When you grow up on a ranch you learn hard work and responsibility at a very young age. Starting in middle school, Zachary (Zeiter kid #2) was working the same hours as a grown man. In high school he knew more life skills than most people do twice his age.
And then he had a little bit of a break for college, then he got married, had a baby girl, and worked in IT at Zeiter Eye Medical Clinic... And now he's back at Our Lady's Ranch as Family Friendly Farm's Operations Manager! The move from Stockton back to Grass Valley was a group effort involving siblings, the FFF farmers, and (of course) his wife, Cecilia, and daughter, Thalia.
When we first get married and especially when we have a baby, it can be a bit overwhelming with how much stuff we acquire. Despite this, it all fit into one Uhaul! All of the established families out there can probably laugh at that - just one Uhaul?! Even so, moving is no light affair and can cause lot's of stress no matter the situation, but we can say with confidence that this venture went incredibly smooth and was filled with smiles.
But how can there not be smiles when you have so much help and you're moving home of all places?
When Zach and Cecilia got married they knew that they wanted to move back to the Ranch eventually, the appeal of raising their kids in such a beautiful and wholesome environment is an opportunity that's just too good to pass up. And Zach knows the Ranch and the operations here like the back of his hand. He'd been pouring blood, sweat, tears, and love into this place since he was a kid so how could he not?! They were just unsure of the timing.
It turns out the timing was just shy of their two year wedding anniversary and just in time for all of the amazing changes happening with FFF.
Everyone has a place to live on the Ranch, from the big house to individual trailers. But Zach, Cecilia, and Thalia moved into the most special and long-standing dwelling on the Ranch: The Cottage. A few years after the Ranch was bought in 2000, a shabby modular home was dropped off and, after a some major renovations, the young Zeiter family moved in with their four kids.
We lived there for three years, during which time two more kids were born, the big house was built, and we started our farming journey with no idea what we were doing. If only the photos we have from that era weren't in the old physical form buried in a box somewhere...
The Cottage has housed a multitude of families, couples, and individuals in the fifteen years since we moved into the house we built, but none are as special as these latest inhabitants because the new generation of Zeiters are back within its four walls!
It's a super exciting time as Zach enters into the daily work again. We can't wait to see what we'll accomplish with his help.