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Jim (James) Crawford

Jim (James) Crawford

Head Guy in Charge

All around Renaissance Man: i.e. can do just about anything needed done on the farm: a farmer, carpenter, welder, heavy equipment operator, and to earn an income, an Electrical Engineer specializing in Computer Science design.

Raised on a hog farm in the East Bay, he was responsible (as a teen) for managing 500 or so pigs. Building pens, setting up water systems, feeding, and then processing them when immigrants wanted to buy the stock. It was a real hands-on education.

Enlisting in the Air-force he left the farm life. Trained in basic electronics he worked on electronic systems on military aircraft while stationed in Alaska. He bought a small rough cabin, heated by firewood he cut (4 cords/month) and installed water into the house/cabin. He commented, "being able to flush a toilet was like a miracle"! Putting in insulation (including under the floor) cut the wood hauling to 1 cord/month.

After the military he worked on the Alaskan Pipeline running heavy equipment (uh, learning on the job in 20 degree below weather).

Moving back to the lower 48; to the Los Angelos area, he continued working with heavy equipment becoming a master backhoe operator. Sad to say, he helped bury paradise in concrete with all the dirt work construction going on. But he did develop a highly-skilled touch on the backhoe and was in high demand. No 'good deed' goes unpunished.

Due to the smog, smoking, and dust/dirt his doc told him his cough/cold would never go away and only get worse. He had to quit smoking, get out of L.A. smog and find another job. Oh, and don't bother coming back to see me if you can't follow my advice!

He never smoked another cigarette, moved to the SF Bay Area, and started in a lowly peon job at a computer manufacturing company, and never looked back. Quickly moved up the skill rank and started troubleshooting components that failed. He caught the leading edge of computer hardware design and decided to go back to school for a real theoretical education in computer science.

Graduated from the University of California @ Davis in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Design; he was the "old man" in the class (he was 30) and his classmates 18-22 yr olds. In a new class Jim was often mistaken for the instructor! and when the instructor arrived, Jim would get a double-take look from him, as this "old man" was taking the course. Of course, he was working part-time and raising 4 kids so going to school was quite a challenge. Out of 300 that started the program... only 30 finished it. His other name is "perseverance"!

Along this path gardening early on became part of the life-style. That and eating organic. With ongoing science research much more is known now about how the industrial farming model is a fatal direction, it kills the life in the soil. That organic processes which enhance the microbial life in the soil, enriches food that we eat, and provides food & habitats for others in nature.

With the farm, just 4 years old, he is implementing regenerative farming practices to rebuild the quality & health of our local environment. Right now he is working full-time tele-commuting. After hours and weekends are spent building up the farm processes. He is a full-time supporter of his wife, Amy, in creating her flower farm. He builds all the infrastructure and soil/compost that is utilized on the farm. In his "spare" time, of course. He is looking forward to soon retiring to focus on his interests; teaching, wine-making, beer making, grafting fruit/nut trees, orchards, soil enrichment and growing various veggies for home consumption. He is an active member of the Rare Fruit Growers association and the Lecturer for the Sebastopol Grange (working toward relocalizing our food and supporting the small farmer).

He also raises Miniature Jersey Milk Cows (for A2A2 raw milk, butter, cheese making) breeding stock as well as two half-linger draft horses (trained to pull a buggy/cart).

Any day now, he is going to take it easy! I don't think I'll hold my breath on that one...

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