About BrownKawa Farmstead /
We knew we wanted to retire to New Mexico. On an innocent scouting trip a couple years back, we "accidentally" bought the south and west faces of a beautiful mesa in the very dry high desert on the Colorado Plateau. That inspired us to set our retirement for June, 2019.
We were antsy living 1000 miles away without being able to dig in, but we spent the next two years doing all the book learning and online learning we could about natural building, land restoration, desert farming, four corners history, wildlife, and our future community and state. We camped on our land briefly during those summers, and connected where we could.
At long last, the time came and we sold our house, moved from the city to our first retirement home: a pop-up camper at the foot of our mesa!
We aim to nurture and preserve this land, to work toward greater self-sufficiency (off-grid subsistence farming), to connect with our new community, and to enjoy our active retirement in this soul-soothing space!
About Our Expert Crew /
Well OK, to be honest, none of us know what we're doing... I mean, we have thought a lot about this endeavor, and have planned and worked toward it for the last couple years before making the move, and we like to think of ourselves as game, capable, handy, and clever enough to make it work... But we are not experts at farming, building, or land restoration -- not by a long shot. We are just willing to let it all hang out there, to keep an open mind and heart, and let anyone who is interested watch along as we work our way through this, learn what we can along the way, and see where it leads.
I'm a retired elementary teacher. A few other hats I wear or have worn include parent, software engineer, aerobatic pilot, Shorinji-Kempo black belt, taco slinger, cycle tourist, and world traveler. Life is a nest of adventures, and starting a desert farmstead at 60 is one example!
Chip's a retired historic preservationist with a background in law and anthropology. Here he's on a typical walk, eyes to the ground, making tracks. If there's a chunk of petrified wood, a shard of ancestral pueblo pottery, or a stone tool to be found, you can be sure Chip will spot it!
Ike's past is mysterious until he landed at Border Collie Rescue in Minnesota, and we adopted him. He is terrified of trains, rain, and thunderstorms, and loves a good brushing. Since relocating here, he's been dedicated to digging his den and patrolling our perimeter.
About This Site /
We created this website mainly to keep family and friends up-to-date with our escapades whenever they feel like checking in. As topics come up, we'll also share many of the great resources we've encountered over the years of planning, along with our on-the-ground efforts -- there might be folks out there interested in watching non-experts bumble through. All the balls are in the air, and we don't know where they'll land: that in itself might provide some entertainment!
About Our Name /
We are a blended family and BrownKawa is our blended name. We met in America's Dairlyland, so BrownKawa is an obvious fit there! Kawa also means "river" in Japanese, so BrownKawa is like brown river, which is a perfect fit for our land here, too -- our whole mesa is one big network of sandy brown arroyos.