About us

My husband and I and our three children live off the grid in a house we built out of our own wood, logs cut by Dennis and milled on site. Upcycled materials and creative solutions made our energy efficient lifestyle. With a vision of self sustainability, we built a barn, chicken coop and started veggie gardens, fruit orchards and flowering shrubs were grown cheaply from cuttings. Chickens, dogs, cats and ducks followed. We already had the horse.

Then I read one book on permaculture, and at the same time read “Animal ,Vegetable,Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver. These ideas inspired me to develop much larger gardens to be able to eat year round . Wanting to work to feed , educate and inspire our community. We built the brick oven which seemed naturally to attract people to the eggs, bread and organically grown flowers. I would like to inspire people to eat and cook from the garden in season.

Our permaculture idea was to build the vegetable gardens near our kitchen. Grow a wide variety of vegetables, fruit, and flowers for our own sustenance and enjoyment with extras to trade, gift .
Most importantly creating a closed system of organic inputs where we knew the source of everything we add to the gardens. The animals provide the manures for an active compost. We enrich our poor sandy clay soils with organic amendments, compost and cover crops, creating rich hummus soil to grow better vegetables . Our grass is beginning to grow around our 100 fruit and olive orchard trees. The grass will be encouraged to to move outward from the house and gardens. Hopefully sustaining our animals more and more as our poor soils improve.

I, Katie, have been a landscape gardener working over thirty years on very large estates and big projects. i bring an ornamental horticultural background to farming. Not growing in long rows, but more in patches with flowering plants, fruits and many perennial vegetables in between. This is biointensive, a method started by Alan Chadwick another Landscape Gardener. Growing vegetables requires such rich soil and so much attention to a very short lived plant. We eat wonderful vegetable laden meals, rounded out with local meats. Caning many products, fruits and jams, pickles, tomato sauce and salsa. Living in California, we garden year round. Our naturally leavened, sourdough, organic bread , rounds out our diet. Our bread bakes have become a community event where we usually bake loaves in our wood fired brick oven. We hand shape the dough.

My husband Dennis was born in a traditional farming community and farmed prunes on his families farm as a kid.He drove equipment all his life and also logged.Preferring to live out in rural acreage and developing many traditional skills. He can do ballet with a backhoe and we wouldn’t be able to do what we have done without his skill and incredible support.He’s also a Vietnam Vet with PTSD.

11 Replies to “About us”

  1. Your garden and place are inspiring. I loved the visit and the “spirit” it exudes. Thank you for sharing, I wish we were younger and could participate. Does Dana have your website?

  2. Hi, Katie,

    I enjoyed your life story, and admire your entrepreneurial spirit. Beautiful place and wonderful life experience.

    Love, Heather

  3. I just came to your website yesterday and I have been checking it out on a regular basis. You have a lot of very good informative stuff on the site and I really like the particular design of your website too. Keep up the good work!

  4. Hello,

    I would love to talk to you about an issue that I feel is a hot topic in environmental news. I have written an article that I think your readers would be interested in seeing on your blog.

    Did you know that in the last 100 years, our agricultural habits have left us with about a quarter of the crop diversity we once had?

    I looking to promote that idea that by encouraging grocery shoppers to branch out from their usual selections and to join the local food movement, they can help to conserve this forgotten species, and create a more sustainable agricultural system.

    I’d like to take a moment to discuss this with you and your readers of (http://rosemancreekranch.com/). I look forward to hearing back from you, talk to you soon!

  5. welcome to MJF. i like your blog page. i too am organic. what a fine place you have. happy days sherrye i hope to learn to make good cheese this year from cow milk

  6. Thank you Katie. The site is wonderful and your sharing is precious. The spirit that created this beautiful retreat comes through in pics and words. Love you and miss you all.

  7. Your website is terrific!! The posts and photos are outstanding. What an uplifting place to visit. Thanks for sharing. Love, Jane

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