Well, let’s start at the beginning… my adoptive parents were older Texas and Louisiana natives who migrated west for work and relief from Jim Crow during the 1940’s. While they thrived in Oakland, they chose to stay connected to their land-loving southern roots and life based on the philosophy of “mother wit”. So they built a rural retreat for the family in an undeveloped part of Lower Lake, just south of Clear Lake and 100 miles north of Oakland.
Our place at “The Lake” sat on six acres of land, which anchored a modest family home, and intermittently farmed horses, cows, goats, pigs, and chickens. My folks also kept a large garden plot equal to the square footage of the living space, producing “organic” vegetables year-round. On the remaining acreage, dozens of orderly English walnut trees grew that generated a modest revenue, but in the summer heat, many other trees and vines strained heavily with ripe peaches, plums, and grapes.