Field & Pond Has Found Its Home in Winters

Dahvie James sitting in the living room at Field and Pond
Dahvie James sitting in the living room at Field & Pond

by Dahvie James

By now you have probably heard about the Board of Supervisors 4-1 vote to approve Field & Pond as a Bed & Breakfast with 20 special events each year.  And I’d be willing to bet that if you are a Yolo County local, you have also heard about Field & Pond and a litany of reasons for why this particular project has caused such a stir within our quaint little community.  Did I get that right?

Well, we have certainly encountered and considered these concerns, and while we do take them very seriously, we feel that the situation is really not quite as extreme as what you may have heard.  For starters, as much as we marvel in the idea of our being thought of as extremely wealthy commercial developing tycoons, jet-setting across the globe, buying and flipping, flipping and buying, candidly, nothing could be further from the truth. I’m a UC Davis Engineer, and an MBA (Master in Business Administration), specializing in Marketing and Sustainable Enterprise.  Philip, my husband, is a veterinarian surgeon from Australia; he actually taught at UC Davis for some time.  And though we do engage in some level of modest jet-setting from time to time, it’s usually for vacations and visits with family.  Generally, I think we are considered by most townies who know us to be a fairly down-to-earth, fun-loving and ordinary married couple, who happen to have a dream of getting off the corporate rat-wheel, and getting back in touch with the things that we love; nature and people.

You might be surprised to know that we actually came upon the opportunity to buy our ranch on a whim.  It was part of a larger landholding, approximately 1,400 acres.  It had been parceled out, in order to increase the prospect of selling.  Our parcel in particular was the portion of that landholding that contained all of the structures, and unfortunately, or rather fortunately for us – depending on how you look at it – our land also possessed the sub-prime soil. The structures needed TLC, the grounds, though beautiful, begged for florals and structure, and the farmland itself had lain fallow for many many years.  Now, if at this point you are saying to yourself, “That doesn’t sound like a great deal,” you are right.  Well, sort of.

The conditions surrounding our ranch were such that you couldn’t farm it very easily, because of all of the structures, and conversely, it would also be an awful lot of land to pay for, if you were just looking for a private residence.  Well, needless to say, our ranch sat on the market without a single offer for almost two years.  And then we came along.  Where others saw an undesirable piece of property, we saw a new home and hope for our family and business.  Where some had seen a remnant of the long forgotten past, we saw a tremendous honor and opportunity to restore the historical agriculture, and to contribute to a longstanding legacy put forth by some of Winters’ early founding families like the Scotts, the Chapmans and the Irelands.

Filled with excitement, but also a discipline for diligence, we met with a number of different agencies and stakeholders, in order to share our business idea, learn about the property allowances, and to ultimately determine if it was truly a right fit for us.  We met with County Planning, Public Works, and the Building Department.  We met with various members of the local government, as well as other local business owners, and community members.  And even though typical Real Estate prudence precluded our talking directly with immediate neighbors prior to a purchase, to the extent possible, we found ways to meet with other neighborhood folks; we attended a couple neighborhood picnics, camped out many weekends on our friend’s couches, all just to get a real sense for the area, people and culture.  Further, given that 70 of the 80 acres south of the creek that dissects the property, is part of a land conservation easement, we also met with the land easement holders in order to confirm that we would be allowed to farm and graze there, and potentially integrate components of the hospitality portion of our business there as well.  Additionally, when appropriate, we brought in experts like a General Contractor, Architect and Topographic surveyor, in order to help with County meetings, and to gain deeper perspective on the road ahead.  Ultimately, it seemed that all indicators were “a GO.” Even the County General Plan and zoning allowances for the property, Ag Extensive, indicated a “GO.” As an Ag Extensive (versus an Ag Intensive) property, the property already had intrinsic zoning code allowances that were geared towards supporting agritourism.  For example, a Bed & Breakfast, conducting up to 12 events, only required an administrative Site Plan Review; not even a minor Use Permit.  Needless to say, we were so excited to embark upon this journey.

Now, this is probably an appropriate time to share that our vision for Field & Pond, and for Winters, for that matter, was (and is) far from aspiring to become just another Napa Valley carbon copy.  Worth noting is that today within the County area near Winters there is one active approved event center, and two Bed & Breakfasts.  Also worth noting is that, within the last six years, a “whopping” total of 16 Use Permits for hospitality businesses were issued in all of Yolo County; only one of these was for a B&B, Park Winters.  For perspective, in Napa today there are more than 80 restaurants, with more than 500 wineries, and 150 hotels.  A vision to become Napa? No.  Our vision is that Field & Pond will become a destination wildlife sanctuary that people from all over the world could come to visit, in order to bask in the beauty and abundance that nature uniquely shares, while also enjoying luxury accommodations.  Our tagline is ‘Discover your true nature.’  Its meaning, being both literal and figurative, is all about allowing guests the opportunity to commit to a fulfilling and mind-opening experience that will provide opportunity for self-discovery and inspiration here in our bold bucolic service-scape.

Field & Pond is an 80-acre ranch located approximately 6 miles from downtown Winters.  Nestled away in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, home of Berryessa Snow Mountain, Field & Pond boasts sweeping views, along with lush gardens, and vast meadows.  The ranch itself was established in 1882, just seven years after the town of Winters was founded.  The grounds feature a number of archeological gems to include a main lodge, built in 1910, two cottages, a 1,200 square-foot restored historic barn, along with iconic toolsheds and grain silos reminiscent of early settlement in Yolo County.  Chickahominy Slough divides the ranch into a 10-acre north side, which includes all of the buildings, and a 70-acre south side of beautifully stunning graze-land and open space.

As a point of fact, we have never thought of, identified or claimed ourselves as farmers.  Yet, we see agriculture as an integral part of the Field & Pond business and value proposition.  Our services will fund investment in agriculture production and expansion, and in turn the agriculture will inspire and enhance the overall service experience.  Without question we are coming in at the ground level of farming; both literally and figuratively. The learning curve has been steep, the road to “growth” riddled with potholes and surprises, and the costs rack up fast.  And yes, there are also a plethora of cynics and critics that would endeavor to shame and mock you for even making an attempt.  Notwithstanding all of this, we have committed, and are courageously charging into the storm.  Our first couple of years have really focused on learning about our soil, water, wind and light, and ultimately devising an enterprise plan that will not only focus on conservation of habitat for the indigenous wildlife, but also integrate physically and conceptually with the services portion of our business.  This has meant understanding the existing wildlife, learning about the local agriculture, and discovering how we might be able make a positive and unique contribution to the market.

To date, we have 500 units of bay laurel planted, a 4-acre fruit orchard, with everything from persimmons to peaches, to pears, to apricots, which has a lot of historical relevance to this area.  We also have become home to over 200 honey bee hives; having a unique source of water and floral gardens has made our ranch a perfect sanctuary for them to thrive, while they do us the favor of pollinating our crops.  With many acres of graze land, we are now coming into our second year of grazing; first with ~50 head of sheep, and we have recently established an agreement for 10 head of beef cattle.  But wait, there’s other exciting stuff too.  We have a 2-acre catch and release fishing pond that we dream of one-day progressing even further to add to our overall agricultural bundle.  And our most recent 4-acre test crop of various squash, watermelons and honeydew melons was an absolute success.  Finally, we have also signed a land leasing agreement with another farm who will be partnering with us to help us to make inroads into more expansive crops.  Nevertheless, we are the first to admit that we are certainly a long way away from where we want to be, but we are failing, learning, and succeeding, in repetition, concurrently, but with excitement and pride.

Field & Pond event activity has certainly been a topic of hot discussion; however, in essence, we applied for a Use Permit so that we could legally and legitimately conduct events in much the same way as other property owners have been doing in the area for some time now, without county oversight, taxation or accessibility, health and safety measures. Upon purchase, our property was already entitled to conduct eight events; however, due to various pressures, to our surprise, the county revised their rules in March (i.e. wedding season), to require that only one event could be conducted each month.  Nevertheless, we have endeavored to always remain in lock step with county guidance and rules, if for no other reason than to ensure that we not jeopardize our application for a Use Permit.  Ultimately, this endeavor made for some very challenging and expensive decisions and sacrifices.

To date, our structures are all legally permitted for their use.  Our Historic Event barn, which is approximately 1,200 square feet, is outfitted with structural reinforcements, sprinklers and ADA accessible pathways; all approved by Winters Fire, Cal Fire and the County Building Department.  One need only look at the very long list of conditions for Use Permit approval for our project to see that there has been a high-level of scrutiny on our project site.  The compliance measures are equally rigorous.  As stated during the Board of Supervisor meeting, these conditions and measures actually allow the county to have a greater level of oversight of Field & Pond operations than what they have for any other operation in this area.  We have fully accepted all of the conditions and measures, and we have taken personal initiative to implement even more strategies to minimize our impact on neighbors and surrounding Ag operations.  For example, for every event, we use shuttles to transport guests to and from the ranch.  On our own volition, we also proposed and accepted a requirement of a “black-out period,” spanning from July 15th to September 15th, in where we will not schedule any events, so that we are minimizing traffic on the roads during tomato harvest season.  Further, all of our events are worked using private security to minimize incidents of smoking, loitering outside of our grounds, and trespassing.  Finally, we proposed and committed to only conducting events on Saturdays; and they will generally start after 3 p.m.  These concessions overlaid to the Board of Supervisor approval for 20 events will essentially result in what we estimate to be a total of 20 hours of event traffic on the road every year, during hours in where there are no other businesses typically working.

There are no row crops near the Field & Pond site.  The nearest occupied home is 1 mile east, and there is only one other home occupied by a single resident beyond Field & Pond, out a little over 1 mile to the west.  There is an orchard across the street, which is actively worked.  For an orchard such as this one, the managers would typically be subjected to a 50-100 foot pesticide spray buffer, given the type and method of pesticides used.  However, worth noting is that this buffer would be in place whether there was one person occupying our property or many.  In essence, there would be no change required to the farming practices there.  In practice, anyone applying pesticides is required to notify and receive approval from owners of any nearby occupied structures, and they are required to avoid spraying or drift from the property being treated; and in an absolute worst case, avoiding spraying and drift beyond the designated buffer (i.e. the 50-100 feet).  However, fortunately there is already adequate separation between our properties to accommodate this buffer.  Nevertheless, as an additional concession to protect the Ag operations of the neighboring orchard, and to aid the managers with flexibility for scheduling unplanned sprays, we decided to waive our rights for enforcing buffer requirements stipulated by the Ag Commissioner’s office.  Additionally, we have committed to sharing our event schedule months in advance, in order to also aid them with any scheduled and planned sprays.  Ultimately, we are new to the neighborhood, but we are not new to the notions of trying to be good neighbors, and relying on communication, collaboration and friendship as the primary guides for co-existing.

During our application process, a local environmentally focused group, Tuleyome, raised some concerns about the wildlife corridor that exists within Chickahominy Slough.  Chickahominy Slough is the creek that runs through our property, and many others along the county road, before tying into other creeks and water systems.  Upon learning of their interest in our project, we met twice with them to understand their concerns, and to collaborate with them on ways to address them.  As a result of our work with Tuleyome, we devised a plan to move the originally slated location for our parking area for guests from the west side of our property to the east.  We also engaged our landscape architects to design and specify plant lists and foliage buffers to provide more isolation to the slough.  Finally, we committed to forgoing our endeavors for planting orchard on the south side of the slough, so that it would not remove even more forage space for hawks and deer in our area, which has been depleted to an ever more fragile state.

Through our journey of discovering and developing Field & Pond, we have met so many friends.  Winters has provided us with the love, camaraderie, and community that we have always wanted out of the place that we call home.  Whether it’s the star-gazing tractor rides with buddies, Sunday breakfasts at the various and varying welcoming tables of grandparents, Jim teaching us to fish, aimlessly firing shots with Jose’s hand gun behind the shed, Chris talking me through pruning fruit trees, or attempting to enhance my Spanish by pelting Dago with broken phrases; it has all been so fulfilling and rewarding.  Even as we weathered the storm of going through the permit process, by and large, the people of this town have literally sheltered us with love and encouragement.  Sometimes as adults we bury some of our basic needs for community and inclusion.  However, these aspects are so important for health and happiness, fulfillment and spiritual balance; and this town has given us this.  It has also given us an opportunity to help contribute to local commerce, the employment network, and the richness of our culture here.  Who knew that such a little town would have such a ginormous heart?   We are so grateful to be here, and we are honored by the friendship, love, and votes of confidence that have been given to us and Field & Pond.  It feels good to be home.

PS.  We are hosting an Open House at Field & Pond, Saturday, October 1st, from 1 to 4 p.m.  We welcome friends and supporters to join us.  Space is limited, so if you would like to attend, please email dahvie@fieldandpond.com to RSVP.

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52 thoughts on “Field & Pond Has Found Its Home in Winters”

  1. Tia Will

    Welcome Field and Pond guys. Your adventure sounds very exciting and you certainly seem to have done a lot of homework and been very diligent in your design of this project.

    Not being knowledgeable about real estate, farming, historical preservation or event planning, one particular statement made me curious.

    And even though typical Real Estate prudence precluded our talking directly with immediate neighbors prior to a purchase”

    I do not know what this means. Can someone explain to me why it would be prudent or precluded to talk with the immediate neighbors prior to purchase ?  It would seem to me that that would be the most important time to talk with those most familiar with the property and surroundings.

  2. Barack Palin

    Ps.  We are hosting an Open House at Field & Pond, Saturday, October 1st, from 1 to 4 p.m.  We welcome friends and supporters to join us.

    Will this be considered one of the 20 events allowed per year?  Will visitors need to bused in?

      1. Barack Palin

        Just curious because having possibly hundreds of visitors creates many of the same conditions that the supervisors put a 20 event cap on.

        I don’t understand why you had to point out that they’re a happily married gay couple, I look at and treat everyone the same regardless of their race, gender or sexual preference.

        When you talk about heterosexual couples do you point out that they’re happily married too.

  3. PhillipColeman

    “I do not know what this means.”

    With no experience whatsoever in the politics of land acquisition, populist media standards still say I’m still fully qualified to offer an interpretation.

    One potential risk involved in showing your cards to the neighbors is that they become enamored with the idea already laboriously developed and may want to make a counter-bid on the property. The other, more plausible, reason is that the adjacent neighbors don’t want new neighbors, and may only became aware of the effort were the petitioners to knock on their door with a gift bottle of wine.

    The application process was very public and protracted. No opposition from the adjacent landowners or anybody else was noted in the early development.

    The adjacent landowners have ties with most every aspect of the public and private workings of the Winters community, realized from generations of existence as a pioneer family. They could not possibly have had this proposal slip under their radar. Then again, maybe that’s what exactly happened. It would explain their late arrival at the party.

  4. Tia Will

    Phil

    Wow !  Ok, I get some of the possibilities. But after 30 years in Kaiser where we do not steal each others ideas, nor try to block other people’s success just to protect our own, it saddens me.

    1. Frankly

      So at Kaiser you are assimilated into the collective and they immediately administer chemicals to remove your human ambition.  Sounds like a SiFi movie.

      do not block other people’s success to protect our own

      Maybe you should start practicing this outside of the collective.

      1. Tia Will

        Frankly

        Maybe you should start practicing this outside of the collective.”

        I am. Just asking any of the developers with whom I have been collaborating over the past few months instead of just assuming that you know of all my activities as well as all my thoughts.

      1. Tia Will

        PhillipColeman

        You live in an idyllic environment. Many of us reading this envy you.”

        Not idyllic. Collaborative. No need for envy. I believe that we create our world one decision at a time. Others can make the same choice that Kaiser doctors have made ever since Kaiser and Garfield had a different vision for the provision of medical care and acted upon it. They also were told that their ideas were fanciful, or communistic, or un American and yet they persisted and built one of the best models of care provision in the country. It can be done.

  5. Ron

    From article:  “It was part of a larger landholding, approximately 1,400 acres.  It had been parceled out, in order to increase the prospect of selling.”

    Just wondering/curious if anyone can provide further details regarding this (e.g., how many, remaining sizes).  Was the purpose to provide “ranchette/homesites”?  If so, is this common in that area?

    In general, subdivisions into ranchettes can be one “sure way” to reduce viability of farming. It also encourages potentially non-compatible uses.

    1. Frankly

      The land will be zoned by the County.  If parcel subdivision is allowed, it would typically not be any less than 20 acres, but more likely 40 acres… which supports small farming operations.   Parceling smaller farms actually prevents the acquisition of the land by big agribusiness like Monsanto… which should make Davis liberals happy.

      1. Ron

        Frankly:

        Thank you.

        Perhaps so, but still doesn’t negate the point I was making (which has nothing to do with liberalism, or Monsanto).

        If farming neighbors are concerned about operations such as Fish and Pond, they should have raised concerns when the land was subdivided.  It seems that subdividing the large parcel facilitated a different type of use for the remaining, smaller parcels, which these same neighbors are now objecting to.

         

        1. Frankly

          I do know that the County of Yolo is very interested in growing economic use of county land.  Agri-tourism is up there in what they consider compatible and beneficial to the region.  If the farmers are going to object to the traffic increases for agri-tourism (including event spaces), then I would start to challenge their farm subsidies that fund their expectation of privacy and exclusivity.

          1. Don Shor

            Don answered this question, but to expand: the majority of that went to rice farmers. The big ag subsidies are rice, corn, wheat, cotton. Some to safflowers and a small amount for sunflowers and other crops. Some for conservation.
            Moreover, what all this has to do with compatibility of an event facility near a farm, I don’t know. It’s just more weird stuff from Frankly. He seems to really dislike agriculture as a land use.

        2. Ron

          Frankly:  ” . . . growing economic use of county land.  Agri-tourism is up there in what they consider compatible and beneficial to the region. “

          Funny, I thought it was “private” land.  (Not an argument that you normally make.)

          Frankly:  ” . . then I would start to challenge their farm subsidies that fund their expectation of privacy and exclusivity.”

          I don’t think it’s accurate to describe neighbors’ concerns as limited to “privacy and exclusivity”.

          Once you start subdividing and/or changing zoning, it’s only a matter of time before the surrounding area changes, as well.

          One other note (regarding “ranchettes”, in general):  That area is quite prone to massive wildfires.  If land is subdivided and built upon for ranchettes, it creates additional challenges and costs to suppress such fires – which isn’t always fully paid for by residents of those areas.  (I understand that the structures at Fish and Pond were already there.)

          Regarding subsidies, not sure what you’re referring to.  But, I’m a strong supporter of the “Williamson Act”, which ensures that property tax is based on the farmland value of land.  I would never suggest eliminating that, simply because “I don’t agree with” neighbors’ concerns.

          (Note that most of my comments are not directed at Fish and Pond, but are part of a larger concern.)

           

        3. quielo

          “$239,684,000 in from 1995-2014” 239M divided by 20 years is about $15M per year for the entire county? Does not sound like a lot of money.

           

          SOD, Did you go to the debate last night? You would have liked Jose calling the Parcel tax a “$4920 tax paid over eight years.”

          [moderator] Consider posting this on the debate thread instead?

        4. Matt Williams

          SOD, Did you go to the debate last night? You would have liked Jose calling the Parcel tax a “$4920 tax paid over eight years.”

          I was there, and I agree that that was a curious argument.

          Overall I felt that Jose 2016 is much, much, much better prepared than Jose 2014.  I suspect he will come in fourth, but he does present a much more viable candidacy this go round.

          [moderator] Would you like to post this on the thread about the debate, and then I’ll remove it from here?

        5. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “I’m a strong supporter of the “Williamson Act”, which ensures that property tax is based on the farmland value of land.”

          Ron, I too am a strong supporter of the Williamson Act, and am interested to hear your thoughts about Governor Brown’s elimination of State funding for the Williamson Act?

          The California Land Conservation Act of 1965–commonly referred to as the Williamson Act–enables local governments to enter into contracts with private landowners for the purpose of restricting specific parcels of land to agricultural or related open space use.  In return, landowners receive property tax assessments which are much lower than normal because they are based upon farming and open space uses as opposed to full market value.

          State funding was provided in 1971 by the Open Space Subvention Act, which created a formula for allocating annual payments to local governments based on acreage enrolled in the Williamson Act Program.  Subvention payments were made through FY 2009, but have been suspended in more recent years due to revenue shortfalls. (above quote from http://www.conservation.ca.gov/dlrp/lca

          State budget guts Williamson Act funding

          Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest budget proposal is $154.9 billion and includes $12 million for dairy digesters and $100 million for the Strategic Growth Council committee that works with state agencies to protect natural resources and ag lands. And how much did the governor budget for the Williamson Act, California’s most important farmland protection program?

          Nothing.

          Without state funds the counties can keep the act alive but the tax savings derived from it will be paid by the counties without the state reimbursing them for the taxes not paid under Williamson Act contracts. (above quote from http://www.sjfb.org/news/sjfb-news-archive/374-state-budget-guts-williamson-act-funding.html 

        6. Ron

          Matt:

          I had heard something about our governor’s elimination of funding for the Williamson act, and was quite concerned about it.  (Actually, it seems the our governor’s position has changed regarding some important issues, since the last time he held that position many years ago.)

          Do you know the current status of the act, at least in Yolo county?  (I’m finding conflicting information, online.)

           

        7. Matt Williams

          Ron, the current state is well described in the final words of the quoted material.  To the best of my knowledge Yolo County is trying to keep the act alive.

          Without state funds the counties can keep the act alive but the tax savings derived from it will be paid by the counties without the state reimbursing them for the taxes not paid under Williamson Act contracts.

      2. Don Shor

        Weird comment. Monsanto owns very little farmland, and what they do own is used for things like research and seed production. If anything they’d be more likely to seek small parcels. I assume you were just being gratuitously snarky as usual.

    1. Don Shor

      I was asking to see if you knew. I am aware of the scope of the ag subsidy program. The vast majority of dollars going to Yolo County farmers is for rice, and it isn’t farmers in the Winters area.
      Wheat, corn, rice, cotton are the big ones. Then wheat, corn, and cotton. Way down on the list are safflower and sunflowers. And farmers are paid for conservation easements and programs. Tree crops don’t get subsidies, so far as I know.
      Rominger has received very little in the last few years, mostly for conservation.
      Your hostility to farming has been consistent for years on the Vanguard.
      And it’s worth repeating that agritourism is different than an event facility.

      1. Frankly

        No, agri-tourism in not different than an event facility.

        No, I am not hostile to farming.  That is idiocy.

        And you failed to check the link to see the long list of subsidies.

        What I am against is people blocking reasonable economic use of land for their own selfish reasons.

        What I am against is those that oppose good free enterprise… that provides jobs to local residents.

        What I am against is stasism.

        I love farming.  I love farmers.  But not their behavior that favors their own selfish wants over the needs of others.

        1. Don Shor

          1. I did check the link, addressed it, discussed it. Amplified on it. Know about it. I’m very aware of the ag subsidy programs.
          2. You are unrelentingly hostile to farming on the Vanguard. It’s been consistent over many years. I could find numerous examples for you.
          3. There is nothing selfish about a concern for incompatible uses near farm operations. It’s a common problem in rural areas. But now farmers are selfish? But you’re not hostile to them. Right.
          4. “I love farming. I love farmers.” You show zero evidence of that. And they aren’t selfish, even though you said it twice while professing your undying love for them.

        2. Frankly

          BS Don.  I am not hostile to farming.  I am not hostile to farmers.  I am in opposition to people like yourself that have a myopic bias favoring the use of land for farming and only farming even when there are other uses on the table that would benefit farm more people.

          It isn’t that I am hostile to farming.  I am hostile to people like yourself that are hostile to the human race over your own selfish wants.

          I am also hostile to people that are not neighborly.

          1. Don Shor

            Now I’m selfish? “Hostile to the human race?” Really?
            And your consistent, over-the-top, snide and hostile comments about farming and farmers, and now linking this issue to ag subsidies — in spite of all that, you assert that you aren’t hostile to farming? It’s so consistent over so many years on the Vanguard that it’s obvious that I’ve struck a nerve that forces you to try to deny what is factual and provable.
            I hope these folks can work together with the neighbors, but inasmuch as I live in a rural area and have experience with the nuisance factors in farm operations, I suspect there will be problems. Dust, spraying, generators, ag burning, noise, heavy equipment — these are not things that are very compatible with wedding receptions.

        3. Frankly

          It is not an “incompatible use”.   The Country Supervisors agree.   Just about everywhere else in the state and country agree.

          Do you ever leave the house?  Do you ever drive to the wine country and note all the event spaces in the middle of all the farming operations?   The same is true for other types of farming… especially those that have topography and nice views.

          I can’t believe how ignorant you are about this topic.

          1. Don Shor

            The one county supervisor who is a farmer disagreed.
            I live on a farm, Frankly, and am surrounded by farms.
            I am not ignorant. Stop insulting me.

        4. Frankly

          Dust, spraying, generators, ag burning, noise, heavy equipment — these are not things that are very compatible with wedding receptions.

          Again then how do you explain the copious number of event spaces that exist within the middle of ag land throughout the state, nation and world?

          I attended a wedding this Saturday on a farm up by Plymouth.   It was a beautiful event space right in the middle of a farming operation.

          You keep responding and digging a deeper hole in demonstrated ignorance of this topic.

          And stop with the claim that I am hostile to farming and farmers.  I am only hostile at your lack of objectivity and bias in support of preserving farmland around the periphery of Davis that could have been used to benefit many more people.  I don’t have that myopic and weird view that farming is like some sort of religion that we need to bow down to.  It is just ONE of many uses of land that provide benefits to the human race.  You favor the farming religion over those benefits.  You are apparently hostile to the human race.

  6. Frankly

    Don: Stop insulting me.

    Don previously: Your hostility to farming has been consistent for years on the Vanguard.

    That was a personal attack Don.   Maybe you should learn to censor yourself before you start telling others to stop being insulting.  Prior to that comment I was posting specifically about the topic.  And then it irritated you and you attacked me personally.   So then I come back at you and you tell me to stop insulting you.

    Look in the mirror dude.

  7. Biddlin

    Mr. James, Field and Pond sounds like a wonderful destination for a quiet getaway. I look forward to experiencing it first hand. Congratulations and continued success.

  8. Tia Will

    Frankly

    It has occurred to me that perhaps you do not understand that when you call others “selfish” because they do not share your sense of priorities, they often will find that in and of itself insulting. You use this term frequently to describe others who have different philosophies, priorities or values from yours. The implication of the descriptive “selfish” implies that you know their motivations better than they do. This is a stance that I simply cannot support and you and I have often had words over it. Your belief that something is true, is no more a guarantee that it is factually true than is mine, and yet you have a tendency to present your beliefs as though they are objective fact without appreciating that this may be offensive to others.

    You make some very sound points when you are not busy telling others what their personality traits and weaknesses are. It is a shame that you do not choose to make your opinions known as opinion since that is what they factually are.

    1. hpierce

      You make some very sound points when you are not busy telling others what their personality traits and weaknesses are. It is a shame that you do not choose to make your opinions known as opinion since that is what they factually are.

      Take your own words to heart… just a friendly suggestion…

      1. Tia Will

        just a friendly suggestion…”

        Somehow, that doesn’t sound very “friendly”, but then you and I often seem to be working from a very different set of definitions.

    2. Frankly

      It started during the Measure A campaign but mostly after where I recognized it as the primary driver of the opposition.  For the most part I believe I am significantly more right than them on this topic.  There are copious data to prove it.  But they don’t respond to the data.

      But I accept your advice and will give it some thought.

      And in return, I will offer this advice to you.

      What drives me on this topic of growth and enterprise is a sense that the other well-off people in Davis are hording benefits that impact opportunities for others.  It would be wise for you to at least acknowledge this in yourself and others instead of claiming that it is only those that pursue monetary profit that are guilty of being selfish.  When you pursue a lifestyle choice/demand that causes housing and jobs to be less plentiful you are in fact placing your own wants above the opportunities that others might have to share in the same that you enjoy.   You never seem to acknowledge that as others that tend to oppose growth in town never seem to acknowledge that.  You take a position that clearly demonstrates that you feel more righteous in your wants in the name of the environment or a more liberal scarcity mindset.  I am just calling you on those positions and the fact that it harms others.  With me having much more experience having the same claim leveled at me, I understand that it does not feel good.

      Just admit it.  You want what you want despite the fact that it prevents others from having the same.  Admit that you are competitive this way.  Then I don’t have any reason to keep making the point.

      But I don’t know what this has to do with my calling Don on his personal attacks.  I went back and read what I wrote and I never once wrote anything attacking him before he let loose.

      1. Tia Will

        Frankly

        What drives me on this topic of growth and enterprise is a sense that the other well-off people in Davis are hording benefits that impact opportunities for others.  It would be wise for you to at least acknowledge this in yourself and others instead of claiming that it is only those that pursue monetary profit that are guilty of being selfish”

        Ok, as far as advise, why don’t we both agree to stick with what the other has actually said. I have never once said that only one group of people are being “selfish”. ( If you doubt that, let’s see the quote). What I have said repeatedly is that we are all acting in our own perceived best interests. I have also often said that economic interests are not what drives me, life style interests are my primary driver. This does not make me any more virtuous, it is just that my goals and values are different and you do not seem to be able to accept that as my “admission” even though it is my truth. I have also never claimed that only one side has the right to act in their own best interest. Everyone has that right, and I have made that abundantly clear in multiple posts. So since I have been completely consistent, I honestly do not see the need for you to keep trying to make me “admit” to something that I do not see as a truth. Remarkable as it may seem to you, I persist in my belief that I know myself better than you do.

  9. Don Shor

    I apologize to the owners of Field & Pond  for having struck a negative tone in my comments on your announcement letter here. I do wish you the best as you embark on this venture. I know how challenging small business can be and hope you can work together with the neighbors to make your lovely site a success for everyone. I appreciate the detailed description you’ve provided here and your apparent respect for the history of the site and the region.  I hope to make your acquaintance at some point so we can talk about your gardening and farming ventures.
    I do wonder what you’re going to do with 500 units of bay laurel….

    1. Ron

      Don:

      That is a friendly and appropriate statement.  These comments often drift off into related issues (not directed at this particular situation), but it’s also important to say “welcome, and best wishes”.

      Also – I saw my earlier error.  It’s “Field and Pond”, not “Fish and Pond”.  (However, I’m guessing that I’m not the first, or last, to make that mistake.)  Actually, I think I prefer my erroneous name!

      And – I just saw Tia’s comment as I was posting, and was also wondering what a “unit” of bay laurel is.

       

  10. Tia Will

    I do wonder what you’re going to do with 500 units of bay laurel…”

    My question is even more basic than Don’s. What is a “unit” of bay laurel ? A plant, a row, a field ?

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