Dome Life After The Camp Fire

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Remember the story of Samantha and Cheetah who refused to give up their dream of farming, even after their land was blazed by the Camp Fire in 2018? Here is an update on their life now, we are thrilled to know they are currently living in their 16′ dome with it’s new cover.

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The new cover is now a” dome on the range”!

There are always projects to complete and more work to do, but Turkey Tail Farm life has been restored to working order after the devastation left by the most costly fire in California history. In July of this year, a new cover was made for the frame of their 16 ft (4m) dome that had survived the fire, albeit blackened by soot, even though the cover was annihilated by the flames.

An anonymous donor contacted Pacific Domes,  after we ran the story of the farmers, to make upgrades to the dome cover and a company employee hand delivered the finished product to the farm this August. We wrote a blog post on Samantha and Cheetah on Turkey Tail Farms last April. If you missed it or want to read it again, you can find it here. The same dome frame had also served as a home to Cheetah for a few years in Washington as he attended college and again was used as a dome home upon purchasing the Yankee Hill property that became Turkey Tail Farms in 2008.

The name Turkey Tail came from the Turkey Tail mushroom, which is the first mushroom Samantha and Cheetah ever cultured from the wild.  From the beginning they set to work building a farm from scratch starting with a water infrastructure, fences, greenhouses and their modest home and shop. Money was short so they built everything themselves, taking odd jobs as needed, salvaging materials and even milling their own lumber. Before long they had a functional farm. They launched a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program that provides farm fresh lamb, pork, chicken, duck eggs, oyster mushrooms, herbs and cut flowers.

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The bed is high enough off the floor to have storage in drawers, the dome is heated with a wood stove and has a sink

While Samantha and Cheetah are farmers by day, they retire to dome life by night. Whereas the last use for the dome was harvesting chickens, the new cover has new features better suited for modest living. The dome came with a zipper diamond door,  wood stove flashing, a removable bay window, screen and a window. Samantha says,” We needed more storage so my husband custom made me a bed frame with drawers underneath with wheels. He also made me a closet with two poles for hanging my coats and dresses. We love the dome and feel it fits us so well.

We use Cheetah’s parents house for cooking and to use their bathroom. There house was the only structure to survive the fire. We plain to build a separate bath and kitchen house but we are not quite sure what direction we will go in.”

This is all that remained of the Turkey Tail farmhouse and barn

We are putting up a garage for appliances, work space and storage. We no longer butcher the animals, instead we take them to local butcher shops to cut and wrap the meat we raise. Cheetah used to be the butcher, but we have too much going on now.”

Samantha and Cheetah with goods from the farm

We feel fortunate to be able to share this story with our readers and are inspired by the sheer determination and hard work that both Samantha and Cheetah have continued to put forth in their work and farm.

At the time of this writing there are fires blazing all across California, we pray for those affected and hope for a future in harmony with Nature.