What the Battle Costs In These Parts..
Yesterday was not a good day. In addition to wondering how in the world I will come up with a $45,000 premium for California “Fair” Plan fire insurance, I was made aware of new water system regulations that require private property owners to dedicate enormous labor hours to record-keeping and maintenance logs. We already pay far more than a thousand dollars a month to test the cleanest water you will find in California. This is the water that our entire extended family drinks. (It’s not like we’re a municipal water bureaucrat who doses your tap water with chlorine and buys bottled water himself.) This water is so good, we actually long for it when we go down the hill. We’re at the headwaters up here with deep mountain wells, but the same state that doesn’t care about the homeless defecating on San Francisco sidewalks seems to believe mountain well water requires a compliance officer.
Then, too, I’m just dumb enough to believe I can help save the First Amendment. I happen to believe it’s the only thing keeping us from falling into an entirely dystopian morass of bureaucrats sucking us dry to prop up their pensions. This commitment means I have to pay lawyers. The lawyers remind me, understandably, they have families to feed. Help me feed them! The opposition — the school bureaucrats who think kids deserve gay porn but no American history — are betting we will tire of this battle. Will we? And remember: in one small way, we are already winning. Our law suit has forced several districts to admit they cannot engage in First Amendment retaliation. Did you know that Claremont has APPROVED Riley’s Farm as a field trip vendor? In practice, of course, they blacklist us, but they have been forced to admit they will have to lie about it. Cancel culture is getting a “don’t even think about it” vibe. If a gender-confused, climate-obsessed neurotic gets her cancel culture idea dismissed at the next board meeting, you may be able to thank Riley’s Farm for that.
The Most Important Ways You Can Help Us..
Pray for us. Celebrate with us. Book a field trip. Save money by paying up front and taking advantage of our terms discount. It’s no secret that we are able to survive, year round, by collecting ahead of time. (By the way, if you are a regular and you have been doing just this for years now, please accept a big virtual hug from me.) We are 42% ahead of last year on all of our reservation programs, so we’re optimistic. We just need to get through this dreadfully slow summer.
That “Walls Closing in” Feeling
My father, who went into massive debt to start his business and spent nights unable to sleep, once said, “I know this about me. The Good Lord made me able to withstand enormous pressure.” I have a little bit of that, but it’s running low. When you field emails from bureaucrats, creditors, lawyers, and social justice warriors in one day, it can make you wonder if it’s time to hang up your spurs. (Don’t worry. I won’t.) I do this because I believe California needs business owners to get louder than the crazies, and start offering up culture that is traditional, wholesome, and sustainable. When I ridiculed Sturbridge Village for staging a ridiculous, anachronistic pride affirmation, a few living historians ridiculed me, but most of the comments were favorable. We’re in the majority, and we can win, both politically and economically, but California, in our case, is making it very difficult to stay in business. We are still climbing out of the mess created by the Commie virus and California shutting down schools. (It’s amazing how easy it is to shut down the world when you are guaranteed a civil service paycheck, isn’t it?) By the way, I was right about the insanity of our Covid response. What the authorities did to us was either grossly evil or grossly incompetent. There is no other alternative. Cheers to the thousands of Riley’s Farm guests who did not comply with that nonsense, and very HIGH PRAISE to the sensible civil servants who refused to enforce it. I know many public school teachers who refused the jab and were anxious to get their students back into physical, not virtual, classrooms. It takes a lot of bravery to be an honest civil servant.
With respect to the broader issues here, I know that many of you have it just as bad–or worse. If you are in that category, let’s pray for each other. I also know some of you that have been sacrificially giving to us, and buying products from us. This is not intended for those who are already doing more than they can.
For the rest of you, a few things to consider..
- Please consider purchasing one of our dinner events ahead of time. By mid September, we are swimming in business, but we have massive insurance and tax bills to pay this summer. With the possible exception of Thursday nights, most of these programs sell out, so you will be doing yourself a favor.
- We are not a non-profit, but if you value what we do, you can make a donation to us. (We are NOT a non-profit, so it can’t be deducted from your taxes.)
- For those of you who love the apple harvest, but don’t like fighting the crowds, I have a new product for you — the “Harvest VIP Ticket.” If you have ever tried to find a parking place here on an October Saturday, this may be of interest. For $200, you get a reserved parking spot (in Colonial or the Packing Shed parking lot) and a “no lines” privilege in our food centers. (You have a seat and we will put in your food order for you and bring it to your table. This is not the price of the meal, but the service.) You also get $25 worth of u-pick apples, at the farm’s published prevailing price, and 15% off all food purchases.
- Most of our guests pay to visit the farm through field trips or dinner shows, but we’re considering a general admission charge for people without a reservation. We’ve been saying this for years, but we’re nervous about pulling the trigger. How much would be reasonable?
Although I don’t really like talking about our problems, I am not ashamed to ask for help. It’s one area of my life where it’s easy to decipher God’s will in the matter. If you keep visiting us, and helping, we’re meant to be here.
This post was written by Jim Riley