Homesteading in the Ozarks
We moved to the Ozarks in 1967 because it was beautiful country and one could purchase land here at a very reasonable price. We love to farm and live in the country. Raising goats, and/or cattle on permanent pastures is one of the few agricultural enterprises that can still be done efficiently by a family without a multi-million dollar investment in land and equipment.
Eating Healthier Food
Raising food for our own use eliminates a multitude of middlemen, and saves having to pay taxes on the money earned to buy that food. Growing your own food is the only way you can know for sure how safe the food is. Many government programs designed to insure the safety of store bought food, including certified organic foods, are full of loopholes. It is very easy for producers, wholesalers, and retailers to cheat on these programs. When money is involved many will cheat.
We raise our own chickens and eggs. We allow our chickens to range freely in our yard and pastures. In addition to having fresh eggs that look and taste a lot better than store bought eggs, our yard and pastures are free of ticks and chiggers and many other insects which the chickens help to control. "Experts" at the University of Arkansas and at the US Department of Agriculture claim that there is no difference between eggs laid by caged chickens and those laid by free range chickens. Keep in mind that the University of Arkansas is heavily funded by endowments from the poultry industry. The politicians who control both institutions are also heavily funded by campaign contributions from the poultry industry. If the eggs look different and taste different, they are different. Both the poultry and the soybean industries have invested large sums of money in funding biased research and in brainwashing the medical profession with false information about adverse health effects of red meats and dairy products.
Raising rabbits is a business one can get started in with very little land or capital. We have had very little experience raising rabbits, but the Washington State University has published the booklet Raising Rabbits: Helpful Suggestions for Beginners.