Making a Go of Homesteading in Southern Oklahoma

Family resorts to eating quail and rabbit, and growing wheat and maize, on southern Oklahoma homestead.

| Good Old Days

Born and raised in the South, I had always desired to own land. So when I learned that it could be acquired in southern Oklahoma just by filing for a homestead, I persuaded my husband to move west.

We filed on a claim that proved to be prairie land, devoid of trees, but covered with buffalo grass that had to be turned over completely before anything could be planted.

We built a dugout with a single glass window, by a creek, and we lived there for 10 years before we could afford anything better.

Our main food was quail and rabbit. We ground rabbit and added to it what little pork we could afford. It was good eating.

After a few years we planted maize and wheat, but the price of wheat was so low that we decided to eat our crop. I cooked the grain until the kernels burst open, then I drained off the water and let the wheat steam. When it was cold, I ground it with a food chopper, generally adding hulled peanuts. We ate it with cream and sugar.

After 15 years of that life, I was glad to relinquish my land and return to civilization. All we had to show for our hard work was a secondhand Ford and three lovely children.

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