A little about The French’s:
C.L. and Jean French purchased their property back in the late 70′s when it was an openlot with mountain views and a tiny shack in the back with. Together my grandparents designed and built every square inch of this property; creating their dream retirement haven away from the busy world of corporate meetings and ship launchings. My grandmother’s vision was to create a self-sustainable farm that allowed them to live off the land independantly and resourcefully repurposing everything the could. As a child “new” clothes meant a trash bag left by our gate from our friendly neighbor whose daughter had cleaned out her closet of clothing items she outgrew, gently used but brand new to me. It was either that, or my brother’s hand-me-downs. My grandparents were very successful people however they lived very humbly and most importantly comfortably.
When my grandfather retired in the 80′s my grandmother was given a cow as a gift from the company he had devoted nearly 30 years to. Yes that’s right, I said a cow. Lily was the begining of a great adventure. Over the years my grandmother had Nubian lop-earred goats, pigs, feasants, geese, ducks, chickens, dogs, cats, parrots… we even had turtles at one point. She milked the dairy cow and goats daily. When the time came she would send the pigs to the butcher and used the meat. She collected and ate the eggs from our chickens and grew many of the fruits and vegetables that were served from her kitchen. My grandmother volunteered much of her free time to the local elementary school in the classrooms as an aide, which then led to many class field trips at our home. I remember helping give the tour, while grandma would teach the kids about farm life (and sometimes death) and then they would all have lunch on the back deck.
The farm was beautiful and full of life for many years, but over time my grandparents got older and their health slowly declined. My grandmother’s vision began to deteriorate and her hands arthritic. The animals went to new homes one by one until nothing was left but a gimpy (but still singing) canary in a tiny cage in the livin room.
My husband and I moved onto the property in 2011 with our three children to help them out around the property because of their health. Having children around and someone to help her outside seemed to revitalize Jean’s love for farming and animals. A new light glimmered in her eyes. Despite the death of her husband in August of 2011 we are slowly but surely re-ignighting the beautiful life that once existed here on the farm. We are rebuilding the garden and although my grandmother’s magically gifted green thumb seems to have skipped over me, I refuse to give up.
A little about The Ranaldi’s:
My name is Rabecca Ranali. I may have began my life as a French, but I was born to be a Ranaldi. Although the handy and helpful Ranaldi Man I married was not raised on a farm and jokes that he “didn’t sign up for this” and likes to complain whenever possible about the animals or other farm related issues… he knows he loves it… or maybe he just loves me and that’s why we are proud be be running The Ranaldi Family Farm together.
I am a busy mother, farmer, cook, animal caretaker and marketing supervisor here at Ranaldi FamilyFarm.
I am the granddaughter of C.L. and Jean French who first owned this property and began the dream to be a self-sustainable farm.
I am now proud to be raising my own crazy bunch of kids on this property that is full of so many wonderful homesteading memories for me; Early mornings carrying the milking bucket for grandma and helping her get the goats up in the stand, walking through the fog and dew drops collecting snails from the garden as grandma pulled weeds before we walked to the bus stop for school, watching the animals give birth, raising them and selling them to wonderful families, harvesting pumpkins and fruit from the garden… there are SO many and each time I hear my children hiking around the yard singing at the top of their lungs, or watch my son out by the goat pen just sitting there talking to the goats I am reminded of some of the best times in my life. It is a true priveledge to be able to give my children the opportunity to create similar memories in the very same place that I called home as a child.
When I was a little girl, despite proudly wearing overalls and cowgirl boots, I never picked “farmer” for any of my future careers. I dreamed of being a singer or writer or actress… something BIG and famous. I think at one point I realistically believed I could be a Disney Princess…
Yet, here I am… re-creating my childhood and aspiring to resurrect The Farm to its previous glory and more! When my grandmother operated The Farm it was purely a hobby for her. She loved to garden and spent hours with her hands in the soil or bonding with an animal. She devoted so much time and money to the birds, pigs and goats she raised it was clear she cared more about her passion for farming than she did making a profit. I have taken her passion and dream for this property and hope to utilize my marketing and organizational degree to create a thriving, sustainable business that gives back to the community as well as supporting our family financially.
We are just a simple family striving to live off our land, learning and sharing together with our communityone day at a time.