Lsr Logo Horizontal Text First
Early morning ride

When the Land Calls


Both Brian and I cannot really say either of us grew up on a farm. What we can say is that in our childhood and at times throughout our grown-up years, we each spent time on farms. Some were tended by extended family while others were simply others we met along our journeys. We experienced a way of life where people grew their own food, had cows, horses and chickens, farmed hay, built barns, made butter and cheese and had shelves lined with canned and dried foods.

There is something about the smell of a pasture, of fresh cut hay, of the animals and pies cooling on the wind. To see grain waving in the breeze or a flock of birds wheeling about in the sky is magnificent. The taste of a vegetable that you picked 2 min before it went in your mouth is as different as night and day from what you buy in the grocery store. And the stars! A spectacular view, away from the city lights, of millions of glittering lights in the sky and the milky way stretching from one side of the horizon to the other.

So, it makes sense to me that for all of the 36 years we have spent together we have dreamed about owning our own land. We talked about growing our own food, tending chickens for eggs, raising goats for milk, planting and milling our own grains, preserving the food we produce by canning, salting, smoking and drying. But there was always some reason to wait and do it the next year. Baseball, college, medical school, working for other people to earn money, family, opening a medical clinic, well, it was always one reason or another. And we temporarily sated our yearnings with a backyard garden and holidays spent in the great outdoors, backpacking, camping and cabining.

But 2 years ago, something happened. The world went topsy-turvy and we knew it was time to make a change. It was time to find our land. We had both spent a lot of time in Europe, in Germany and the Netherlands, and so initially we decided to emigrate to the Netherlands, find some land and start a new adventure. We put our house up for sale (sold in 24 hours), booked our travel, got all our documents in order and when the time came to get on the plane, the Netherlands was still not open. So we spent a year going from one vacation rental to the next before we determined that it could be another couple of years. We decided to stay in the US, and started looking in my ancestral area (NE OK Cherokee country) for a new home.

It is quite the tale of meeting just the right people at just the right moment and how that led us to Longshadows Ranch. But here we are, 1 year later and well on our way in the homesteading – farming journey. We are sculpting our dream as we go and figuring out how to be self-sufficient, share our knowledge and financially support our endeavor.

As we traveled this path, we came to realize how many children have never set foot on a farm or homestead. They may learn about farms in school, often commercial farms, but it is very different to learn about a farm from a book or video and actually experience a farm. So we created Longshadows Ranch, a non-profit organization, whose mission is to bring younger generations to our ranch to show them how we live life in a different way. We focus on traditional Cherokee life ways, at least how they might look in the modern era.

Through homeschooling lessons, weekly day camps, farm experiences and overnight stays, kids and their families can enjoy activities like a farm tour, pasture walks, botany, pond adventures, fence walking, rock wall building, chickens, horsing around with the horses, tree tapping for syrup, gardening, arts and crafts and a farm-hand lunch we make and eat together!

We would not be anywhere else but here and look forward to sharing a little slice of life with you.

Check out our other blogs

Ranch News by all of us,
our homesteading journey and transitioning from a city to country state of mind.

Nature Cure on the Homestead by Eli
natural medicine at home and the homestead.

Stall Talk by Sophia
covers everything about horses.

The Birds & The Bees by Brian M
adventures with chickens, bees and more.

Pick, Shovel, Hammer and Saw by Brian Kuhn
our building, remodeling, constructing and problem-solving endeavors.
Note: these are often problems of our (his) own making :-)

One Response

  1. The article in the Cherokee Phoenix caught my interest as an opportunity to learn from your family what I would love my family to know! We have 6 grandchildren and I would love for us to meet in your area for a “Farm Adventure”. We can talk or write in more details “off line” about what you might be planning for summer 2023. We live in Kansas and our grands live in St. Louis and Dallas so being in OK sounds OK 🙂
    Your future customer,
    Mary Beth

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.