My niece Asia, a professional photographer who documents her life in the ocean in Hawaii, visited our family farm and made magic with her camera. In Asia's images, I see beyond the 40 years Dad's been farming this land to his grandparents who were our family's first farmers.
That farm in the distance was the first Anderson family homestead in the early 1900s. Mom and Dad farm the Wertzba family's land near the original Anderson farmstead which came to us through Grandma Anna. It's been amazing to see wildlife return to the farm under my family's watch. Barn owls, gophers, ground squirrels, quail, and coyotes...their ancestors lived on this land with the first people here.
The UC Berkeley archives suggest the name for the local Native Americans who lived on the land before our Swedish ancestors might be Coconoon. We call them Yokut now but research points to an amazing diversity in the Yokut cultures throughout the Merced River watershed where our family farms.