Forest Walk

Forest Walk (and dreaming in August of rain) The sound of the breeze in the bay leaves is like water flowing over rocks. The forest is a story of earth becoming water becoming air, (oh, not fire!) earth to spirit; spirit to earth. To listen is to feel these gestures, like this cycle we live each… Read more »

Eat from the Land

Eat from the Land Eat locally grown plants from the land each day—a practice that we have almost forgotten is possible! In past times everyone had a garden. The connection of the earthy beets on the table and the soil outside the kitchen was a conscious one. The work of growing food  for sustenance became a dialogue with… Read more »

Fire and Farming

Fire and Farming This morning it is evident that the fire in the eastern most part of Napa County is less contained that it was yesterday morning this time. A large plume of smoke spreads across the sky at first light. The orangish light is alarming and reminds us to think about animals and evacuation… Read more »

Poison Oak Remedy

The woods are aflame with Toxicodendron diversilobum, Pacific poison oak. Like a  fastly spreading fire, its red leaves skip across the forest floor and leap high up our California oaks. For many years we tried to rid the ranch of poison oak, annoyed by its impact on us—red rashes and blisters that lasted weeks. We told ourselves… Read more »

Vote with Your Food Dollars

Vote with Your Food Dollars Vote with your food dollars! Support a small farmer, a farmer whose business plan includes building soil and biodiversity. Mix stockholders and corporations into this, and the earth and biodiversity become secondary to profit. We seem to have lost sight of the fact that how we make a living is… Read more »

Farming, Community, and the Sacred

My farming father would have been amazed at my son Jesse and his wife Lisa, of First Light Farm! He farmed all his life and loved the land. Community was a given in small town farm life, taken for granted. But with the advent of agribusiness practices, small farms went out of business and community deteriorated …. Read more »

The Gold of Farming

The Word for the Day, this rainy morning, from Mountains and oceans have whole worlds of innumerable wondrous features. We should understand that it is not only our distant surroundings that are like this, but even what is right here, even a single drop of water.  DOGEN ZENJI   Yes, it surprised us and… Read more »

Honey Lavender Limeade Tasting!

Join us on Saturday, July 11, at our son Jesse’s First Light Farm, 4588 Bodega Ave, Petaluma, from 11 am to 5 pm,  and try a sample of our newest recipe for Honey Lavender Limeade! We will be selling our loose flowers and discussing their many culinary uses. Lavender is a plant that grows in the… Read more »

Barrel Compost and Drought

This summer of the fourth year of drought, we are liberally using the Barrel Compost we made on site in December (see post, Making Barrel Compost). Each fruit day (moon in fire signs) we spray the ground under the grapevines and orchard,  and each flower day, moon in air signs) we spray the aromatics. The vines looked… Read more »

Lavender and Healing

Lavender and Healing The lavender that we harvested for bouquets is dry now. We dried the bunches in the dark, hanging them upside down and ventilating the room with fresh air. We cleaned the stems  of bind weed and the small leaves at the bottom of the stems. The bouquets were then packed in boxes of 30  to store… Read more »