Starting from seed: Life after the California wildfires

I find untold joy each year when receiving a great seed catalog. There isn’t much that we will not try to grow. With every new plant variety/variation offering its own amazing adventure. Through the years, we had built ourselves lush, bountiful gardens in Sonoma, California - from 200 pound pumpkins, full herb garden, vegetables galore to over 20 varieties of tomatoes at a time. We did all of this with the bio help of our hard-working team of chickens who happily played their part maintaining the bug population and producing copious fertilizer! It was not hard to have a large group of friends stop by for lunch. The fields outside could quickly supply food for 20.

 We had just started work on our winter crops when the unthinkable happened. All ended abruptly as wildfire ascended upon the property - burning down our homes, farm equipment and our sweet flock of hens. We are living amid the ashes in the last, small out-building which survived this devastation, hoping to get water and power off emergency generators soon. Our emotions are raw and our minds continue to reel as we try to cope with what has become of our lives and land.

Sonoma California wild fires. Rebuilding from seed.

 You find the oddest things to miss when your life burns down - family photos, coffee maker, that one button-down shirt I looked good in. But mostly we sit, staring off into the distance, with nothing but charred earth returning our gaze. We have lost all the beauty that originated as seed, and through time and hard work had become the joyful flowers outside the patio door and the bountiful crops that nourished our souls.

Sonoma California wild fires. Rebuilding from seed.

 The fire was over 3000 degrees and moved over 70-90MPH – melting car rims, sterilizing several inches of top soil, freezing leaves in horizontal formation; a general moon landscape. And yet, as the smoke continued to dissipate, I somehow feel that everything will eventually change for the better, and that peace and tranquility will return once more. I want to rebuild this land with a great home, good friends and even better crops. We have sought seed which comes from people who care about the earth; to help contribute to the bees and butterflies so that they can help in rebuilding our ecosystem.

Sonoma California wild fires. Rebuilding from seed.

 I am glad to have found such a great company / people who have these same ideas in mind. Even a quick phone call to set up shipping helped inspire much needed hope and joy for the new year. I can’t wait to work the soil again, to grow, nourish and flourish; pulling in fresh crops to enjoy with our community once again.

Guest blooger, David Laquidara, shares a glimpse into what life looked like before, during, and hope of what life might look like after as he and his family start again from seed.

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