Living Off the Land

By living off the land, one couple's hard work pays off to help make life rewarding.

| May/June 2011

In 1949, my husband, Carl, and I decided to move to Arkansas, take life easy, and “live off the land.” We had been operating a flying service in Marysville, Kansas, since the end of the war, and before that Carl had flown B-24s and B-29s for the Air Corps. I was a photographer.

About as close as either of us had come to farming was Carl weeding his dad’s annual spring garden when he was a boy. He figured, however, that anyone intelligent enough to fly bombers and operate airports surely had enough sense to learn how to farm.

We ordered a United Farm Agency catalog, contacted an agent in Hardy, Arkansas, made an appointment to look at some property, and headed south.

Why did we choose this area? Because of the abundance of wild game; Carl loved to hunt and fish.

At the agent’s office, we looked at brochures and discussed available properties. We chose one that, according to Carl, sounded exactly like what we were looking for, then we headed for the country – or, to be more exact, the hills.

Home sweet home

After driving several miles over a rough gravel road, we turned onto a narrow rocky lane. After “hitting bottom” a few times, we rounded a curve and pulled up in front of a small white house sitting on the crest of a hill.

Hazel Carter
1/18/2013 9:57:35 PM

I am so envious! The idea of living of the land came to me too late in life. At 80 yrs. of age it's pretty much out of the question for a single woman. Maybe in my next reincarnation? My son is so stressed-out because the bad economy has really affected his business. His wife lost her job and isn't terribly skilled, so hasn't found anything but fast food joints. She has back problems so long periods of being on her feet isn't an option. My son loves the idea of "living off the grid." I'm going to share this article with him.

NA Carter
9/22/2012 6:39:30 AM

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Sara Haynes
9/12/2012 9:15:17 AM

Thank you for the reply! New Mexico sounds like an amazing place to have a farm, I've always loved the scenery of the Southwest and have been looking at land in Arizona. I've been wavering on this decision, but now I think I can do it with a lot of hard work. The best of luck to you and your wife on your wonderful new journey, God bless, and thank you so much for the uplifting reply; it was sorely needed. :)

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