Fabien and I resided in Miami for 15 years. After our second child turned 6 months old we decided to move onto a farm in the Dominican Republic for a more wholesome farm lifestyle. It was peaceful living out in the hills, we could hear the birdsong and the bees. We spent most of their time barefoot and outdoors.
The Tropics were lush and green.
We learned how to grow our own fruit and vegetables and enjoyed deliciously fresh raw dairy from our grassfed cows.
Fast forward six years and the next adventure took us to California. We found what we thought did not exist: 130-acre avocado farm with a year-round creek, abounding oak trees, and a pretty house, all in the middle of Southern California but away from the craziness. Unlike the soil in the tropics, it was fairly poor. We began composting, using organic cow manure we purchased, biodynamic herbal preparations, and adding tons of weeds we had pulled from all the fields before planting.
Everything goes into the compost and weed-whacking of the wild weeds
Our intent was to migrate from the water-intensive avocado farming to better-suited crops for the Mediterranean-like climate of Southern California. Olives and grapes were natural candidates, and then the hard work started.
Years later our farm comprises 8 000 Olive trees, 10 acres of Malbec grapes, a variety of fruit trees and about 2000 avocados.
While our olive trees grew slowly, our vines became more mature, and our composting nourished the soil, we were grateful for the abundance of wild oats, mustard greens and other which provided nutrient-infusing and insect-promoting cover crops. These practices created richer soils and diversity of nutrients.