A Family Builds a Homestead in the Rain

Posts tagged California

A Trip to California

A Trip to California

To celebrate my grandparents’ anniversary last week, we drove down to Sonoma County for a family reunion. My dad came up for his own vacation to stay on the homestead and care for the dogs, livestock, and garden. Having made the 9-hour trek (14 or 15 hours total with stops for the dogs and toddler) to […]

What You Should Know About California’s Water Problem

What You Should Know About California’s Water Problem

If you drink water– if you cook with it, bathe with it, grow food with it; if your dog drinks it– there’s something you should know about what is happening in California. Because while it’s happening here now, sooner or later the entire nation will feel its effects. You know about the catastrophic drought. You may know […]

Rain Means Puddles (And Happy Toddlers and Waddlers)

Rain Means Puddles (And Happy Toddlers and Waddlers)

In nearly four years, we’ve had few enough real rainy days that I can count them on my ten fingers. The drought has been aggressive and draining. But when it does rain here, the episodes are torrential. The clouds grow dark as they turn and flex. Then they open up abruptly and dump cascades onto the […]

Our Corner of the Earth

Our Corner of the Earth

This was the first time since beginning this transition that returning to California felt like leaving home. Maybe it’s because this time we moved all of our treasured and most frequently used books: cookbooks, field guides, reference books on animal husbandry and gardening. Maybe it’s because the crisp, piney mountain air had begun to do […]

Eating Mustard Flowers

Eating Mustard Flowers

Across the West Coast, mustard flowers are budding and beginning to turn the hills and fields brilliant yellow. At this stage, just before the blossoms open, the flower heads resemble broccoli florets and taste even better. Mustard, like broccoli, is a a brassica, and the flavors are similar. Mustard packs a bit more punch, but the tender buds […]

Fine Dining: Wild Salad

Fine Dining: Wild Salad

Every day when I get home, or before lunch on weekends, I put my daughter in the Ergo carrier or pull on her boots, and we go out to the field to pick greens. Most goes into salad, which we enjoy with simple chutney vinaigrette or oil and vinegar at least once every day. Others […]

The Things I’ll Miss: Valley Skies

The Things I’ll Miss: Valley Skies

The flat, featureless Valley boasts hulking skies that make the Earth feel just as tiny as it is. The stars are few, thanks to city lights, but the blanket of smog alights each dawn and dusk in spectacular displays. Storms churn enormously and clouds paint pictures and tell tales overhead. … (A series.) It’s easier […]

The Year In A Word

The Year In A Word

If there were a word to represent 2014, for us it would be change. I’m hardly the person whose shoes I wore in January, and as we wind down toward the holidays, looking back on the year and forward to the next, I could not feel more optimistic or joyful. The thematic transitioning of 2014 has […]

The Things I’ll Miss: The Home Place

The Things I’ll Miss: The Home Place

  The buildings on the property we’re soon to leave are falling apart. My daughter is the fourth generation to live in the house where she was born, and she will be the last. Even as the concrete walls crack and the wallpaper peels, the house feels alive, and tired. The barn is filled with […]

Staying Warm

Staying Warm

As we listened to stories of kayakers in Healdsburg’s parking lots and highway closures in San Francisco, as my mom complained that she thought her windows might shatter behind the wind and rain in Sonoma County, and as local people scrambled in the path of the anticipated “megastorm,” we went to bed last night under a […]

Welcome!

I'm Kelly. Writer, crafter, forager, country winemaker, cook. Mama of an awesome toddler and married to my best friend. We recently returned to the Pacific Northwest, where we're setting out to grow, make, and learn as much as we can as the future unfolds.

Follow Along

Never miss a post! Receive updates by email.