Greetings, readers. Jonathan Duffy Davis here. My farm has been mentioned on the blog several times but I thought that a proper introduction might be in order! It has been just over a year since my family and I bought 20 rugged acres of Southern-Californian land. We sit at 3500 feet and have a clear and expansive view of Palomar Mountain and the Temecula Valley. The view and sunsets are incredible. I could live here solely for the sunsets.
When we moved here last August the land was entirely “unimproved,” with the exception of a 70 year-old rusty and mostly downed barbed wire fence. We had no water, no electricity, and no gas. A rough driveway had been cut through the brush in order to sell the property but it ventured a mere 100 feet from the road (that sounds like a long driveway, but we are on 20 acres). Out of necessity – and I like to think, out of a new philosophy and lifestyle – we lived simply for five months. Completely off-grid, we used a single solar panel and battery for electricity and hauled our own water into the property, 300 gallons at a time.
We drilled our well in December and quickly brought our homestead onto grid. Our well is 500 feet deep and provides us plenty of good drinkable water. A water-well allowed us to bring electricity onto the property, which was something we quickly arranged. We are now comfortable. We even have high speed Wi-Fi (via a radio antenna!).
Ten months have passed since we moved here full time and I think we’ve accomplished much. We’ve drilled the well, brought electricity in from the grid, piped both water and electricity 350 feet to the home site, and we have built the first of many adobe cabins. We’ve also planted 130 fruit trees, brought 10 new beehives onto the site, and have begun to turn and improve the soil on our large market garden.
You’ll hear more about all of our farm projects in upcoming blog posts, but I felt the need to officially introduce my new farm! Get ready for many more updates about modern homesteading in rural Southern California as I build a farm and a home with my family, with my bare hands and very few tools. I hope you’ll read what I write and join me in the journey.
Jonathan Duffy Davis
P.S. – And don’t forget, Jonathan Dye and I are teaching together at the Fullerton Arboretum this Thursday night and through the summer. This week, we are cooking an Early Summer Celebration dinner, and there are a few seats left. Register here and spend the evening cooking, drinking and catching up with us. I will bring many tales from the homesteading front!