Roughing Alaska, Homesteading Arkansas

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Roughing Alaska, Homesteading Arkansas

Roughing Alaska, Homesteading Arkansas

Posted by Benjamin Harrison, 4th January 2021

A plane ride from anywhere

In the Alaskan wilderness, the Bradfords were virtually alone.

“It was awesome,” says Kinsey Bradford. “We went for a year, and had we not had kids, I think we’d still be out there.”

They lived their best lives: fishing, hunting, spending time in nature. But living in isolation has its drawbacks.

When their oldest daughter fell twice her height from a playground set in the middle of nowhere, the Bradfords decided it was time to head home.

“She’s not quite two at the time,” explains Kinsey. “Of course she was screaming and couldn’t move and freaked Greg out.”

Luckily, Kinsey had just finished paramedic training, useful skills in her role as a firefighter for the Little Rock Fire Department.

“I was like, okay, she’s not paralyzed,” Kinsey says before a pause, “yet.”

The Bradfords scrambled to radio a plane if, by chance, one was nearby. Luckily, a pilot responded.


“So this guy randomly stopped and picked us up and flew us to a hub.” From there, they made their way to Anchorage and on to Portland, Kinsey’s home city.

“I was like, okay, she’s not paralyzed,” she says before a pause, “yet.”

The Bradfords scrambled to radio a plane if, by chance, one was nearby. Luckily, a pilot responded.


“So this guy randomly stopped and picked us up and flew us to a hub.” From there, they made their way to Anchorage and on to Portland, Kinsey’s home city.

"When you have kids, you start to think about whether you know what that pig's been fed."

- Kinsey Bradford

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The signature smoky flavor behind gumbo, etouffee, and jambalaya. Give your best New Orleans' dishes true localist flair. This ground pork andouille is from hogs raised in open air and using methods that preserve and enrich Arkansas' topsoils. From Bradford Valley Farms in Damascus, AR.

Coming home to roost

They decided to finish out their year in Alaska, but the incident with their daughter sent them back to Arkansas.

They’d always wanted to own land and settled outside Greg’s hometown of Damascus, AR. Close to plenty of fishing and hunting options but within driving distance of a hospital.

“People ask if we hunt for the thrill of it,” says Kinsey. “People who go to fish and throw the fish back, I don't do that. When I go to fish, I'm going to eat it.”

Until she met Greg, “I really didn't hunt,” she says. “My mom's side is from Mississippi, so my uncle would take us fishing, or we'd sit in deer stands.”

Eventually, hunting with Greg led to homesteading and, perhaps inevitably, to farming. A handful of passions the Bradfords work at together.

“We'll eat everything on a deer besides the hide. I don’t know, we always say we were probably born in the wrong era.”

This attitude was borne of necessity. After Alaska, Greg had overwhelming student debt, and self-sufficiency was the only way to survive.

It’s turned out pretty well at Bradford Valley Farms. Their three daughters are healthy, thanks to their homegrown diets.

“I’ve always tried to pursue my best self,” says Kinsey, “and when you have kids, you start to think about whether you know what that pig’s been fed.”

Their animals are out in the sunlight, eating grass, foraging and rooting around like they’re supposed to be. And that makes for great-tasting meat.

“It’s different what we do,” Kinsey says, “compared to going to the grocery store. You’re gonna eat sausage or a pork chop from us, and it won’t bog you down. You’ll get up from the table, and you’ll feel good.”

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