Five Years on Our Little Farm



This April marks five years that we've been living here on our little slice of heaven in Turlock. It seems like so long yet five years is such a short amount of time over a lifetime. So much has changed, so much has happened, we've been through and grown through so many challenges and life events. I wanted to write something special to commemorate this Five Year "Home-iversary," as I call it, somewhere to jot down some of the most special, funny, hard or enraging moments we've had. And I thought it would be fun to share it on the blog.


This place, our home and 2 acres of land, was in pretty run-down condition when we bought it back in 2017. The fields and yard were completely overgrown (it was after the El Nino winter, so the grass was soooo tall). There was junk and trash just kind of everywhere in the back pasture. The pool was green, the poolhouse had termites and flood damage (from the pool overflowing into it). The house wasn't horrible but was musty with gross carpet and a horribly ugly, out-of-date kitchen, complete with a pebble-tec kitchen floor (why??). Oh! And let's not forget the homeless man camping out in one of the sheds back by the garage the first day Jude and I arrived to start moving some stuff in, while Eddie was working.


Most everyone we knew thought we were crazy to purchase this place. Even those who didn't say it, still said it non-verbally. Ha! I can't remember how many times we heard "man, this looks like a lot of work..." or "are you sure you want to deal with all this?" I guess not everyone could see the amazing potential that we saw behind the broken down chain link, yellow brick kitchen walls and overgrown corral and fields. But we did! To us it was our dream place! A 100 year old charming little home with tons of windows for natural light, a courtyard for barbecuing & outdoor dining, poolhouse/office, swimming pool, garage with attached studio apartment, corral, sheds, chicken coop already in place, plus the obvious 2 acres of total space that we had - in town!


Now, 5 years down the road, and countless birthday parties, swim parties, family get togethers and community events later....I think our family and friends understand why we fell in love with this place, especially since they have reaped the rewards of it too. I also want to mention, so many of our family and friends have helped us out tirelessly during the past 5 years, especially in those first few months when we were really doing lots of the remodeling, cleanup and work to make it livable.



My personal dream for this home and land was to have our own space to grow lots of food for us and to share with our family and friends, a place for our children to grow up running around outside all the time, being outdoors and learning about & from God's creation, and a place to host events for family and our community. We've been able to do all that and more, and I'm just so thankful for it all.





So, if you're still reading, here's a little lineup of what we've accomplished on our small little homestead/farm and some of the most memorable events that have taken place here since April 2017.



OUR HOME/BUILDINGS

We completely remodeled our kitchen (thanks to my amazingly talented father), refinished our hardwood floors, got new carpet in the bedrooms, repainted the interior of the whole house, added in lots of new lighting fixtures, wood fixtures, and other personal touches.


We re-did the flooring in our poolhouse/office, repainted the walls also. We added in lots shelving and countertop space so I could have a dedicated workspace for my botanical & skin care products, and also have a lovely space to hold workshops/events in the future. Eddie use this as his office space for his business as well. This also became the cold space we used for storing and packaging our produce for Nourish Farm CSA boxes and produce/flower orders.


We've fixed up our back studio apartment and have had multiple people living there, its a cute little spot.


The day we got the keys!

Same day, me and Jude, he was only about 8 months.


The kitchen when we bought the house

Kitchen destruction

Pops doing what he does best

Our kitchen now

Our poolhouse/office space: A place to store my herbs & infusions, as well as host events



Packaging up our first Nourish Farm CSA boxes ever!


Since the office has an A/C, it's a great place to store and package produce as well as arrange bouquets!


LIVESTOCK & GARDENS

We started with 4 sheep back in the fall of 2017 and have now probably raised close to 150 sheep here, in total, over that time. We just lost our last original matriarch ewe, Roo, on New Year's Eve of 2021. We have harvested, eaten and sold hundreds of pounds of lamb and mutton over the years. We have raised and harvested three Kune Kune pigs during the past few years as well. We have raised many many hens, harvested a few for eating, but mostly utilized them for all their delicious, nutrient dense eggs. We got chickens in the fall of 2017, and just had to cull our original rooster, Mr. C a couple months ago. He was a wonderful protector and great rooster for the farm. We have had 2 guinea hens, one is still alive and one was enjoyed in some guinea hen ravioli a couple years ago. We also had a milk sheep for a couple years, I only milked her for two short seasons, Bufanda was her name, but it was a wonderful experience!


We started with a semi-small kitchen garden and then expanded to our market gardens in 2019. We have grown thousands of pounds of vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers on less than a tenth of an acre of growing space over the past 4 years. It really is amazing how much food (produce & meat) you can grow on such a small space. The beauty of your own food and the amazing flavor of food grown in healthy soil with your own two hands, just cannot be beat.


We've had countless meals that we call an "all farm meal," where everything on our plate was raised on our land. It's a beautiful and fulfilling feeling. Trying to find the balance between the Bermuda grass, gophers, and other pests has been our biggest challenge, but one of my biggest achievements, I think, is each year the amount of ladybugs and pollinators I see on our farm increases soooo much. This is such an amazing sign of a healthy environment and a testament to have a diverse and pesticide free farm.



Laying down plastic to try and kill the Bermuda grass, for our first garden spot

A pallet fence and a homemade trellis from our own pruned branches

Mama Roo & Bertha, our two original ewes

The first two lambs born here on our farm, Blanca & Mini Roo (both still live here)


Mr. C in all his glory

Lambing season (Dec-Feb) is always a busy but adorable time of year



Pallet compost bins, we don't use these anymore, but I made a lot of great compost in these!






I LOVED this summer when the morning glories took over the trellis

Lamb chops are a favorite around here


Summer 2020, the Nourish Farm garden

First time we got irrigation water running in our pasture! Eddie was so excited & happy


Beans & cucs


The Nourish Farm garden