I recently took my annual trip up to Northern California to the absolutely gorgeous and quaint town of Murphys, CA. You are probably wondering....Murphys??... where the heck is that? Well, you are not alone. I have been going to visit now for the past several summers and only know about it because good friends who call this gem of a place, home. I think that it is one of California's best kept secrets! It is full of history, good food, locally owned artisanal shops and restaurants... and best of all, fresh veggies and wine!
Murphys is located about 1.5 hours East from the state's capital Sacramento, CA. It is nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills along with beautiful forests, streams and lakes. It is on the doorstep of Big Trees State Park, where some of the world's largest trees call home. The Giant Sequoia is a sight to behold!
While in Murphys, I got to play, eat and sleep at a place called Fire Moutain. It is a wonderful property with a homespun garden that is brimming over with organic fruits and veggies. Every year for the summer season, the garden opens it's gates for Fire Mountain Farm Stand. Not only is there amazing produce for all, but Shonna (who calls the farm home) bakes the most wonderful muffins, foccacia and delectibles! Yum.
Let me tour you around the farm through my lens. I was lucky enough to be escorted by the farms most exhuberant resident, Aurora. Enjoy!
|Meet the Locals! Aurora was kind and informative...I learned that mommy likes pink flowers.|
|Tomatoes, canned peppers, melons, squash....the list goes on and on. All delicious all local.|
|For it's small size, this stand really packs a punch!|
|The garden in its late summer glory.|
|Raised beds assist in keeping pests like gophers out of the mix. They also have the advantage of being free of the biggest challenge in this area: rocky soil.|
|Another local resident. Organic gardens foster natural means of pest control.|
|Natural form of pest control. Cats are important farm residents for several reasons. They help keep rodent populations in control as well greeting visitors with a leg rub.|
|My tour guide really loves what she does and it shows.|
|The ladies of Fire Mountain Farm: chickens provide healthy and nutritious eggs in exchange for garden scraps. What a bargain!|
|Yellow and Orange fleshed watermelons. Yum!|
|This squash benefits from the companion planting of Marigolds. Flowers attract pollinators and beneficial insects that help keep the whole garden in balance.|
|A space this size feeds a family of 3 along with a weekly farm stand all summer! Very productive.|