In 2012, we moved out of our apartment and bought a house and 13 acres in Johnston County, Oklahoma. The fences were not sufficient to keep in the cows that came with the land. A few months after we moved in, our neighbors told us that our two yearlings were sliding through the fence when we left for work, spending the day roaming the neighborhood, and slipping back into our pasture in the afternoon before we returned. This story was soon confirmed when after a rain, Ian followed their footprints all the way to the highway!
Being a good neighbor was going to require us to completely rebuild our fences. In preparation, we sold our two cows and invited friends and family to come help us butcher our two yearlings. We divided the meat.
Since we had to rebuild the fences anyway, it gave us an opportunity to fulfill a dream that Ian had had since high school, by building fences strong enough to hold buffalo. Over the ensuing years, we would learn how to build buffalo fence and how to take care of buffalo.
We loved it, and with our love of being out on the land, interacting with animals, and working with our community to reawaken Choctaw traditional knowledge, it seems like the time has come to purchase a bigger piece of land and start a real farm. Our goal isn't just to start a farm, but to set it up in a way that will improve the health of the land we manage, emphasize sustainability, and support Choctaw culture and community.
We're currently putting together a plan that will allow us to do this, and showing it to experienced relatives and ranchers to improve it. Our journey begins!