Ojai and the Santa Ynez Valley Make Me Want to Buy a Farm
I’ve never seen land like the real estate in the Ynez Valley, including the drive to Ojai, California. This is one of, if not the, most beautiful place in the United States. Once you make it out of the cities, it’s nothing but huge, rolling fields with tractors going through them, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, citrus, cattle, and horses; it’s perfection. I’m not going to go all Green Acres on you, but this speaks to my childhood in Missouri in a way no other place has. The fact that this exists right next door to the area outside of Buellton on the way to Solvang … this part of California is remarkable. Were I a politician here, I’d push very hard to break it into its own individual state because the needs of the population and industry are so vastly different than what is happening further South.
I’m going to start studying the real estate around the area because, even if I don’t do anything now, at this point in my life, there very well might come a day I build a working farm as a sort of tertiary retreat. The land prices aren’t bad given the quality of views – e.g., look at this 20 acre plot. It’s only $695,000 and you’d get to walk out to that every morning. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about the crop yields here since my knowledge is limited to Iowa farm land, so I can’t tell you if they offer a good return on capital under conservative assumptions. You can’t purchase a farm on how pretty it looks; it’s got to make money. That will be on my task list when I get back home. In a few months, I’ll probably be able to tell you are failure rates of various theoretical crop allocations on a working estate. It’s in my nature. I need to know whether strawberries or blueberries are going to pay higher dividends.
There are a lot more photographs but they’re generally more of the same so I don’t want to bore you with all of them. Suffice it to say, this is my kind of place (and Aaron prefers it over more coastal cities like Pacific Palisades). At least for part of the year. I think I’d rather live somewhere closer to a major population and escape from time to time. It’s so weird that such a thing is possible out here. California has 158,648 square miles of land and it’s so different that tiny distances can put you in entire different cultures and climates. Ojai, for example, is only 194 miles away from La Jolla, yet you’d think we were in a different country.
Who knew wine country would capture my heart? Turns out, anywhere vineyards can grow abundantly, I’m probably going to like. If I want more isolation, this is my place. If I want to live closer to civilization, it’s Temecula wine country. I never would have guessed.
God willing, we enjoy average or better life expectancies, you are now forewarned that in 30 years, you might just walk into your grocery store and see Kennon Farms jam, jelly, and preserves from Ojai, California. If you do, you’ll know I started a side project that took root in my imagination decades prior.