Wife Swap


New Member
No.. not what you think!!

Did anyone catch the show Monday night????? It was just starting when I got home and it was pretty unbelievable. I have seen the show before, but this one family Monday night takes the cake as far as wacko's are concerned. Here is their info.. If you happened to see these wacko's the other night speak up. It was all I could do not to puke!!

The Haigwood Family


We are a self-sufficient, hard-working, and extremely frugal farm family. We make our own raw butter, raw cheese and yogurt, and eat all our food raw. We raise our own chickens and cows, and we eat their meat raw as well, several times a day.

My husband Mike chose our all-raw diet because we believe cooked foods are the cause of most health problems. Only raw food-and especially raw meat-can provide our bodies with the kind of potent bacteria necessary to cleanse our systems of the environmental toxins and the damage that come from years of eating cooked foods. We follow the diet because we want to be in charge of our health. We've been on it for a year now and are happy with how we look and feel. Bacteria is our friend! People who obsessively clean their homes and make their kids wash their hands all the time are wasting their time. At the Haigwood home we love bacteria-just take a look in our fridge, which resembles a giant lab project!

Our entire family works hard at being self-sufficient in order to live securely and not have to rely on anyone else for our basic needs. If a disaster were to happen, we have everything necessary to survive for months, maybe even a year, right here on our 320 acre farm. We're 90 miles from the nearest big city, but we don't mind the rural lifestyle. It's a good way of keeping our children-13 year old Aleesha and 15 year old Lee--away from all of the negative influences of city life.

We don't send our children to school. We don't home-school them either. We "unschool" them. "Unschooling" allows them to choose and pursue the subjects they're interested in instead of being bored by pointless spelling tests and math workbooks. Working on the farm is the perfect environment for Aleesha and Lee to learn everything they need to be fully prepared for the future. Besides, formal schooling is often more about needless socialization than real learning.

We don't spend money on frivolous items, like new clothes. We only buy simple, second-hand clothes, such as work clothes and house dresses I always wear. I own one formal dress, no make-up, and I've never had a manicure. We like to say that the cows don't care what we look like!

Running the farm and adhering to our raw diet are very time-consuming. When I'm not milking the cows, I'm in the kitchen for about six hours a day, making our food from scratch. Mike spends much of his day working off the farm as a land technician. I don't mind all the hard work-it's my role as a woman, wife, and mother. Mike and I have very clear roles in our household. We believe that a man is better suited to outdoor tasks because of his strength, while a woman is better suited to the demands of running a household. Mike calls me his "Prairie Wife" and I love it. Ultimately, we work as a team and get everything done.

We are the Haigwoods: Barbara (37), Michael (39), Lee (15), Aleesha (13)


What are your views on cleaning?
Cleaning is a pain in the butt! The cleanliness of our house is not a major concern for us. Living on a farm makes cleaning difficult anyway because we're always bringing in manure and bacteria on our shoes and clothes. I'm never bothered by it though because we believe bacteria is our friend! We love it! It cleanses our bodies and builds our immune systems. People who obsessively clean their houses are wasting their time and cheating their bodies.

As the women of the house, Aleesha and I are responsible for whatever cleaning and straightening does get done. Nothing has "its place" in our house. We use our mud boots everyday, so they're kept by the door, permanently. I use the food processor numerous times a day, so it's always out on the table. I don't waste valuable time hiding things away in my house just so it can appear to be neat and tidy.


What are the kids forbidden to do?
We don't have to forbid our children from doing anything. They know what we expect from them and rarely do they let us down. We haven't found the need to use serious disciplinary action because we have been training our children since they were babies to be respectful and responsible. The kind of work they do on the farm is very hard and very time consuming. Lee, for example, spends over 6 hours a day doing various chores outside. They don't have time to do anything wrong!

How do you discipline the kids?
The "Fine Jar" is a tool we use to show the kids both the value of a dollar and to rid them of some bad habits. For example, if Lee leaves his dirty dish in the living room and I find it, he is charged $1. If the gate to the cow pen is left open, which may result in a cow getting loose, a $5 fine is charged. We pay the kids for the extra chores they do around the farm. They aren't happy if they lose their hard-earned money due to a fine. Unfortunately, Mike and I make the same mistakes, so the kids charge us fines as well. We're all frugal with our money and don't want to give it away, so this teaches us to be more careful.

What rooms(s) do you eat your meals in?
We eat in the living room on the couch. We do have a dining room table, which is also in the living room, but it's covered with reading material and other things we use on a daily basis.

Does your partner ever cook?
We never cook any of our food. We eat all our food raw, including raw beef and raw chicken.

I spend at least 6 hours a day in the kitchen, and that isn't even enough time for me to finish everything. You would think that by eating our meat raw we would save time, but the process of killing, draining, skinning, and filleting a chicken takes a long time. Adhering to our raw diet also means I spend hours every day making homemade cheese, yogurt, and butter, preparing fruit and vegetable shakes, and scraping out coconuts to make coconut cream.

I don't mind all the difficult work, and gratefully, Aleesha does a lot and Mike is helpful, too. This diet keeps us healthy and fuels our self-sufficiency.

Do you all eat the same meals? If not, explain.
We don't eat the same meals because we each require different nutrients in our bodies at different times and have personalized the diet accordingly. For example, when Lee wakes up, he eats cheese and honey butter followed by 4 raw eggs eaten in intervals during the next hour. An hour later he eats a raw meat meal. When I wake up, I have homemade coconut cream and 8-12oz of vegetable juice. An hour later, I eat a raw meat meal. Because timing is very important in our diet, I have to constantly remind the kids and Mike when it's time to pop a raw egg or have a spoonful of raw honey-butter.

How often do you eat fast food? What kind do you eat?
We never eat fast food. Fast food is the part of what we call SAD-the "sad American diet." It's one of the many things wrong with America today.

How often do you eat out at restaurants? Where do you go? Do you take the kids?
We never go to restaurants because there aren't any capable of meeting the requirements of our diet.


How often do you go grocery shopping? When do you go?
I grocery shop every Tuesday. I have to drive an hour and a half to get to stores that have what I need. Most of what I buy is organic fruits and vegetables that we can't grow on the farm. I go to two different stores to find all the organic and raw products for a reasonable price. Once a month I pick up certain organic products like toilet paper and dish soap, which are the only non-food grocery items I buy at a store.

Does your partner help with the grocery shopping?
Mike doesn't help with the grocery shopping because he is at work when I do it.



What time do you usually get up?
I get up twice every morning. My alarm goes off first at 2AM so that I can get Mike and the kids up to eat a cup of yogurt or kefir. If we don't eat every 5 hours each of their bodies will go into an anorexic state and start eating itself. We may be half asleep, but we know it's important for our health.

After the 2AM feeding, I go back to bed, and Mike and I wake up again at 6AM to start the day, though we don't get out of bed until 7AM. Communication is important to us, so we use this first hour of the day to talk to one another. We might talk about a dream we had, plans for the day or anything that is on our minds. It's our hour.

What is your morning routine, including breakfast?
I get out of bed by 7:00AM and make Mike's lunch for work. Then I have my raw green drink--celery, parsley, cucumber and zucchini blended together--while Mike has his cheese, honey butter, and raw meat meal.

I wake Aleesha up by 8AM which is about when Mike leaves for work. Lee wakes himself up at 6:30AM and starts his chores by 8:00AM. Aleesha starts her kitchen chores after having her morning meal of cheese, honey-butter and raw meat. She also prepares Lee's morning raw meat meal in trade for him bringing her blind cow in to be milked.

The morning is crazy because there are chores to be done and our strict diet to follow, so I always have to remind the kids to come in and eat a raw egg when they need to. I start milking the cows by 9:00AM, and that usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour. I milk 5 cows, and depending on where a cow is in her lactation cycle, a milking can take 20 minutes or 5 minutes. To start the flow and clear any debris, I have to milk each quarter by hand. The cats love it because they get to drink the warm milk!

We are very careful to clean each cow teat before milking so that manure, hair or other foreign bodies don't get into the milk. Lee is always around to help bring the milk pans in, but for the most part, our 15 farm cats keep me company, jumping on me in hopes of getting some fresh warm milk.

Do you ever get to sleep in?
I never sleep in. It would be nice, but there aren't enough hours in the day already!


What do you do during the day?
I usually spend about 6 hours in the kitchen each day, depending on what foods need to be made. There are certain things that must be done every day like straining the raw milk, separating cream, making butter, blending shakes and juice and making yogurt and custard. I make cheese every other day, the process takes a couple of hours. I also make coconut cream, but luckily, the family helps out with that time-consuming task. I've perfected the art of doing five things at once, but it is overwhelming at times. While doing my thing in the kitchen, I also keep an eye on the kids to make sure they are eating what is required from their diet and getting their chores done.

The kids have many chores, and I have to help them stay on task. Lee is responsible for cleaning out the chicken house, feeding chickens, collecting eggs, taking hay out to the pastures, bringing the cows in for milking, carrying the full milk pans into the house and chopping wood. Aleesha is responsible for washing dishes and jars, unloading and reloading the dishwasher, cleaning the kitchen floors, feeding the dogs, taking care of her horses, making Lee's raw meat meal, and helping me with the laundry.

Both kids are responsible for making sure that the scrap bucket gets dumped. I use the scrap bucket in the kitchen to collect pieces of meat, egg shells and chicken bones. If this doesn't get done, both kids have to pay a fine to the fine jar.

Do the kids have any extra classes or activities after school? Who takes them and picks them up?
The kids don't have any traditional after-school activities where they're over-scheduled for museum trips and so-called cultural experiences. We believe in taking advantage of the culture rural life has to offer. Lee and Aleesha spend their extra time on their passions. Though he hasn't flown much, Lee is devoted to reading everything he can about flying. Aleesha has an "at home" horse-training manual that she follows which takes her step-by-step on the journey of getting to know her horse. She is close to being able to ride, but she isn't there yet.

How often do you speak to your children during the day?
We talk to one another all day long because it's just the three of us here on the farm--and animals of course!

Do you spend time without the children?
I'm away from the kids only once a week when I do the grocery shopping.


What time do you get home from work?
My home is my work! Even after hours in the kitchen I have a second milking to do at around 7PM.

What time do you eat dinner and who prepares it?
I usually eat a raw meat meal after I finish the evening milking. We each eat at different times according to what each person's body needs. Sitting down to eat a meal together is a very rare occasion. Because warm raw milk provides the same nutrients as a raw meat meal, sometimes Aleesha and Mike prefer to drink a glass of fresh raw milk. Aleesha cuts up raw chicken and beef for Lee so that when he comes in from helping me milk his raw meat meal is waiting for him.

When do the kids do their homework and who helps them?
The kids don't have homework because they don't go to school. But they're always learning--to be more self-sufficient, to maximize a dollar and that self worth is more important than vanity.

Do your kids have set bedtimes, and if you have teens, do they have curfews?
Mike and I never have to enforce bedtime. The kids work hard on the farm during the day and want to go to bed at a reasonable hour. They usually go to bed when I'm finished in the kitchen, around 10PM. They don't have a curfew because they don't go anywhere!

What is the bedtime routine with the kids?
When I'm finished in the kitchen, I come to the living room to turn off the TV. We don't have cable or satellite TV. We only get 5 channels, so no one really argues when it's time to turn the TV off. Lee is usually the first in bed. Aleesha is the last because her bedroom is in the basement where there's no heat, so after everyone else has gone to bed, she makes her bed on the living room couch where it's warmer.

What else do you do in the evenings from Monday through Friday?
I do the second milking between 6PM and 8PM. Mike gets home by 5:30PM, so he helps me most evenings. Then I strain the raw milk-we don't like to drink cow hair!--and jar it. I spend the rest of the evening making yogurt and kefir or finishing up kitchen chores I started during the day. While I am finishing things up, the rest of the family relaxes in front of the TV.

What time do you go to bed?
We go to bed around 10:00PM. Aleesha goes to bed last because she sleeps in the living room when it's too cold in the basement.


What do you do Saturday afternoon?
The cows don't take off on weekends, so neither do we! We are all up on Saturday by about 8AM, ready to start the morning's chores.

The only difference in our day is that Mike is home to help out with the milking, which is a real gift to me. The kids still have animals to feed, eggs to gather, horses to take care of, and dishes to wash. Whenever we are doing things in the house, we like listening to Scottish music. As Mike says, "bad Scottish music is better than good Rock and Roll."

What do you do Saturday evening?
Mike takes over the evening milking so that I can focus on the kitchen and get going making the coconut cream. Coconut cream is a staple of our diet, but cracking open coconuts and scraping them out is really time consuming, so the whole family helps. First, I go through the coconuts and taste the milk in order to find out which ones are good and which are bad. The kids find it funny when I get a bad one. It tastes horrible! The whole family helps out with the rest of the process so that it only takes a couple of hours to complete. We do this in the living room, so we watch TV while we make it.

What do you do Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon?
While the rest of the world is resting, we are working! If we're lazy, the animals won't get fed and the cows won't get milked. And then we won't have food to eat. It's as simple as that! Since Mike is home on Sunday, he helps with the chores that normally the kids and I would do ourselves. I spend most of the day making raw cheese, yogurt, raw shakes, straining raw milk and kefir, and separating cream. It's pretty much like any other day on the farm!

What do you do Sunday evening?
When all the chores are done, the kids and Mike like to get in a little TV time. I spend the evening in the kitchen fixing yogurt meals for the next morning. Mike likes to help me by labeling the lids. Aleesha helps with the clean-up before bedtime.


What kinds of things do you like to do when you go out as a couple?
Mike and I almost never go out as a couple. We're happiest at home with our children.

What kinds of things do you like to do when you go out as a family?
We aren't able to go out as much as we'd like. We have so much work on the farm, and so much to do to maintain our diet, that it's hard to leave. When we do go out, we go to a folk dance or visit family in other cities.

We have a lot of fun as a family right here on the farm. The kids enjoy playing "Farmer Golf," and we also like listening to Scottish music together.


What tips can you give for coping with your other half?
Remember that Mike is the traditional man of the house. The best tip I can give is to consult him before making a decision. Don't make decisions on your own because we do it as a team.

How do you like to be treated?
I like being treated as a traditional wife and mother. Those are the roles I'm meant to play in this family.

What happens when you and your partner disagree on something?
When Mike and I disagree, we yell and scream, and then we get over it. Whatever, it always gets resolved. It might take 30 minutes or a couple of hours, but we never go to bed without it being resolved. We are never rude or disrespectful to each other because we love each other.

What subject do you and your partner disagree on the most?
The only thing Mike and I disagree on is me not being organized enough. Sometimes he might be just trying to help, but I get defensive and accuse him of attacking me. Then he gets angry that I would think he would attack me, when in fact he loves me and is just trying to make me a better partner.


How much of a role does family play in your life?
One of our family philosophies is time invested in each other is an investment in the future. We work 7 days a week for one another and because of it we are almost 100% self-sufficient. The children's grandparents live an hour and a half away, so they see them every once in awhile. Living so far from everyone makes seeing anyone on a regular basis difficult.

10) PETS

How many pets do you have and what do they require?
We have 1 indoor/outdoor cat, 2 dogs, 5 horses, 12 ducks, 15 farm cats, 50 sheep, 50 beef cattle, 10 milking cows, over 125 chickens and one poor, blind cow.

The cattle and sheep graze the land, but, during the winter, Lee takes bales of hay out to them every few days. Feeding the chickens is a part of Lee's chores. After I finish killing a chicken for a raw meat meal, I usually throw the legs and other scraps to the dogs. We have leftover frozen chicken and beef scraps which Aleesha defrosts and feeds to the dogs. They go nuts over it! I feed the cats while I milk the cows.


Who controls the money?
I am the accountant, and Mike is the CEO. I pay the bills and do all the paperwork.

Are you spenders or savers?
We are the most resourceful penny pinchers in the great state of Iowa! The only things that I buy from a store are organic dish soap and toilet paper! We only spend money on things that are necessary for our way of life. For example, we bought a machine that produces cheap bio-diesel fuel from used cooking oil we get free from restaurants. We never buy frivolous or unnecessary items like brand new clothing or cell phones. We always ask ourselves as a family, "Even if we can buy it, should we?"

I swap and barter, too. I trade kefir, grains, eggs and livestock for something I need, like a cheese press.


As a family, we are constantly looking for ways to become more self-sufficient. The less we have to rely on anyone or anything, the better our future will be. No one knows what will happen in the world, so we have prepared for the worst. Our diet and the farm pretty much control our day, but the reward is knowing we can do everything ourselves.


New Member
Yup I watched it!!! And that family was a little wacko! Making your kids eat raw meat like that and not sending them to school, isn't that like border line child abuse??? That whole family had some major emotional problems, expecially that father and son! Wacky People out there!!!!


New Member
As a family, we are constantly looking for ways to become more self-sufficient. The less we have to rely on anyone or anything, the better our future will be. No one knows what will happen in the world, so we have prepared for the worst. Our diet and the farm pretty much control our day, but the reward is knowing we can do everything ourselves.

:smiley-clappin-yellow: I have to agree with that......but I'd still cook the food over a fire in the fireplace. :smiley-clappin-yellow:

Those of you that know me, can probly tell I like the movie Jeramiah Johnson and wish I was around back then, but heck even he cooked his food.
What a way to live :smiley-clappin-yellow:


New Member
Yeah.. You can still be self-sufficient and cook your freaking food. I mean hatching and raising the chick is self-sufficient enough.. Not sure how eating it raw falls into the equation.. That family was absolutely disgusting!


"So this dyslexic alcoholic walked into a bra.....
No.. not what you think!!

Did anyone catch the show Monday night?????

............I stopped reading this thread before finishing reading your first question...... :smiley-clappin-yellow:


New Member
I saw part of it.

I might be wrong but it looked like they pickled the meat in a jar???? I would like to try it just to say I tried it. But to incorporate all that in you're life style is a little wacky. Ain't nothing wrong w/ a little sizzle on you're steak.


You can have my guns when you rip them from my col
Whacko's for sure but at least they're not some vegan whacko's. Yes it could have been worse, but not cleaning the house? Come on: Bacteria are our friends. Yeah, what about the bubonic plague? (sp?)


New Member
I am pretty sure that meat was not pickled Arise.. When he reached in that jar and pulled the chunks out, it was definitely dry! They called it "high meat" which is raw meat that has been sitting around for a month or so. I think it is a made up term since I could not find out anything about it.. I just thought it was weird that the did not even drink water.. They are severely screwed up!!