Monday, June 24, 2013

Foothill Roots Farm Mural: Part 1

I'm going to paint a mural!! On this big blank shipping container:

Let me tell you more. My friends Diane and Pat have a new farm, Foothill Roots Farm (the astute reader [you] may have guessed this from the title of this blog post). The farm is in Meadow Vista, near Auburn, east of Sacramento in the Sierra Nevadas.

I got to visit the farm a couple of weeks ago. It's pretty wonderful. Diane is an old friend of mine- she has been one of my mentors in life and I owe a lot of my skills to her. In college, she'd always take me climbing and telemark skiing and was patient with all of my fears. In fact, she's the person who convinced me to apply to Outward Bound, which ended up being the best job ever. Anyway, she's awesome.

Diane and her husband Pat have now mostly left the world of climbing and skiing and outdoor education and have gotten in to that other adrenaline junky sport: farming. For real. They interned somewhere or other and learned a bunch of stuff and now they've started this farm in Meadow Vista.

What's amazing to me is how much work they have done. They just signed the lease on the land like 9 months ago and they already have a CSA going and a farm stand on Thursdays (3-7pm if you want to go by and buy something delicious to support them!). It's hard for me to understand how two people have done all this.

They've put up fencing, put down drip tape, put up a green house, cleared brush and grass, planted, furrowed, seedlinged, transplanted, thinned, covered, uncovered, mulched, and other things that I don't know the words for.

They've got this old tractor from the '50s that they've converted to solar power somehow.

Pat says, "we've converted this old tractor to solar power somehow!".
Just kidding, that's not what he's actually saying.

The day I was out there helping, there were two other people helping. Diane told me that
was the most help they'd had at one time.
They've had some help, in the two days I was there people kept dropping by to check things out and a couple people came by to volunteer. Apparently, if I'm remembering correctly, this is the first farm ever in Meadow Vista. From what I could tell, the community seems real excited and supportive of them being there.

"Farm on!"
(I'm not kidding, they were climbers before they were farmers.)

The farm is on the old Simpson Ranch and has some interesting history, past and present, which I'm still looking in to. I will write about that in another blog post. I'll also talk about the materials I'm going to use, the process of painting a 27'x8' mural, and brace yoursefl, I'll probably be asking you for money in every blog post!

I'm happy to paint this mural so I can learn experientially how to paint murals, get some exposure as an artist, support my friends and a good cause, and all that good stuff. Other than personal satisfaction and exposure, I'm not getting paid and am paying for supplies from my own pockets. Contact me if you'd like to get involved or want to help out with things like time, materials and/or money. It would be nice to be able to recover some of the costs. I'll write more details on costs in another blog post as well.

Thanks for reading! I'm excited to share this project with you on my blog as it unfolds! Feel free to share it with people you know!


  1. I am excited to see the mural progress. I love your description of how quickly the farm has grown. For me, a thirty year Meadow Vista resident, it is a dream come true. Tonight? Cabbage soup, with carrots and more from the farm. (It's cold and rainy today - freaky) Thanks to all of you who are working so hard. (I feel kind of like a friend of the Little Red Hen.)

    1. Thanks Robin! I'm so excited to be painting the mural and also glad to see the community support for the farm! Stay tuned if you're interested in helping out with the mural in some way. I'll be posting more info about that in the coming weeks. And thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  2. I would SO love to help with the mural. I paint everything (shoes, furniture, rocks). You are great!

  3. How is this project coming along?

  4. We are so looking forward to the mural! We had heard that you were going to be painting one from the farm and it will be yet another positive for the Simpson Ranch and Meadow Vista! Exciting and Positive times for all of us here. `~`