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Digital Subscriptions > Hobby Farms > March/April 2019 > Transforming THE LAND

Transforming THE LAND

The Combes family in California’s Central Valley turned a few acres of dirt into a successful multispecies hobby farm.
PHOTOS BY LORI RICE

In rural Hanford, California, there sits a bright green plot of land where chickens peck, goats graze and pigs root. It stands out because on all sides it is surrounded by expansive views of dry, dusty soil, a site that is familiar in California’s Central Valley. It’s difficult to believe that this green plot of land once looked like that, too.

The spot belongs to Combes Farms, a hobby farm run by Brian and Mandy Combes and their four children. “We had always wanted a place in the country to teach kids and let them run around,” Brian says. He and Mandy bought the land in September 2008. They felt lucky to have found the plot in the Central Valley considering the price of land in California despite the state of the economy at that time. The land along with the house would cause a few headaches and need some hard work before it was usable. “It was going to be a labor of love,” Brian says.

First, they focused on the house and creating a yard for their kids. Next came developing a small farm. “We wanted to be productive,” Mandy says. “We feel that if you have land, you need to be using it.”

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Hobby Farms March/April 2019, Annual Poultry Issue, Definitive Guide to Raising Worms, 5 Feeding tips for Rabbits, Grow Peanuts & Luffa Gourds, And More.......