|Welcome to the "Food Chain
Farm" website. It's right there under the rainbow with the solar
panels on the roof. (Photo courtesy of Jerry Kalman)
For 14+ years, we were "hobby" farmers in the Southern California mountains. We moved there from Boston in 2003 and bought 3.18 acres with about 40 fruit trees, a nature trail and a nice house from a retired engineer at HP. We converted the garage to an office, upgraded most systems, added solar electric and water heating and added lots of high tech stuff. We built a big modular barn and expanded on a water system using springs on the lower property. We farmed totally organic, expanded the gardening with two dozen raised beds, added - and removed - fruit trees to suit our tastes and experimented with low impact irrigation and watering systems. We were very successful growing some things, no so much in others, but we generally grew more than we needed and donated the rest to the local food bank. We've tried to create an inviting environment for our favorite creatures like butterflies and hummingbirds.
In 1917 after almost 15 years - and a realization that we're not getting any younger - we were ready to move back to the city. We sold Food Chain Farm to a young lady artist who appreciated its natural beauty, relaxing environment and giant barn for her studio. Below are photos and descriptions about the property, gardens and wildlife when we lived there.
The name "Food Chain Farm"? Well, we have found rabbit carcasses left by the hawks and watched them take out doves on the fly. The coyotes and owls help clean out the other pests. Our "wild" pet cat (below, with one of his catches) adopted us quite a few years ago and he scoured the property for rodents, birds and lizards. He disappeared in 2015- fate unknown.
So we daily watch the "food chain" in action - hence the name.
This website was really for us - to document the work on the farm and keep records and a calendar of seasonal work we need to remember. If you find it helpful or interesting - that's great! Just remember that what we write here is 1) our opinion, 2) particular to our location/property and 3) you should use the information here at your own discretion. (That's a "disclaimer" in case you decide to sue us for giving "bad advice"!)
Why We Named It Food Chain Farm
Getting Garden Advice, Joys of The Local Farm Store
Gardening - Vegetables and Fruits
Going on Vacation
Climate, SoCal and Micro Climates
Spectacular skies, Hail in California
Birds, The Behavior of Hummingbirds, a new way to look at hummingbirds, Feeding Orioles
New: The life cycle of Monarch butterflies at our farm.
Bees: we've got 'em, we host a beehive from a farmer.
You can purchase our story of the Monarch Life Cycle here at Food Chain Farm for only $0.99 at the Apple iTunes store - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/life-cycle-monarch-butterfly/id671515734?ls=1