FARMING AS A SECOND CAREER
When I grow up, I want to be…. for me the answers ranged from a police officer to mortician (yes, mortician). I started my path to a law enforcement career at Butte College in Oroville, Ca .I did well, loved criminal investigation but could not fire my weapon without the support of my left hand. I gave it some thought and decided not to pursue a career that would have people potentially shooting at me.
I was a youngster of nineteen and found myself called down the career path of nursing. I tasted many areas from acute care, long-term care, private duty, to home care. I became an advanced practice nurse specializing in the care of frail elders in their homes. I found that after thirty-four years that I was tired.
The call to the soil came easy for me. I found many parallels in farming that are present in nursing such as nurturing, promoting health, and disease reduction, analyzing lab results along with the simple joy of seeing something succeed and grow.
I am not in this to get wealthy, as that would require an input of time, energy, and resources that I do not possess, nor wish to. I farm because I must. I crave improved self-sufficiency and wish to contribute locally grown produce to my community. I flourish in a group of small farmers that show a passion and commitment that is palpable.
Follow Your Heart is our farm. We do that and encourage others to not let age or fears of change keep them from pursuing their “second career.”
Laura E. Rodriguez
Follow Your Heart Farm
Thank you Laura for organizing this wonderful event!
A quick history of Granges :
The new Feather River Grange website is up! Check it out http://www.featherrivergrange440.com/
Farm of the Week
This week we're doing a profile on a local farm, by asking five questions. We spoke with Laura Rodriguez.
1. What is the name of your farm, and the approx. location?
We are Follow Your Heart Farm and are located on Highway 70 approximately 3 miles west of Quincy.
2. What sort of plants do you grow/animals do you raise?
Our crop plan for our garden for 2016 includes the following: Armenian Cucumbers, Boston Pickling Cucumbers, Moon and Stars Yellow Flesh Watermelon, Minnesota Midget Melon, Bloomdale Spinach, Hutterite Soup Bush Beans,Cosmic Purple and St Valery Carrots, Chioggia Beets,18 Jours, Malaga, and Zlata Radishes,Pink Bumblebee,Henderson's Pink Ponderosa, and Granny Cantrell German Red Tomatoes, Rosa Bianca, Thai Long Green and Japanese Pickling Eggplants,Leutschauer,Golden Marconi,Sheepnose Pimento,Friariello Di Napoli, Corno Di Toro Rosso, Hungarian Hot Wax, Tam Jalapeno,Estaceno Chile, and Ring of Fire peppers.
Our orchard has the following: 4 apple trees (Sierra Beauty, Red Astrachen, Nickajack and King David), 3 peach trees: Polly White, Indian Blood Red Cling and Fay Elberta, 3 pear trees: Seckel, Red Clapp and Warren, 2 flowering quince (Victory).
Our berry patch has Black Butte Blackberries, boysenberries, Fall Golden Raspberries, Boyne Raspberries, Sunshine, Jersey and Rubel Blueberries. We also have 21 donated canes of an unknown raspberry.
We are also dabbling in hop production.
We currently have 10 Barred Rock Hens that lay beautiful eggs. We will be receiving 5 Buff Orpington chicks in early March. We will also be adopting 2 kids in April that will be Toggenburg/Boar mixes. They will be wethers.
3. How many people work on your farm?
My life/farm partner Ann and myself. We have 2 chocolate Labs Bodie and Kimber.
4. How long has your farm been operational?
We have been in business since June 30, 2014. This will be our 2nd year of actual production.
5. What are your goals for the future?
We are building a tiny house on wheels to have as a vacation rental on our farm property. We will expand our orchard and berry patch along with increasing our market crop production. Once our berries/fruit trees produce we will do cottage industry products for our local community. Truly Plumas Grown and Plumas Made!
Thank you Laura!