Homestead

Barbara H. Peterson

Farm Wars

Most of us have wondered what it would be like to pack bag and baggage, move to a remote area of the country, be able to cut all ties to the outside world if necessary and live off-grid. Quite a daunting task, and a bit scary. But it can be done, as evidenced by Bud and Judy who did just that around 9 years ago, and are thriving today because of it.

I asked Bud what their motivation was, and he said: “We just wanted to do things on our own.” Well, they are doing just that. Isolated from the artificial existence of city life, cocooned in the warm glow of self-sufficiency and ready to cut the ties to civilization at any moment, Bud and Judy are living a life that most of us only dream about, and I was about to get a peak at their hideaway…  READ MORE

BarbBarbara H. Peterson

SMCC

Out of a gallon of raw Jersey milk, leaving about a half inch of cream on the top, I got 9 oz of butter, and 12 oz of buttermilk.

At my last store adventure, I priced 16 oz of butter at around $2.60, a gallon of milk at around $3.00, and buttermilk runs around $3.50 per half gallon. I paid $3.00 for a gallon of raw milk and made both butter and buttermilk, and had 3/4 of a gallon of raw milk left. Do the math!!!

Instructions:

Skim the cream off the raw milk after it has risen to the top. Place the cream in a food processor and turn on. Process until the butter separates from the buttermilk. Strain the buttermilk from the butter, and rinse the butter in cold water. Now shape it any way you want, refrigerate and drink the buttermilk before anyone gets to it!

Pics:

Butter separated from buttermilk after running the food processor

making butter

Butter

finished  butter

Buttermilk

buttermilk

Barbara H. Peterson

Barbara H. Peterson

SMCC

Seasonings can be spendy, and full of things that we don’t really want to put into our bodies. So, how can you make sure that you get 100% organic, healthy seasonings? One way is to grow and prepare them yourself. Here is a simple way to make onion powder using Egyptian Walking Onions. They are extremely easy to keep, as they come back every year by themselves, and the harvest is bountiful.

Here is where it starts, at the onion bed. These onions will develop a cluster of small bulbs that can be harvested and eaten – delicious!

Step 1

Harvest the tops of your Walking Onions by simply grabbing the top cluster of bulbs and popping them off. Rinse, and let dry. (more…)

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…)

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

In 2005, I experienced something that rocked my world. It started with an itch about halfway between my right knee and ankle, on the side of my leg. I inspected the area, and saw a couple of small bumps that looked like pimples. By the next day, the affected area had grown from just these few bumps to a dime-sized area filled with them. The itching increased. I sloughed it off to some sort of allergic reaction that would go away shortly. It didn’t. In fact, it grew to the point of keeping me awake at night.

When scratched, the bumps oozed clear liquid. I can best describe what this turned into as the worst case of poison oak rash that anyone has ever endured. This rash spread all the way up my leg to my shoulders, and included the other leg as well. There seemed to be no relief in sight. I got so desperate to ease the itching that I actually bathed in bleach. This DID NOT help. In fact, it only made things worse. Antibiotics did not work, fungicides did not work, steroid creams did not work. NOTHING worked. I was desperate.

I finally determined that the food I was eating must have something to do with it and stopped eating, drinking my pure well water only. The itching seemed to subside. Quite frankly, after making this connection, I was scared to eat! This couldn’t go on for long, so after hunger took over, I slowly started introducing foods into my diet, one item at a time.

It should be noted that during this time, I was told about genetically modified foods (GMOs) and started doing some research. I checked out the labels of all of the processed foods in my kitchen, and found that almost all of them contained known GM ingredients such as corn, soy, beet sugar, and milk containing rBGH hormone. Could this be the cause of my affliction? I would soon find out.  (more…)