While down there I saw more mushrooms, I think I need to get a book or take a class because there are so many varieties and I would like to be able to identify them.
Lastly, these irises that were on the property when I bought it, and somehow survived almost 9 months without any care are starting to bloom. They are truly survivors!
One thing I did was visit a couple of local businesses, in my quest to see how people make money up there. My goal is to find something I can do that will make enough money for me to move there permanently.
Stop #1 - The French Hill Winery
Just a nice little winery with lots of wine made from foothill grapes.. the chardonnay was amazing! It had a lot more depth and character than regular chardonnay's that I have tasted. Not the usual light and fruity but just really nice. A winery would be nice but the bad news is they are going out of business... so maybe not such a good idea after all.
Stop #2 - Calaveras Nursery
This is a massive tree nursery on Hwy 12 just outside of Valley Springs that I pass everytime I go up and have wanted to visit. I drove in there and was just stunned by the acres of trees for sale and the fact that there wasn't anyone else around... kinda felt like the start of a horror movie, "Slasher 19 - Revenge of the Angry Oaks". I parked and got out and waited and this older man drives up on his cart, about 70 years old, with sun damaged skin. I have spent 100's of hours in nurseries studying plants and trees, but this place was something else. I asked him if he had any dogwoods and he shows me just a couple of rows of baby trees that he has started from seed but doesn't want to sell me because I will be disappointed because they won't bloom until they are 5-7 years old. You see where this is going? So we talk about all the types of dogwoods and what grows best and I ask about his business.
- He grows all of his trees from seeds or acorns! All of the thousands of trees for sale he planted himself!
- His stock is 90% Oak trees.
- He mainly sells to cities like sacramento and stockton and the large land developers.
- Once in awhile he gets lost homeowner's like me wandering in, but no, he doesn't stock crepe myrtle either.