My husband Doug and I met in 1980 as students at the University of Colorado. I first laid eyes on him when he was shoveling manure out of the trunk of his car. He turned me on to compost, Organic Gardening magazine, food co-ops and Wendell Berry. Together we dreamed of farming.
In 1994 we discovered 16 acres in the heart of Dry Creek Valley, just outside Healdsburg. When we bought the land, the fields were planted to hay, the perfect tabula rasa for creating our vision of a diversified farm. We moved here from San Francisco with our two young sons in 1998 to build a home and grow our farm.
HomeFarm is small; our farming is sustainable. We use organic and biodynamic farming methods. Today the arable fields comprise about 11 acres and the other 5 acres lie alongside Dry Creek and Crane Creek. The creekside acreage is native riparian habitat that we enhance and protect for the benefit of fish and wildlife.
Beehives dot the orchards. Free range chickens walk the beat – patrolling for bugs, fertilizing the land, and supplying us with rich, healthy eggs. Last week we received 100 day-old chicks, 8 different breeds. Among them are Brahmas and Cochins: rare, old farmyard breeds that are in danger of extinction.
When SHED opens later this year, the café, larder, and produce section will offer food fresh from HomeFarm. The pantry will feature delicious preserves prepared from our fruit. The wine bar will pour wine made with our grapes. Sustainably grown food from other local farms will complete our offerings for breakfast and lunch in the café, and take-out food for enjoyment at home or on a picnic.