Texas is bigger than most countries in Europe. Texas is big!! It is the only state that was a Republic before joining the Union, which had a significant impact on its history.
Many people think that Texas is flat. Our bicyclers can tell you that there are many hills to ascend and descend as they bicycle across this state. As of today, they have completed 1375 miles, many of them in Texas and many of them uphill!
Texas grows peaches! From the Hill Country Fruit Council website: “Whether you call them Fredericksburg Peaches, Stonewall Peaches or Texas Hill Country Peaches they are all delicious! Hill Country Fruit Council members are conveniently located in the heart of Central Texas. Whether you are looking for a pick your own orchard or pre-picked and ready at the stand one of our grower/members can accommodate you! Come on by and we know you will agree that there is nothing as tasty as a Texas Peach.” http://www.texaspeaches.com/
Texas grows grapes and makes wine – also in the Hill Country! From the Texas Hill Country Wineries website: “Welcome! You may be discovering what five million annual visitors already know: The Texas Hill Country Wineries are spectacular and fun! With more than 30 unique and visually stunning wineries scattered throughout the Hill Country, there’s someplace new to explore around every bend. Each place has its own personality, terroir and style of winemaking, yet all share a commitment to quality and a fervent passion for what they do. We invite newcomers and old friends alike to an award-winning wine experience only Texas can offer.” To learn more, here is a link to a comprehensive website: http://www.gotexanwine.org/index.html
Texas also has livestock and has been suffering from a severe drought that has caused grave problems for ranchers. From the Voice of America comes this quote: “The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the United States’ cattle herd has shrunk to its smallest size in 60 years, mostly because of a severe drought that has ravaged the southern plains. Beef prices have gone up 17 percent as a result. In the pastures near Hallsburg,Texas, ranchers are hanging on desperately, hoping for rain.” Here is a link to the story: http://www.voanews.com/english/news/usa/Record-Drought-Takes-Toll-on-Texas-Cattle-138862239.html
Of the 268,820 square miles within the borders of Texas, 1.92 per cent is publicly owned. This means that 98.08 per cent is privately owned. Each state has a unique history that determines the percentage of land that is publicly owned and to which the public usually has access. These few lines from the Texas General Land Office website may whet your appetite to learn more about Texas and about the lands in your state.
“Understanding the importance of land in the history of Texas is essential to understanding Texas. Few Texans, however, are aware of the role that public land has played in our state’s development. Land has not only furnished us valuable natural resources, it has been used to finance government operations, reward veterans, provide internal improvements and fund public education. The land myth in Texas is real.” http://www.glo.texas.gov/what-we-do/history-and-archives/_documents/history-of-texas-public-lands.pdf