It's funny when you think about it really. That is, how I got my start in farming. It was really a bunch of odd circumstances, and coincidences that came together, that I guess you could call fate. I won't rewind all the way to the beginning. But, I will say that, I had never ever considered being a farmer when I grew up. I was a beach bunny in Southern California. I grew up swimming in the ocean, searching for sand dollars, and tanning on the beach.
It's true, I imagined myself as a career driven professional, I did go to college after all, or a stay at home Momma. I never imagined I'd leave my sunny Californian home in Redondo Beach to be a farmer.
Super beach babelet!! Gilligans Island has nothing on me!!
Even the perm of the 80's can't take my California dreaming babedom away!
Sometimes I just have to laugh, being a child of the 80's, wasn't always the most stylish!
It all changed when I met the love of my life. But even then, back in 2002, I didn't know I would grow up to be a farmer. Fast forward several years, when we moved back to my husband Joe's home town. And fast forward a few more, when we bought our first house in 2005. And then, a little more, after my first son was born in 2007. Joe decided one summer to build a huge garden. It was glorious, we had peppers, and tomatoes, and potatoes, I can't actually remember what all else. But I do remember baby Jonah in his bouncy chair outside, while we weeded the garden.
In 2009, my second son was born. This is important to note in my farming destiny, because it's how I ended up with chickens. My Mom and Dad, made the decision to move from New York, all the way to Yakima, so that they could see their grandchildren grow up. My mom, also known as the Goddess of Color (true story, look her up), is quite the ambitious dreamer. I'm not sure how it all worked out, but I think shortly after they bought their 10 acre property, my mom ordered some Buff Chantecler chicks, which for reasons I can't remember needed to stay at my house. She had all the equipment, and helped me set it up in my back bathroom. And the rest is history, I've had chickens ever since.
The first year we had the garden it was great, and maybe even the second year, but by the third year, the garden had been abandoned, and was a sea of weeds. I personally found it too hard to keep up on the weeding even though it was maybe 800 sq ft. Around the same time, my mom and I went to a goat show down at the fairgrounds. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of goats for me. I remember looking at those faces with their strange sideways eyes and thinking what odd creatures.
See that "garden" full of weeds? My husband doesn't remember this, he swears it wasn't full of weeds. Here's the proof! Around this time, my sister moved here too. When I told her I wanted goats, she fully concurred that I needed goats. My Sister Erika, bless her heart, is a wonderful accomplice to my farm animal shenanigans... Don't ever ask her about the pig! And she helped me build a glorious goat mansion! Likely the best goat mansion of all time. Then we promptly scoured craigslist adds, and she came with me to pick out my new goats. I new nothing about goats, and these guys were wild. Above are Luna, Buckey, and Cleo. I eventually sold them, and purchased bottle babies, so that I could have tame goats.
See what I mean about the weeds!!! Yup, that's what our garden had become. You can't really blame me for getting goats. It was really a practical solution to our problem. This was the very humble beginning of my dairy farm. Pretty impressive, if I do say so myself.
Here's my bottle babies, my second venture in goating. I bought them days old fresh from the dairy farm. There I am in the background with Feliney Balleriney... Paisley is on the left, then Cruz, then a doeling, who's name I cant for the life of me remember, Then up top by Jonah is Bestie.
And here's my husband, second son Elijah, and Baba-Loo. Just chilling in the yard.
Like I said before, I found weeding very challenging, so I started researching solutions for a weed free garden. I think this was before Pinterest. So I had to good old fashion google it. I was also deeply passionate about being an organic farmer. It wasn't a very popular thing back then, but I just knew spraying poison on our food was a bad idea.
I discovered raised garden beds. My husband helped me a little to build this, and bring in the dirt. But I can't really give him credit, which I think he'll appreciate, because although it looks okay in this photo I'm really no carpenter. Anyhow, here you can see a peach and apple tree, and two pots of raspberries.
He did build that perfectly even trellis top.
And here is everything planted, in my first year of raised gardens. There's Lettuce, Tomatoes, Kale, and I think even Potatoes. I eventually expanded this design as time went on.
You wouldn't believe how much those little boxes could produce. I filled them with layers of leaves and used goat straw complete with poop. I didn't really know that technique was called lasagna gardening, I just knew that dirt was expensive, and goat hay and leaves were free.
So that's it, that's how I became a farmer... as you can see, it kind of found me. When everything else is going wrong in the world I can go outside and watch the hilarious antics of the chickens, and goats. Or I can get lost in the buzz of bees, stare at the beautiful blossoms on a fruit tree, or just stick my hands in the dirt. I wouldn't trade it for the world.