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Thoughts | Our Homecoming

Thoughts | Our Homecoming

Written by Emily

I woke up early this morning and opened the curtains to my favorite kind of weather - damp & overcast skies, with low-slung clouds that appear like snakes between vines and over hillsides of the valley.

Tossing the “to do” and “to purchase” lists that accompany moving aside for a moment, I headed out with the intention of driving up to our mom's old production facility & home on Bennett Lane. The final location of the olive oil company before the Tubbs Fire, it felt natural to pay my respect and reflect on all of the synchronicities that led us back to the valley.

The first indication of spring in the valley - wild mustard blooms

 

As I drove down Tubbs Lane and took the familiar left on Bennett, I pulled over a few times to admire and capture the many juxtapositions of the valley at this time of year. Looking back I recall summertime as the most heavily treaded here, but the passage from winter to spring has always captured me as well. Vibrant wild mustard blooms frame dormant rows of vines, appearing almost fluorescent against the dark tones of the soil and sky. The vines themselves are mostly pruned, but some still appear reaching and untamed, awaiting their turn before buds break in early spring.

The sweetest neighbor on Tubbs Lane

 

After taking an excessive amount of mustard photos, I continued on to the property - stopping once more to say hello to a friendly herd of horses along the way. Simply driving along the snaking backroad of Bennett Lane brought up a host of bittersweet emotions and memories -  early mornings spent in the office packing orders, late nights mixing new blends for olive soap, and eventually standing on the burnt earth where we savored many evenings together on the former deck. 

Backyard exploration with Kaelin & Gigi

 

After reliving some of these moments at the foot of the hillside where they occurred, I got back into my car and returned to town, passing the rows of mustard and herd of horses once again. Pulling into the driveway of our new home just down the road from these memories, any doubts I had about our return to the valley and the journey ahead were dispirited by the synchronicity of it all.

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We're eager to share the magic of this property with you - starting with our tasks for early Spring!

Plans for February & March

  • Plan and plot the vegetable and pollinator garden
    • As soon as our move back to the valley became official, we reached out to our uncle H - a UC Master Gardener and genuine plant expert. He recommended a few local nurseries and seed banks we plan to visit - including Berkeley Horticultural Nursery and The Petaluma Seed Bank.
  • Build a farm table
    • The barn on our property was built in the early 1800's - a beautiful relic of Calistoga that we're so honored to share a space with. It is declared historic by the county and  therefore untouchable, but it serves as the most beautiful backdrop and source for inspiration. We plan on building a table next to it with a slab of oak we picked up at a salvage yard (for when we can eventually host outdoor dinners).
  • Finish furnishing the living room & kitchen
    • We're holding out for the elusive Sixpenny President's Day Sale to purchase our sofa - they have the coziest selection of natural fiber furniture and operate on a sustainable, made-to-order model. We'll source the rest of our pieces secondhand or build them. We found our coffee table at the most impressive warehouse of antiques in Petaluma last weekend - a must-see if you're in the area!

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