If you were to tell me 10 years ago I was going to move to the country and live on a farm I would have said, “Yeah right!” but sometimes the universe has other plans for you than you are expecting… living on a farm in Red Bluff, California is one of them.
At one point in my life I planned on moving to New York City or Washington DC to run with the big dogs and grace the world with my presence 🙂 Haha! Gotta love your early 20’s!
Then I met my husband and best friend Eric…. And well the rest is history. His love and respect for the countryside has slowly won me over. His ancestors homesteaded land in Red Bluff in the late 1800’s and some of the land continues to remain in the family today. For the past 5 years he has been managing his family’s prune orchard and learning the ins and outs of farming We have fantasized about moving out to the country for years but for various reasons never pursued it (For one, a total life change is kinda scary 🙂 ) But when an opportunity presented itself to acquire some land for ourselves we asked, “If not now, when?”
So we jumped….
Ahhhhh!! Super scary but exciting!
After jumping through lots of hoops we now have about 40 acres of planted prune orchards and about 10 acres of naked, fertile land. The possibilities of what to do with the 10 acres are endless but we have some ideas. Maybe….
We just don’t know yet!! But I plan to take you on the journey with us. We have spent many mornings discussing our options over a cup of coffee but have not settled on any ideas at this point. One thing I do know is that we are getting more chickens! A farm is not a farm without chickens, right? We currently have 3 old hens that no longer lay eggs and we want to expand the flock. Our goal is to have more eggs, fertilize the ground and help with insect control.
In a perfect world we would like to create a sort of agrarian utopia, where we use sustainable energy, grow organic produce, live in harmony with nature and sing kumbaya on a daily basis. Did I mention we would also like to make a living? Haha! But we also know we live in the real world and understand there will be many challenges along the way and we don’t expect ourselves to be perfect. We want to experiment with ideas, such as permaculture, that support a sustainable food culture but also want to be practical. My husband and I tend to be “in the middle sort of people”…. For example, we eat organic food but also go to places like In-N-Out. We try to reduce our electricity but drive SUV’s. Get my point? We don’t want to give the illusion of a perfect halo around our lifestyle but we sure are going to do our best! With that in mind we want to make small goals each season to create the farm we desire.
You might be wondering if our prune orchard is organic-based on my whole food nutritionist background? The short answer is “no,” but recently Eric planted a small plot that he wants to experiment with organic growing techniques. Most of the prune trees are about 30 years old and towards the end of their lifespan. It would be expensive and unrealistic to transition the entire orchard to organic at this point. Instead we are going to focus our energy on future farm endeavors.
As for my role?
Well, I am trying discover that right now. I am currently focused on being a new mom but want to get more involved with farming as time goes on. You may think I have a green thumb and always a lush garden every summer. Nope. That is far from the truth. Every year at springtime I spend a day planting a garden while my husband sets up the drip system. Then for about a week I check on it everyday and tell myself “This is the year my garden is going to be amazing.”
But guess what?
You guessed it! The honeymoon is over in about a week and I end up letting my garden “do its thing.” Bugs usually attack it. The tomatoes tend to shade out my other veggies. The sun burns the plants and I wonder, “Why did I plant so many tomatoes in such a small space?” Does this happen to you? Haha! It is actually laughable to me that I am trying to make a “go” at this farming thing. I am hoping my love for adventures and smart husband (No pressure honey 😉 ) will be contributing factors in this next step of our lives.
What risks have you taken in life? How did you get through it?