The Backstory - Part I

by fig + fauna farm on 01/09/13

It's hard to pinpoint where our story begins. As I look back, it seems as though we've been heading in this direction all along. Our tale holds an equal dose of both reverie and reality. I'll start with the urge to create Fig & Fauna, which was twofold, and the first spark was ignited by dogs.
In 2006, my husband and I created a dog care service (walking, training and dog sitting), called Onblonde. Our mission was to provide dogs with an outlet in which they could be fulfilled through exercise and cognitive interaction. As we walked alongside dogs, day after day, we learned many things about the dynamic of the dog/client relationship - clearly found: a satisfied dog creates a happy owner. It became our passioin to serve as a liaison between dogs and their owners - with hopes to communicate both needs and strengthen their connections. Over the years, with the help of our friends, family and clients, Onblonde grew. We opened a brick and morter store, which served our human clients well, but our minds still searched for more ways to bring deep satisfaction to dogs.
Then our daughter Dane was born.
She ignited a revolution in our minds and hearts. My interest in natural cooking and gardening,  only swelled when I began to offer her food. Influenced by the concepts of the book Nourishing Traditions, I searched to find the purest, untouched forms of food to nuture her growing body and tried my best to obtain farm fresh food. However, the thought of having our own chickens for eggs, was clearly building a case within me. We lived in a great home, with great neighbors and a great little vegetable was just the place we thought we would be for many years to come. But when we lay in bed at night, marveling over our young daughter, my husband shared stories of his childhood on a farm in Missouri. I realized that many of his greatest virtues were gained during his formative years spent on the farm, amongst pigs, tractors and grape vines. His memories, in a way became a part of my hopes for our own daughters' childhood. Of course, some of my thoughts were laden with whimsy; aprons, tree swings and bare feet in the garden. But I genuinely desired a place for her to grow - physically, mentally and emotionally - with the beneficial support of nature.
It became our quest to blend our longing of farming and love of dogs into one package. Then it occured to us - our clients dogs were seeking the same things that we were: to be immersed in nature and to be nature. We created a new business plan to expand Onblonde's service offerings to Farm Retreats. "Every dog is a farm dog at heart". That year, we sold our home and found our farm. Here is what came of it:

onblonde farm from tiger in a jar on Vimeo.

Over the past year, I've written about the Fig & Fauna story from different angles - you can find one on our beloved chickens in Kinfolk Vol 4 , or an interview in LaPiperita and my words on why we love farming in Pure Green Magazine.

// Top picture by Rose E Martin


by fig + fauna farm on 12/27/12

When I began this space, I had a goal in mind: to expose the beauty of life on a farm. I wanted to share the simple luxuries of homesteading, as they were novel to us. We had hopes to provide a window into the connections that can be made with food, while living with it. I recognized when we started on this journey, that there is a clear generational gap of stewards to land and livestock. My generation isn't able to question our parents on the ways to milk a dairy cow - if we are lucky, we may call upon our grandparents for their memories of life that was once intertwined with home raised meals. As our grandparents recollect those times, they often remind us of the stigma attached to farming: "hard work, little pay". While that notion has deterred so many from this way of life, my mission has been to share another side of farming - a side where people raise food not only out of necessity, but more of a passion for the lives of the meal, and the story that unfolds from plot to plate.

As I was soiling my boots in our pastures morning muck, I came to realize that I have not yet shared so many of the rewarding happenings here on our farm - that is: the intense labor that often brings us together, the struggles which show us patience, the mothering lessons that I have learned from a dear rabbit and what exactly is worth teaching a child through plants and animals. In the hustle of finding our feet on this ground, I have even forgotten to share the details of how and why we embarked on this journey.

I want to do that in two thousand and thirteen. Thank you for sharing this year with us.

A Christmas Wreath

by fig + fauna farm on 12/15/12

We made small wreaths to hang in windows and on doors, with hopes to catch a pine scented breeze every now and then. They are easy to make and quite inexpensive. You can gather cut branches from Christmas tree lots. Find more Christmas Tree project ideas in KINFOLK VOL SIX. pg 82-83.


You will need:

  • 18 gauge wire
  • Twine
  • Christmas Tree Branches
  • Scissors

Form a circle shape with your wire (tear drops, squares, ovals and triangles would be beautiful too!) . Twist the two ends together to complete the shape. Cut small branches about 6-8" long and begin to fasten them to the wire,  with twine, starting at the base of the wreath. Make sure all of the branches are facing upward. Continue this process until all of the wire is covered. Tie a loop at the top of the wreath for hanging.
* Trees that work well with this project are: Douglas Fir and Spruce

// Photos by Rose E Martin