Living Homegrown

1892 Farmstead

A Restoration Project

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In May of 2012, several members of my family pooled their resources and acquired an 1892 Farmstead in the Sierra Nevada area of Northern California. It is 14 acres of farmland in an old gold mining town that has always been maintained as an organic farm & nursery through the late 1990’s using sound gardening practices.

In fact, it has an interesting history, which I will be sharing later.

The Land:

Although it had once been a much-loved piece of land, the last owner was an elderly woman who had been having much difficulty (understandably so) caring for it. In fact during the last 18 years, nothing had been done here other than basic watering and some bad tree pruning.

Heirloom Orchard

Currently, the heirloom orchard and surrounding fields have over 50 fruit trees that had not been pruned properly in almost 2 decades. There are heirloom apples, pears, plums, cherries, walnuts, and more sprinkled throughout. Many of the trees are over 100 years old and yet, they still produce the most incredible, flavorful fruit.

Farm Fruit Collage

We have also uncovered ancient, gnarled grapevines, raspberries, blackberries and even a few blueberries on the property. All neglected but delicious.

The Buildings:

The farmhouse and the outbuildings were in really bad shape. Filled with several lifetimes of debris, trash and several animal nests (eek!), the buildings are just waiting for someone to love them.



Beautiful hardware still exists on many of the doors.

Underneath the dust and dirt, we can see their potential. And as we have been lovingly cleaning up, we have discovered some of the history.

Farmstead Discoveries

WWII era newspapers were found under some of the flooring in the farmhouse. So interesting to read!

Being Farm Manager:

I still live in Los Angeles and have my 1/10th of an acre city homestead here. But at this Northern California farmstead, I am in charge of restoring:

  • The heirloom orchard & surrounding fruit trees
  • All the edibles around the property
  • The vintage kitchen garden.

(Other family members are working on the buildings)

So I am working as the “farm manager”, which is tricky being so far away. Needless to say, I am traveling up there A LOT to work the property and it will be a slow process.

The Podcast:

I recorded a podcast episode where I walk you around the property to explain the different projects we have going and how I am restoring the heirloom orchard. You can listen here at:

Restoring An Heirloom Orchard

I am glad I get to take you all along for the ride!

You can go to Farmstead Project to see the listing of all posts related to this project.