Interlude: Pie Ranch

How did I find myself here? Enjoying the company of some amazing farming apprentices, sharing in their home-grown chili, Chez Pannisse catered pork ribs, raw milk, and some great conversations in a pie-shaped valley near Pescadero. 
Arrived last night after being turned away from a work-trade deal at the Pidgeon Point Hostel. I was gearing up for spending a night on the beach, refilling my water at the Brewery at the bottom of the hill. Before she left, Sara told me of a place that I might stay for the night, or a few days, but it was starting to get dark, and I didn’t know if I had missed it or was miles away. So I asked the woman at the counter if she knew of Pie Ranch, or Green Oaks Creek Farms.
“Sure!” she said, “Some of ’em are here right now.” My heart leapt as she pointed out a young man in a felt hat sitting alone at the bar. “That’s Mark”
So I approached him. It turns out he is working as the Livestock Manager at Pie Ranch, having completed the first year of the same program my dad is going through in Winters. Crazy, right? Turns out, he’s friends with a bunch of folk in Capay Valley and Davis/Winters area. We packed my bike into the back of his truck and drove on, arriving just before sunset. 
A couple hours later, after an amazing meal, I was asleep on the couch in the guest bungalow. And here I am. Spent the day thinning carrots, talking with other folk, visiting a nearby (by car, anyway) livestock operation, washing my clothes and my body in an outdoor shower.
I’m considering spending a few days here being useful (or at the very least, entertaining) before hitting the road again.
It’s up in the air, though. I’m feeling a constant state of culture shock, as I transition from spending my days with anarchist street kids sleeping under trees to working side by side with these even-keeled farming apprentices. A different world, entirely. 
I haven’t heard from Hannah and crew since the text I received two nights ago. I’m not even sure that they’re still in Santa Cruz, much less if they want to continue this journey with me. 
Ahhhh, well. Time for sleep. Gotta wake up early to help milk the cows and goats, and then who knows. I’ll rest, shower often, eat well, drink LOTS of raw milk, and enjoy my time as best I can.


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