Loleta Farm

Hello, I'm Deana!

I'm a mom to two dogs, 18 hens and one Rooster named Maurice. I'm an animal lover, entrepreneur, business owner, always struggling gardener, essential oil fanatic, fine artist and a lover of learning new things. 

I live in Los Angeles, California outside the city with my partner John.  

I'm a bit of an oddity compared to the rest of my generation, but I'm good with that. I believe in hard work, making your own way, personal responsibility, thinking for yourself, and not being afraid of getting your feet dirty. 

Homesteading was my gateway to building a life I love. Once I realized I could create the life I had always wanted, I was hooked! What started with a passion for growing our own food and raising chickens turned into researching the products we were using in our home.

I found out the average person applies about 300 chemicals to their body everyday, and 80 of them are before breakfast. Most are from four sources: soap, makeup, shampoo and hair care products. and the biggest sources in homes are dryer sheets, fabric softener, air freshener plug-ins, and candles. Others are bright blue dish soap, kitchen counter cleaners, and processed foods. Health and safety data only exists for the 15 percent of all the chemicals out there, even though so many are known to cause asthma or endocrine disruptions. Yikes!

I want to tell you there is another way.  Please scroll down below my story and click on one of my videos or read one of my blog posts, and let me know if you are ready to change the way you live your life. 

So, if you stumbled upon my blog looking for advice on building your own organic garden, raising chickens or wanting to know more about essential oils, then you're in the right place. I have devoted the last 18 years learning and creating the best organic food on the planet. 

Apricot Lane Farms

Apricot Lane Farms is located 40 miles north of Los Angeles and 20 miles east of Ventura in Moorpark, CA. Our team has been charged with the mission of creating a well-balanced ecosystem and rich soils that produce nutrient-dense foods while treating the environment and the animals with respect.

Our farm residents include pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, guinea hens, horses, highland cattle, and one brown swiss dairy cow named “Maggie.” Our land consists of Biodynamic Certified avocado and lemon orchards, a vegetable garden, pastures, and over 75 varieties of stone fruit.

BackYard Chickens

Back in 1999 a few baby chicks were brought home from a kindergarten class. Similar to the experience of hundreds of thousands of other children and their families, what started out as a fun project turned into a hobby and then into an obsession! BackYardChickens is the result of years of collective learning and fun rolled up into the best resource for raising your own backyard flock.

Over the past few years there has been a resurgence in people who want to be more “green”, more self-sufficient, and take part in the “grow local” movement. A handful of egg-laying hens in a relatively small yard allows people to participate in these trends without having to move or change their lifestyle. promotes the green, self-sufficient, and grow-local movements by educating people on how to raise chickens properly.

As the content of the site has grown so have the visits to the site and with visitors came questions... lots of questions. Everything from "How to raise chickens?" and "How to hatch eggs?" to "How do I build a chicken coop?" and "How do I keep my chickens healthy?". We tried to answer as many questions as we could by adding information to the site but we realized there were too many different variables to create content for every situation. So, back in 2000 we started the first Chicken Forum. Over the years this forum has grown, moved, changed, moved again, and continued to grow and develop based on the needs of the site visitors. At the time of updating this page, June 2017, BYC has a vibrant community of more than 325,000 chicken owners who add about 6,000 new posts per DAY (on average 5 new posts every minute of every day, 24/7)!

The growth in the trend toward raising backyard chickens and the quantity and quality of information gathered on the site have greatly exceeded any of the original expectations. BYC now boasts over 2,500 chicken coop designs, an extensive chicken breed database, and an amazing raising chickens learning center. The site has become the # 1 resource for everyone interested in raising, breeding and caring for their own flock of backyard chickens.

BYC is managed by Rob Ludlow, co-author of the books Raising Chickens for Dummies & Building Chicken Coops for Dummies. The vast amount of content and the vibrant community is the result of over 14 years of contributions by tens of thousands of people and the dedication of the world’s best group of moderators. You can read a more detailed journal of events regarding to the history of BYC by clicking: History Of BackYardChickens

Enjoy your time here! If you have comments or questions, turn to the Chicken Forum - it's one of the friendliest message boards around and you will get a LOT of great answers to any questions you may have.


Shemesh Organic Farm | Malibu, CA

At the Shemesh Organic Farm, we teach about the connection between Judaism, Israel, nature, and agriculture through hands-on organic farming, gardening, harvesting, and composting. The farm is also model for Jewish social and environmental responsibility – the harvested fruits and vegetables are used in our outdoor cooking workshops, as ingredients in meals in our dining hall, and donated to SOVA, the kosher food pantry.

The farm consists of:

Throughout the year, the Shemesh Organic Farm is open to the community for field trips and retreats. During the summer, hundreds of Camp JCA Shalom campers enjoy the farm experience. To read more about our farm, please click here.

To read Marla’s story and a full description of activities available at the garden, please click here.

To donate to the Marla Bennett Israel Discovery Center and Garden please click here »

To book your field trip or service day or for more info please contact Bill Kaplan at (818) 889-5500 ext. 108 or e-mail

"One day, Honi the Circle Maker was walking on the road and saw a man planting a carob tree. Honi asked the man, “How long will it take for this tree to bear fruit?” The man replied, “Seventy years.” Honi then asked the man, “And do you think you will live another seventy years and eat the fruit of this tree? “The man answered, “Perhaps not. However, when I was born into this world, I found many carob trees planted by my father and grandfather. Just as they planted trees for me, I am planting trees for my children and grandchildren so they will be able to eat the fruit of these trees.”