A Farm Weekend By: Kara Holmes (Tara and Craig’s niece, and Auntie Liz's daughter)
If you were to ask me a year ago what I thought about all of this farm business, I would have said I didn’t want anything to do with it. I would have said that I am sick of hearing about chickens and pigs and sustainable crops every time I went to visit my aunt and uncle in San Francisco. I would have said that since we are a military family, my husband and I had different plans for our life that would never include taking care of animals and crops on a farm up in Petaluma (which seemed to me to be the middle of nowhere). I would have said I liked the whole sail boat venture WAY better than this new farm idea. That was last year…before I was able to see the dream of owning this farm put into action. I just got home from a weekend trip up to the farm to visit my mom, Auntie Liz, and drop off her dog, who we have been watching for the summertime until she got settled on the farm. I was anticipating a lot of work, which I didn’t really want to do on my little mini-vacation, but what I experienced was more than I would have ever expected. There has never before been a time in my life where my favorite family members have lived all together in one place, and I have never even dreamed of all of them actually eating meals together every day, or working together toward a common goal. That was completely out of the question…until my aunt and uncle decided they wanted more for their lives. Their willingness to risk everything in order to start and build an organic farm hasn’t only benefited them, but has benefited our whole family, and the community around them. The farm is open to all kinds of people from all over the world who share a common goal of wanting to work hard to produce fresh, healthy meat and produce for the community, and people who are willing to open themselves up in order to teach other people how to do it too! Everyone on the farm comes together to take care of something…whether it be people, chickens, pigs, turkeys, cats, dogs, vegetables, or fruit, and each of them gives their all to make sure that everyone and everything has everything they need to grow and thrive. It was wonderful to spend quality time with my mom, Auntie Liz, who is in charge of taking care of the people on the farm by making sure they have a hot meal for breakfast and dinner every day, and gathering the eggs from the laying hens. When you know deep down inside that you are providing healthy food to busy, hungry, hard working people, it just warms your heart. Though everyone on the farm has certain tasks that they are responsible for, it is also amazing to see everyone come together to do whatever needs to be done, and help out wherever they can. If you were to ask me years ago whether my family would be living and working all together in order to improve the lives of others, I would have said no way because they were all in different states, working various jobs, and devoting their lives to their own little families within the family. Today, it is amazing to see that what started out as a little idea has now become the foundation for bringing my family together, and strengthening not only my own family, but the families in the community as well.
A year ago I would have told you that my husband and I were completely devoted to the military, and to his career above all else, but after experiencing our first deployment, we realized that what matters most in life is just spending time with each other. Although we don’t know for sure what our future will hold, we do know that we want to have a close family, and that some time on the farm is somewhere in our future. When Matt leaves for deployment next year, I will be heading up to the farm to stay for 5 months while he is gone. I can’t wait to experience that time on the farm with my family, and to contribute whatever I can in order to provide the food and experiences that will strengthen our family, and the community. I used to think happiness was mostly about having money, and having enough money to go on expensive vacations, or on the sail boat out in the Caribbean, but the more I experience time with my family on the farm, the more I realize it wasn’t the vacations or the boat that made me happy, it was being able to spend quality time with my family. Now that the farm has gone from a dream to a realization, there will always be a place where my family can come together, and spend quality time with one another. What more could I ever ask for? I want to thank Tara and Craig for not being afraid to take a risk in order to bring true abundance into their lives, and my mom and step-dad and everyone else on the farm for supporting them in creating that abundance…abundance of learning, love, family, food, and helping others. It is an abundance that has touched my life and my heart forever, and something that my husband and I want to do all we can to support it in order to bring that same abundance into the lives of our future family.