You did what???

Yes, we bought a farm, an eight acre farm in Watsonville (south Santa Cruz county, CA), to be precise.

The view to the east of the Santa Cruz mountains.
The view to the east of the Santa Cruz mountains.

Now for the past 15 years or so, my husband and I have been gainfully employed by Silicon Valley. We are software designers. We run our own little agency, which has been moderately successful. We have great clients, an interesting variety of projects and a fairly dependable income. So why the radical change? Or, as I know some members of our families are thinking, “Are you completely out of your frickin’ minds?”

look at all that tasty
look at all that tasty

And here is the real truth. The past few years, our enthusiasm for our profession has been waning. It’s not anything in particular, not a job gone wrong or a client who didn’t pay or a project that proved difficult. It’s just, I wake up in the morning, get in front of my computer, and I just can’t always find my “give a shit” anymore.  Now don’t get me wrong. I am *extremely* grateful to our clients, and I am not going to chomp down hard on the hand that feeds us. I hope we can continue to do some tech work for a long time to come. But it can’t be the only thing we do anymore. I feel a deep need for something more.

Perhaps more to the point, I feel that sitting on my butt all day is slowly killing me. My back hurts, and I see many of my colleagues going down for back surgery and worse. I miss the sunlight. I want to move and use my muscles. Working for eight hours in a totally stagnant position, and then going to the gym for an hour to try to make up for it seems so futile. I know that recent history has fought hard to develop the privileges of white collar workers that I enjoy today, but honestly, I like me some physical labor.

Our neighbor's farm provides some good inspiration
Our neighbor’s farm provides some good inspiration

And most important of all, I believe that providing great organic food to the people in my community is meaningful beyond anything captured by the pure laws of capitalism. I love food, and like many, I am quite suspicious of agribusiness and food manufacturing companies. Don’t even get me started on the horrors fast food. I know of no better way to nurture my own health and other peoples’ than growing great organic produce.

Not ours, but a tractor is on the list for immediate procurement
Not ours, but a tractor is on the list for immediate procurement

Now, I do feel like a bad remake of “Honey, I Bought a Zoo.” And I am sure we are going to make all sorts of newbie farming mistakes. I will admit that there is a ton I just don’t have a clue about. Jason and I are currently on a self-imposed farming crash course. Our living room is full of books on permaculture, integrated pest management, organic orchards and my bookmarks are exploding with new links about how to build a chicken tractor, making solar dehydrators, the best winter cover crops and how to get certified organic.

Because every rural property needs at least one crappy shack
Because every rurual property needs at least one crappy shack

(PS: we bulldozed it down. Crappy shacks aren’t very useful)

I think that is why I am just so incredibly excited! There is so much new to learn, and I find it all so fascinating, because ultimately, everything we plan to do is about nurturing and creating life. How cool is that?

Yes, a white picket fence :)
Yes, a white picket fence 🙂

This blog is intended to track our adventures moving from silicon valley techies to California coast farmers and every triumph and silly mistake we make along the way.

The horse barn, made from STEEL
The horse barn, made from STEEL


8 thoughts on “WE BOUGHT A FARM!”

  1. RAD! I wish you both very good luck on your ventures.

    I moved from Santa Cruz to Austin a few years ago and am on the same mission.

    Keep us updated.

    1. How cool John. What are you looking to grow in Austin? What does the climate favor there? I bet the real estate is cheaper 🙂

    Did Jason tell you I own a tractor ; )

    Would love to come out and get my hands dirty.

    1. Thanks Andy! We may just take you up on that, though Jason and I are of course very excited to be getting a tractor of our own soon. 🙂 I learned to drive on a John Deere when I was a wee one.

  3. Congratulations, you two! I can totally relate to your motivations. There is only so much sitting a person can do in the day before needing to move in a meaningful way.

    What an awesome adventure. I look forward to hearing more about your journey. And if you need any manual labor, don’t hesitate to ask. Some of us would be happy to *literally* sweat the details of farm labor.

    1. Thank you Rob – I really appreciate the support, and we might just take you up on the offer for help! We will be hosting a helluva “farm warming” party as soon as we get settled in any case.

  4. Your change of life plan seems so neat from my classroom just now.
    Love the dreams and schemes and fotos there of.
    Will keep an eye on the blog and FB and try out recipes … 🙂
    CONGRATS and all bests!

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