Down on the Ranch


This is our story…

 

In order to offset their financial struggles, Barb and Tink have found a way to survive and minimize all of their expenses by growing their own food, bartering with neighbors and extreme budgeting with their small income.

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Barbara H. Peterson

Farm Wars

For years we at Farm Wars have dug in and fought to take our message of family farming independence and survival to as many people as would listen. I am happy to announce that an opportunity to extend this message to a wider audience came when Darcy Dennett contacted me about filming an episode of Our America with Lisa Ling. This was to be a short documentary about surviving the middle class crash. Well, that’s right up our alley here at the ranch! So, hello mainstream media – ready or not, here we come!

Initial Contact

There I was, minding my own business, tending to the critters – both on the ranch and on Farm Wars the website, when it came. Quite frankly, I was taken by surprise. I was totally unprepared for what was about to transpire. But I digress…

It came in the form of an email. Yes, a simple email. This email looked no different than the rest, with nothing to distinguish itself other than an outrageous claim that it was from one of the producers of Our America with Lisa Ling, airing on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). Yeah, right. But I got curious and checked it out the next day. When I say checked it out, I mean CHECKED IT OUT. Let’s just say I don’t like scams, and have a tendency to route them out. Well, it turns out this wasn’t a scam. This was the real deal, so I responded. The producer, Darcy, and I started talking back and forth, and before long, arranged a time for the crew to come by the ranch and shoot an episode titled Lost American Dream.

Yes folks, the Our America crew was coming to Farm Wars to film us in our natural habitat. Then the fun began… (more…)

Welcome to the Seed Lady Network!

Seedladynetwork.com

The Seed Lady Network is dedicated to open source seed sharing, free from transgenic contamination and patent piracy. To this end, every effort is being made to provide an environment to share private seed stock and keep sources for traditional non-GMO seeds available to the people for generations to come. Our intention is to provide safe alternatives for individuals and families who wish to avoid consumption of genetically altered foods.

If you have been saving seeds from that special veggie and would like to share some with others, list your seeds on the Network. Whether you are offering them for free to replenish another’s lost stock, or would like to trade for something else to add to your collection, just list your terms in the ad along with your contact information, and swap away!

Seed Lady is designed to be a horizontally integrated platform for individual seed sharers to reach out across the globe with their precious seed resources, in order to combat growing corporate control over our food supply, starting with the seed.

The Seed Lady Team encourages everyone, both individual seed swappers and established seed companies, to take the following non-biotech seed source pledge:

GET STARTED NOW!

The Seed Lady Team

Go, Henry, GO!!!

Barbara H. Peterson

Farm Wars

Henry Lowrider was born in a little town in Southern Oregon, where the weather dips to minus 10 degrees in winter, sometimes colder. He was a beautiful baby. But Henry was not very aggressive. His peers kicked him around and didn’t let him hang with them. In fact, his brothers and sisters made sure that Henry slept on the floor, while they took the higher, warmer bunks. Henry just dug in and curled up in the corner where the others couldn’t fit.

One evening, Henry approached me. He was walking funny. It looked like there was something wrong with one of his feet. I took him in the house to care for him and heat his almost frozen tootsies. He got better, then resumed his day to day life. A little while later, I noticed that Henry was limping again. Except this time when I brought him in, he refused to eat or drink. Evidently, death with his family was better than life in a cage for Henry, so I reluctantly let him go, hoping for the best. At this point, I should mention that Henry is a chicken… rooster to be exact.  (more…)

Barbara H. Peterson

Farm Wars

Farm Wars Outdoor Garden 2011

With the last cabbage processed, this season’s outdoor gardening and food processing project is officially over. That is, all except for soil prep for next season, when we let the geese and goat in the garden to eat the leftovers, then spread the horse manure. Then, it’s all about enjoying the fruits of our labors, and telling the corporate veggie distributors to take their pesticide-laden produce and… well, you know the rest.

This is our fourth year gardening in the high desert, and I’ve got to admit, we messed around and got it right this time. We have enough in the freezer for the year, and the garden fed us and the critters with fresh produce all during the harvest.

Brian planted and hand watered the garden morning and evening. We both weeded and harvested, and I processed. Processing consisted of cleaning, trimming, blanching, chopping and freezing, as well as some drying. We both collect seeds.

Here are pics of some of the bounty (cabbage, onions, beets, radishes, spinach and zucchini). We had carrots also, but I forgot to take pics of them. The garden area was 60 X 80:  (more…)

By Barbara H. Peterson

SMCC 

Dee Dee Dee and the spinach patch.

We have a goose that lives in our garden. Not just any goose, but a very special goose. His name is Dee Dee Dee, and this is his story.

Early one morning in April, a tiny beak poked its way out of one of the many eggs nestled warmly under one of our young geese. As this little guy poked his way out, his brothers and sisters were making their way into the world also. Finally, everyone came out of their shells, and snuggled up under the protective wings of their mother. It was a proud moment for a new mom.

As time went on, it became clear that little Dee Dee Dee was not as quick as the others. He lagged behind, and spent a lot of time by himself. He also did not grow as fast as the others, and seemed weak. He would take a few steps and then sit down, exhausted. He could never keep up, and consigned himself to foraging alone, without the protection and company of his family. He looked lost.

Then he found the garden.  (more…)

By Barbara H. Peterson

Well, you can tell that Spring is here! We’ve got baby geese. The first mom and dad only have one, but they are just as proud of that one as the second mom and dad are of eight.