Eat, Pray, Ride
By Audrey Pavia, Urban Farm Contributor
Monday, August 15, 2011
Photo by Audrey Pavia
Me and Cowboy in the hills of Three Rivers, Calif.
Being an urban farmer is really great, but every
once in a while, I have the urge to get out to the country where the serious
farmers live. I get this craving for the open road and the need to see acres of
To satisfy my urge, I packed Nigel up this weekend
and drove north to the town of Three Rivers, Calif., about five hours away,
nestled in a valley in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. I booked two nights
at a dog-friendly bed and breakfast and gave my friend, Christy, who's a horse
trainer, the heads up that I'd be in town.
The drive up was a real education in how much of
California is still used for agriculture. As we drove through the San Joaquin
Valley in the central part of the state, we passed acre after acre of assorted
crops. Peaches, almonds, lemons, grapes — just about everything you can think
of is grown here, for distribution throughout the country.
Of course, the sight I was most interested in was the
livestock. We saw steers grazing on the dry, golden grass that gives California
its moniker of the Golden State. We saw lots of horses too, and even an unusual
flock of sheep.
Once we arrived in Three Rivers, we saw plenty of
rural properties with horses, goats, ostriches and emus. Christy took me for a
ride in the hills on Saturday morning. I was on a beautiful Appaloosa gelding
named Cowboy when I saw the first ostrich, walking around among the wild oak
trees that grow everywhere.
After two days in this rural atmosphere, I was sad
to have to get on the road to come back to the concrete and traffic of Southern
California. But that feeling only lasted until I got to my house. As soon as I
unpacked, I laid down on a lounge chair in the backyard and watched the
chickens bed down for the night and my horses play with one another. That's
when I realized living in the city isn't so bad after all.
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