I live in the wild, wild west
You know those people who move about the kitchen as if they're in a meditation. Gently going about their chopping, water boiling, potato peeling in a Buddhist monastery, calming vibe kind of way?
Yeah, that’s not me. It’s just not my style.
For years, I tried to push down my Mars on the ascendant ways. Instead of expressing my Marsy passions, frustrations, enthusiasm and firey, Sicilian emotions I tried to meditate them away. I did the Oms, the namaste's and all the spiritual chants. As you can tell, that phase didn't last too long.
If you have no idea what Mars on the ascendant means, you’re likely not keen to astrology. My wife, Jen, is an astrologer and I learn astrology by osmosis through her. Basically, Mars on the ascendent is fiery, quick, passionate, full of energy and piss and vinegar. That’s me, Mars on the ascendant, all piss and vinegar. If you listen to my weekly podcast, The Primal Pioneer, you’ll quickly understand the meaning of Mars on the ascendant.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Heathar. I don’t believe in defining gender pronouns, the government, vaccines or bad food. I’m a classical homeopath by day (and night when my sister calls with a kid emergency - you know, the high fever at 1am kind of thing), chef and food aficionado. I'm also a farmer…well, that one I’m still working on.
Almost a year ago, my wife and I bought a 5 acre farm in Northern New Mexico. Our search for home lasted a solid 11 years. I shit you not. During our tireless search over multiple states, countries and counties, we'd come up empty handed time and time again.
Either it wasn’t the right home, wasn’t the right state, wasn’t the right environment or wasn’t the right price. Finally, after our 11 year search, we found what we now call home here in Northern New Mexico.
It’s always been a dream of ours to start a farm. To homestead. To live off the land. And, now we’re doing it.
The property we bought has character. It’s not the typical southwest swank adobe with tongue-and-groove walls nor is it a modern paradise with new appliances and upscale buildings. Like I said, it has character.
The previous owner left behind everything from belts randomly wrapped around trees, worn work boots burried under piles of rusted pieces of metal, old cans of beans he attempted to open with a jackknife, rotted and molded lumber sitting in the yard to a box of wildlife skulls, femurs and clavicle bones randomly left in the barn. He even so graciously left behind an old, dilapidated cattle shoot that several of our neighbors may have asked us if they could use to herd their cattle.
People joke about the wild, wild west being a thing of the past. I can tell you that after being here for a year now, my wife and I absolutely live in the wild, wild west. Present day.
Many of our neighbors ride up to our property on horseback. These are the types of people who were born and raised on this land and this land is all they know. These people intrigue me. They have no idea that Jen and I have a work schedule. They have no idea what a Zoom call is. They have no idea what it means when I tell them, Yes, I’m home but I’m working. So, they come over anyway. On their horse. They tie their horse to a tree outside of our kitchen window, sit down on our porch, roll a cigarette and want to shoot the shit. It is an experience that hardly exists anymore. And, I dig it.
Other neighbors ride up on their ATV’s. Beer in one hand, chicken in the other. Literally, one day our neighbors Jennifer and Michael rolled up to our property on their ATV, gluten-free beers in hand, all while my wife and I were in the middle of trying to re-home one of our roosters.
We had one too many roosters in our flock and all was not going to go well in the hen house unless we found a new home for this Rhode Island Red. Our neighbor Jennifer, a badass healer, gardener and animal rescuer took one look at the rooster and said, I’ll take him. She scooped him up, put him under her arm and they rode back home on their ATV. Beer in one hand, rooster in the other.
When Jen and I moved out to this rural village, we feared that we’d be starving for community. That no-one would ever come visit. That we’d have to make the one hour trek into town if we wanted to get any social time. Surprisingly, just the opposite has provedn to be true. Jen and I have to go on vacation if we want to get alone time. We just recently went on vacation and met someone new. She invited us to have dinner with her and her wife. While we wanted to go, we kindly declined to honor our weekend of alone time. I’m starting to think that Jen and I attract in community wherever we go.
Honestly, we’re thankful for our community and visiting neighbors. We love when they ride up bareback or on their ATV to check in on us. I think much of the community was skeptical when they met us - two women, living off the land, no man in site, trying to live in this rough, high altitude, rural desert. This all changed however when Jen and I and our Mexicana friend Andrea slaughtered all 38 of our meat chickens. That’s when the tables started to turn. After the chicken slaughter, we overheard one of our neighbors say to another, These girls are gonna fit in just fine out in these parts.
All-in-all, our neighbors have really pulled through for us this past year…plowing us out of a snowed in driveway, killing rattlesnakes living outside of our bedroom, gifting us with an abundance of Fall fruit for ourselves and our animals, teaching us how to do small home repairs like tiling and grouting, bringing jumper cables to restore life to our friends car, bringing their squash, lettuce, tomato and pepper harvest to share with us. One of our neighbors, a local legand named Funny - an 80 year old woman consisting of skin, bones and the heart of an angel - even walked a mile-and-a-half with her dog Fondue to bring us homemade rhubarb pie as a 'welcome to the neighborhood' gift.
To me, fresh, organically grown food is the best gift a girl could ask for. Cooking is my spirit animal. It’s my joy, my passion, my love, my power suit, my purpose. And, over the past several years I’ve developed a passion to cook, as often as possible, with local, seasonal ingredients.
This was inspired by my own healing journey.
When I was 23 years old, I was in a car accident that left me with a TBI (traumatic brain injury). And, since then, I have learned how to heal my brain and my body through food, sunlight, homeopathy and other circadian practices.
When I initially started eating a local, seasonal diet, it was primarily to restore my circadian biology. And, I had so much success in doing so that I created The Sunlight Diet so other people could access this inherent healing gift provided by nature.
Today, I commit to eating local and seasonal food because it tastes better. Heaps better. Night and day better. Hands down better than the produce and ingredients found in any grocery store. On top of that, you also support local farmers, neighbors, the land that grows your food, the ecosystem outside your door. And, you cultivate community. Where there is food, there are people gathering.
Don't be fooled, I started cooking long before my TBI. I was born a foodie. My mom’s heritage is Sicilian. And, I grew up watching her cook every single meal for me and my siblings. She made everything from scratch, from her garden, with her own two hands. My cooking inspiration stems from her. And, her cooking inspiration stems from her father, Carl Turbio, who was a full blooded Sicilian.
My mom’s passion for food and cooking fit hand-in-glove with my father’s. My father is a hunter and he can cook. He just doesn’t cook very often. But, give him a grill and a rack of ribs and his cooking game rises to next level. His mother cooked for him and she was damn good at it. So, my food roots run deep.
I'm gearing up to write my first book and cookbook. And, to facilitate that process, I’m going to start sharing my food stories, farm stories and recipes with you here on my blog.
There will be an audio and text option for the blog. And, you can subscribe to my podcast to stay updated on new blog post releases.
I hope this blog provides you with nourishment and inspiration to grow your own food, cook your own meals and eat as seasonally and locally as you possibly can.
From my farm to your table,