Our farm is an homage to my grandma Mildred, who went from being a single mother with three kids and a little grocery store in Everett, Massachusetts to having a hen-house, fruit trees, and a vegetable garden in West Newbury. (Grandpa and Uncle Tom raised the cows and the hay.) I remember her rhubarb being almost as tall as I was, since it was fertilized by the chicken manure. The chickens also looked to be immense from my little girl perspective. I think I actually said, “Excuse me, ma’am” when taking a couple of eggs. The hill to one side of the house was covered in blueberry shrubs in summer, though when buried in snow it was a proper sledding hill. I once asked her what a little plant in her garden was, and she told me it was a potato. I asked how such a small plant could hold up heavy potatoes. She explained – somehow without laughing – that they grew under ground.
On the other side of my family, my grandfather Nicky organized his neighbors to grow victory gardens during WWII and became an expert at canning quince jelly, currant jelly, and jam from all the berries we picked on vacation in the Adirondacks. The first time I ever made plum jam, it was from memories of watching him, no recipe.
When my Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer, over 20 years ago, our family began to put more emphasis on eating fresh food, and my Mom’s cooking became 1000% tastier and more varied. Along the way, I got a degree in Natural Health and studied sustainable agriculture, volunteered at a farm, and worked at a non-profit focused on access to healthy food. When I finally had a talk with myself about what I could really, happily work hard at forever more, I realized I wanted to farm. We bought this little place in Elverta, and fixed up the house (lots of fun working with my folks on this), and then I got to work on the fields.
It was kind of scruffy-looking, but now this is a bird/wildlife/bee-friendly space with rich, non-toxic soil. There are no toxic fertilizers or pesticides here. I follow the sensible rules for organic certification, even if I haven’t done the certification process yet. I’ve added fruit trees and berry canes and tested veggie varietals for success. New rows have been tilled and drip irrigation laid out. Seedlings are in the flats as we speak, waiting to get out and into the soil. This little farm is ready to send you the fruits of our labors very soon!
Enjoy a little tour:
In addition to the plants and wildlife, the farm includes 3 dogs -Pumpkin, Ginger and Alvin; 3 cats -Milk, Munchkin, and Twinny.