Four Acres and Independence – A Self-Sufficient Farmstead

Watch this Thursday at 7:00 pm and next Tuesday at 3:30 pm on Nevada County Television (Channel 11), or simulcast on the internet.

by Janaia Donaldson

Take a tour, accompanied by curious sheep, of Mark Cooper’s self-sufficient small farm in Rough and Ready. Over several years, he transformed a rundown house and hillsides covered with berry brambles into pasture and gardens where he produces and preserves most of his family’s food.

Mark Cooper of Rough and Ready

Visit the Goose Grotto in a constructed pond, a heritage fruit tree orchard, oak logs producing shiitake mushrooms, and a cheap-and-easy container kitchen garden. All with the basic how-to’s for producing this abundance.

Mark gives us a closeup tour of the solar dehydrator he constructed from salvaged materials, along with his tips on food drying. He has husbanded up to fifty animals at a time, including two Tibetan yaks! This farmstead in Rough and Ready lives up to its name — and is a testament to hard work, wide-ranging construction skills, and love. (Peak Moment episode 168).

The program airs Thursday March 11 at 7:00 pm and Tuesday March 16 at 3:30 pm on comcast channel 11, Suddenlink channel 16 or simulcast live at The program will be on the Peak Moment website in about a month.


Janaia Donaldson

Peak Moment: Locally Reliant Living for Challenging Times is an online television series showcasing people creating engaging lives and resilient communities for a more sustainable, lower-energy future.

164 programs are online at conversations and are cablecast on about fifty community access TV stations nationwide. Peak Moment Television is produced by Robyn Mallgren and Janaia Donaldson, Yuba Gals Independent Media of Nevada City, California.

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