Friday, October 29, 2010
Most of you know by now that I'm living on a farm in California, helping out with the harvest and living "Ranch Style" as we've come to call it.
The Ranch is a few hours north of San Francisco, up a windy mountain road, and down a 1/4-mile driveway where 4-wheel drive is ideal. It's a beautiful piece of land, a couple hundred acres down in a valley surrounded by hills and trees.
We have one spot of cell service and patchy satellite internet, so forgive me for not posting sooner... or e-mailing or calling. Also, I'm just having so much darn fun that it's hard to get myself on the computer. There are always chores to do, feed the chickens and pigs, get the eggs, weed & harvest the gardens and of course, cooking and cleaning.
I get the eggs in the morning and afternoon and do a lot of the cooking. I am having a blast cooking for 8-12 people, using what comes out of the garden (so much produce!) and even doing a bit of baking.
It was dry & sunny for the first month we were here, and we did some sun-dried cherry tomatoes
Now it's pretty cold and rainy, so we've got the wood stoves going. There are a few "buildings" on the property including a trailer, a yurt, a bus, a few big tents, a bathhouse, outhouse and kitchen.
I'm having great fun learning all sorts of new things... like how to drive a 4-wheeler, use a chainsaw and split wood. The wood stoves are also pretty great for roasting the chestnuts we gather around the property.
I live in the bus, which is a pretty sweet setup - there's a big bed and some shelves and a wood stove, and the outside is painted
It's pretty great being here, though it's more of a timewarp than even Thailand or Kripalu. In the 6 weeks I've been here, I've only left twice and the only people I see are the people that live here, which is cool because everyone's pretty great and it feels like we're a family.
One time we left the ranch, we went to the coast (Point Arena) for the Hops & Harvest festival which was a blast!
We tasted different beers, I helped press fresh apple juice, and we ate lots of good food. We even went out dancing at this fantastic Blues show.
The whole time we've been here "Mama" pig has been pregnant (she got knocked up by a wild boar) and she was huge. The other night she gave birth to some pretty darn cute half-wild piglets and I got to watch; here they are a couple days later.
One of my favorite things about the ranch is what we've dubbed "Ranch Style" a curious blend of odd clothes layering, not bathing and not washing our clothes, but I'll show you some pictures of that in the next blog.