Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sa day for food freedom

By Dr. Meg Howe

Formerly called Food Safety Bill S510, this Bill is NOT About Food Safety. It is a draconian piece of legislation that literally places food under the control of the Department of Homeland Security, the organization created supposedly for foreign terrorists. Now, the DHS has the legal power to seize food production, force recalls, and shut down any farms it deems unsafe. This includes your backyard garden - should you want to sell anything you produce on your land, or even give away to a neighbor.

So it is now a revolutionary act to grow your own food, and we hope you all do!

Wherever you are located we urge families to develop their own square foot gardens and become as independent as possible from the attempt to control our food to restrict our freedoms. For help on how to grow your own healthy food see the Natural Solutions Foundation’s Food Freedom Journal at

Better buy yourself some heirloom seeds while you still have the chance.

In this video made prior to the passing of the bill, Glenn Beck explains the implications and urges people to express their opposition to it:

Here, Dr. Rima E. Laibow MD, Medical Director of Natural Solutions Foundation, urges First Lady Michelle Obama to intervene on behalf of the people:

Friday, November 26, 2010


Happy Halloween everyone!

Fall has fallen at Flip Flop Ranch for sure.  The leaves are dropping from the trees and the goats are greedily eating them up.  Flip Flop Ranch continues working towards its goals of decreasing domestic violence and building relationships.  If you haven't seen it yet, look at our new program website Mended Hearts Therapy and tell everyone about it!  Mended Hearts Therapy is our couples therapy program offering research based methods of counseling that includes building a foundation of friendship, getting off the crazy cycle of conflict and onto an energizing cycle of love and respect, and creating shared goals and dreams together.  
If you didn't see it in the earlier email or the post on the site, we have decided to raise a couple cows for next year.  The profits from selling the beef, as with all the ranch products, go to support our efforts to create better relationships.  We are also taking reservations for chickens for next year.  Each chicken takes about 6 months to grow because they are gourmet heritage chickens.  The breed is called Dorking and they are considered the number 1 best tasting chicken in the world.  Please email me if you're interested in either one.
We are also looking into having a "Roof Raising" Fundraiser with a barn dance and live music.  Here at the ranch, we have a large home that we would like to open to women who have been beaten down by life.  The idea would be that they come and work at the ranch and earn money from the products they make, grow and sell.  They would also be receiving therapy and taking various educational classes so that they can be successful when they leave the ranch as well as having a tidy sum of money to support themselves as they get on their feet.  
However the problem is that the home the ladies would live in is in need of renovations.  Having bought the ranch as a fixer-upper (this is an understatement), there is a lot of work that still needs to be done.  Our biggest and most immediate need is to get the roofs fixed before the rains come (including our chicken coop roof!  Poor chickens).  With the high winds we get in the desert, the last big storm ripped huge amounts of shingles off the top of the buildings and barn as well as knocking down a tree.  Fortunately the tree missed the house when it fell, but we're still worried about the missing shingles and there's rain on the way.  If you're interested in helping us out then please contact me.  We're looking for sponsors/donors and anyone who would like to volunteer time, supplies, expertise and muscles-remember the ranch is run by girly girls and I personally don't even know how to make a box out of wood lol!  All help is much appreciated!   And make sure you keep an eye out for the next email announcing our Roof Raising Fundraiser!!

Enjoy your pumpkins!
Serina Harvey at Flip Flop Ranch

p.s. Many of you have blogs and websites.  Give us a shoutout if you would so that anyone who is interested can get involved with the Ranch's activities.  Thanks!

New Articles on the Flip Flop Ranch Article Blog

Make sure you check out some of the interesting articles on Flip Flop Ranch's article blog.

Did you know that a depressed mom contributes to a man's midlife crisis?  

A touching student article about how important men are in life

Learn about these two relationship killers

Don't miss out on the bigger picture of love and family.

Read this letter from a Civil War soldier and you tell me.

Everyone dishes it out, but we can't all take it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Flip Flop Ranch

Spring has been here and is gone and summer is going by quick.  The garden is growing and we have tons of little babies running around.  Our new flock of Cotton Patch goslings looks almost like a flock of full-size adult geese!  They grow so fast you can almost see them change in front of your eyes.  We’ve added some other endangered animals to our flock as well.  One is the Dorking chicken.  We’re particularly proud of this accomplishment because it took me over a year to track down a breeder and get eggs. 
Dorkings are a very special -- and very endangered -- breed. They’re one of the first breeds of chickens that were domesticated by humans for eating and were even around during the Roman Empire.  Julius Cesar might have even eaten a Dorking!  Dorkings have five toes and really short legs.  They’re supposed to be exceptionally sweet birds so we’re looking forward to them growing up and showing us their personality.  The Dorkings are nearly extinct so we’re very happy to be raising this chicken as well as offering them next year for eating (in limited quantities so put in an order soon!). 
Now a lot of people ask about the ethics of eating endangered animals.  Eating endangered livestock encourages farmers to raise endangered breeds and this is the only effective way to prevent the extinction of the species.  Chickens can’t be released into the wild and most zoos aren’t interested in raising chickens for exhibit.  Chickens are farm animals, but farms have to make a profit or they go out of business.  Therefore, farm livestock have to be sold.  When raising endangered livestock, farmers keep the best of the breed for breeding more and better animals and sell off the culls or the animals that aren’t perfect (e.g. a Dorking with four toes instead of five would be a cull).  This keeps the breed strong and healthy.

Husband University

Speaking of keeping things strong and healthy, the therapy program at the Ranch is picking up speed as well.  We’re currently working on designing a program for men on the brink of divorce called Husband University.  This two-week program would be a male-friendly line up of classes and activities designed to show husbands that they have power to alter the course of their relationship.  We at the ranch believe that men are valuable and necessary to relationships—to their wives and children. Research shows that men have a huge influence on their children’s cognitive ability, educational achievement, social behavior and psychological well-being.  Women who are happy in their marriage are better mothers and have an easier time dealing with their children.  Sons of fathers who treat their wives respectfully are significantly less likely to act aggressively towards women.  Daughters of involved, respectful fathers are less likely to enter into violent or unhealthy relationships.  On the other hand, research has shown that husbands who display anger, show contempt for, or who stonewall their wives (i.e., "the silent treatment") are more likely to have children who are anxious, withdrawn, or antisocial. In short, fathers have a powerful and positive impact upon the development and health of children and some research shows that fathers have a more powerful impact on children than mothers, even when (maybe especially when) the father is absent.
If you have thoughts about Husband University then please get in contact with us.  We’re interested in your ideas about what men should learn and how they can save their marriage.  And if you’d be interested, or know anyone who would be interested, in attending the program then please let us know that as well.  That way we’ll know that we’re on the right track and that this program would be valuable

Thanks for supporting the Ranch!

The Ranch Family

P.s. Turkeys are sold out for Thanksgiving 2010, but we are taking reservations for our heritage turkeys for Thanksgiving 2011.  The earlier we know you want a turkey, the better we can plan for next year.  Also, next year we are offering both Bourbon Red and Midget White turkeys.  Midget Whites are a smaller turkey suitable for a single person or a couple.  However, they’re also considered the number one tasting turkey.  Bourbon reds are a close second and get much bigger.  Check out the website for more information! 

P.s.s.  We are also contemplating on purchasing a cow this coming year.  Please let us know if you’d be interested in buying a share of the meat.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Midget White poults

Midget White eggs are HUGE compared to other turkey eggs and the poults (baby turkeys) hatch much bigger than other turkey poults.  However, Midget White turkeys only grow to be maybe half the size of other turkeys.  Hence, the name Midget (and they're white so that explains the rest).  Midget White turkeys start life with irony and I have a feeling they will continue to live and develop as a breed that is very unique in its personality.  When the Midget Whites started hatching yesterday morning, I knew within a few hours that their personality was different than the Bourbon Reds. The Midget Whites were curious and spent most of their time looking out the window of the incubator to see the world around them.  Whenever I shown a flashlight in the incubator to check on everyone, they jumped up and tottered towards it.  Now that the poults are in their brooder box, they stare intently at anyone who walks by.  Also, everyone who raises turkeys says that the poults aren't that smart and they sometimes starve or dehydrate to death before figuring out how to eat and drink.  Not these little guys.  Within a half hour of being taken out of the incubator they were eating and drinking.  So far Midget Whites seem like a very intelligent turkey.
 Everyone at the ranch thinks its going to be really fun raising these turkeys!  I'm happy to have them at the ranch as they are the number one tasting turkey and they are also extremely rare.  Our plan is to raise some for Thanksgiving next year as well as raise them to sell as pets and breeding stock.  

Cows for domestic violence

Hi all!

We’ve decided to go ahead and get a couple of cows due to popular demand :-D  We're probably only going to get 2 for our first year so make sure you get in contact with me fast.  Two cows means 8 people can purchase.  Through talking to cattlemen and looking at typical prices for beef, we are offering beef at $10 per pound (plus processing fee) with 30% of that purchase being tax deductible.  This part of the purchase is used to support Flip Flop Ranch’s efforts to lower domestic violence and build stronger relationships. If you purchase a ¼ side of beef (about 100 pounds), it will cost (about$1000 and $300 of that purchase price can be taken off your taxes.  So this actually drops the price down to $7 per pound after the tax deduction.  This is the average price you’d pay for beef at Costco or a similar store, but now you are supporting a good cause, you can see your cow as it grows, come visit it and know that it has been raised happily and healthily.  Our cows will also be grass fed.  Although grass fed is healthier, some people prefer the taste of a grain finished cow.  Please specify if you want this. 
 Standard 1/4 Beef
Grass fed cow for sale
(Cuts and weights are based on average yields and will vary) CUT
Number of Packages
Back Ribs
Ball Tip Roast
Chateau Briand
Chuck Boneless Roast
Chuck Eye Steak
Cross Rib Roast
Cube Steak
Fajita/Stir Fry
Filet Mignon
Flat Iron
Ground Beef
London Broil
New York Steak
Rib Eye Boneless
Sirloin Tip Steak
Stew Meat
Top Round Tend. Steak
A deposit (nonrefundable) of $200 will reserve your quarter of a cow.  Remember that a ¼ of beef can easily be split between two people, although we ask that you decide between yourselves which cuts you would prefer.  A ¼ beef will take up about 6 cubit feet of freezer space.

Look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Since one of my Rhode Island Red chicks hatched three days ago, it hasn't stopped screaming except occasionally when it's dead asleep.  And yes, I mean screaming.  Chirping at the top of it's voice to the point I have to sleep with a fan on in my room to cover the noise from the chick (who is in a box in the bathroom next to my room).  I checked the chick over multiple times to see if something was wrong with it-nothing I could see.  And the temperature was fine so it wasn't cold.  Plus, the other chicks were absolutely fine.  I figured the chick must have something wrong with it and would die, but it's still alive and has continued to scream...until tonight.  I finally called my mother who doesn't have chicken experience, but has baby experience and asked her what she thought.  Find a stuffed animal she said.  A stuffed animal for a chick?  My mother must be crazy I thought, except....take a look for yourself...

And now the chick is chirping contentedly for the first time since it hatched!

(The screamer is at the very bottom of the pile. You can see its little bum sticking out)

Maybe it's a little silly, but I think this is an important lesson of what parents mean to their children and what love means to everyone.  This poor little chick was extra sensitive to the need for love and affection just as human babies as well as older children, teens and even adults desperately need love and affection.  And while the one chick cried out for more attention, all the other chicks were just as quick to cuddle the stuffed animal.  Just because someone doesn't verbalize the need for love doesn't mean they don't want it.  This is what teenagers and husbands (and fathers) are especially prone to do.  They don't realize they need/want the love, are afraid to ask for it or don't know how to ask.  But when it's offered, it's appreciated.  Read more about the importance of love an attention here...

Dorking chicks

Our Dorkings are almost two months old now and getting big.  It's amazing how many colors there are for one breed.  Our two roosters are already crowing, which is adorable in their little high pitched squeaky rooster voice.
Colored DorkingGrey Dorking ChickenSilver DorkingIMG00969-20100806-1511

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Undercover Investigation at chick hatchery-Why we raise our own chicks...

A chick hatchery is generally a large company (sometimes a huge company) that hatches out chicks for farmers.  The first chicks we ever bought was from a hatchery, but the quality of the chicks was so poor that I swore never to purchase chicks from a hatchery again.  This undercover investigation recently revealed another good reason to not purchase chicks from a hatchery.  This video is of a hatchery for laying hens and shows what goes into the production of most of the eggs you purchase from the grocery store.  The laying hens who survive the hatchery don't leave to greener pastures either, but that's for a later post...
Before you watch this video, make sure you're sitting down and you haven't eaten.  Also, at the end it says that you should become a vegetarian or vegan.  I have no problem with this, but you should know that not all animals are raised cruelly.  For those of us who are carnivores, it's important to know that cruelty does occur, but that there are producers out there (like Flip Flop Ranch) where the animals live happy, healthy lives from beginning to end.  However, there are millions of animals out there who are being treated horribly and I felt it was important to let people know.  Please, please, please purchase your meat, eggs and milk from local farmers so that you know where your food is coming from, that it is healthy, and that it was raised cruelty-free.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dorking chicks

 I've searched the world over for Dorking chickens for months and months and months and finally found a breeder in Arizona about a month ago.  She shipped me out some fertile Dorking eggs and they're hatching as I type.
So why did I look for Dorkings so desperately?  With such a silly name why would anyone want one?  Dorkings are a very very rare bird and a very very old breed.  Dorkings were mentioned in writings as ancient as the time of Julius Caesar.  The Romans brought them to England when they took that country over and the Dorking really caught on there, especially in the town of-did you guess?-Dorking.  Hence the name.
But Dorkings aren't just a special breed because they're ancient and as rare as they are old.  They're special because they're also a fabulously tasty breed.  In a taste test, the Dorking won first place over many other breeds including the Rhode Island Red and Cornish X who tied for second.  Dorkings are famous for their moist breast meat and the texture of the breast and thigh meat.  One blogger who attended the Chicken Choosing taste test stated "This bird is known for its fine-textured, very white meat. It is also known to be docile, calm and adaptable. They are good foragers and would make a fine addition to most backyard or farmstead flocks."
The Dorkings also lay white eggs that won top marks in a small taste test and were described as having whites that were "airy, fluffy, and full of texture."

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Shiny Egg



UT-CUT-CA-DAH-CUT! Cut-cut-cut-ca-dah-cut!" called the Dorking Hen, as she strutted around the poultry-yard. She held her head very high, and paused every few minutes to look around in her jerky way and see whether the other fowls were listening. Once she even stood on her left foot right in the pathway of the Shanghai Cock, and cackled into his very ears.
Everybody pretended not to hear her. The people in the poultry-yard did not like the Dorking Hen very well. They said that she put on airs. Perhaps she did. She certainly talked a great deal of the place from which she and the Dorking Cock came. They had come in a small [21] cage from a large poultry farm, and the Dorking Hen never tired of telling about the wonderful, noisy ride that they took in a dark car drawn by a great, black, snorting creature. She said that this creature's feet grew on to his sides and whirled around as he ran, and that he breathed out of the top of his head. When the fowls first heard of this, they were much interested, but after a while they used to walk away from her, or make believe that they saw Grasshoppers whom they wanted to chase.
When she found that people were not listening to her, she cackled louder than ever. "Cut-cut-ca-dah-cut! Look at the egg—the egg—the egg the I have laid."
"Is there any particular reason why we should look at the egg—the egg—the egg—the egg that you have laid?" asked the Shanghai Cock, who was the grumpiest fowl in the yard.
[22] Now, usually if the Dorking Hen had been spoken to in this way, she would have ruffled up her head feathers and walked away, but this time she had news to tell and so she kept her temper. "Reason?" she cackled. "Yes indeed! It is the finest egg that was ever laid in this poultry-yard."
"Hear her talk!" said a Bantam Hen. "I think it is in very poor taste to lay such large eggs as most of the Hens do here. Small ones are much more genteel."
"She must forget an egg that I laid a while ago with two yolks," said Shanghai Hen. "That was the largest egg ever laid here, and I have always wished that I had hatched it. A pair of twin chickens would have been so interesting."
"Well," said the Dorking Hen, who could not keep still any longer, "small eggs may be genteel and large ones may be interesting, but my last one is bee-autiful."
[23] "Perhaps you'd just as soon tell us about it as to brag without telling?" grumbled the Shanghai Cock. "I suppose it is grass color, or sky color, or hay color, or speckled, like a sparrow's egg."
"No," answered the Dorking Hen, "it is white, but it is shiny."
"Shiny!" they exclaimed. "Who ever heard of a shiny egg?"
"Nobody," she replied, "and that is why it is so wonderful."
"Don't believe it," said the Shanghai Cock, as he turned away and began scratching the ground.
Now the Dorking Hen did get angry. "Come to see it, if you don't believe me," she said, as she led the others into the Hen-house.
She flew up to the row of boxes where the Hens had their nests, and picked her way along daintily until she reached the farthest one. "Now look," said she.
One by one the fowls peeped into the [24] box, and sure enough, there it lay, a fine, shiny, white egg. The little Bantam, who was really a jolly, kind-hearted creature, said, "Well, it is a beauty. I should be proud of it myself."
"It is whiter than I fancy," said the Shanghai Cock, "but it certainly does shine."
"I shall hatch it," said the Dorking Hen, very decidedly. "I shall hatch it and have a beautiful Chicken with shining feathers. I shall not hatch all the eggs in the nest, but roll this one away and sit on it."
"Perhaps," said one of her friends, "somebody else may have laid it after all, and not noticed. You know it is not the only one in the nest."
"Pooh!" said the Dorking Hen. "I guess I know! I am sure it was not there when I went to the nest and it was there when I left. I must have laid it."
The fowls went away, and she tried to [25] roll the shiny one away from the other eggs, but it was slippery and very light and would not stay where she put it. Then she got out of patience and rolled all the other out of the nest. Two of them fell to the floor and broke, but she did not care. "They are nothing but common ones, anyway," she said.
When the farmer's wife came to gather the eggs she pecked at her and was very cross. Every day she did this, and at last the woman let her alone. Every-day she told the other fowls what a wonderful Chicken she expected to have. "Of course he will be of my color," said she, "but his feathers will shine brightly. He will be a great flyer, too. I am sure that is what it means when the egg is light." She came off the nest each day just long enough to stroll around and chat with her friends, telling them what wonderful things she expected, and never letting them forget that it was she who [26] had laid the shiny egg. She pecked airily at the food, and seemed to think that a Hen who was hatching such a wonderful Chicken should have the best of everything. Each day she told some new beauty that was to belong to her child, until the Shanghai Cock fairly flapped his wings with impatience.
Day after day passed, and the garden beyond the barn showed rows of sturdy green plants, where before there had been only straight ridges of fine brown earth. The Swallows who were building under the eaves of the great barn, twittered and chattered of the wild flowers in the forest, and four other Hens came off their nests with fine broods of downy Chickens. And still the Dorking Hen sat on her shiny egg and told what a wonderful Chicken she expected to hatch. This was not the only egg in the nest now, but it was the only one of which she spoke.
At last a downy Chicken peeped out of [27] one of the common eggs, and wriggled and twisted to free himself from the shell. His mother did not hurry him or help him. She knew that he must not slip out of it until all the blood from the shell-lining had run into his tender little body. If she had pushed the shell off before he had all of this fine red blood, he would not have been a strong Chicken, and she wanted her children to be strong.
The Dorking Cock walked into the Hen-house and stood around on one foot. He came to see if the shiny egg had hatched, but he wouldn't ask. He thought himself too dignified to show any interest in newly hatched Chickens before a Hen. Still, he saw no harm in standing around on one foot and letting the Dorking Hen talk to him if she wanted to. When she told him it was one of the common eggs that had hatched, he was quite disgusted, and stalked out of doors without a word.
The truth was that he had been rather [28] bragging to the other Cocks, and only a few minutes later he spoke with pride of the time when "our" shiny egg should hatch. "For," he said, "Mrs. Dorking and I have been quite alone here as far as our own people are concerned. It is not strange that we should feel a great pride in the wonderful egg and the Chicken to be hatched from it. A Dorking is a Dorking after all, my friends." And he flapped his wings, stretched his neck, and crowed as loudly as he could.
"Yes," said the Black Spanish Cock afterward, "a Dorking certainly is a Dorking, although I never could see the sense of making such a fuss about it. They are fat and they have an extra toe on each foot. Why should a fowl want extra toes? I have four on each foot, and I can scratch up all the food I want with them."
"Well," said the grumpy old Shanghai Cock. "I am sick and tired of this fuss. [29] Common eggs are good enough for Shanghais and Black Spanish and Bantams, and I should think——"
just at this minute they heard a loud fluttering and squawking in the Hen-house and the Dorking Hen crying, "Weasel! Weasel!" The Cocks ran to drive the Weasel away, and the Hens followed to see it done. All was noise and hurry, and they saw nothing of the Weasel except the tip of his bushy tail as he drew his slender body through an opening in the fence.
The Dorking Hen was on one of the long perches where the fowls roost at night, the newly hatched Chicken lay shivering in the nest, and on the floor were the pieces of the wonderful shiny egg. The Dorking Hen had knocked it from the nest in her flight.
The Dorking Cock looked very cross. He was not afraid of a Weasel, and he did not see why she should be. "Just like a Hen!" he said.
[30] The Black Spanish Hen turned to him before he could say another word. "Just like a Cock!" she exclaimed. "I never raise Chickens myself. It is not the custom among the Black Spanish Hens. We lay the eggs and somebody else hatches them. But if I had been on the nest as long as Mrs. Dorking has, do you suppose I'd let any fowl speak to me as you spoke to her? I'd—I'd—" and she was so angry that she couldn't say another word, but just strutted up and down and cackled.
A motherly old Shanghai Hen flew up beside Mrs. Dorking. "We are very sorry for you," she said. "I know how I should have felt if I had broken my two-yolked egg just as it was ready to hatch."
The Bantam Hen picked her way to the nest. "What a dear little Chicken!" she cried, in her most comforting tone. "He is so plump and so bright for his age. But, my dear, he is chilly, and I think you [31] should cuddle him under your wings until his down is dry."
The Dorking Hen flew down. "He is a dear," she said, "and yet when he was hatched I didn't care much for him, because I had thought so long about the shiny egg. It serves me right to lose that one, because I have been so foolish. Still, I do not know how I could stand it if it were not for my good neighbors."
While Mrs. Dorking was talking with the Bantam by her nest, the Black Spanish Hen scratched a hole in the earth under the perches, poked the pieces of the shiny egg into it, and covered them up. "I never raise Chickens myself," she said, "but if I did——"
The Shanghai Cock walked away with the Dorking Cock. "I'm sorry for you," he said, "and I am more sorry for Mrs. Dorking. She is too fine a Hen to be spoken to as you spoke to her this morning, and I don't want to hear any more of your [32] fault-finding. Do you understand?" And he ruffled his neck feathers and stuck his face close to that of the Dorking Cock. They stared into each other's eyes for a minute; then the Dorking cock, who was not so big and strong as the Shanghai, shook his head and answered sweetly, "It was rude of me. I won't do it again."
From that day to this, nobody in the poultry yard has ever spoken of the shiny egg, and the Dorkings are much liked by the other fowls. Yet if it had not been for her trouble, Mrs. Dorking and her neighbors would never have become such good friends. The little Dorkings are fine, fat-breasted Chicks, with the extra toe on each foot of which all that family are so proud.