These funds will be used to help them buy the infrastructure, equipment, tools, and supplies needed to rebuild their farm and business. Unfortunately because they were leasing land, they did not have insurance.
Mackenzie and I met while we were WWOOFING (learning to farm) in Pescadero, CA at Fly Girl Farm. I live nearby in Ventura and feel fortunate to not have experienced any loss during the Thomas Fire. I know how passionate Mackenzie and Sean are about Ojai and how dedicated they are to their community and I want to support them in being able to rebuild.
Our farm is located in upper Ojai, where I spent most of my childhood. Growing up my amazing parents gave me the freedom to roam the hills of sulphur mountain by myself, creating so many different adventures in my head. My neighbor and I would ride our horses through the open landscape and stop off at The Summit for milkshakes before continuing up sisar cr. It's where I saw my first rattlesnake and my first mountain lion. Two Years ago I started my first farm underneath the towering Topa topas. It was the true realization of a dream. I had been suffering from depression and this was my big step towards taking my life back and actively creating beauty in my world. When I needed help building our 60foot greenhouse my neighbor sent up this handsome man to help me. I still remember the day I first saw him driving down our gravel road with his adorable dog and beat up Toyota truck. We sweat, bled, and built for a week. I'll be marrying him in May.
Upper Ojai was one of the first areas to be hit, and it was hit hard. Our farm included. Our trusty pink tractor, big Bertha, destroyed. The greenhouse we had built and served as the first brick in the foundation of our relationship burned. Our storage pod that housed 2 acres of irrigation equipment, 1 acre of landscape fabric, store inventory, and all of Sean's tools. Which is so painful for me because he is always the one to drop his needs, wants, or current projects to grab his welder, saw, and tools to help a friend or neighbor with their project.
I feel horrible to be feeling so devastated by our loss when we are truly so lucky considering the circumstances. But this farm was our bridge to our community. It was a way we were able to actively participate and give back. This year was going to be our best one yet; we have gotten into a good groove and we're learning so much about growing flowers in our little sweet spot of paradise. I'm not ready to just give up on this dream.
We have decided we are not ready to give up on our farm or this season. We could fall back and just be florists and take the farming aspect out of it, but our business ethos and lives truly depend on being able to connect with the land.
Topa Flora Facebook Page
Estimate of what was lost:
Store Inventory $2500
Florist Supplies $2500
Irrigation Equipment $4000
Landscape Fabric $1200
Funds will be withdrawn directly by Mackenzie and Sean.
DonationsSee top donations
- Sean Duncan
- Barbara Royster
- Raleigh & Mary Harris
- DON HUDZIETZ
- Cindy Power
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