It all started when I began looking around San Diego Country (CA) for a place to build a cabin… an escape from the city where I could enjoy long weekends and some solitude. But, this part of the country is mostly rocky, barren and desert; not what I had in mind for a retreat. I wanted trees and discovered that the avocado groves that grow on steeply sloped hillsides northeast of San Diego offered an interesting alternative.
I am 73 and still a full-time faculty member at the University of California, San Diego. My retirement plans keep getting put off because I am still deeply excited by my research work and outside sources continue to fund it. But, I will probably decide to ease into retirement over the next couple of decades, and becoming a farmer seemed a great transition.
I recently acquired a small grove of about 200 avocado trees that is at the very top of a very small mountain. I have a wonderful westward view of sunsets all the way to the ocean. This summer I plan to build a small log cabin that will arrive on the back of a truck from Idaho in kit form.
I will have help managing the grove; prior to this, the most I ever grew was just the usual backyard stuff. Due to the high cost of irrigation water it is unlikely to be a meaningful source of income, but there is the fun of doing Nature’s work and being outdoors with my dog. And, in finding a market for over 40 tons of fruit.