People Who Live at the End of Dirt Roads: Monte and Laura Bledsoe – Quail Hollow Farm, CSA

Six years ago one of my former mentees decided to try growing vegetables on a tiny patch of ground.  She thought, “what a nice little hobby I will create for myself.”  Her vision was to grow and provide a little food for a few other families.

She was not willing to commit to more than that and even considered that it may be no more than a passing fad.  Boy was she wrong!

On only 5 acres, Laura and Monte Bledsoe have created a thriving, prosperous, and sustainable paradise called Quail Hollow Farm.

They now have over 100 share-holders and provide some of the best looking and most flavorful fruits, vegetables and meat that you will ever experience.

 

For nearly a decade, they have been a beacon of light extolling the virtues of fresh, organic, sustainable food for families in their small community of Overton, Nevada.

When you hear them talk about our human connection to the earth and God’s nature, you immediately begin to feel their sense of purpose and passion – one could say it was their mission in life to provide life-giving food to everyone.

From a small idea of a few vegetables, they have expanded their vision to provide farm fresh food year round.

Some of the varieties of vegetables, fruits and meat they provide include:

Asparagus, lettuce, beets, kohlrabi, radishes, cilantro, cabbage, onions, spinach, swiss chard, chamomile, artichokes, basil,

cucumbers, tomatoes, grapes, squash, egg plant, peppers, calendula, watermelons, beans, pumpkins, corn, sweet potatoes,

pomegranates, etc.  Additionally, they offer eggs, free-range chicken, pork, honey and an

assortment of other delectables.

What Monte and Laura do is very dear to my heart.  As many of you know, we are building Monticello College to be a liberal arts school that provides an education and environment that rivals the best of 18th century America.

This includes growing, harvesting and consuming our own food.

I have a number of other articles that I am writing at the moment that are ahead of this one, but this is timely.  As an up and coming leader in this movement of back to basics and natural foods, Quail Hollow Farm recently came under fire.

During an event last week, the Nevada Health Department raided their farm and annual event without warrant or apparent cause.  I want you to know about this because this kind of thing is going to happen more and more if we do not take a stand and demand that it end.

You have to know Monte and Laura to understand the absurdity of the actions of this government agency.  These folks go out of their way to comply with rules and regulations.

It was an event for loved ones, friends, and family and it was held on their own land, serving food to clients who have been eating this same food for years.

Below is a letter from the Bledsoes following the event and a link to see videos that they had the presence of mind to tape in the heat of the moment.

 

 

 

To Monte and Laura:

You are not alone.

Monticello College and countless others support you in the fight

surrounding this most primal and fundamental

of all questions:

“Does an American have the right to choose what he or she will eat?”

You are in our prayers.

Your example will pave the way for our graduates.

 

 

 

Quail Hollow Farm Health Department Raid Videos

(The password is Rth-2034)

 

Letter From Monte and Laura Bledsoe Following the Raid

Dearest Guests,  (You have all become dear to us!)

What an evening we had this last Friday night!  It had all the makings of a really great novel; drama, suspense, anticipation, crisis, heroic efforts, villains and victors, resolution and a happy ending.

The evening was everything I had dreamed and hoped it would be.   The weather was perfect, the farm was filled with friends and guests roaming around talking about organic, sustainable farming practices.  Our young interns were teaching and sharing their passion for farming and their role in it.  (A high hope for our future!)  The pig didn’t get loose.  Our guests were excited to spend an evening together.  The food was prepared exquisitely.  The long dinner table, under the direction of dear friends, was absolutely stunningly beautiful.  The music was superb.   The stars were bright and life was really good.  And then, …

for a few moments, it felt like the rug was pulled out from underneath us and my wonderful world came crashing down.  As guests were mingling, finishing tours of the farm, and while the first course of the meal was being prepared and ready to be sent out, a Southern Nevada Health District employee came for an inspection.   Because this was a gathering of people invited to our farm for dinner I had no idea that the Health Department would become involved.  I received a phone call from them two days before the event informing me that because this was a “public event” (I would like to know what is the definition of “public” and private”) we would be required to apply for a “special use permit.”

If we did not do so immediately we would be charged a ridiculous fine.  Stunned, we immediately complied.  We were in the middle of our harvest day for our CSA shares, a very busy time for us, but Monte immediately left to comply with the demand and filled out the required paper work and paid for the fee.  (Did I mention that we live in Overton, nowhere near a Health Department office?)  Paper work now in order he was informed that we would not actually be given the permit until an inspector came to check it all out.  She came literally while our guests were arriving!

In order to overcome any trouble with the Health Department of cooking on the premises most of the food was prepared in a certified kitchen in Las Vegas and to further remove any doubt we rented a certified kitchen trailer to be here on the farm for the preparation of the meals.

The inspector, Mary Oaks, clearly not the one in charge of the inspection as she was constantly on the phone with her superior Susan  somebody  who was calling all the shots from who knows where.   Susan deemed our food unfit for consumption and demanded that we call off the event because:  1. Some of the prepared food packages did not have labels on them.  (The code actually allows for this if it is to be consumed within 72 hours.)  2.  Some of the meat was not USDA certified.  (Did I mention that this was a farm to fork meal?)  3.  Some of the food that was prepared in advance was not up to temperature at the time of inspection. (It was being prepared to be brought to proper temperature for serving when the inspection occurred.) 4.  Even the vegetables prepared in advance had to be thrown out because they were cut and were then considered a “bio-hazard”.

At this time Monte, trying to reason with Susan to find a possible solution for the problem, suggested turning this event from a “public” event to a “private” event by allowing the guests to become part of our farm club, thus eliminating any jurisdiction or responsibility on their part.  This idea infuriated Susan and threatened that if we did not comply the police would be called and personally escort our guests off the property.  This is not the vision of the evening we had in mind!  So regretfully, again we complied. The only way to keep our guests on the property was to destroy the food.

I can’t tell you how sick to my stomach I was watching that first dish of Mint Lamb Meatballs hit the bottom of the unsanitized trash can.  Here we were with guests who had paid in advance and had come from long distances away anticipating a wonderful dining experience, waiting for dinner while we were behind the kitchen curtain throwing it away!  I know of the hours and labor that went into the preparation of that food.  We asked the inspector if we could save the food for a private family event that we were having the next day.  (A personal family choice to use our own food.)  We were denied and was insulted that we would even consider endangering our families health.  I assured her that I had complete faith and trust in Giovanni our chef and the food that was prepared, (obviously, or I wouldn’t be wanting to serve it to our guests).

I then asked if we couldn’t feed the food to our “public guests” or even to our private family, then at least let us feed it to our pigs.  (I think it should be a criminal action to waste any resource of the land. Being dedicated to our organic farm, we are forever looking for good inputs into our compost and soil and good food that can be fed to our animals. The animals and compost pile always get our left over garden surplus and food.  We truly are trying to be as sustainable as possible.)  Again, a call to Susan and another negative response.

Okay, so let me get this right.  So the food that was raised here on our farm and selected and gathered from familiar local sources, cooked and prepared with skill and love was even unfit to feed to my pigs!? !  Who gave them the right to tell me what I feed my animals?  Not only were we denied the use of the food for any purpose, to ensure that it truly was unfit for feed of any kind we were again threatened with police action if we did not only throw the food in the trash, but then to add insult to injury, we were ordered to pour bleach on it.   Now the food is also unfit for compost as I would be negligent to allow any little critters to nibble on it while it was composting and ingest that bleach resulting in a horrible death.  Literally hundreds of pounds of food was good for nothing but adding to our ever increasing land fill!

At some point in all of this turmoil Monte reminded me that I had the emergency phone number for the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF)on our refrigerator.  I put it there never really believing that I would ever have to use it.   We became members of the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund several years ago as a protection for us, but mostly to add support to other farmers battling against the oppressive legal actions taken against the small farmers trying to produce good wholesome food without government intrusion.

The local, sustainable food battle is being waged all across America!  May I mention that not one battle has been brought on because of any illness to the patrons of these farms!  The battles are started by government officials swooping down on farms and farmers like SWAT teams confiscating not only the wholesome food items produced but even their farm equipment!  Some of them actually wearing HAZMAT suits as if they were walking into a nuclear meltdown!  I have personally listened to some of their heart wrenching stories and have continued to follow them through the FTCLDF’s updates.   Well, I made the call, told my story and within a short period of time received a phone call back from the FTCLDF’s leading council Gary Cox.   When told the story he simply suggested that we apply our fundamental constitutional right to be protected against “unlawful search and seizure.”

I simply had to ask Mary two questions.  Do you have a search warrant?  Do you have an arrest warrant? With the answers being no I politely and very simply asked her to leave our property.  As simple as that!  She had no alternative, no higher power, no choice whatsoever but to now comply to my desire.  She left in a huff making a scene shouting that she was calling the police.  She left no paperwork, no Cease and Desist order, no record of any kind that implicated us for one thing, (we had complied to all their orders) only empty threats and a couple of trash cans full of defiled food.  I will get back to “the inspector” and her threats shortly.  Let’s get to where it really gets good.

While I am on the verge of a literal break down.  Monte and Gio get creative.  All right, we have just thrown all of this food away, we can’t do this, we can’t do that, what CAN we do?  Well, we have a vegetable farm and we do have fresh vegetables.  (By the way, we were denied even using our fresh vegetables until I informed our inspector that I do have a Producers Certificate from the Nevada Department of Agriculture allowing us to sell our vegetables and other farm products at the Farmers Market.  Much of our produce has gone to some of the very finest restaurants in Las Vegas and St. George.)  The wind taken out of the inspectors sails Gio and his crew got cookin’.

It just so happened that we had a cooled trailer full of vegetables ready to be taken to market the following day.  Monte hooked on to the trailer and backed it up right next to the kitchen.  Our interns who were there to greet and serve now got to work with lamp oil and began harvesting anew.  Knives were chopping, pots of pasta and rice from our food storage were steaming, our bonfire was now turned into a grill and literal miracles were happening before our eyes!

In the mean time, Monte and I had to break the news to our guests. We explained the situation, offered anyone interested a full refund, and told them that if they chose to stay their dinner was now literally being prepared fresh, as just now being harvested.  The reaction of our guests was the most sobering and inspirational experience of the evening.  In an instant we were bonded together.  They were of course out-raged at the lack of choice they were given in their meal.  Out-raged at the arrogance of coming to a farm dinner and being required to use only USDA (government inspected)meats.  Outraged at the heavy handedness of the Health Department into their lives.

Then there was the most tremendous outpouring of love and support.  One of our guests, Marty Keach, informed us that he was an attorney and as appalled as everyone else offered his support and council if need be, even if it be to the Supreme Court.  He was a great comfort in a tense time.

With their approval Giovanni and crew got cooking and the evening then truly began.   The atmosphere turned from tense and angry to loving and supportive.

As soon as I heard my brother Steve sit down and begin strumming his guitar I knew something special was happening.  Paid guests volunteered their services.  Chef Shawn Wallace, a guest, joined Gio and his team his knife flying through the eggplant and squash.  Wendy and Thierry Pressyler and so many that I am not even aware of, were helping to grill and transport dishes.  Jason and Chrissy Doolen offered to run quick errands.  Jeanne Frost, a server for the Wynn hotel, didn’t take a seat and began serving her fellow guests.

Before long we were seated at the beautiful table and the most incredible dishes began coming forth.  It was literally “loaves and fishes” appearing before our very eyes!  We broke bread together, we laughed, we talked, we shared stories, we came together in the most marvelous way.  Now this is what I had dreamed, only more marvelous than I could have ever imagined!  The sky being bright with glittering stars, we had the telescopes out and invited any guests who desired to look into our starry heaven.  While we were looking into the heavens, heaven was looking down upon us!

I can’t tell you the times I have felt the hand of providence helping us in the work of this farm.  As hard and demanding as this work is I KNOW that this is what we are meant to do.  I KNOW that it is imperative that we stand up for our food choices.  I KNOW that local, organic, sustainable food produced by ourselves or by small family, local farms is indispensible to the health and well being of our families and our communities now and in the future! If this work were not so vitally important, the “evil forces” would not be working so hard to pull it down.  We were victorious, we will be victorious, we must be!   Our grandchildren’s future is at stake!

Back to the inspector.  She did call the police.  You must remember that we live in a small town.  We know these officers.  They responded to the call dutifully but were desperately trying to figure out why they had been called.  Never in all of their experience had they ever received a call like this.  Mary, the inspector demanded that they give us a citation.  The officer in charge said that she was to give us the citation, she responded that no, they were to give us the citation, which they then asked her for what violation.

Even with the help of her superior on the phone she could not give them a reason.  They asked her to leave which she did.  The police were very kind and apologetic for the intrusion.  All of this was done without fanfare and out of sight of our guests.  The police officers are commended for their professionalism!

Now that we have come to the last chapter of our novel, I realize that it ends with a cliff-hanger.   As happy as the ending was, it isn’t “happily ever after” yet.  This will remain to be seen in the ensuing days, weeks and even years ahead.  Tom Collins, our County Commissioner, furious by the events that took place, having formerly been a board member for the Southern Nevada Health District is putting together a meeting with himself, the current board members and ourselves to make sense of all this mess.

As so many of you have related verbally and through emails your desire to help and be involved, we will keep you informed as events take place.  I feel that we have been compelled to truly become active participants in the ongoing battle over our food choices.  This is just one small incident that brings to our awareness how fragile our freedoms are.  We are now ready to join the fight!

We would encourage all of you who can to contribute and to become a member of the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund.  They are not only fighting for the farmers, they are fighting for the consumers to have the right to choose.  You can find them at ftcldf.org.

As I close, I am reminded of the passage written so forcefully by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence:    “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.”  The same battle continues.   I pray the result of the battle will be the same, that we have been “endowed by our Creator with … life and liberty” .

We love you all, and thank you with all our souls for your continued love and support!  We will stay in touch.

With warmest wishes for you and your families,

Monte and Laura Bledsoe

Written from Quail Hollow Farm

October 24, 2011

78 Comments

  1. Scott Mitchell
    Oct 25, 2011

    Read Every thing I want to do is Illegal by Joel Salatin

  2. Jacqueline Smith
    Oct 25, 2011

    Enough. I watched some of the video of Laura Bledsoe, and I felt sick inside. What a waste. What a joke. And when, oh when, will we have the courage to see things like the USDA, and the FDA shut down.

    • Shanon Brooks
      Oct 26, 2011

      This is a fight worth joining and it crossed all political boundaries. Can’t get closer to home except religion….is it next?

  3. Wilma Koss
    Oct 26, 2011

    This is just one more example of a fundamental attack on our property rights. Everyone needs to familiarize themselves with the United Nations concept called Agenda 21, ICLEI and Sustainable Cities. From wetlands ordinances to benefit corporations, we are being told what to do with our own land, the work of our hands and our own person. Winners and losers are being chosen every day. This is not the pursuit of happiness our founders had in mind.

    • Shanon Brooks
      Oct 26, 2011

      I agree. What we need is thousands of local leaders–like you–to lead the way. This all really goes back to our lack of involvement at the local level.

      If we were accustomed to attending our local city council meetings and being engaged at that level, much of this nonsense would not be happening. Local is the answer.

  4. Hailey & Derek
    Oct 26, 2011

    Brutal! Terri linked this on her blog and I’m sitting here stunned that things like this are even happening. My husband and I feel like our eyes are being opened more and more (is is possible for my eyes to get any more open?) to issues like this and that we have a call to action. Local. Local. Local. agreed!

    • Shanon Brooks
      Oct 26, 2011

      Hailey and Derek,

      I wish there was an easier answer–but historically, when a people no longer care to engage in the troublesome and often monotonous work of participating and vigilantly overseeing government, there is always someone who is more than willing to take over our responsibility.

      The problem is that once we have relinquished that right and responsibility, it is almost impossible to get it back without bloodshed.

      • Dave Krebs
        Oct 26, 2011

        What ever it takes …. Failure is not an option !!!

  5. Connor Boyack
    Oct 26, 2011

    For those in Utah, we’ll be running legislation in the next session (January 2013) which will protect our farmers. Details here:

    http://www.utahintrastatecommerce.org

    • Shanon Brooks
      Oct 27, 2011

      Thanks Connor. I will be at the session for its duration 2012.

  6. Frogguy
    Oct 26, 2011

    1- It would serve a useful purpose to know the reason given for raiding the farm and event. Police don’t just go driving around to see what they can raid; they always have a reason, whether we like it or not.

    2- who designed this website? Gray text on gray background is a horrid design. Contrast, contrast, contrast. Learn it and use it.

    • Shanon Brooks
      Oct 26, 2011

      Frogguy,

      I am sorry you did not read the article close enough, the raid was by the Health Department not the police. In fact the police were eventually summoned and they supported the owners action of removing the inspector from the premise and declined to issue a citation as the inspector demanded.

      I will take up you criticism with my designer. Sorry we do not meet your approval.

    • Dave Krebs
      Oct 26, 2011

      FROGGUY ….. The police responded to a call by the Southern Nevada Health District Inspector – Mary Oaks. The Farm To Consumer Legal Defense Fund’s leading council advised the Bledsoe’s to ask Mary …Do You Have A Search Warrant ? …. Do You Have An Arrest Warrant ? Mary left in a huff and called the police ! Go back and read the letter from the Bledsoe’s !!!!

    • Robert Morris
      Oct 26, 2011

      I’m not sure what your agenda is? Are you playing devil’s advocate that the raid was somehow justified? For we will suffer while evils are sufferable. What happened may seem sufferable to some but at what point to you find it to be insufferable? It is pretty clear that the inspector was being insufferable to the PRIVATE PROPERTY OWNERS!

      Read the story more closely and watch the video more closely before commenting about ‘police don’t just drive around looking for things to raid. They were led to believe law was being broken by an unelected BUREAUCRAT (using that insidious thing called administrative law).

      I’m not sure what your agenda is but most people who love liberty have a visceral response when they read the account and look at the video. Neither of these can possibly lead one to believe liberty or justice are being well served in the matter.

      Rather than trying to figure out what the land owners did, perhaps we should look at our intrusive government agencies. The kind of thinking of “what did the landowners do wrong” seems to be in harmony with those who wish more and more government control and collectivism. Our Federal Government has a higher conviction rate than Stalin’s USSR. Now that is something to brag about.

      The problem with progressives and big government intrusion types is that there is no source for the moral code or rights. Instead it is what some “learned” individual decides is best in each given circumstances but with a penchant for “one size fits all as long as I approve” ideology.

      I will never submit to a moral or legal code based solely on the “wisdom of men or a man”, for that is truly the essence of tyranny.

      • Shanon Brooks
        Oct 27, 2011

        We are on the same page…really.

    • Robert Morris
      Oct 26, 2011

      I’m not sure what your agenda is? Are you playing devil’s advocate that the raid was somehow justified? For we will suffer while evils are sufferable. What happened may seem sufferable to some but at what point to you find it to be insufferable? It is pretty clear that the inspector was being insufferable to the PRIVATE PROPERTY OWNERS!

      Read the story more closely and watch the video more closely before commenting about ‘police don’t just drive around looking for things to raid’. They were led to believe law was being broken by an unelected BUREAUCRAT (using that insidious thing called administrative law).

      I’m not sure what your agenda is but most people who love liberty have a visceral response when they read the account and look at the video. Neither of these can possibly lead one to believe liberty or justice are being well served in the matter.

      Rather than trying to figure out what the land owners did, perhaps we should look at our intrusive government agencies. The kind of thinking of “what did the landowners do wrong” seems to be in harmony with those who wish more and more government control and collectivism. Our Federal Government has a higher conviction rate than Stalin’s USSR. Now that is something to brag about.

      The problem with progressives and big government intrusion types is that there is no true source for the moral code or rights. Instead it is what some “learned” individual decides is best in each given circumstance but with a penchant for “one size fits all as long as I approve” ideology.

      I will never submit to a moral or legal code based solely on the “wisdom of men or a man”, for that is truly the essence of tyranny.

      Perhaps your opinion on the colors is valid, but instead of focusing on the font and background focus on reading for content and comprehension and then the little things will not be as important.

  7. Catherine Watson
    Oct 26, 2011

    This story angered me. I support you and your movement. Who is in charge of this country? We, the people. Let us do something about this. I shared your story on Facebook but that is not enough. Have you created a Facebook group or is there an existing Facebook group for this issue? If enough citizens are made aware of this absurdity, they can pressure their congressman and changes CAN take place. Government by the people, for the people. Let me know! Keep up the courage.
    Catherine
    PS: It is ironing that poisonous food imposters such as hydrogenated oil are a staple in our food supply. They are responsible for millionsof deaths and cases of disease. But of course, they are legal. Instead, we get this type of absurdity. I would not be surprise if big money were behind this operation.

    • Shanon Brooks
      Oct 27, 2011

      Catherine,

      Your emotion is felt and shared. Let’s not let these feelings cool. Let’s put them to good, lasting and constructive use. Whatever that means for your local area.

  8. Ben Echols
    Oct 26, 2011

    Wow!!! I was about to say I can’t believe that this happened to you, but so regrettably it isn’t surprising with the way our government has insisted upon running our lives now. My proverbial hat is off to all who were blessed to participate that evening in what resulted and to the officers in how they handled it.

  9. Rex Jensen
    Oct 26, 2011

    The Obama administration, about a year ago, actually proposed a bill that would outlaw the consumption of food not prepared and inspected by government inspectors. This bill was a payoff to organized labor and the large commercial farmers. The bill, if passed, would make it illegal to grow your own food, on your own land, in your own garden, and eat it, sell it, or give to your neighbor. The actions of the Clark County Health Department is evidence this mentality exists among those who wield power, and they do not like people defying their power. They may not have the law on their side, but they do have power, and they despise anyone bold enough to challenge that power.

    Good for you for eventually standing up to them. The constitution is still our friend, the law is still the law, and what the health department was doing was clearly outside the law, and they need to be held accountable for that.

    • Shanon Brooks
      Oct 27, 2011

      Rex,

      The ongoing saga is Senate Bill 510, known as the Food Safety Modernization Act. This bill has serious ramifications for local food growing.

      • Randy Lawrence
        Nov 2, 2011

        I wonder if this law would apply to Michelle Obama’s garden?

        Get informed. Get Educated. Get involved. Our local town council is working with other town councils and fighting the County over water regulations which, if enforced, would cost homeowners of rural property, thousands of dollars to comply. All because some bureaucrats decided to arbitrarily change what they considered safe levels of “impurities” in the groundwater and force property owners to regularly test their well-water and septic systems. So far, so good. But only because the local citizens paid attention and got involved.

  10. Leslie Ellsworth Cutler
    Oct 26, 2011

    I’m 1700 miles away in Iowa and I hope that you can hear my outrage from Nevada. Where was the FDA and USDA here in Iowa when two of our largest egg farms were raided for dangerous conditions after 2000 people nationwide got sick eating Salmonella-infected eggs sold commercially? Probably off exercising their “power” on people trying to make good food and growing choices for their families and friends.

    The State we call home is #1 in the amount of Farm Subsidy it takes from the US government. Our organic farmers who share their produce with others get none of this subsidy.

    I wish you the best in your fight against unfair occupation in the name of “regulation.” William Pitt said it best: “Where law ends, tyranny begins.”

    • Shanon Brooks
      Oct 27, 2011

      Leslie,

      We are grateful for you words and your emotion. As Franklin once said, ” We must either hang together, or we will most assuredly hang separately.”

  11. Kent Taylor
    Oct 26, 2011

    I am outraged and appalled by this entire ordeal. This is something we can’t just look the other way on. This is our country and our land and our bodies. Our families. I wrote this great letter and it was eraised due to some error. I’m tired and have to leave in the morning for a huge job, but this is so important. I hope I do the first letter justice. Are we gonna sit back and hope someone else will something about this for us or are we gonna stand up for our rights as US citizens. Truth, Justice, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s time to be one nation under God, With liberty and justice for all. It’s time to stand and be counted. The Lord giveth and the government taketh away. Let your voice be heard. Say NO MORE. We can grow our own food if we choose, have babies at home if we choose, eat what we choose, and We are free not under a totaliterain dictatorship, but a democracy. Why did our ancestors come here? What will they take next if we don’t rise to the occassion? Guns, You can’t discipline your children according to Gods word. You can’t grow luminous crops. You can’t have a garden. You can’t live so long is basically what their saying. Read between the lines and answer the call your future generations depend on it. Fight the good fight, get involved in your local government, right letters to your congressman, your state reps, and your local news papers, post on line. Life is not so busy you can’t take a few minutes here and there to respond. It’s your duty as US citizens to make a difference. This is starting to feel like communism. What will it take to wake the sleeping giant. Wake up sleeping nation before it’s to late and be heard. There is power in numbers. Make others aware, give to futher the cause, time, money, whatever it takes, but the time is NOW!!! The big demon monsanto is trying to corner the market on our food supply and they when to the united nations to get it done because they couldn’t do it here. Now we’re stuck with some of that garabage. Don’t let someone else choose for you any longer. Be yourself and let freedom ring. This is a very condenced version of what I said before but make no mistake if we do not come together now we are in for a huge train wreck of mass proportion. This is your wake up call. STAND!!!! Be bold, and be heard. Make your voices heard.

    • Sherry Hunter
      Oct 27, 2011

      Very well said, Kent! 100% agree with everything you’ve said.

    • Shanon Brooks
      Oct 27, 2011

      Kent,

      We hear you loud and clear. Your words are echos of The Revolutionary Writings of John Adams.

      This is not over. The Bledsoe’s are plenty upset and are taking measures to end the tyranny in Nevada. They need all of us to pass this blog along to others.

      • Victor
        Oct 27, 2011

        Yes, we need to pass this blog along, but I wish there was a Facebook account specifically for supporting Quail Hollow Farm. Then it truely could go viral.

        This could not have come at a better time to fully enrage all American citizens.

        Farmageddon has been released.

        Michael Schmidt is on day 28 of his hunger strike.

        “Raw Milk Freedom Riders” will be protesting in front of the FDA headquarters on Nov. 1. Michael Schmidt will speak if he’s not too weak. Joel Salatin will speak. Mark McAfee will speak. And food freedom heros…

        Interesting time ahead. Let’s go! Spread the word!

  12. Heather Shepherd
    Oct 27, 2011

    Love this. I am sharing this with everyone I know. I was appalled when I found out what happened. You have my families support.

    • Shanon Brooks
      Oct 27, 2011

      Heather,

      This is not a new struggle. Historically it only has a good ending when the people are willing to pay the price for liberty every generation. This is not a national struggle, but rather it is a local one. The nation is a reflection of the sum of the local entities.

      May God bless all of us in the struggle for the right to live our lives as we see fit.

  13. Meredith
    Oct 27, 2011

    What an outrage. I was nearly in tears at the outrageousness of the official but even more so at the redemption of the evening by all the guests present. Seems that the evening was a demonstration of the worst and the BEST of this nation.
    I’m from Oregon and enjoy the amazing food grown by your friend Vernie & Willium of C’est Naturelle Farms. This has been a gem of a find and we must all work together to assure this type of food as available to all who want it.

    • Shanon Brooks
      Oct 27, 2011

      Meredith,

      Vernie and Will are friends of mine. How truly lucky you are to be blessed by their passion.

      This is real and in our face…right now. I don’t see it going away any time soon.

  14. Candy Kinser
    Oct 27, 2011

    Dear Friends,

    Thank-you for your courage to live a life that blesses us all. Thank-you for going through that nightmare so that we can all unite and stand together. May God continue to bless you in your great work.

  15. alicia
    Oct 27, 2011

    Laura and Monte,
    I am so sorry to hear what happened at your farm. It is heart warming to hear that your community pulled together! Thank you for bringing this to public attention Shannon. I hope that more people continue to become involved so that our grandchildren will have the right to food freedom.
    Alicia

  16. Sally_Oh
    Oct 28, 2011

    The feds may not step food on your property without the county sheriff’s permission and accompaniment. The feds have no jurisdiction in the state without that permission and without the sheriff being there with them. Please give your sheriff Sheriff Mack’s book written to educate sheriffs on this point of fact.

    You are very lucky to have local law enforcement on your side. Many of us do not. We are working to rectify that!

    • Shanon Brooks
      Oct 28, 2011

      I agree. We all need to learn the law and then use it.

  17. Derek
    Oct 28, 2011

    I am a small raw milk (Real Milk) in Kentucky. I deliver to several buying clubs in the state. One of the clubs was one day visited by the health dept. and the milk was sealed up under quarantine. Talking to one of the club administrators, our first emotions were shock, then anger, then defiance! We decided to defy the order. They Ripped! the seals off the coolers of milk and allowed the club members to get the milk from the cows they lease. We then followed up with a barrage of calls to legislators, and a spot on a local radio talk show. Within days the health dept. rescinded the order (didn’t matter much the milk was gone) and they have since went away with their tails tucked between their legs.
    We need to realize the legal system will not help us. Look at the ruling from the Wisconsin judge in which he states that we have no right to own a cow and drink milk from the cow we own! Soon after this ruling, he went to work for a law firm that represents Monsanto (Monsatan).
    Stand up for your rights and don’t be bullied! I will not allow them to take my livelihood without a fight. They attacked our families! What greater responsibility do we have than to take care of our children and feed them healthy nutrient dense food! They can’t put all of us in jail!

  18. Reginald Hughes
    Oct 28, 2011

    Hi Quail Hollow Farm,
    I serve on the board of a Utah-based healthcare company. A few days ago, one of the board members suggested that we consider expanding operations into Las Vegas. Having just read your report, I’m going to suggest to the board that we look more carefully at the Nevada Dept of Health’s attitude towards health-related businesses before giving further consideration to this board member’s proposal.

    I’m sorry that you were treated with such indiscretion by someone who surely does not understand the meaning of public service.

    Reginald (“Reggie”) Hughes

    • Shanon Brooks
      Oct 28, 2011

      Thanks Reggie. It is really an issue of public awareness. If we are all more aware of what is happening and hold public servants accountable at every turn this will become a thing of the past.

      It is ultimate a public responsibility to hold government accountable.

  19. Danika
    Oct 29, 2011

    Wow, absolutely ridiculous! What a beautiful community of friends who would help make the situation better as well. What wonderful policemen that although they are required to enforce laws realize that many are idiotic. My spouse and much of his squad have to fight for people’s rights on a daily basis. Thank heaven that there are so many who work with him that understand. Thanks for great people who are still willing to grow real food and share it with others. I can’t imagine a world without real food, real farms and real cooking! Now what fun it would be if you had some Nourishing Traditions fermentations going on in the kitchen at the same time. :)

    http://gotpetroleum.blogspot.com/

  20. Douglas Farris
    Oct 29, 2011

    I did not say any thing when they came for the foodies
    because I was not a foodie…

    Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten,
    habe ich geschwiegen;
    ich war ja kein Kommunist.

    Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten,
    habe ich geschwiegen;
    ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.

    Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten,
    habe ich nicht protestiert;
    ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.

    Als sie die Juden holten,
    habe ich geschwiegen;
    ich war ja kein Jude.

    Als sie mich holten,
    gab es keinen mehr, der protestierte.

  21. Tatiana Covington
    Oct 29, 2011

    You should have just had your meals anyway, whether she liked it or not. Also, you should have taken her phone (to let her see how it feels) and then physically thrown her out! Your lives are your own. Live them as you will.

  22. William Faust
    Oct 29, 2011

    Consider voting for, and donating to, the uber-liberty and anti-war candidate for President, Ron Paul. He is a staunch advocate for and defender of one’s right to grow and sell foods to consumers, and to buy and consume whatever foods one may choose, without interference by the fedgov’s FDA. Help get this mess straightened out at the federal level and then the tenor of state and local jurisdictions will doubtless also change for the better.

    • Shanon Brooks
      Oct 29, 2011

      Ron. P. does say a lot that makes sense.

  23. amanda wynant
    Oct 30, 2011

    this is why i’m a small-government-loving, hardcore libertarian. i love freedom, the constitution and choices. down with big government telling me what to put in my body, how to care for my children and what i should do about my own healthcare! ‘big brother’ thinks we are all too stupid to think for ourselves.
    this story is completely appalling. i’m so sad to hear those people were bullied into thinking they really had to pour bleach on their own food and throw it out. is this America?!

    • Shanon Brooks
      Oct 30, 2011

      Amanda,

      You are talking to the right crowd. I am tackling the problem via alternative higher education founded on the methods and culture used during our country’s founding. http://www.monticellocollege.org.

  24. Don Cordell
    Oct 31, 2011

    At the home of my Great Grandfathers uncle The Huddleston House in Mt Auburn, IN does this farm meal bit every weekend. Food cooked in an open fireplace and served like 1840 style. Everyone loves this. But in Dekalb Co, Ga it’s a $5000. fine to share farm food from your garden with neighbors. Do you really want to Restore not Change America? then you have a choice next November. Stop electing Republicans and Democrats or you will continue to lose this nation. I hope if you click on my name it will take you to my website, if not just Google I’ll restore not change America, and my website will show up. Lets retake control of our nation before we’ve lost everything. Stand up and fight. Do not surrender, or we’ve lost everything.

    • Don Cordell
      Oct 31, 2011

      If the Bledsoe’s ancestors are from Orange Co, IN they may be related to me.

    • Shanon Brooks
      Nov 1, 2011

      Don,
      I appreciate your efforts on behalf of liberty and restoring America to her former principles.

  25. Becky B
    Oct 31, 2011

    I am a former resident of Nevada who is currently living in Virginia. Last week I bought my 1/4 cow from Polyface, and I learned about the CSA movement in New York State 14 years earlier. I source food from 3 different farms and in years I’m not too busy as a midwifery student I grow my own vegetables. I am astounded that through someone’s hard work, they are able to make the beautiful desert blossom into a CSA based organic farm. I am so excited for your success. I am so sorry for your violation, and I add my voice to those who object to the constantly closer and closer infringement of our rights. I have posted your blog on my FB. These stories need to get out!

    • Shanon Brooks
      Nov 1, 2011

      Becky,

      Thanks for your support. Julia and I chose home birth for 5 out of 6 of our children, the last 5, and we would do it again, a hundred times over.

  26. Gary B.
    Nov 1, 2011

    I find this issue to be more about food preperation for pay than an attack on small farmers. This being said food services are regulated by the health department. Ridding this country of valuable services that the USDA and the health Dept. provide would have catastrophic consequences when dealing with commercial companies who primary goals are profits. I understand that you would like to promote your farm by showing the very best that it has to offer, but the need to hire a great chef and high end resteraunts to prepare your meal seems to be unnesseccery when you may have been able to hire a local catering company that would have already been cleared by the health department.

    • Shanon Brooks
      Nov 1, 2011

      Gary,

      Thanks for your input. I think the real issue here is the heavy handed manner used by the Health Department, for which they have since grudgingly apologized.

      We can only speculate how things would be if we did not have these top-down regulatory agencies. In my experience, I have never suffered from food poisoning or any other food-born illness while eating in other people’s homes (which I do a lot of). I have however, suffered from food poisoning from meals prepared by certified caters and there are plenty of accounts, many nationally known, of large corporate farms and restaurant changes poisoning their customers with some resulting in death.

      Those food providers such as moms and grandmothers who prepare meals for their own families or the likes of Chef Gio, who feel it is calling to provide beautiful and nutritious food set a natural standard for themselves that will never be exceeding by large bureaucratic governmental agency who have no connection to the people they are suppose to serve. Many of the accepted practices of food providers are on the verge of criminal, but they are endorsed by the government so they are assumed healthy by an unassuming population.

      Why does the government act as if I am not intelligent enough to make my own food choices? For the government to forceable treat me as a child is a fulfillment of Tocqueville when he said:

      “Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing.

      For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?”

      • John in Tennessee
        Nov 4, 2011

        Stumbled on this from Lew Rockwell.com

        Glad that you could make the best of the situation. The inspector and health dept. had an obvious agenda in the meeting. Glad to see she was turned away eventually after asking the few good questions. I’m disheartened with the reading, as I realize the US is going to have to come back to this style of sustenance at one point in the future. The activities of this farm should be embraced all the way to the top of executive leadership, but leadership will never tell it like it is. That it’s ok to aspire to self sustainability. That it should be every family’s goal. I’m glad to know there are places like Quail Hollow Farm out there. I make it to the local farmers market weekly, and am looking to find a plot of land to start a kitchen garden of my own. I’ll get there soon…

        • Shanon Brooks
          Nov 16, 2011

          Good luck and keep your eye on the prize…

  27. Cowboy
    Nov 10, 2011

    News is spreading guys,

    Government Raids Organic Farm, Picnic Organizer Forced To Pour Bleach On Organic Food

    http://www.ufo-blogger.com/2011/11/government-raids-organic-farm-picnic.html

  28. Frank T. Skirpan, DC
    Nov 12, 2011

    During WWII 60% of all produce was grown in the yards of average American citizens in Victory Gardens. Before Corporate Food can lock up the monopoly on the food market they must destroy the average American’s right and ability to produce and share food. Corporate Food does not consider this to be a conspiracy. To them it’s a business plan. Our vigilance is required. Not by rioting in our cities, but by speaking out and voting in our town halls. And resisting every attempt of local bureaucracy to usurp our natural rights. We must realize that each and every event such as this is part of a great struggle for liberty. Everyone, be prepared! Have video capability available at all times. Have a phone daisy chain prepared that can be activated with one phone call, brining everyone on the chain to the point of contact to witness the oppression. At this stage of the struggle we can beat back the local usurpers if we can show our communities the face of the enemy and the practices of tyranny they employ. Godspeed to all.

    • Shanon Brooks
      Dec 20, 2011

      Very practical advise. Let’s all employ these ideas.

  29. Pennie Rumsey
    Dec 8, 2011

    Dear Dr. Brooks,

    I was directed to an article in the Moapa Valley Progress from the SNH printed yesterday. Here’s the link:
    http://mvprogress.com/2011/12/07/letter-snhd-did-not-crash-a-private-party/

    I am very concerned about this line, “Government inspectors have absolute power and entry to private and public domain to perform their duties.”

    Is this true?

    Pennie

    • Shanon Brooks
      Dec 20, 2011

      No it is not. In the case of the Bledsoe’s as soon as they asked her for a warrant, she said she did not have one, they requested that she leave and she did, expecting the police to escort her if she didn’t.

  30. Shanon Brooks
    Dec 20, 2011

    Thanks Tractor, I appreciate it.

  31. Shanon Brooks
    Dec 21, 2011

    Glad to be of help.

  32. Shanon Brooks
    Dec 21, 2011

    Thanks for the praise. We are all in this together.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Does an American Have the Right to Choose? - [...] for the freedoms that we have been afforded since the founding of our great nation, then please  read this …
  2. Tilling Fields of Stone : Real Food Farming - [...] Then I watched the videos of the raid, the responses of the Quail Hollow farm members and I ask …
  3. RIDICULOUS: Nevada Health Inspector shuts down farm dinner. This just happened October 21, 2011. Wow. | Pumpkin Village Foods - [...] Read the full story here [...]
  4. Karen De Coster » No Freedom of ‘Farm to Fork’ - [...] You can read about this raid here. [...]
  5. Militant Libertarian » No Freedom of ‘Farm to Fork’ - [...] called off and the food be thrown away. The food was not consumable becau&#...: 1. …
  6. FreeWestRadio.com » Blog Archive » No Freedom of ‘Farm to Fork’ - [...] Prior to the dinner, Monte and Laura were contacted by the Nevada Health Department and they were told they …

Submit a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.