Farm to Family Ranch is a CCOF certified organic farm located in a mountainous, mixed forest/grassland; and is owned and operated mainly by one woman. I could not do it all absolutely by myself. I do have my husband who lends a hand when I need it. I am a scientist with a degree in oceanography, so I have an understanding for the intricate chemical, physical, geological, and biological interactions involved in the cycling of nutrients and the functioning of ecosystems. I have been a practicing herbalist creating recipes for self-care products for over 25 years. After teaching environmental science and biology for 10 years, then homeschooling my daughter and growing food for our own family, I created a farm on our mountain property to provide fresh, local, organic food to the people in Mendocino County. Between raising livestock for our own personal consumption and for on the hoof purchase, growing organic produce for sale, wild crafting mushrooms and medicinal herbs, and living off-grid; I am creating a lifestyle that I have dubbed the “hybrid homestead”.
We are what we eat, and I believe that food should be our main, preventative medicine. Plants are also what they eat. As a farmer, I aim to provide my plants with the nourishment they need, and the diverse soil community they need to produce the most nutrient rich food possible. Life exists because of a diverse, rich population of organisms, and I strive to create a thriving environment on my farm.
Diversity not only leads to success in the natural world, but also in my business. I can not survive growing just kale and other produce. As my husband manages the forest for fire prevention; we sell the firewood to warm houses in the community. He also manages our apiary and I use the beeswax in some of my self-care products. I will be developing an herbal line for Farm to Family with my organic, non-toxic self-care products. For an educational line of the business, I would eventually like to publish my children’s book about water, and my photosynthesis game. Diversity in the business is part of the hybrid homestead concept: we are cycling the products harvested and crafted from our land into the community in exchange for money we need for purchasing necessities we do not grow or craft.