the Cibolo. The farm will be an outdoor classroom for teaching the living skills we have nearly lost in little more than a generation, such as gardening, composting, beekeeping and rainwater harvesting. These and other simple skills for sustainable living will provide our community with practical ways to live in harmony with nature.
The Herff Farm at the Cibolo will provide complementary programs and activities for children and adults as part of the Cibolo Nature Center’s education and outreach efforts. Future plans for programs and demonstrations for children and adults include organic gardening, restoring native ecology, rainwater catchment, water conservation, backyard chicken coops, beekeeping, composting, recycling and other practices and lifestyle choices that help maintain ecological balance with nature.
The farm will be part of Boerne’s public trail system, where families can take a walk through the farm and hike the nature trails over the creek and through the Cibolo Nature Center. The Herff Farm at the Cibolo will also be an educational resource for local schools and will provide research opportunities in partnership with universities and colleges.
The Cibolo Nature Center will launch the weekly Farmers Market at the Cibolo on May 5 at the Herff Farm. The Farmers Market at the Cibolo will feature Texas-produced, high-quality organic or natural foods and products such as vegetables and fruits, herbs, organic and grass-fed meats, baked goods, jams and jellies, honey, eggs, freshly prepared sandwiches and hot food, coffee and tea in bulk and natural beauty products,
An Inspiration Garden at the farmers market will demonstrate organic vegetable gardening and water conservation, as well as the principles of gardening in containers and raised beds and square-foot gardening.