Melinda and Simon of Peace and Plenty Farm, located in Kelseyville in Lake County, Northern California, grow four-season vegetables, lavender, flowers and saffron. They are the largest saffron producers in North America! Although it may look like a large farm, they are quite small – just over 2 acres of cultivated land. Owners Melinda and Simon do much of the building and farming themselves.
Since the farm started in 2017, they’ve built a market garden, two Airbnbs for farm stays, a commercial kitchen, a farm stand, cold rooms, hoop houses, and intern housing, but there are something they haven’t worked on yet: the barn.
Built in the late 1800s, the barn was originally used for hay storage and milking. It was the center of the thriving farm then, just as it is the center of our farm today. The difference, however, is that the barn is currently in poor condition. There are major works to be done to make it habitable and ensure its future. The barn is the backdrop for much of what we do on the farm, but that’s all it is at the moment – a backdrop, not a usable structure.
Barns have always been an integral part of the functionality of a farm. Because barns are large, expensive structures, communities in the past would often come together and pool their resources to help build or rebuild another community member’s barn; it was called a “barn raising”.
This fundraising effort would allow us to complete some essential renovations – a new roof and center beams, concrete floor and secure doors – transforming the barn into a multifunctional community space.
Future uses include providing space for the processing of our diverse cultures, hosting farm dinners and groups including school outings, proms, local club meetings, weddings, groups yoga and quilt shows. The possibilities are truly endless.
The costs of hiring an engineer to ensure the barn is safe and up to permit requirements and the cost of flooring, new roofing and doors are more than Melinda and Simon can cover alone. Their goal is ambitious: $150,000, because rebuilding an old barn costs almost as much as building one from scratch. They are so honored to have the privilege of preserving this historical treasure but need your help.
Please consider donating to the barn-raising. Every bit adds up to make this happen!
To watch the video, click here.