West Coast Weather Vanes: Hobby Farmer Turned Weather Vane Maker

Ken Jensen turned from California hobby farmer to weather vane retailer.

| September/October 2009

Weather Vanes Are Back in Style 

More than 20 years ago, Ken Jensen was a Californian hobby farmer who grew baby produce for restaurants while working at a local university. He met LizAnne through their mutual love of gardening.

“We looked for a weather vane for our garden at our 2.5-acre Fortress Farm. A weather vane helps predict the weather, which aids us with our gardening,” says LizAnne. “However, we didn’t want a generic machine-made weather vane, but something special.”

They found the perfect answer at a New England shop that makes handcrafted weather vanes. Ken was particularly drawn to the Viking ship model because his family is from Denmark.

“We learned that no one was making handcrafted weather vanes in our part of the country, and got to thinking that we should,” says LizAnne.

Now, while living on the same rural property near Santa Cruz, California, Ken and LizAnne work full time in their on-site studio, along with apprentices, creating personalized copper weather vanes in 600 custom models for customers throughout the United States and the world. There is a lead time of up to a year for orders. For more information, call (800) 762-8736 or (831) 425-5505, or visit the West Coast Weather Vanes website.

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