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 »

Rain and the Stories of Water

Rain and the Stories of Water The rain comes as they predicted: heavy at times and persistent throughout the night and into the morning. Bad night for the driveway! The trails run like waterways, the ditches like creeks, water rushing down, down, gathering in the ravine and rushing on to Dry Creek and Napa River…. Read more »

Battening Down the Hatches

Battening Down the Hatches Goats hate to have their hooves wet and muddy, so we have stone paths which go from the barn to the llama shed, to their lookout posts and rock and log piles. The rain has muddied these paths, and Ramon cleaned them yesterday morning, spreading thick flakes of straw on squishy… Read more »

Drought is a Zen Teacher: Rain and Climate

Drought is a Zen Teacher: Rain and Climate Sometimes when it starts raining, it just keeps going. So it seems now! In the last week and a half, we have had over eight inches of rain. Now the projection is a another six to eight inches by the end of this week. A growing cloud… Read more »

Rainfall: Only the Goats Complain!

Rainfall: Only the Goats Complain! We woke to light rain, 0.3 inch, added to the 0.1 from last week. After months of the summer dryness in the third year of drought, everything looks fresh and clean, except, of course, the goats, who hate rain and complain about coming out and about staying in. In the… Read more »

What a Difference 48 Hours… and 7.5 Inches of Rain Makes!

It’s been waiting all winter for this!     Last week this time we could not have imagined that we would receive eight inches in eight days… and 7.5 inches in the last 48 hours, and still going, bringing us to 82% of our normal for this time of year in Napa. Our small irrigation… Read more »

Rainy Day Meditation on Drought

Patient meditation as lower pond fills.     Two frogs woke me in the night, croaking back and forth right under our bedroom window. Yes, I welcomed them! I haven’t heard them in weeks! It is raining at last! Almost 3 inches these 24 hours and it’s still pouring, periods of heavy rain predicted throughout… Read more »

Road Work

Loading gravel into dump trailer to take to road.           Road Work It feels like the necessary sacrifice to have a road to our home: this tending of it. It is a gravelly road, one that follows an old wagon trail and then trade route west, and it goes through fragile… Read more »

The Greening

Shoots of native blue wildrye illuminated by sun photographed against the dry grass of mid October.                 The Greening This time of year is magical to me. For the last months in our Mediterranean climate, everything has been brown, and the fire danger, high, especially as autumn approached…. Read more »


Possible Showers Monday and Tuesday?? Yikes! Anxiety! I’d like to be philosophical, like I am with our son Jesse in talking about the business of farming, its uncertainties, how there is a lot we have no control over. It’s a partnership with Nature, I say. I know this from way back, from my farming father…. Read more »