Author Archive | Kate O'Brien-Mann


A Sense of Place: Summer at Homeward Bounty Farm 

Sometimes I feel that all the weeks and months of the year are just a count down until summer. Summer is time’s destination. My spirit looks forward to it so much. It is as if the longer days gift you with more time to live. I love the clear skies and the crystal water of the rivers and lakes. I love that you have to go high in the mountains and forests to find cooler temperatures. I love that sometimes it’s so hot in the middle of the day that the field is a rippling mirage, and I’m forced to drink a beer on the porch, to take off my boots and wait for the sun to dip lower in the horizon, at which time work can continue. I love that another season comes to fruition in the heart of summer. Plants grow, flower, fruit, their actions defining how this season will be celebrated and what lessons will be learned.

Exhausting and exhilarating are the days of summer. It’s never a challenge to fall asleep after these long days. My body collapses and is covered in a cool breeze, one that has welcomed itself in from the open window. Each … Read More

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A Sense of Place: Spring on Homeward Bounty Farm

Winter’s stillness has thawed. Spring has ceased the repose of colder shorter days and now vibrates pure motion that can’t be stopped. Spring, this coil of a noun, advancement of a verb, an onomatopoeia, Spring! Spring is a deep, content breath, one that you take in to the core and then become overwhelmed by your blessings and the beauty of the world around you. Spring, a force projecting up, out and into the fields of the season. With the weeks of warmer, longer days, cocooned buds are coaxed out from last year’s stems and burst open to reveal winged blossoms that become blushed with the kiss of the golden sun. We witness these blossoms, taken in through our own eyes, and it’s as if we can feel flowers growing inside us. This is what spring does. We’ve all felt that internal germination.

The greenhouse is alive with this year’s generation of plants. Seeds sprout in their trays, verdant first leaves glow. These first leaves, called cotyledons, are different for each plant family. You can read the shape and know which family they are kin to, like a thumbprint. Brassicas unfold, first looking like four-leaved clovers before their true leaves arrive. … Read More

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Kate O'Brien
Homeward Bounty Farm
Organic Produce and Seeds
1805 Timmons RD. Granada, CA

Sense of Place: Winter at Homeward Bounty Farm


This time of year the farm is dark and dormant, like that of a new moon sky. During these winter months, all that is dark and seemingly void of life secretly carries the story of spring and another farm season. The new farm season, like a new moon, has its presence concealed by darkness. The brown limbs of the orchard trees, barren of leaves and verve, clutch rich life in their buds. Grab a handful of darkened rain-soaked earth, and find it alive with worms, microscopic life too, breaking down the season that was tilled-in, and small seeds that still call it night. These seeds hold all they need within themselves, stories of the past and future. They lie dormant, their knowledge an ancestral heirloom that echoes, “Wait for the warmth of a sun reaching higher in the sky, the spring-warmed soil around you, the enlivened drops of spring showers, before reaching with your roots and sprouting onto land.” With the days dominated by cold and dark, much of my working hours are now spent inside, where the fire keeps us warm and the kettle works overtime.

The months of winter offer up drastically different work from the hot Read More

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Fall on Homeward Bounty Farm

To start a story in the fall seems like odd placement, but to be present with a farm is to witness an ever active dance of interlocking cycles, where the beginnings and ends come together at junctures that are both expected and unexpected.

At Homeward Bounty Farm, there is a cycle in every day. We are tied to the cycles of the sun, as it is rising up from behind Mt. Shasta to the east, with golden rays heating the last days of summer, angles that will creep lower on the horizon with crisp mornings as fall begins, and setting down into the wilderness of twisted rivers and forests in the west. Then there are the cycles of individual crops, reflected in seasonal availability, such as field ripened fruits, roots, and leaves that Homeward Bounty Farm offers up at the Mount Shasta Farmers’ Market and for the farm run CSA program. These programs start in May and ending in October.

My own cycle of life brought me back to Siskiyou County, where I was born and raised. My parents were offered teaching jobs at the small rural school in Grenada in the early 80’s, and it’s at that same school Read More

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