About Winnie       

About Chris
Growing up in Taipei, I studied film production in college and immigrated to the US twenty years ago, when I was 20. For years, as an aspiring writer working as a waitress, I migrated back and forth between Taiwan and the US, trying to find my calling. Feeling tired and in need of change, I accepted a job offer in Taipei, working for television companies on foreign broadcast programming. 

After four years, I was promoted, and my salary doubled. Meanwhile, I also started getting Chinese and English translation cases on the side, and worked 12+ hours nearly every day for over two years. After I felt more confident with my experiences, my skills at translation matured, and I heeded my inner voice and quit my office job, ready to embrace a new life with more freedom and career possibilities. 

One month later, in 2003, I met my partner, Chris, an anthropology student from West Los Angeles. I assisted him in his research in Taiwan and Hainan, funded by the Fulbright Foundation, on indigenous people and betel chewing cultures, finally resulting in his PhD dissertation in anthropology at the University of Southern California four years later. 

In 2007, we traveled in India and Nepal as ambassadors of goodwill, sponsored by the Rotary Club, researching Hindu pilgrimage, spirituality and eco-cultural tourism. We began meeting with people who were eco-focused and participating in conservationist agriculture in Thailand, Bali, Mexico, China and New Zealand and have since been drawn to intentional communities, gift economies, permacultural design and methods of sustainable living.

n 2009, we first came to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, and have since returned year after year, helping friends on small-scale family farms, as we lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle between California and Taiwan, aiming to integrate the best of both worlds. My freelance career continued to flourish, as I wrote and translated articles for books and magazines, about arts, culture, tourism and entrepreneurship. Our son, Aldous, was born in Taiwan in 2010, while Chris was teaching at a university in Taipei as an assistant professor. However, we often felt out of place in Taipei's urban atmosphere and were always eager to leave and settle in an agricultural environment to raise our children.

By then, Chris and I had been teamed up for many years as bilingual freelance researchers, writers, translators and editors. We knew that we could make a living anywhere offering our service, and it was up to us where we wanted to live. The answer finally became clear: California's Gold Country was where we wanted to build our nest.

In 2013, our daughter, Zenya, was born, and we stayed in the Sierra Foothills through the winter for the first time, managing a friend's family farm for four months while they traveled overseas. We then realized how much we wanted to create our own family farm and live self-sufficiently. We started searching for land in Nevada County, and in 2014, I purchased 5.8 acres of land zoned for rural agriculture. We have since had a water well and pump installed, hooked up temporary construction electricity, and purchased a house plan. We are currently living in our RV and working on the land, which has already proven to be productive. In addition to working our own land, we also assist friends and neighbors part-time while getting ready to build our permanent home in Grass Valley, California.

We are going to build a house, install a septic system, build a fence around the property, set up water holding tanks for a gravity-fed irrigation system, construct access roads, develop garden beds, build facilities for livestock, and acquire necessary farming equipment

We grow organic sweet basil, garlic, chili peppers, rosemary, blue corn, squash, beans, yam leaves, goji berries, strawberries, grapes, olives, cherries, plums, bamboo and more. We also want to raise alpacas, peacocks, chickens and ducks. Our main products are organic pesto, chili sauce, garlic spread, dried goji berries, pickled olives, various seedlings and potted plants, alpaca wool, feathers, and bamboo items, as well as fresh produce and eggs. We plan to start vending in May 2016 at local farmers' markets, festivals and county fairs.

Besides farm commodities, we also plan on creating handmade wearable arts and other useful goods, including quilted bags up-cycled from high quality natural fabrics, eco-friendly bug repellent, and play dough made with food-grade ingredients, to sell at vending locations in Northern California and online, cultivating connections locally through our social networks, as well as in the global market via our website.

Our goal is to produce the highest quality organic foods, and provide wool and feathers shed from lovingly cared for animals. We are confident that we can establish a steady income, pay off our loan on schedule, secure a livelihood for our family as we live and work together on the farm, and ultimately make our contribution to local communities and beyond.