I have put the My Products part at the beginning as this is my main focus. If you want to find out more about life on the farm and around Sonoma please scroll down.
I Started making furniture a while back just as a hobby. I have always tried use as much recycled materials as possible. Now with my connections to many of the Wineries and Wine-Makers I get access to a lot of used wine barrels. When new they can cost anywhere from $1000.00 - $2000.00 from the cooperages. I have designed all of my wine barrel furniture and other pieces to take advantage of the beautiful French White Oak that is used to make them. The big challenge is working with the curves of the pieces as all the barrels are oval and you can't straighten the wood. It adds design features that you wouldn't get with straight wood. All my pieces are custom made. No two pieces can be exactly the same as the curves and grain patterns are always different. They will be very close but not identical. All my pieces will be custom made for you by me. At the present time I am concentrating on these larger pieces especially the Barrel Armchairs. They take a lot of work and oak but are really fun and real conversation pieces. Also they are amazingly comfortable, almost Adirondack like. I don't stain or otherwise refinish them. I make them so you get a sense of their story. Each wine-stain or ding is a memory of their life down in the caves or cellars. They can be for indoor or outdoor use. I use weatherproof fasteners and other all-weather materials. All Prices upon request.
More pieces in the works. Stay tuned.
I was a Building Contractor in San Francisco when I met Liz. We moved over to Mill Valley and built our house there.
It is at the end of the road up against the Golden Gate National Recreation Park. When you came to the back of the house it looked like we had fields behind us. I played this up. I built the house to look old and rustic. I built a small barn, chicken coups and a pen for the Pygmy goats and other animals that we got. It really had the look of a small farm and even though we were technically in a residential neighborhood, all our neighbors loved it and came to visit our goats, chickens and turkeys.
When our daughter Michelle started school her friends came over a lot and played with the animals. Her teacher found out and came over to visit. She asked if she could bring her class on an outing to our place. It was a hit! So much so that other teachers found out and wanted to bring their classes. Liz, who was a master gardener, started to include a walk up through the woods behind us and would point out all the different plants, birds and animals. They loved her walks.
It had really caught on. We named it Honey Farm and we were off and running. We had other schools visit, Church Groups, Inner City Kids. We got really busy. I was often interviewed by the radio,TV and the papers about my opinions on agricultural issues. I got the nickname Farmer Sam.
We decided to buy a place with more land and ended up with a 5-acre property right up against the little town of Sonoma. We again started having schools and other groups visit us.
I got involved with the Wine World of Sonoma and Napa and loved it so much I started Honey Tour Company so I could show off this wonderful part of the world.
Liz died on August 17, 2009 after a short bout with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
My life changed. Michelle had just gone away to University and I was now on my own in the old farm house. I sold the farm, moved my animals to some land nearby on Lovall Valley Road. Alison and I had known each other for many years as we ran the Youth Soccer League together. We became romantic and now are together. We live in the old Valley of the Moon Saloon in Aqua Caliente. A great old building with quite a story. (The reference to children is because Alison has many of them).
On a nature walk at Honey Farm
How 'On Honey Farm' began
Life on the Farm
When I was running my farm as a visiting farm I had a lot more animals and birds. I am not replacing them as they go. We now have Ferguson, our great little dog. Dante the pony, Thelma the donkey, Lucky the goat, and 2 sheep, Rambo and his mum.
I will be putting on photos and stories to keep you up to date.
Ferguson the pup The dog Beach bums
Here is the cast of characters