Farm News, Friday November 19, 2021

Published by 18 Comments

Catching Up

Forgive my spotty correspondence this last week.  I have been variously engaged in a host of farm, family, and friend business, to wit..

  • Learning the baroque technical realities of video security surveillance.  The farm is now quilted with a broad array of 4K cameras, and some of them can “PTZ” (Pan, Tilt Zoom) right onto a strawberry (or a license plate) from THOUSANDS of feet away.  That’s all fascinating, of course, but programming the master console creates a propeller-head fog, slightly at odds with this pastoral 18th century vibe I like to cultivate around here.  (“How stands the cause of liberty, Mr. Henry?”  “What?  Oh.  What?  Good!  Yes, good, but I’m trying to figure the “alarm out” settings on the NVR IP log-in.”)
  • Your brand, embroidered:  I purchased a Land’s End oxford cloth, button down shirt a few weeks ago with the Riley’s Farm logo, embroidered in deep red and white above the left breast pocket.  When I wear civilian clothes on the farm and people don’t know who I am, my habit of asking “how’s the chicken pot pie?” can be unsettling.  (“Who is this stranger asking about my meal?”)  I decided, on days when I’m not an 18th century justice of the peace, I need some Riley’s Farm branding.  I thought the button down shirt would just be an old guy’s choice of clothing, but some of the young bucks and does wanted one, and since then I’ve been OBSESSED with branding every conceivable textile product in the catalog.
  • Covid Prep: Mary and I have had a few dear friends hospitalized by the Commie virus (prayers appreciated) and we spent some time gathering up our Front Line Doctors home treatment supplies.
    • Jim: “I’ve never really been anti Big Pharma, but–“
    • Mary:  “I have. I worked for them.  None of the kids got gratuitous antibiotics or vaccines unless they needed them.”
    • Jim: “Right, right, it’s just that I’m having trouble believing people would shoot crap into peoples’ arms, for money, unless–“
    • Mary: “Jim??  Your mother lived to 96 on bee pollen and whole grain bread.”
    • Jim:  “Right.  Don Lemon is calling a Noble prize winning drug ‘horse de-wormer.’
    • Mary: “Well, there you go..  I scored us a nebulizer and IVERMECTIN, dear.”
  • Samsung S21 Ultra tomfoolery:  See the moon and staircase pictures below.  It is INSANE what kind of pictures you can take with your cell phone these days.
  • Lettuce and Strawberries:  We are setting up a green house and an LED growing center.  See Mario at work below.  This purchase got me in big trouble with certain, extremely close members of my family, but I want to have something FRESH to sell you when you come up here in February.  I’m not a great cook, but I make a pretty mean omelette (see below) and I have a new obsession with the ultimate hamburger — featuring lettuce and tomatoes grown right here.
  • The future of Old Oak Glen: My brother, Scott, who–years ago–was roundly condemned and ridiculed (Scott’s “Fantasy Farm”) for dreaming up the idea of period characters, wearing period clothing, harvesting period crops, playing period music, is now trying to create a geographic, themed community, with crowd-funding to build the cottages, dance halls, chapels, and period craft production that would draw people from around the world to experience what — getting misty now — I get to experience every day.  It’s difficult work fighting about paradise, and hammering out the details, but someone has to do it.


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This post was written by Jim Riley


  • Barbara Mathews says:

    Have always loved the Farm and still do! Just wish I could get up there more often! Came up with some friends last Tuesday and was surprised to see so many places closed – the Farm included!♥️ Missed having lunch in the tavern .

  • Denisa Rafalowski says:

    I would love a once a month locals dinner with what ever everyone has growing in the valley. I travel between Angeles Crest/Burbank Hills to Palm Desert and so a locals meet would be fun event on a Thursday before the weekend crowds. A thought. Even ability the spend the night like in the old days in the tavern.
    Denisa Rafalowski

  • Heather D. says:

    Thank you for being such a beacon of light in these strange times. For years I have made the journey from Los Angeles to enjoy your farm in the autumn. As a single gal with friends, with my now husband who actually planned to propose to me in your pumpkin patch… (a whole different story) and several years with my young son. Last Christmas we enjoyed a day of festivities complete with a mystical fog that settled in as we sang carols and got to ride in the wagon. Can’t wait for our next visit! Let freedom ring!

  • Diana Marquez says:

    I would love to stay in a cottage! And you know what would go well with that cottage stay? Listening to period music softly playing somewhere in the night.

  • Susan Langley says:

    I truly enjoy reading your posts – such truth and heart goes into them and I need both of those character traits about now. Yes, please build a cabin or two or more – I’d love to stay on the farm! I pray for rain for ya’ll – everything seems so dry:). Have a blessed Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!!

  • Jeane Ensley-Rossiter says:

    We are bringing some family up tomorrow. There will 10 of us. We appreciate all of your hard work! ❤

    The Rossiter’s

  • Kathleen Unsell says:

    Hi Mr. Riley,
    It’s been awhile since we have been up to the farm. Our church is coming for “A Christmas Carole” this year. Love seeing how God is blessing you since the attacks on your character, the farm, and of course, the onslaught of the CCP sickness. Really interested in what y’all are cooking up for the future. Would love to hear more about it. Cottages?! Great idea. Keep us posted.

  • Cindy says:

    Are you still planning a farm in OK? Sure hope you are.

  • Howard Wanhoff says:

    HI Jim and Mary always enjoy activiyies at the farm. Have been friends with Scott for over 20 years. Heard about the village back in 2001 hope this vision comes true. I wish you would have delivery service I need bread and pie.

  • Carol Wilson says:

    Just keeps getting better! Love this update! Wishing all the Rileys a blessed Thanksgiving and joyous Christmas! Have awesome memories of you all in the memorable setting you’ve created. Please come to South Carolina when you can!

  • Melody Watts says:

    Went to Williamsburg a few yrs ago , loved it !
    But was sadly disappointed at the street “ characters “ knowing nothing of the village , history , or how to
    maintain a character . Being called “ dude”( I’m a woman)
    By one of their period dressed “ performers” was
    Jarring and devolved the experience .
    Love what you do for us re enactotd
    Giving us a place to play !

  • Maryann Scott says:

    I enjoy these news letters. We come up often as we only live in Morongo Valley. Less than an hour away. We’ll see you soon I’m sure. God’s blessings on your rebuilding efforts.

  • Kachina Lopez says:

    Miss visiting the farm, but Kentucky is growing on us. I pray God will continue to bless your little piece of paradise.

  • Juliette Lundgren says:

    It is always a pleasure, we leave a piece of our hearts everytime we decend the mountain.
    Cottages to stay in for these events sounds like the most amazing getaway, ever!
    Thank you for all your family’s hard work and dedication, you are a shining example of what a true American family should be.
    I look forward to visiting again over the holiday season.
    The Harvest Feast was a wonderful event!!

  • Mairead Cate says:

    I would love to see cottages on the Farm, Jim.

    It was lovely to see you on Saturday, however briefly, and the pies I picked up were delicious, as usual, and I look to trying the pecan pie on Thursday. It is also looking like we will come up for the day on December 4th.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you.

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