By Susan Cypert

Life on the frontier was hard, both physically and emotionally, and survival often depended on new settlers learning to forage off the land by hunting, fishing and gathering berries, nuts and edible bulbs. The harsh reality of feeding a family, especially during the long winter months, was a constant concern. Homesteaders and ranchers were frequently isolated and had to be largely self-sufficient, especially until the seeds they brought west with them became gardens and crops, or if they had lost their milk cow on the journey or had not brought chickens with them.

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