• Trowel
  • MyBoys
  • ScottWork
  • Plating
  • Cobbler
  • Soup2
  • Porkloin
  • ChefMartinez
  • Tyrell
  • Carmen1

Main | Tomato Water »

01 April 2005


Bravo on the blog! I am an aspiring food writer/photographer on the East Coast, but I feel connected to the greener West Coast through your posts. Thank you, thank you for your work and your inspiring rants. Should you ever find yourself in the Boston area, check out The Food Project (www.thefoodproject.org.)

I think your site, from what I've seen so far, is fantastic. If you don't mind, I'm going to link to it on my blog, where I dabble with farming, culture, faith, ramblings and musings, and so on. Hope you don't mind.

Dear Tana,
I started this off by going to Google to find "air fern's" and your web site popped up so I went to it thinking I would find "air fern's" but to my delite I found your lovely family, what a nice surprise. I forgot all about the "air fern's" and went to the pictures of your beautiful grandson Logan and his Poppy I can't thank you enough for the peace you gave me, not only with the picture's but with wonderful words that went along with them, thank you Tana and may God be with and your's.
Alway's looking's
for "air fern's"

dear tana,

i've been reading a lot from your "i heart farms" site lately and loving it! it's been very inspiring and  helpful in my quest to learn more about the small organic farms in the santa cruz mountains. the more i read the more i realized i'd like to introduce myself to you.

so hello and thank you for all the good words and images!

i'm a 35 year old working artist and teacher in the mission of san francisco who has been researching my next phase of life. i'm fully interested in being a part of the local organic and sustainably grown food community and quite sure i would like to do this on a small farm close to the bay area. one problem is... i have no experience! this is truly a new path i am investigating and i have a whole lot to learn.

obviously with all of your knowledge and visits to these farms i was drawn to you in hopes of learning from your perspective. i wonder if you still visit these farms and how often? do you need any help with photographing, organizing or the like? if i may, i'd like to offer free labor on my part in exchange for coming along on some of your farm visits. i'm interested in seeing a variety of farms, meeting farmers and discovering how i would best fit into this world. would that be something you are open to?

thank you kindly for all of your enthusiasm and inspiration.
how lucky we are to be in an area with people that care deeply about farming, eating and living green.

in hopes to join the green revolution,

amy rathbone
[email protected]

I use to have moles (not Gophers) and problems with slugs and snails. Here is what worked for me:

Caster Oil for moles. I mix Caster Oil with water and Cayenne pepper and flush down their holes, and I do one more thing. I mix Caster Oil and water alone in a bucket and cover the ground with a small amount over the entire area. Moles just leave the gound alone and the plants seem fine. It works!

Low voltage for slugs and snails: I put two side by side rows of any conductive tape around either the entire garden (on plastic or wood edging), or the plants I want to protect (in pots for example). Then I place 3 or 4 each, 9 Volt batteries in series to increase the voltage to 27 Volts or slightly higher, and connect this low voltage DC from one of the conductive tape borders to the adjacent conductive tape boarder. 27 Volts DC will not hurt you or kill the bugs, but they turn around and get out.

I place the conductive tape about 1/8" apart (space between). Copper is expensive, so I find that aluminum works fine. The batteries will last one season if there are no "short circuits" across the tape. I added a 4700 ohm resistor and an LED in series so I could have a visual indication as to electrical shorts across the twin rows of tape and have noticed that watering does draw a small amount of electricity from the batteries.

After the plants get bigger, the protection is not as crytical, so even if your batteries give out over time, you'll probably be OK. I have met many people who hate slugs and snails and smile when they see what I have done.

David R. Howland
[email protected]

I am putting together a website which is in the works. I have a 104 acre farm in Carmel Valley. We bought it a year ago in May. Since we developed the water i have planted 350 citrus trees and am selling fruit to 2 restaurants. I am certified USDA and CCOF organic. We are growing heirloom organic tomatoes in greenhouses to sell as plants in pots. We also have a growing herd of New Zealand Black Angus ,they are grass fed and all organic. I invite you to visit and i can describe the traumas and triumphs of building a ranch ,fencing developing the springs,well --------taking courses and reading all in 13 months,Best Wishes---Lin Eldridge

Phenomenal Blog site Tana!
Found you by accident in search of a high school friend who is in the S.F. Bay Area, but I'm back on the East coast where we both went to school.
I too lived in Santa Cruz many moons ago and graduated from UCSC and did have many lovely meals at Gabrielle's.
I've been a vegetarian for years and support local farmers always.
I now live in Basking Ridge, NJ -- moved so my daughter could be close to family -- and wanted to let you know about Bobolink Dairy because it's an awesome farm here in NJ. But I see you already know about it. Of course.
It's been a pleasure chancing upon your site -- keep logging the farmers on your blogging adventure. Be well, Karen

Hi Tana
I found your site by accident looking for info on "little prince"... saw your photo album of Logan and fell in love! He seems to be so happy with you two...and I admire the way you captured him so magnificently... My boy is almost two now. I take photos but wish I had your talent to capture all the wonderful moments that I want to remember forever (but fear I will forget as he grows older)!!!
I then also read all your articles.... and enjoyed it thouroughly... I live in sunny South Africa and love gardening (and needless to say, little man loves 'green' & the outdoors with me)
All the best!

Always looking for fresh info for growing my vegie garden, in paticular tomatoes, chemical free. What a lovely site many thanks for the great info.


It is rather hard for me to believe that I don't already know you personally. Or that I didn't already know about your blog until tonight. And I honestly am unsure how I came across it.

But I am so thankful that I did. For a variety of reasons.

All of those I plan to share with you. Quite soon.

However, right now I just want to thank you for my delightful trip that I just took back to some of my most favorite farms on the planet.

I miss them. In ways I have trouble describing to those who are not lucky enough to live there and enjoy their delicious bounty.

Thank you. From Salt Lake, thank you. From my heart, blessings.

Hi Tana,

It's Jessica Yarr the old pastry chef from Gabriella's. I Just wanted to let you in on my current workings.

I have recently taken over as Executive Chef of Theo's! I am very excited, we are doing some great new things with the place.

I am also currently starting my own Organic Farm with my fiance, folk singer Bud Sasse. It will be two acres focusing mainly on heirloom tomatoes. We will have all sorts of special things to come!

The Farm will be named Sierra Ranch after my daughter.

I would love for you to come check it out in the spring when things really get growing!

Hope to hear from you soon!


Tana where can I buy some of your glorious pictures of farm animals especially the pigs...they look the world of difference then the ones in factory farms. I would like to get some of those pictures and the cow pictures...beautiful.

Some of your links do not go to the websites they reference.

The comments to this entry are closed.

• • • • • visitors • • • • •

Start reading from the beginning:

Google this blog.

  • WWW
    Small Farms Blog