This Valhalla Project blog provides updates on the 200-acre pilot property in the Ozark mountains with information on construction, farming,
animal husbandry, and future energy programs. Valhalla has established a very special retreat and reintegration facility for post-911 combat
veterans and war zone civilian workers transitioning back into the civilian world; see our "Valhalla Vision" page for an overview.

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page for more detailed information about the Valhalla Project
and how to apply.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Day 4 of the Valhalla Project's Homesteading Marathon:


* * *
The Valhalla Project needs your help and support
We need YOUR help to keep Valhalla functioning efficiently - while at the same time expanding vitally important programs to assist post-9/11 combat Soldiers and war zone civilian workers to transition back into the civilian world. 


The Valhalla Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity recognized by the IRS.
Nobody, including cadre or board members, draws a paycheck here, nor will they ever: we simply give everything we have to make Valhalla possible. 100% of your donation via Paypal will go directly to program expenses, period. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Marathon DAY THREE: PREDATORS (part 1 of 2)

Valhalla's Homesteading Marathon, DAY 3 (Predators, part 1 of 2)


* * *
The Valhalla Project needs your help and support
We need YOUR help to keep Valhalla functioning efficiently - while at the same time expanding vitally important programs to assist post-9/11 combat Soldiers and war zone civilian workers to transition back into the civilian world. 


The Valhalla Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity recognized by the IRS.
Nobody, including cadre or board members, draws a paycheck here, nor will they ever: we simply give everything we have to make Valhalla possible. 100% of your donation via Paypal will go directly to program expenses, period. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Valhalla's Homesteading Marathon, DAY TWO:



* * *
The Valhalla Project needs your help and support
We need YOUR help to keep Valhalla functioning efficiently - while at the same time expanding vitally important programs to assist post-9/11 combat Soldiers and war zone civilian workers to transition back into the civilian world. 


The Valhalla Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity recognized by the IRS.
Nobody, including cadre or board members, draws a paycheck here, nor will they ever: we simply give everything we have to make Valhalla possible. 100% of your donation via Paypal will go directly to program expenses, period. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Homesteading Marathon DAY ONE

The Valhalla Project's Homesteading Marathon is finally underway! We're uploading daily updates to Facebook since YouTube seems to take a lot longer, and the rules of the Marathon limit us to just two hours online daily. Take a look:





* * *
The Valhalla Project needs your help and support
We need YOUR help to keep Valhalla functioning efficiently - while at the same time expanding vitally important programs to assist post-9/11 combat veterans and war zone civilian workers to transition back into the civilian world. 


The Valhalla Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity recognized by the IRS.
Nobody, including cadre or board members, draws a paycheck here, nor will they ever: 
we simply give everything we have to make Valhalla possible. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Valhalla Homesteading Marathon announcement


THE VALHALLA PROJECT IS SHUTTING DOWN!! No, there's no way we're quitting the proven, tested Valhalla Project program itself: instead,we're locking our gates (no exit or entry, with exceptions granted only for qualified combat veterans) while conducting an unprecedented 30-day "field training exercise" on homestead readiness.

This special exercise is part of a new outreach effort to inform post-9/11 combat veterans who are interested in homesteading. For more than three years now the Valhalla Project has been talking the homesteading talk. Now we're testing: can we walk the walk ourselves -- while also reaching out to and inviting curious, qualified combat veterans to walk that walk along with us this coming month (or any time during the New Year of 2015)?

Are we ready in case an emergency event isolates us here? What about our ability to support and engage transitioning veterans who may be here at the time? We're going "hot" with the exercise in order to find out, while at the same time continuing to maintain and build facilities on the 200 acre Valhalla Project property as a special haven for combat veterans who are transitioning to their new civilian lives.

Dedicated combat veterans all over the nation who are determined to raise awareness about veteran issues have climbed mountains, run for thousands of miles, hitchhiked cross country, and much more. The Valhalla Project founders are translating those initiatives into action through a unique outreach campaign that embraces the challenges involved with simply staying in place with no outside services at all and relying exclusively on the wild life, farm animals, and what is already on hand.

Thirty days of near-total isolation: no shopping or deliveries, no Google or Amazon or (gasp!) even Netflix, enduring intermittent power outages (for 24 hours each Friday), and making it with what we have on hand. Will we run short of something? Discover critical needs? Going to the field with the plan is the first step in learning what works and what areas still need attention.

YOU can be a part of the exercise even if you're not here. How? By contributing suggestions and ideas before the FTX begins, and by following our daily text and video reports as we progress.

And, yes, you can be a part of the FTX on the ground if you wish to join, participate, learn, and contribute. All qualified vets and combat zone civilians are welcome: just contact us for details.

Exercise kickoff date is exactly one week from now, on 15 December, terminating on 15 January (Christmas and New Years Eve included).Tomorrow we will post the long list of rules for this very unique outreach effort to connect with individual veterans. Those who are leaving the military, interested in what it takes to start a homestead, or perhaps looking for a special place to spend the holidays are welcome to join us. They will help themselves, their buddies, and future generations of America's combat veterans.

Keep watching for much, much more to come in the next few days before the Valhalla Project Homesteading Marathon is launched on December 15th!


* * *
The Valhalla Project needs your help and support
We need YOUR help to keep Valhalla functioning efficiently - while at the same time expanding vitally important programs to assist post-9/11 combat veterans and war zone civilian workers to transition back into the civilian world. 


The Valhalla Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity recognized by the IRS.
Nobody, including cadre or board members, draws a paycheck here, nor will they ever: 
we simply give everything we have to make Valhalla possible. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Greetings From a Valhallan in Iraq


One of our Valhalla participants, Erik, returned to work in Iraq last month and sent the following picture with Thanksgiving greetings this morning:

Erik with his new pet turkey Sarah.
He is one of the Valhalla participants who
retired from the military but returned
to service as a civilian contractor
now working in Iraq.
Wanted to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here in Iraq. I had never once before encountered Turkey's until I began to visit the Valhalla Project and they have truly earned a special place in my heart. This year, despite humanely preparing 3 Turkey's for dinner we decided to adopt one, an adult Female we named Sarah. 

Through Valhalla Project I learned to respect and appreciate this magnificent bird whom Benjamin Franklin advocated to be our National Bird prior to the Bald Eagle becoming officially recognized. Truly remarkable animals. We intended to locate a Tom for Sarah and breed her. She will be loved and well taken care of by my team and support staff.


Happy Thanksgiving!


Please stay safe over there Erik!!!

* * *
The Valhalla Project needs your help and support
We need YOUR help to keep Valhalla functioning efficiently - while at the same time expanding vitally important programs to assist post-9/11 combat veterans and war zone civilian workers to transition back into the civilian world. 


The Valhalla Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity recognized by the IRS.
Nobody, including cadre or board members, draws a paycheck here, nor will they ever: 
we simply give everything we have to make Valhalla possible. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Special from Valhalla Part 3

Thanksgiving Essays – part 3

Turkeys as companion birds, check. Turkeys as food birds. Check. In helps to remind that while were talking turkey here in keeping with the spirit of the season, that these thoughts pertain to all of the birds here at Valhalla. We don’t want midnight visits from the chickens and ducks that might have felt slighted.

Yesterday when I glanced out to the high ground behind the main house I noticed a turkey hen quietly walking along, casually picking here and there at the ground. It took a moment to realize that this wasn’t one of our gang, but a wild bird crossing through the area looking for mast. With a combination of primarily hardwoods on the property we tend to be loaded in the fall with acorns, hickory nuts, and walnuts scattered about. Prime grazing for our birds as well as the wild flocks that occasionally drift over the farm.

Life is short, so this is a cut-and-paste from our
November 9th Facebook entry:

Terror attack last night at Valhalla, and a very loud
reminder that "Free-Ranging ISN'T Free." Just about
every Soldier, Marine, and post-9/11 veteran who
has spent time here anytime since last spring will
certainly remember Speckles, the most friendly and
curious turkey hen on this property. She's still alive
as of this writing but remains in severe shock and
pretty much shredded after an apparent owl attack
that took place sometime before dawn this morning.
We have no idea why she didn't show up to dinner or
go to bed inside the safety of the Quonsets with all
her buddies last night as usual, but from the
widespread locations of the clumps of her feathers it
seems clear that she was hit down by Valkyrie's Villa
in the garden first, then hit probably from above
again three or four times again before finally making
it over the orchard fence to Hospital Row. Gordon
found Speckles crammed between the units there
right outside BlineGai's apartment; she collapsed into
his arms and he quickly rushed her off to Goat Manor
and treated her wounds with first aid spray. She was
doing alright after he let her go but then the rest of her
own flock saw the blood a little while later and attacked
(birds will do this to any of their own wounded -- rotten
bastards aren't human, after all). I ran over and poor
beat-up Speckles ran to hide behind me, I scooped her
up and threw her to safety inside an empty Quonset unit
up by the Ram Cabana yard. 
Unfortunately wild turkeys, red and gray squirrels, and rabbits are not the only creatures that come to Valhalla looking for a meal. (And, no, I’m not referring to the bunch of Cav guys who came here with massive appetites!) On the grim side we also play reluctant host to a wide variety of native predatory animals who find that domestic birds are tasty and easy prey.

Since we established Valhalla we have been visited by puma, bobcat, raccoon (the worst predator), opossum, skunk, foxes, and owls. Fortunately the lion was simply movin’ down the road and frightened a visitor who stumbled across it, but did no harm. All of the others have struck, some many times.

Chris’s point of view is that we have 200 acres of which less than 3 acres are currently used by humans and domestic poultry and livestock. With 197 acres of their own plus neighbors’ land to roam, any predator we catch invading thereby becomes a target. Before we received our Great Pyrenees dog, Sadie, every night presented a target-rich environment.

Prior to Sadie’s joining us, courtesy of Kenn and his wife Janet, it was an all-to-frequent occurrence for Chris to be startled out of a sound sleep by me leaping

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Week Special from Valhalla - Part 2


Healing sometimes looks like this... says a
"Dirty Bird" here at Valhalla. Sometimes it all
comes down to getting back to basics along with
a heavy dose of peace, quiet, and new pleasant
experiences. At the same time comes the
age-old question: "What's for dinner, and if
the 'What' is in fact a 'Who,' then WHY?" 
In the last installment of this Valhalla 2014 Thanksgiving Week Special Series we spoke of the amazing way that poultry – Valhalla’s turkeys, ducks, and chickens – interact with combat veterans as impromptu therapy companions. In effect they become pets: for example our two older turkey toms who enjoy displaying their glorious feathers all day, BlindGai and Speckles the turkey hens, Betty and Florence the two chicken hens, Stripes and Franzel the roosters, and Erica and Lavender duck hens. They are all personable characters who have endeared themselves to us and all participating Valhallans. And there are many more.

That begs the question: can you name your animals and harvest them for food in a classic homestead operation, while you still have some as therapy animals and even pets? We frequently get that question. Essentially our reply is that while it is highly unlikely that we will ever harvest the most valued therapy animals and genuine pets for food unless in dire emergency, that part of the whole self-reliance, independent living, homestead life here are intricately tied to a realistic appraisal of what the chain of life involves.

Essentially that means, if we are going to be honest with ourselves, we must at the very least recognize where our nourishment originates and respect the sacrifice that those birds and animals make on our behalf. That means that we