“Homestead Rescue” is a reality TV series focused on helping people start living a new life off the grid. It premiered on Discovery Channel in 2016, and has been airing for nine seasons. The main star of the show is Marty Raney, an Alaskan adventurer and outdoorsman, who knows all the knacks of surviving in the wilderness. He started off as a logger in Alaska in the late ‘70s, and has since been living in a remote homestead, away from normal civilization. “I think this is why Discovery tuned in on me, as I had this long history of living all over Alaska, a lot of it remote and unique,” Raney explained. Today, he helps people from all over the US achieve the same life on his reality TV show, however, the question remains – how much of what is shown on “Homestead Rescue” is actually real?
Is “Homestead Rescue” fake?
Most reality TV shows thrive on presenting themselves as realistic and unscripted, which isn’t always the case. Behind the scenes, even the most authentic-seeming shows have some scripting, which needs to be followed one way or another. One such quite well known case is “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”, specifically in 2011, when Kim Kardashian was divorcing her first husband, Kris Humphries – court documents revealed that a lot of their interactions seen on the show were staged, even the scene in which Kris proposed.
Similarly, one couple who were featured in the first season of “Homestead Rescue” have gone on to publicly say that the show is nowhere close to being real, and even went as far as filing a lawsuit, claiming that the show misrepresented them.
Details of the lawsuit
Kim and Josh Zabec were the couple featured in the second episode of the first season of “Homestead Rescue”, at a time when they were already running a successful homestead called Revolutionary Roots Farms in Virginia. In the episode they were in, the Raneys paid them a visit to help them run their homestead, after their pigs had ruined a part of it.
However, Kim and Josh weren’t happy with their portrayal on the show, and ended up suing the production company, claiming that they were initially approached to be part of a show about successful homesteaders, not about struggling ones. Kim took to Facebook to announce that she and her husband would be contacting their attorney, providing further details about what was (not) shown in their episode. ‘They said they wanted to add drama, and we were ok with it, but we didn’t think they would take it that far. The pigs were brought over from our real farm. We had one pig that had one batch of stillborn piglets.
Wishing all a very merry Christmas ❤️
— Homestead Rescue (@HomesteadRescue) December 26, 2021
That’s it. They made it look insane. Those dead chickens weren’t ours. We had never seen them before in our lives. We have lawyers involved now. We are mortified that Discovery Channel would do this to us.’, Kim wrote.
The verdict of the lawsuit is not publicly known. When asked about the case, Marty Raney said, ‘My feelings and experience with her [Kim] was amazing. What’s really ironic, if she’s disgruntled, the network has informed me that she hasn’t said anything bad about me, so that makes me feel good. So I couldn’t bring myself to say something derogatory about her or Josh.’
One couple who were featured in the second season of “Homestead Rescue”, Wren and Ini, have also publicly shared their experience of being on the show. In January 2018, they gave an interview to the magazine “Ozark County Times”, revealing that they were very excited to be a part of the show, despite the fact that they never previously had intentions of appearing on TV.
In the episode they appeared in, the Raneys were shown helping them take care of the moldy leather surfaces in their homestead unit. While the Raneys did help a lot, Wren and Ini pointed out that a lot was left out of the episode, such as the fact that their cabin was built by a Missouri log company named Sticks and Stones: Real Log Homes, and not by the Raneys family. According to the couple, The producers also went out of their way to downplay their competence in running the homestead, for example showing them trying to run a chainsaw by using canola oil. However, they had much kinder words for the hosts, saying ‘They all truly came to help, and are big-hearted, hard-working, real people. What impressed me most about Marty was that often when the cameras weren’t rolling, he would be out there working, bare chested and sweaty. It was hard to get him to stop working sometimes, and it was really fun working next to him!’
Another family who were featured on the show, the Rains from Laurel County, Kentucky, also took to local media to share their experience working with “Homestead Rescue”. According to them, after they were cast in the show, they were asked to provide the production company with a list of projects they wanted to complete on their homestead. Just like Wren and Ini, the Rains also found the show’s main star to be very kind and likeable off-camera: ‘Marty is super, super talented with a chainsaw and got to carvin’ stuff with it. He had carved a whole wooden bear in about an hour from start-to-finish and put a sign on it that says ‘Hope’.’, said Donna, the family matriarch. They also revealed that the projects shown in their episode could take only a few minutes to complete, however, some scenes were repeated over and over again, so that the camera could get the desired shot.
On the flip side, the Kondash family from Klamath County, Oregon, had nothing but words of praise for the show.
They run a wood mill near their property, but were facing financial losses, and living on the verge of bankruptcy. The family had moved from an urban area several years earlier, however, the off-the-grid lifestyle proved to be more difficult than they’d anticipated, and they found themselves struggling to maintain their ranch. The “Homestead Rescue” team worked with them to help them back on their feet, and their mill is today operating successfully.
“Homestead Rescue” main star Marty Raney was faced with criticism, when a homophobic song he wrote surfaced in 2020 – the controversial “Adam and Steve” was featured on Marty’s debut album “Strummit From the Summit”, released in 1997. The song comprised lyrics which mocked homosexuality, such as ‘Some would say, ‘To each his own, ’But I always say, ‘Testosterone’’ and ‘I’m an unsung hetero, but then again, only in circles where men are men’.
After it came to light, all the most popular music-streaming services, including Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music, removed it from their catalogues, while Discovery Channel issued a public statement, saying ‘This song which was written over 20 years ago does not reflect the show or the values of the network in any way’.
The controversy raised some concerns over the future of “Homestead Rescue”, but the show continued airing as usual.
In May 2021, a minor controversy concerning the show unfolded online. Namely, in the preview to season nine of “Homestead Rescue: Raney Ranch”, there were multiple scenes which showed the Raney family house going up in flames. As the first episodes of the new season didn’t show anything related to the fire, people quickly took to social media to express their confusion. Of course, people won’t put it past reality TV producers to sensationalize any drama, so some fans started thinking that the shots shown in the season preview were fabricated.
The public outrage came to an end, as the scenes from the preview appeared in a later episode.
How rich is “Homestead Rescue” main star Marty Raney?
When he isn’t filming “Homestead Rescue”, Marty lives on a remote property in Haines, Alaska, where he follows a true naturalist lifestyle. ‘I’m a man of action. I’m a man that gets something done, right or wrong, nothing happens until someone starts moving – so standing around doesn’t do much for me.’, Marty revealed in an interview he gave for Fox News in 2017.
Prior to becoming the host of “Homestead Rescue”, Marty hosted the 10 episodes-long reality/documentary series “Ultimate Survival Alaska” (2013), and also appeared in the documentaries “Climb Against the Odds”, and “An Idiot Abroad”.
He founded his own company before his children were born, called Alaska Stone and Log. Today, his children help him run the business, especially when he’s away filming his show.
Reports state that Marty Raney has a net worth of more than $1 million, most of which comes from his TV work, as well as his business endeavors. Marty is also known as a singer-songwriter, and has released two albums “Strummit from the Summit” and “If That Bus Could Talk”. He’s married to Mollee Roestel who doesn’t appear in his show, but helps Marty behind the cameras. They have four children together, daughters Melanee and Misty, and sons Miles and Matt. Misty and Matt star in “Homestead Rescue” alongside their father; Misty is an expert farmer with knowledge in small scale construction, while Matt is a seasoned hunter.
Is Misty Raney pregnant?
In the latest season of “Homestead Rescue”, one of the show’s main stars, Misty Rayne can be seen noticeably heavier compared to previous seasons. This has led some of the show’s fans to believe that she might be pregnant, but the rumors are apparently untrue, as Misty’s weight gain has persisted into the past year.
Pregnant or not, the famous farmer and huntress already has a family of her own, having been married for more than 20 years to the carpenter and surfer form Hawaii, Maciah Bilodeau; in 2011, they welcomed their son, Gauge. The family divides their time equally between Hawaii and Alaska, spending their winters on the islands, and summers in the North.
Has “Homestead Rescue” been cancelled?
The most recent episode of “Homestead Rescue” aired on 17 June 2021 – as of February 2022, Discovery Channel hasn’t released any official news regarding the continuation of the series. This may be due to strict COVID-19 related rules which could make filming of the new season difficult, but it’s most likely that season ten of “Homestead Rescue” will come out sometime in 2022 or early 2023.
Where to watch “Homestead Rescue”?
Although the show isn’t currently airing, all of the previous nine seasons are available on various streaming platforms, on FuboTV and Discovery+, while the users of iTunes and Google Play can rent or buy individual seasons or episodes through said platforms.
“Homestead Rescue” is somewhat unique among reality TV shows, combining the genres of man-against-nature and home fixing shows. Some of the most popular home fixing reality TV shows available to watch right now are “Fixer Upper”, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”, and “Flip or Flop”. People who prefer nature and survival aspects of “Homestead Rescue” might consider watching “Alaska: The Last Frontier”, “Alaskan Bush People” and “Life Blow Zero”.
In 2020, Discovery Channel launched the spin-off series from “Homestead Rescue”, entitled “Homestead Rescue: Raney Ranch”, which focused on the Randy family, as they’re returning to their ranch in Alaska and working on projects related to their own homestead. Only one season has been released so far, but it’s expected that the series will continue sometime in the future.