Posts Tagged With: food freedom

How “The Poor Man’s Cow” Will Keep You Alive and Healthy

[Editor’s Note: Keeping with the theme that stuff runs out, it’s wise to build sustainable, resilient resources that transition easily from a pre to a post collapse scenario. If you have a little land, goats are an option to consider. Barbara Peterson is proving that “the poor man’s cow” can keep you alive.]

A Goat Will Keep You Alive


by Barbara H. Peterson

Source: Farm Wars

When thinking about survival prepping, most think of collecting as many dried foods as possible to last for as many years as possible, along with whatever other supplies will be needed to take care of oneself and family without having to visit the supermarket, which, in most scenarios, will not be functioning in a post-crash world.

To this discussion, I would like to add something a bit out of the box. And that is – a goat will keep you alive. Yes, it’s true, and I have spent the last several weeks proving just that.

The survival system that I decided on was geared towards providing me and mine with fresh, whole food that is renewable and sustainable. So, I purchased two milking goats to go along with my garden. One is an Alpine cross whom I named Sunny, and the other a Mini Mancha (La Mancha and Nigerian Dwarf cross) who goes by the name of Fiona. They were pregnant when I bought them, and almost ready to kid.

Alive2I have to admit that I knew Alpines were good milkers, but had no idea what a Mini Mancha would do, and was delightfully surprised when it came time for milking at the amount that my little gal produces. For such a small individual, she is a powerhouse.

So, with these two ladies by my side, I began my journey into food freedom. Could my ladies actually keep me alive and healthy? I would soon find out.

The Experiment

Alive3The babies were born the first week of February, and I did not milk until I weaned them at 2 months of age. After that, I started milking twice per day and get 1 – 1 ½ gallons per day. Since my ladies started producing I haven’t eaten much of anything that doesn’t come from the ranch and/or local sources.

Why a goat?

My first thought was nutrition. Could I really get the nutrition I need from a diet of goat milk, veggies and fruit? So, I looked up a bit of nutritional information:


Goat milk is also a healthier alternative to cow milk. Why? Cow milk has to be homogenized to be more easily digested, which is a process where the fat globules are broken down. However, this is not necessary with goat milk because it is naturally homogenized. Therefore goat milk is much more easily digested than cow milk is.

Goat milk has more of the essential vitamins that we need. Goat milk has 13% more calcium, 25% percent more B6, 47% percent more vitamin A, and 27% more selenium. It also has more chloride, copper, manganese, potassium, and niacin than cow milk. It also produces more silicon and fluorine than any other dairy animal. Silicon and fluorine can help prevent diabetes.

Scientist are not sure why, but people who are lactose intolerant can often drink goat milk without having to worry about side effects. Goat milk does not cause phlegm like cow milk does, so you can drink goat milk even when you have a cold or bad allergy problems.

For a complete nutritional breakdown comparing goat milk to cow and human milk, go toFias Co Farm.

Ease of upkeep

The next concern was how easy are they to keep? It turns out that they are the best bet for the money when it comes to dairy critters. Goats are less time consuming, eat less, and are less labor intensive than cows, making them much more economical. They are also browsers and not grazers, meaning that they will eat stuff that cows simply will not touch, and can be used to clear weeds. If you turn them out on your property to browse, they will eat brush and weeds, leaving you with cleared, fertilized land, sans the heavy machinery and spendy store-bought fertilizers. Just be careful of the weeds that they eat as the taste will end up in your milk.

Often the dairy goat has been called the “poor man’s cow,” because good dairy goats do not cost near as much as good dairy cows do. You can raise more goats on a smaller amount of pasture than you can cows. While it takes an acre for a cow/calf, you can successfully raise six goats on one acre. Cows usually have only one calf per year, while goats have two kids (that’s what you call a young goat) after their second year. Pound for pound a good dairy goat will produce more milk than a cow will. Unlike a cow, a good dairy goat can produce up to 10% of its body weight in milk.

Choosing your goat

There are several breeds to choose from, and what is right for one, might not be right for another.

The most frequently asked question that people ask me about goats is, ”What is the difference in each breed’s milk taste, and how much milk do they average.” And that is always one of the hardest questions to answer, simply because there really aren’t any solid answers I can give! Each individual goat is going to have its own amount of milk it’s going to give, and it’s going to have its own taste. Think of it like a grab bag. You never know what you’re going to get.

But that sounds rather discouraging. How on earth is a body supposed to choose a goat breed if they’re hesitant about each one? Over the years, I’ve had the privilege to own almost all the dairy breeds out there, and then try the milk from countless of other goats. Through much experience (read: trial and error as we bought goats that gave horrid tasting milk!), I’ve gotten to know each breed’s quirks and histories, and I’ve come to realize that it actually is possible to give people an idea of what to expect from each breed.

Saanen, Alpine, Nubian, Toggenburg, Oberhaslis, La Mancha, Nigerian Dwarf, and combinations thereof are the main dairy breeds. I would rather not get hooked on buying a purebred since they are more expensive, and certain crosses yield excellent milk, in my opinion. My gals are both crosses and their milk is wonderful.

So, when you are looking for your milking goat, go with taste, volume, temperament, size of teats if you are hand milking, and orifice size. You can determine all of these things if you go to the place where you are considering purchasing your goat and observe the hands on experience. Watch the goats to see how they relate to each other, watch your prospect getting milked, ask questions, and taste her milk. I always recommend buying from a trusted source, and if in doubt, get a vet check before purchase.

Preparing for your goat

Alive13I asked the local goat-keeper what type of fencing my girls would need. He said that if I can make an enclosure that would hold water, I should be able to keep them in at all times…. Okay! A challenge. Well, I ended up with a 52” fence because I used large pallets. So far, it has worked. My friend uses 5’ high woven wire fencing. That is optimal, but since the pallets were free, that is what I chose.

The feeder is outside of the pen, allowing them to put their heads through the holes and eat without trampling it on the ground and soiling it. Hay nets are another option, but if your goat has horns, she can get them caught in the hay net.


Large dog houses are excellent shelters, but just about anything can be used such as a raised camper shell, a-frame structures, etc. Basically, your goats need to have some place dry and out of the elements to get to. A good straw bedding inside will keep them warm, dry and happy, and provide a good kidding area.

They will also need a good supply of fresh, clean water. Goats do not like dirty water, and if you live in freezing conditions you will need to get a water heater. I use 5 gallon buckets that are cleaned regularly.

Keeping your goat healthy


You will want to get a good supply of high quality hay for your girls. I let the babies browse the ranch, but the milking mamas get a controlled feed so that the taste of the milk can be regulated. As I stated before, whatever they eat affects the taste of the milk. If you cannot get feed for your girls, they can be turned out to forage in an emergency and will do just fine as long as there is plenty of grass and other vegetation. Click HERE for a list of edible and poisonous plants for goats.

Each goat needs 2 to 4 pounds of hay each day, although some of this need can be met by available pasture or other forage. Make it available free choice throughout the day when pasture is unavailable or feed twice a day when goats are also browsing.

You can feed alfalfa (and some grass hays) in pellet form if you don’t have storage or if you want to mix it with grain. The goats don’t waste so much alfalfa when it’s in pellets, and you can limit who gets it by combining it with their grain.

I am currently feeding a free-choice oat/pea hay combination along with a non-GMO dairy goat pellet , whole oats, rolled barley, alfalfa pellets, timothy grass pellets, and molasses. They also get free-choice loose minerals and baking soda.


When it is time to worm, I mix food grade diatomaceous earth with their grain ration along with a bit of warm water and molasses to coat everything so that it all gets eaten. Here is some info about diatomaceous earth:

Food grade diatomaceous earth makes a very effective natural insecticide. The insecticidal quality of diatomaceous earth is due to the razor sharp edges of the diatom remains. When diatomaceous earth comes in contact with the insects, the sharp edges lacerate the bugs waxy exoskeleton and then the powdery diatomaceous earth absorbs the body fluids causing death from dehydration.

Food grade diatomaceous earth has been used for at least two decades as a natural wormer for livestock. Some believe diatomaceous earth scratches and dehydrates parasites. Some scientists believe that diatomaceous earth is a de-ionizer or de-energizer of worms or parasites. Regardless, people report definite control. To be most effective, food grade diatomaceous earth must be fed long enough to catch-all newly hatching eggs or cycling of the worms through the lungs and back to the stomach. A minimum of 60 days is suggested by many, 90 days is advised for lungworms.

Food grade diatomaceous earth works in a purely physical/mechanical manner, not “chemical” and thus has no chemical toxicity. Best yet, parasites don’t build up a tolerance/immunity to its chemical reaction, so rotation of wormers is unnecessary.

Injury care

Goats are hardy creatures, so a bit of prevention goes a long way. I keep Povidone Iodine around for minor cuts, along with hydrogen peroxide and colloidal silver. My medical kit is stocked with sterile cotton, vet-wrap, sharp scissors, an enema bottle, small bottles of hydrogen peroxide, colloidal silver and Betadine, cotton swabs, thermometer, and small towels.

Trimming feet

Your milking stand can also be used to secure your goats for hoof trimming.

Alive12Comprehensive instructions along with pictures can be found by clickingHERE. Also, remember to keep a bottle of blood-stop powder handy just in case you trim a little too deep and draw blood. If this happens, simply sprinkle a bit on, and that will stop the bleeding.

To horn or not to horn

Most goat people will insist on disbudding the babies. I don’t. I know that this is a contentious subject, but clearly, goats are born with them and they serve a purpose. We disbud (remove) them for our own personal convenience, not theirs. The choice is yours, as I have already made mine. Here is an article that supports my belief:

Yes, horns get in the way. Yes, they can cause some damage. But did you know that in most countries, disbudding is considered akin to surgically removing a leg, or ears, or an udder? And  well it should be, in my book. That said, goat owners have to take their individual circumstances into consideration. Maybe, if I had a lot of little kids around, I might think differently. But I would probably just do what I did when my kids were little and there were sharp pointy goat horns around: put tennis balls, or some sort of rubber, squishy thing, on the end of the horns.Worked great. Goats didn’t care. No eyes got poked out.  If I had a bajillion goats in a small space, maybe I would disbud. If I was going to show my goats, I’d have to – it’s THE LAW. Hmmm. I’m not showing. In my particular case, I’m willing to make management changes in order to let my goats be goats.

If you decide to disbud, click HERE for some instructions.


A happy goat is a good milking goat. At first arrival to a new home, your goat will take some time to get used to her surroundings. Since they are herd animals, they like company. So, a compatible goat buddy is better for your goat than being the lone stranger.

Goats can hold back their milk of they are unhappy, and if they are satisfied, can deliver it easily. It is really up to them. This means that developing a good relationship with them is paramount. When I started milking my mamas, I sang to them. Now that we are in a routine, and they love routines, I open the gate and they run to the milking stand. This took a bit of doing.

At first, Fiona didn’t want to get on. She hadn’t been milked on a stand before and would have none of it. I had to lift her up and place her on it. Well, that wasn’t going to last for long, so I started only giving them grain when they were on the stand. Problem solved.  They now associate the stand with grain, and the longer I milk, the more grain they get to eat, so they give me as much milk as possible.

Click HERE for detailed instructions on how to hand milk a goat. I like to use a mild solution of warm water and apple cider vinegar for an udder wash and teat dip.

Click HERE for detailed instructions on how to construct a milking stand.

Alive5If you have more than a couple of goats, and you will after kidding, you might want to invest in a milking machine. I invested in an aspirator purchased from an eBay seller for $109, some hose for $25, a couple of replacement batteries for $25, two fittings, a dosing syringe, and a gallon jar with lid that I had around the house. My friend had already made one, so she put the fittings and hose together for me, and showed me how to use it.

The main thing to remember about goat milk is that it will pick up the flavor of anything it comes in contact with. Therefore, cleanliness will yield the best tasting milk. Also, I don’t let my milk come in contact with plastic containers. I use a stainless steel bucket and glass jars. Immediately after milking, I strain the milk into a glass jar and place it in the fridge to cool. No “goaty” taste for me! People who taste my milk say it tastes like creamy, sweet cow’s milk. They can’t tell it’s from a goat.

Food  and other stuff

When I say that a goat will keep you alive, I mean it. Here is a typical day’s meal:


Goat milk smoothie – goat milk, whatever fruit is handy and honey placed in a blender and blended until smooth and creamy, or goat milk and homemade granola made with oats, fruit and nuts.


Goat cheese and spinach salad.


Vegetable soup and homemade bread made with whey from the cheesemaking process.


Goat ice-milk mixed with fruit, nuts, and any other flavors you like.


Here are pics of a couple of the cheeses that I make with stuff from the garden, goat milk and apple cider vinegar.

Alive10Walking Onion Goat Cheese

Alive11Wild Celery Goat Cheese

I also feed the whey and excess milk to the cats and chickens. It keeps them fat and healthy.

You can also make a very mild and gentle soap from goat milk.

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Goats are also used for packing, and will leave a much more invisible footprint than other animals such as donkeys and horses.


The results of my experiment are that I am feeling strong, energetic, am definitely healthy, and do not feel one bit deprived. And what do I owe it to? My two milking mamas, fresh fruit, veggies, local honey and a penchant for independence. I am confident that if the store shelves run dry, I can still eat healthy, good tasting food and get the nutrition that I need. A goat will keep you alive.

©2013 Barbara H. Peterson

Author bio: Barbara Peterson, Writer/Activist, lives on a small ranch in Oregon where she raises geese, chickens, goats and horses. This rural lifestyle is under attack at the most basic level. Federal regulations and the corporate takeover of our food supply with Monsanto’s invasive GMO technology is designed to make it next to impossible to raise animals and organic food.

It is time to step up to the plate and fight or lose it all without a whimper. Choose to take a stand and fight. We can make a difference.

You may contact her on her site at


Categories: Homesteading, Natural Health, Preparedness, Real Food, Resilience | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

20 Ways to Build a Whole Food Kitchen on a Half Price Budget





[Editor’s Note] This was originally published by Daisy Luther on her site The Organic Prepper and reprinted here with permission. Daisy has been a friend to our site and frequent contributor. Please share it with family and friends. Check out her bio at the end of this article.

by Daisy Luther

garden veggies

Making a trip to the grocery store these days is like running a gauntlet.  From one side you are assaulted by food-like substances in brightly labeled packages, some even touting exaggerated health benefits from the toxins within.  From the other side, you are gouged and poked by cleverly marketed “natural” foods that are 4 times the price of conventional foods.  When you change directions to avoid one onslaught, you are immediately attacked by the other.

We’re at war and the grocery store is the battlefield.

That war has been declared on us by multiple enemies with unlimited budgets, such as Monsanto, Big Pharma, Big Agri and Big Food.  What’s even worse is that they are aided and abetted by their allies at the FDA and the US Congress, administrations peopled by those who are actually supposed to be the gatekeepers that protect us from this.

What’s a frugal whole food shopper to do?

Lots of people write to me and say, “I’d love to eat the way you do, but I can barely afford regular groceries. There’s no way I could afford all that healthy stuff.”

Good food might be expensive, but as the saying goes, have you checked out the price of illness lately?

If you don’t believe you can afford to eat healthfully, consider the high price of being sick and lethargic.  Calculate the cost of days missed from work for illness. Add up the price of having no energy to play with your kids or to do things that would help you to save money.  Think about the exorbitant prices of medical care.  Many of these things are completely avoidable – all you have to do is feed your body real food and you will be astounded at the resultant glowing health.  How much money have you spent over the last year fighting ill-health that could have been avoided through good nutrition?

GMOs have been proven to cause cancer, ghastly tumors, organ failure, and death.  Many of the additives included in the products proudly displayed on grocery store shelves have been banned in other countries because of the health consequences they wreak.  Top this with a produce section absolutely drenched in pesticides that have been proven to result in cancer, hormone disruptions, and learning problems in children.

To quote the Terminator, “Come with me if you want to live.”

We all know the reasons that we should switch to whole foods, but with the ever-increasing checkout counter inflation, how can we make it happen?  Here are a few realistic tips that do not include relocating to 30 acres of prime spring fed organic  farmland blocked off on 3 sides by mountain ranges.  Realistically, you may not be able to make every one of these things happen, but for each positive change you make, you are taking steps towards better health and you are revolting against the toxic food cartel.

  1. Buy local. Ideally, you never need to set foot in a grocery store.  Change your shopping habits and buy from local farmers, either directly from their farm or from a farmer’s market.  You will get your produce at the optimum time, right after it was picked. As well, you can directly ask the farmer about his practices.  Sometimes farmers grow organically and they just haven’t gone through the expensive and highly regulated certification programs that exist to make increase the monopoly of factory farms. (Find a local farm HERE.)
  2. Join a food co-op or CSA. This is win-win, because it helps out the farmers and it helps out your family.With both of these options, you can register ahead of time (in some cases you pre-pay for the season) and then receive a box brimming with abundance from your own area.  You will get to try lots of new things (this is how we tried one of our family favorites, rutabaga, for the first time) and you will get to do this at a fraction of the price.
  3. Buy produce that is in-season. Purchasing food that is in-season is not just cheaper, it is nutritionally beneficial too.  Buying strawberries in January and asparagus in October requires that the produce be picked before it is fully ripe, and the produce begins to decompose and lose nutrients the second it is separated from the plant.  Avoid the high cost of transporting your “fresh” Christmas berries and melons and stick to the items that nature is currently providing in your area.
  4. Grow as much as you can in the space you have.  Plant a sunny windowsill with salad veggies and herbs, grow a container garden on a balcony, or turn your yard into a mini-farm.  Every bite of food you grow yourself is a revolutionary act.
  5. Plan your menu AFTER shopping, not before. This allows you to stay on budget because you aren’t shopping for special ingredients to make pre-planned meals. You can take advantage of the best deals and plan your meals around those.  This can also help by keeping those unplanned budget purchases from going to waste in your crisper drawer while you carry on with your planned menu.
  6. Drink water. We generally stick to drinking water. Not fluoridated tap water – we purchase 5 gallon jugs or fill them in a spring when that option is available.  Water is cheaper and healthier.  Beverages that you make yourself like coffee and tea are far less expensive than the soda pop and energy drinks that fill most modern refrigerators, not to mention, relatively free of the toxic chemicals that overflow in the store-bought drinks.
  7.  Buy staples in bulk. Organic grains like brown rice, wheat berries, cornmeal, barley and oatmeal can be purchased in bulk quantities.  This reduces the price to lower than or equivalent to the smaller conventional packages that are offered in your local grocery store.
  8. Buy some meats frozen instead of fresh.  Some butcher shops freeze meat that isn’t sold immediately and sell if for a lower price.  Look for deals on frozen chicken breasts, frozen fish, and frozen turkey breast. Fish is nearly ALWAYS cheaper frozen. Just read your ingredients carefully and make sure you are just getting fish, and that the fish is from a safe source (not the radiation-laden Pacific Ocean, for example, or a tilapia farm where they feed fish their own recycled feces).
  9. Buy meat in bulk.  Look into buying beef in quantity.  Check out the prices at local farms for a quarter of a cow.  You will pay slightly more for the lesser cuts but much less for the better quality cuts.  It balances out to a much lower price for meat farmed in the healthiest way possible.
  10. Add some lower priced protein options.  While lots of us would love to have grass-fed beef and free range chicken breasts twice a day, the cost is prohibitive.  Add value-priced wholesome protein with beans, farm fresh eggs, homemade yogurt and cheese, nuts, and milk.
  11. Stop eating out. Just one McCrud meal for a family of 4 is between $20-30.  Delivered pizza is about $25 plus a tip. The $45-55 that you would spend for this “convenience” could buy a lot of whole foods.
  12. Get into the habit of bringing a cooler with you.  If you are going to be out running errands for the day, load up a cooler with healthy snacks, water, and even a picnic lunch.  This is the perfect answer to the lament from the back seat, “I’m huuuunnnngryyyy.”
  13. Don’t buy anything with an ingredients list greater than 5 items. The more items on the ingredients list, the more likely you are to be consuming someone’s chemistry project.  Even things that sound relatively innocuous, like “natural flavorings” can be, at best, unappetizing, and at worst, harmful.
  14. Cook from scratch. Cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be as time-consuming as you might expect.  I don’t spend hours each day slaving in the kitchen. Spend a weekend afternoon prepping your food for the week ahead and you can have weekday dinners on the table in less than half an hour.  Consider the price differences in homemade goods:  homemade tortillas (pennies for a package that would be $3 at the store), pizza dough, peanut butter oatmeal cookies, trail mix,  and granola bars. This stuff is literally pennies on the dollar in comparison to the same goods store-bought.
  15. Some conventionally grown foods are okay. Learn about the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen.  Some foods have a fairly low pesticide load, even when conventionally grown.  Use these foods to help offset the higher prices of items that are soaked in poison, like strawberries.
  16. You will actually eat LESS when you feed your body.  Part of the reason that the obesity problem is epidemic in North America is because people are desperately seeking nutrients from depleted food-like substances.  Their bodies are crying out, “I’m hungry!” even though they have consumed thousands of calories, because their nutritional requirements are not being met. What’s more, many chemicals are added because they are engineered in a way that makes you want to eat more and more (like MSG, for example).  They don’t stimulate the satiety centers in the brain that tell your body that it’s full.
  17. Brown bag your lunches.  When I worked outside the home, most of my coworkers ate out every single day.  They often invited me along, saying that a certain restaurant offered “healthy” food.  The thing is, the price of that presumably healthy food was 4-6 times higher than the healthy food that I had brought from home.  My daughter takes a healthy lunch from home to school every day, as opposed to eating the offerings there.  Depending on the school, this may or may not be cheaper, but it’s guaranteed to be more nutritious.
  18. Preserve food.  Whether you grow it yourself, rescue it from the “last day of sale” rack at the grocery store, or buy it by the bushel from a farmer, learning to preserve your own food allows you to buy in bulk and squirrel some of that delicious food away for the winter ahead.  Canning, dehydrating, and freezing are all methods to help extend the summer harvest for use later in the year.
  19. Eat leftovers.  The act of eating leftovers is almost unheard of, it seems.  But if you put aside small amounts of leftovers in a freezer container, you can make “soup” for a meal that is basically free because it came from items that would have otherwise been discarded.  Use larger amounts of leftovers for lunch boxes or  a “buffet-style” meal for the family.
  20. “Shop” from nature.  You might be surprised to learn how many edible plants are growing wild in your own neighborhood.  Even city dwellers can often find things to forage.  When we lived in the city, we used to pick up fallen walnuts from a tree in a local park.  For those not ethically opposed to it, hunting or fishing can abundantly supply your protein needs, and you don’t have to worry about whether or not you are consuming antibiotics and hormones with game.

If you’re ready to make a change to a whole foods lifestyle, don’t let your budget hold you back!  Take a long hard look at what you are spending on take-out coffees and lattes, fast food, delivered pizza, microwave meals, and frozen dinners that you shove into the oven. Look at the beverage budget you spend at the grocery store every week, and keep track of how many soda pops you buy from the vending machine at work. You might be pleasantly surprised when your budget goes down, instead of up!

About the author: Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at


Categories: Frugal Preps, Real Food | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Regulations Galore: Bureaucrats and Other Pesky Critters

Today’s post comes from Michael Patrick McCarty from The Backyard Provider.

Bureaucrats and Other Pesky Critters

chargingelephant Bureaucrats and Other Pesky Critters

For a couple of years or so I have been investigating the legal issues that relate to the rights of an individual to grow and sell meat, poultry, and other homegrown farm products directly to consumers. What would be the problem, you might ask? You can grow or raise, and sell, what you want to sell, right? We live in a free country, with free and open markets, do we not?

Well, not so fast. Being the rather cautious person that I am, I began some time ago to ask questions of people working in a long list of local, state, and federal government agencies that hold jurisdiction over the land, and of us. It has been a painful, core shaking inquiry that is not for the faint of heart. I have not enjoyed the experience.

I can discuss the actual laws and regulations pertaining to selling food later. What I can say now is that, with rare exception, I have confronted a nearly impenetrable wall of mind numbing and intimidating legalize, wrapped in doublespeak, and spouted gleefully by a largely incompetent army of no sayers and useful idiots. I hate to say it that way folks, but I have to call it like I see it.

Apparently, the government at all levels is an equal opportunity employer. I have been treated rudely and dismissively by condescending staff from the city level right up to the big ol’ federal government.

Typically, I’ve been told to call a certain department or agency. I’ve been told by that department to call another because they did not regulate this or that. I have called the referred department only to be instructed to call the department that just referred them. I’ve been put on hold so many times and for so long I don’t know if I can ever listen to bad music again. I’ve been disconnected while on hold, hung up on while talking with someone, given so many bad phone numbers, and forwarded to so many unrelated or defunct departments that I no longer know which agency to question.

More often than not,  I’ve been given information that is incomplete, misleading, or completely incorrect. In many instances I have discovered information at a later date that I felt was deliberately withheld at the time. I have had to constantly reassess the nature and purpose of my original question, and to doggedly return to the trail, like a bloodhound casting for scent. I can assure you that the government’s left hand does not know what it’s right hand is up to. They don’t even know where the other hand is, except to be sure that it just picked your pocket. They didn’t even say thanks.

I was in a good mood when I started my inquiries. I was positive and full of hope about the possibilities of new ventures, new businesses, new relationships. That’s gone now, and I feel like the cat that has caught a mouthful of tail feathers and no bird. I am still hungry, unsatisfied and empty, left with a bad taste in my mouth that I find hard to spit out.

I can barely talk to someone now without shaking my fist at them in my mind’s eye. I want to scream at them and ask if they somehow managed to forget that hey, by the way, you work for me don’t you know…for us?

I was mocked by a county “authority” a few weeks back. During our conversation he laughed and said something like “You just didn’t know you were biting into an elephant did you? Ha, Ha, Ha!”. (I think there was an unspoken “did ya boy” in there somewhere).

No, I guess you did not know that you had bitten into an elephant. I am wounded. You have drawn first blood. Like Howard Beale’s famous speech in the movie “Network”, I am mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore. The pen is mightier than the sword, or so I’ve heard. I shall add my voice to the cry of raw milk and cheese producers, home kitchen warriors, small organic growers, and many others similarly wronged.

This is not right. This will not stand. I hope more will join us. We shall see what part of the elephant you are, and what kind of elephant am I.

After all, I just wanted to sustainably grow and honestly market some healthy and nutritious food to other people of like mind. I wanted to feed my family from my private property and maybe generate some small income to help with a myriad of escalating expenses. I have been stopped at every turn, without recompense, nor quarter.

To deny a person’s right to sell the food one produces defies all common sense. So, I say, thank you for laughing, Mr. Bureaucrat – and calling me to action. It may not be wise to step between a wounded elephant and it’s children. The laws must be changed. We will have food freedom.

Has this happened to you? I am currently collecting stories from farmers and growers about their like experiences. Unfortunately, the horror stories have become more fiendish and pervasive, and all too common. Care to share?

“No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policeman, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets” – Edward Abbey.


Categories: Life-Liberty-Happiness, Tyranny | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Frankenchickens, Sustainable Poultry, and Food Freedom

Editor’s note: Part of planning to be self-sufficient should include a method of raising your own groceries – meats, veggies, and fruits. With each step, however large or small, we become less dependent and more resilient. 

Today’s post highlights the Sustainable Poultry Network in a post which was originally published on Durable Faith.  SPN offers workshops on raising heritage poultry for profit and pleasure. Be sure to check out the practical tips for achieving food freedom.

Feed your Community and Achieve Freedom with Poultry

BY  | APRIL 5, 2013 · 6:30 AM

Today, I attended the Sustainable Poultry Workshop at Full Circle Farm in Suwannee County, FL. Full Circle Farm is operated by a family who glorifies God through their stewardship of the land and their Christian family life. They are a grassfed dairy farm that uses silvopasture and intensive grazing; and raises beef, lamb and poultry. Full Circle Farm’s mission is to provide nutrient dense food for maximum health and to educate producers and consumers. Their food and their network of other family run local farm produce is delivered around the state of FL. Dennis, the proprietor, became frustrated with poultry after having Cornish Cross broilers (the modern industry standard) turn their nose up at kitchen scraps. After hearing, Jim Adkins speak at an Acres USA conference, he invited Jim to come speak at his farm about sustainable poultry. I’m glad I had the opportunity to attend!

Jim established the Sustainable Poultry Network after becoming dissatisfied with a lucrative career in the conventional chicken industry. Many people are not aware that chicken bought in a store or restaurant and labeled “family farm”, “natural”, “free range”, “organic”, “antibiotic free”, “hormone free”, and “vegetarian fed” are almost always raised in chicken houses with thousands of other birds. The birds are of a genetically engineered stock that cannot reproduce naturally and grows to full weight in 37 days (most likely suffers pain of growth and exhibits health problems due to undersize legs and organs). Due to their close confinement, the birds have to be protected by biosecurity measures that include wearing hazmat type suits and limiting exposure to essential staff. All conventional birds are fed GMO soy and GMO corn based feed, typically with antibiotics, sometimes arsenic. Industry whistle blowers say that often “natural” or “organic” birds often get drugs as well when they become sick due to their conditions and consumers are none the wiser. As Full Circle’s proprietor said, Publix GreenWise chicken is produced just down the road from his farm and is neither “green” nor “wise!”



Jim Adkins, of the Sustainable Poultry Network, went back to his roots of raising standard bred poultry. Jim said he grew up raising chickens in 4H and dreamed of becoming a chicken show judge as a child. The man loves chickens! Standard bred poultry must meet 3 criteria: The bird must be able to mate naturally; Live a long, outdoor, productive lifespan (5-7 years for hens); And, grow at a slow growth rate (112 days). The Standard of Perfection for standard bred poultry is governed by theAmerican Poultry Association. Standard birds, such as the Barred Plymouth Rock, Rhode Island Red, and New Hampshire, were once the production birds of the industry. These are vigorous chickens that forage for much of their diet, produce longer and with less inputs. The characteristics of these chickens make not only a healthier bird, but a better tasting bird as well. The foraging ability results in a greater variety in the animal’s diet enhancing the taste of meat and eggs and the nutrient profile of same.

Once the modern frankenchicken was developed, farmers stopped breeding these standard breeds. Though some of the breeds are near extinction, many have been kept alive by poultry fanciers in small numbers. Hatcheries still provide the breeds to backyard and small farm egg producers, and though the birds may resemble their once great predecessors in feather color, non-selective breeding by the hatcheries produce birds unfit for table meat and lacking the qualities of the standard. Half of the chicks produced by hatcheries are male chicks, upwards of 90% which get trashed because the hatcheries serve an egg market and their genetic lines no longer meet the dual purpose of the standard. The hatchery system is dependent on the financial beleaguered postal service to continue shipping live chicks by mail. Experts believe it is a question of not if, but when, live chick shipments will end. Small farmers, homesteaders and backyard chicken lovers will then be left with only frankenchickens produced by multinational companies of which 3 own the rights to over 80% of all the chicken genetics globally. Have we allowed the merchants in the temple to own creation?


The mission of the Center for Sustainable Poultry is to provide education, resources and training to equip people around the world to raise standard bred poultry for sustainable farming, marketing, exhibition and preservation. The center does this through the Sustainable Poultry Network, which is a network of farmers developing standard bred poultry for meat and egg production once again. It is the development of these old breeds that will allow production of sustainably raised chickens that meet the demands of consumers and don’t enslave us to the government-industrial agriculture food complex. The network consists of breeders, growers, processors, feed producers, marketers, chefs and mentors and seeks to duplicate the model in small communities around the world that will be able to feed themselves. And, its already doing so from its home base in Western North Carolina to Montana and beyond. These are small scale family farms, with low capital input, creating a vastly superior product and are not dependent on GMO feeds, genetically engineered chickens from three producers shipped by mail and are building the value of their community. The network will certify flocks so that consumers and producers know the standard at which the chicken was bred and raised. And, unlike the industry farms, the network farms are open at all times for visitors, ensuring trust among the community. I highly encourage you to attend a workshop and learn how you can achieve food freedom!

Hot tip!: If you’re looking for a book on raising chickens, try to find one published before 1950.

Now let’s hear from you. Do you purchase or raise heritage poultry? If so, could you tell us why you choose heritage poultry vs. conventional industrial poultry? Leave your feedback in the comments below! 




Categories: Homesteading, Real Food, Resilience | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

Homogenizing the Herd: Real Milk and Your Health

by Todd Walker

Tomato seeds were splattered wall-to-wall in my mama’s kitchen.

Photo credit

I forget who threw the first ripened bomb. I think it was my cousin. We’ll blame him anyway. What ensued after the first splatter was the tomato battle of the century. All six siblings and cousins launching red, juicy fruit at high speeds. Half of us were inside the house and the other half in the yard.

My uncle had acquired a truck load of tomatoes from the farmer’s market. (We still have no clue how he thought we could eat, can, and preserve that many tomatoes.) Both sets of parents happened to be away that day – and the truck’s evil payload tempted us. Idle hands are indeed the devil’s playground.

The three inside the house finally surrendered, realizing we had a superior ammo cache. They marched out the door with hands raised and reported that we (the outside rebels) were in for it when the grownups got back. Knowing they were right, we started wiping tomato juice and seeds to conceal our short-lived victory.

Farm life verses urban dwelling

Memories of growing up on the farm weren’t all this fun. There was lots of dirty jobs that had to get done. And the kids (5 boys and one girl) got dirty doing it. This before hand sanitizers and bicycle helmets. Getting dirty was part of growing up. Cleaning up for us was a cool dip in the lake to knock the heavy dirt off before dinner.

A few miles up the dirt road was a dairy. My best friend helped out around the dairy for extra money. I would go with him some days. It was a commercial operation but we were allowed to drink some raw milk at the end of work. Delicious stuff.

Homogenizing the herd

If you listen to the propaganda from the FDA you’ll never try a sip of raw milk (AKA – Farm Milk, Real Milk), much less let your kids get near it. Apparently, this stuff will kill you. The milk nazis are waging war on raw milk farmers who offer this natural goodness to Joe and Jane Public. The Industrial Food Machine has successfully brainwashed and homogenized the herd to fear Real Milk. The pasteurized cousin of raw milk loses its beneficial bacteria through heat and nutrients are damaged and destroyed.

Photo credit

I personally don’t drink store bought milk anymore. I still use dairy products from free-range, grass-fed cows like organic heavy whipping cream, butter, kefir, and ghee. I even pick up a bottle of raw goat’s milk at the farmers market from time to time – for ‘pet’ use only, of course. Plus, goat’s milk has more beneficial properties for your health than cow’s milk. For anyone considering milk production on their farmstead, goats are a valuable addition.

How ’bout a glass of Nanny State?

Pick an alphabet agency. These so called government agencies (pimps for the Big’s) are suppose to oversee and provide safe food, drugs, education, etc. Even in the face scientific and anecdotal evidence concerning the consumption of raw milk, the FDA can’t risk the thought of commoners seeing the truth.

In a recent study on allergies in children, Amish children in northern Indiana were tested for allergies, along with a group of non-farm and farm raised Swiss children. The Amish children mostly drank only raw milk and participated in ‘dirty’ jobs on the farm.

Because the Amish emigrated from Switzerland, and are thus genetically similar, the team compared Northern Indiana Amish farm children with today’s Swiss kids. Though rural kids are known to be healthier than city kids, the team found that the Amish have a superior immune response to allergens and asthma than even Swiss farm kids have.

Here’s what Dr. Holbreich’s team found:

  • Only 7% of the Real Milk drinking Amish kids showed an allergic reaction
  • Over 44% of the urban Swiss kids suffered from allergies
  • While 25% of the Swiss farm kids experienced allergies

Don’t be shocked if you’re charged with ‘child endangerment’ for allowing your children to drink Real Milk – it’s not your choice, remember.

Even those with lactose intolerance can drink Farm Milk without ill effects – thanks to the naturally occurring L. lactis bacterial breaking down lactose in raw milk. The pasteurized non-Real Milk loses it’s beneficial bacteria in the heating process, but leaves some of the harmful nasties. The process turns the milk sugar lactose into beta-lactose causing intolerance in some people.

Whether to drink Real Milk and dairy or not is a very personal choice. If you chose to drink milk, I’d suggest the real, natural, unadulterated white goodness.

Got Real Milk?

If you want to find the real stuff, here’s some helpful resources to help with your search.

Weston A. Price

Real Milk Finder

NOTE: Check you local and state laws concerning Real Milk. It’s a shame we don’t live in a free market where we are able to voluntarily exchange value for value. That’s not our reality. Do your due diligence and live healthy.

Your turn. What’s been your experience with Real Milk, if any?

Follow me on Twitter @SurvivalSherpa

Categories: Homesteading, Life-Liberty-Happiness, Real Food | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

When the Cat and Mouse Agree, the Grocer is Ruined

by Todd Walker

Moose, our largest rescued dog, will sit in the backyard and watch squirrels steadily eat the sunflower seeds from our bird feeders. When we open the door to go outside, he springs to his feet and sprint toward the offending tree rats. They scurry up trees and wait until we go back in and Moose, our beloved squirrel watchdog, settles back to his post.

They’re both in on this seed-stealing racquet – a mutual agreement of sorts. He’s obliged to attack when the backdoor opens, they fain fear. Oh, they’ll sacrifice an occasional slow squirrel to make their cat and mouse game look real for us onlookers. In reality, it’s just a game they play.

This analogy is easily applied to many aspects of our world today. The consequences are far more serious than our backyard escapades. In our rigged world, the grocer being ruined is you.

Here are just two examples the cat agreeing with the mouse to ruin the grocer.

1.) The FDA and the Industrial Cancer Machine

Dirt Road Girl has only had one doctor (let’s call him Dr. Jones) tell us to seek alternative cancer treatment – off the record of course. This doctor has to keep his job. When I asked if he had heard of Dr. Burzynski, I was surprised, no, shocked that he did. He knew of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski’s gene-targeted approach using non-toxic peptides and amino acids, known as antineoplastons. I’ll not go into detail on how the FDA and the Texas Medical Board spent years and millions of dollars attempting to ruin and silence his patented treatment. Click here for more info if you’re interested.

I called the Burzynski Clinic and asked about DRG being treated there in January 2012. Our insurance would not cover the treatment because it wasn’t FDA approved. We were in the rock-and-hard-place scenario. We went with the conventional route. When a loved one’s life is on the line, you do whatever you think is the best method of healing.

One side benefit of our conventional experience has been the great awakening we’ve experienced watching the creepy-cozy mutualism between Big Pharma and the medical establishment. Dr. Jones flat-out told us that pharmaceutical companies call the shots for mainstream medical practitioners. The system is set up to punish anyone who doesn’t prescribe their ‘best practices’ and drugs.

The bottom line is: Follow the money trail. The FDA is supposed to act as a ‘cat’ protecting the grocer (individuals) from destructive vermin. As in Dr. Burzynski’s case, the FDA has admitted that his treatment actually cures resistant forms of cancer. The problem lies in that one man, Dr. Burzynski, owns the patent and would be the only beneficiary if the FDA approved his methods. Big Pharma would not get their usual piece of the money pie. So, it makes perfect monetary sense for those deeply invested in the Industrial Cancer Machine to keep their mouths shut and do as they are told – by the deep pockets of Big Pharma.

What can you, the individual grocer, do to escape ruin?

Question everything. Get second opinions. Seeking alternative treatment for life threatening medical issues like cancer is a very scary individual journey. The powers that be throw all their resources into preserving their monopoly. They spin every treatment outside their reservation as quackery. Do your own research and make your own decisions. If a free market existed in medicine, one could choose, based on self-interest, which method of treatment to pursue – without regulation. If a treatment is truly quackery, it would soon be exposed. On the other hand, effective treatments are available to individuals that are being silenced by our ‘watchdog’ FDA’s marriage to Big Pharma.

The marriage has been consummated – and we’re the ones being forcibly screwed.

Investigate for yourself:

2.) The Industrial Food Machine

Children drinking fresh milk, Australia 1929 / Sam Hood

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Obviously, living a healthy, active lifestyle is less expensive than conventional medical treatments. Eating a diet of nutrient dense, organic, whole foods is becoming more and more difficult. Enter the pesky FDA (and other alphabet agencies) yet again. Are you starting to see a common denominator in our equation? It’s that money trail again. Follow it.

Increasing your level of self-sufficiency, preparedness, and resilience has certain costs. You may not need a permission slip from local authorities to grow a backyard garden or raise a few chickens – yet. Times are changing. The Powers That Be hate individuals following their natural self-interest of independence. Even growing a garden for a portion of your own food can turn you into a Freedom Outlaw.

You may have missed some of these stories of ordinary, everyday people taking their health into their own hands.

  • War on raw milk
  • Steve Cooksey was drug and insulin dependent, taking (4) insulin shots per day, just to survive. His nutritional blog came under attack by North Carolina’s regime because his method of breaking free from insulin shots didn’t meet conventional USDA standards. He found freedom through following a primal/paleo lifestyle.
  • Gardening Outlaws in Michigan, Florida, and Oklahoma have been targeted for arrest, harassment, and fines.

Reducing nutrient dense food choices is not the stated goal of the FDA. They would not admit that Genetically Modified foods are harmful to humans. They’ve got 90 day studies to prove that GMO’s are safe for ingestion – wink, wink. Independent long-term studies are showing otherwise. Another discrediting blow to our we’re-from-the-government-and-here-to-help crowd.

Food and water are essential to our survival and ability to thrive. The Industrial Food Machine wants total control of these life-sustaining resources. Thankfully, more ‘common folk’ are beginning to wake up to the lies promoted by the elite’s ministry of myths. As the orbit of freedom continues to expand, thanks to independent, alternative news sources, people are starting to ‘get it’. We’ve been lied to. Over and over.

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” was the line screamed from Howard Beale in the classic film Network in 1975. Simply screaming out the window and into the streets won’t change the game our cat and mouse are playing. You’ll only loose your voice. Individual action is needed to protect the grocer (you and me).

Action Steps to Food Freedom

  • Grow your own food.
  • Buy locally produced food.
  • Connect with local farmers, farmers markets, and food coops.
  • Stock up on non-hybird, heirloom seeds.
  • Find resilient-minded people in your community and connect.
  • Get educated. Do the opposite of what the USDA/FDA recommends – unless their methods agree with your lifestyle.

Not only are we to register our guns, children, property, and even our thoughts, it won’t be long before we have to register our backyard gardens. Control is the goal. Are you really willing to submit and put tumor producing GMO’s into the bodies of your children? I didn’t think so.

Don’t wait for the cat to keep the mice in check.

Stock up on plenty of rat shoot – if you can find it.

Keep doing the stuff!

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Healthcare, Homeopathy, Life-Liberty-Happiness, Natural Health, Primal/Paleo Lifestyle, Real Food | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

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