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Our Story

For 25 years we talked about buying some land and growing our own food. But until 2 years ago, talk was all it was. Sometimes, once every year or so, we would go online and look at land, maybe even take a drive and walk about a property. But we were comfortable in our city home, stores were no more than 15 minutes away, our best friends lived across the street, our family across town and there we stayed. And kept talking.

It took a world-wide pandemic to shake us out of our comfort zone.

We wondered if the food supply would change, if prices would start to go up, if we were safe. The grown-ups in our family, Brian and I, had both spent a lot of time in Europe and Asia over the years and we appreciated the various cultures. We believed Europe was a better place to be and so in April of 2020, we decided we would move to the Netherlands.

We sold our house in 24 hours, purged most of our Earthly belongings, set up all our travel and lodging, and well, life happened. Countries closed, we were in limbo and we spent the next year traveling about the US, trying to figure out if we should wait or make a new plan.

We finally made a new plan and after a lot of footwork, property viewing, and too many temporary homes, we decided to settle in Oklahoma Cherokee country. Elizabeth and the kids are registered Cherokee Nation citizens, her family was allotted land in Grove in the 1800’s so her roots run deep, and we fell in love with the people and the land. Our path led us to a beautiful, secluded, fertile piece of property with a wonderful home. And while it was more than we had planned to spend, we made an offer and found ourselves moved into our new home by July 3 of 2021.

About Us

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Our Guiding Philosophy and Ranch Goals

As we began to develop our homestead, we focused on what we wanted to create. We had our life goals of course, but we felt we had been called to do more, to share a way of life with people around us. Specifically, we became interested in discovering, preserving and teaching an almost forgotten way of life to younger generations, a traditional Cherokee way of life. For thousands of years, the Cherokee managed to live in harmony with the land around them, enjoyed bountiful harvests, and built collaborative and mutually beneficial networks. Their way of life was highly sustainable and teaching children was a priority. The Cherokee knew and taught that each person’s time walking on this land is fleeting. Because of that, we all have a responsibility to act as caretakers of this world, of our community and serve as teachers for the next generation.

The Cherokee, without naming these activities, employed regenerative agriculture, sustainable agriculture, permaculture, and all the “buzz” ag these days. They did it because that is what was always done and it worked. Companion planting, mound planting, it was simply the way it was done. It is interesting that in our journey to live a life congruent with Cherokee life ways we have found the perfect marriage with the ways we have learned through our lives.

 We encourage in-person interaction on the ranch where children of all ages and their families and friends can learn by participating in growing, harvesting, and preserving food; growing and preserving herbal medicine; raising livestock in a sustainable, ecologically friendly way; shearing and spinning wool for blankets; harvesting and drying reeds and grasses for weaving baskets; gathering, throwing / hand-building and firing clay. 

We try to record what we can so that people not local to Longshadows Ranch can participate in some way.

We created a program for children or anyone really to have an opportunity to adopt a farm animal. As a sponsor, they get virtual updates and access to daily video updates and best of all they can come hang out with their friend. Whether local or long-distance this can be an extraordinary experience.

We host a paid a farm school during the typical academic calendar. Class sizes are limited to twenty children of any age and the families can participate. We also have one-day visits with homeschool coops or individual homeschool families at no charge.

Because Elizabeth is a trained physician specializing in natural medicine, it only made sense to create Nature Cure on the Homestead as part of Longshadows Ranch. There are many basic things every human should know about getting and staying healthy, caring for wounds and illnesses that do come up right at home, and keeping healthy livestock. These lessons of traditional medicine are paired with knowledge about how to live with and on the land in a Cherokee way. This way we teach can create a strong and independent next generation that will thrive and flourish.

Volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups are available, please contact us for more information.

Meet our Family

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Brian Kuhn

Retired USAF Law Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security & all-around handyman.

Eli Trolley

Eli Camp

Naturopathic doctor, Cherokee healer, Homeopath, Author, business owner and homeschooling Mom.

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Sophia

Loves every animal, even the flies, and cares for our horses.

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Brian Michael

Has written and published a book, Fishkeeping for Kids, and manages the chickens and the bees.

In the Media

Cherokee Phoenix: Longshadows Ranch teaches sustainable lifeways

by Lindsay Bark June 28, 2023
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Tahlequah Daily Press: Longshadows Ranch COMMUNITY SPIRIT: Longshadows Ranch connects others to Cherokee culture

Skylar Hammons, June 13, 2023

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Tahlequah Daily Press: THE DIRT ON COMPOST: Area educators, farmers discuss composting methods

Skylar Hammons, May 31, 2023

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Cherokee Phoenix: Longshadows Ranch provides Cherokee life ways experience

by Lindsey Bark
Jul 26, 2022

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Watch Video