Sunday, June 12, 2011

Farm Details

The farm is actually quite small, excepting the forest and some pasture for the ponies. The main house has a kitchen, dining room, and living room, and three modest but beautiful bedrooms.

Next door to the house is the garden, about twenty beds in the French Raised Bed Intensive style with drip irrigation and some seedling tables. Right now we have lettuce, chard, kale, raspberries, peas, beans, tons of garlic, cucumbers, tomatillos, grapes (not yet with grapes but the bunches are there as little tiny green nubs) sage, basil, oregano, mint ALL OVER the place (it's growing wild and doing really well, there are "stands"? "groves"? patches of it as large as tennis courts) and a lot of other stuff that I don't even know what it is.


There are boatloads of roses, and about ten apple trees (in addition to the apple orchard across the way, where the ponies stay, that has a bunch more) and just down the hill is the walnut orchard, and something I think is a giant fig tree, but I keep forgetting to ask about that.

Also, there are some potatoes. Y'know, just growing here and there.

There's more stuff than that but I think you get the picture.

Oh! Five chickens! They lay eggs, and everything you've heard about country fresh eggs is true and then some! These yolks define orange. They are eye-popping, practically electric. Nora-san you were right! So delicious.

So, that's all up at the farm house. My cabin is down around the way, about a block and a half in city distance terms. The other cabins (except for the partially converted historic apple shed, which is close by the house) are also a ways away.

The place is completely off-grid. Electricity comes from solar panels and a micro-hydro turbine, water from a spring, and the internet comes in over a satellite uplink on the roof. There is also a propane system that feeds a stove and the water heater (which is normally off. If you want a hot shower you have to light the pilot light and wait for the burner to heat the water, about half an hour.)

Heat in the winter comes from a wood stove in the dining room, in the summer it's too dry and the risk of fire is too great, plus it's generally already a bit hot. This is California after all.

(I have got a whole blog post on lock about wood stoves and the absolutely ridiculous practice of burning trees in them. It is absurd. A rocket stove isn't so bad: it corrects most of the deficiencies of the conventional designs except for the main, i.e. wood consumption. But IMHO the real win is home-grown alcohol fuel and stoves that use it.)

Anyhoo, it's getting dark soon and I like to be snug in my cabin before then, so T.T.F.N. my friends! Love you!

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