You have found your way to the online home and blog of Longshadows Ranch.
We are a family of 4 creating a homestead, learning how to be self-sufficient in many ways and sharing our journey with like-minded folks. We hope to be a resource for people thinking of, just starting or well on your way along a journey like this. We each have our own blog:
Nature Cure on the Homestead by Eli (me), boss of everything in the house, and Naturopathic doctor, is an account of how we run our home and garden here at the ranch. We strive for organic, sustainable and regenerative practices.
Stall Talk, authored by Sophia, covers everything about horses starting with the two beautiful horses we inherited when we purchased this property. Sophia wants to be a large animal vet and one could almost say she likes animals better than people!
The Bird’s & The Bees is tended to by Brian M where he documents our adventures with chickens, bees and a variety of other animal projects. At 13, he is a published author of Fishkeeping for Kids and is looking forward to a profession in marine biology.
Pick, Shovel, Hammer and Saw is penned by none other than Brian Kuhn, himself, boss of everything other than inside the house. Here, he recounts and reports on, often in a humorous way, our building, remodeling, constructing and problem solving endeavors (note that these are often problems of our own making :-).
Our family embarked on this incredible journey in March of 2020, just as world authorities were ramping up everything “pandemic”. Brian and I spent many years in Europe, traveling, working and we had always planned to move there at some point after I finished medical school in Arizona. Instead, we found ourselves in New Hampshire for a year, opening a clinic with some of my classmates, on to Florida and finally back to Oklahoma. Along the way, our first son grew up, got married and had 2 children who ended up becoming our children. There we were, parents again just before retiring, and Europe seemed like a pipe-dream. But in March of 2020, we decided to leave the US and relocate to the Netherlands. This did not work – as the entire world shut down almost overnight.
But, before we realized this was to be an extended crisis, we sold our house in 24 hours, canceled all our bookings and traveled from one stateside vacation rental to the next for a year. At first we were just waiting for Europe to reopen, and finally, because the clock was ticking, we decided to stay in the states and look for land. That was Oct 2020 and prices had already doubled for land and homes, so we had our work cut out as our income certainly did not double. Brian looked at so many properties. We had strict criteria such as no cell towers within 1 mile, no farming neighbors who use pesticides, no oil use on the land, on Cherokee land, close to towns large enough for us to access services, at least 20 acres, 3 bedroom house, and located near water for fishing. Our rigidness made for a long and intense search, during which we would forget it would all work out and we would despair.
As with so much in life when you are walking the right path at that moment, many things began to fall into place. All we had to do was pay attention so we could see and follow the path. The last vacation spot we rented in Feb of 2021 was offered by an amazing couple, Jon and Linda Hawkins (link to their spot on Air BnB). They had experienced a similar journey of relocation years before and offered to help us out by posting to the neighborhood groups. Of course it all worked out. We found a beautiful home with property, horses, paddocks, barns, and lovely neighbors. A place where we could build the Longshadows Ranch homestead and share it with others.
When you begin walking the path that you were supposed to be on, you just know it. Sometimes it is like an extended deja vu, sometimes just a feeling of all things being in harmony, even when stressful, and other times it is the happenings around you and the people you meet. All of it seems to synchronize to give you wings as you move along the way. This has been our experience.
Thanks for being here. It is our most sincere hope that you are inspired to follow our adventures and even stop by for a cup of tea if you are ever in our neck of the woods.