Thursday, August 27, 2009

Horsey post

Houston's 'breaking' has been a slow and gentle process - of putting a saddle on last summer and Duane helping me start him in harness we've worked with with weight on his back this winter and now my friend sarah who is a natural intuitive horsewoman has helped me to introduce him to an actual human on his back!! - today was the second time she's put her leg over him and we took him on a little trail ride! he did beautifully!! as did sarah.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Saturdays Farm dinner

A special dinner for a few enthusiasts of our Big Table Farm Wines happened Saturday - It was a wonderful evening Bernard thank you so very much for the absolutely beautiful photographs!!

we started with a farm tour

and finished with this meal -

figs wrapped in farm raised and cured Prosciutto
Hand made pasta with caramelized onions and Big Table chicken sausage this was paired with Big Table Farm Willamette Valley 2008 Pinot Noir
Our Pastured Pork Tender loin with pear sauce that clare canned from 2008 with our garden beets picked that day and House cured bacon paired with Big Table Farm Resonance Vineyard 2008 Pinot Noir
Rack of goat from the back 40 served with string beans harvested along with the potatoes the morning of the meal the beans where cooked in almonds and honey and the potatoes where sautéed in butter with sage. This was paired with our Big Table Farm Syrah
A simple tomato, onion and basil salad from the garden with some local mozzarella cheese.
We finished with a wild black berry tart with berries from the patch around our spring

this was the morning pick the day of the meal

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Joel Salatin and comunity -

So yesterday was a day we had been looking forward to for a long time it was a full day at Afton Field Farm with Joel Salatin - many of you know of him he's a farmer who has been propelled to the front of the current sustainable small farm movement by books like the Omnivores Dilemma and the Movie Food Inc. - So Joel was speaking at a Farm here called Afton Field Farm owned and operated by one of his students Tyler Jones a very enthusiastic and smart young farmer with big ideas and the gumption to get things done.. his willingness to grab it and go was inspiring...

When we arrived at the Afton Field Farm and where blown away by the beauty there. This property is new to Tyler and his wife Alicia but has a long history. It's an old homestead from the turn of the century with old groves and sprawling fields and beautiful old farm house and out buildings that are being brought back to life by this amazing young energy that is buzzing around the place...

I had high expectations to learn all kind of science and facts and methods and systems of improving our farm and fine tuning what we are doing here at big table farm -- I had about 1000 questions I needed answers on ... organic feed, housing, flys, tilling, clovers, proteins , custom feeds, compost questions... you name it I had it swirling around in my head..

So when we arrived to a crowd of 100+ people I was not sure how the day would go... .... then we registered and started walking down the lane to the farm house where we where being approached by Lise Hubbe with her draft horses pulling a cart made available to the guests...

Lisa has a farm down in Sico and is part of my Draft Horse group- and is just super!... The next people I saw where Bernard smith and his daughter - also farmers who are doing many of the same things we are... and then another pig farmer I knew ... I'm looking around and realizing here we all are again .. this community of small farmers who are all learning together as we all together but in our own way break out of the current 'modern' farming methods ... definitely some new faces but some familiar ones too ... farmers came to this from all over Oregon as well as 5 other states!

Joel opened by talking about the importance of people and community - customers, neighbors, family, friends and other farmers .. this community being the life of our 'farms' and the most important thing in what we are doing... this played it self out all day ..

as I listened to Joel talk politics, fencing and poop..I got some new information for sure ideas abotu egg pecking to pig waters.. some hi level inspirational talking and some nitty gritty USDA down in the trenches talking - we had a lot to cover in one day from chickens systems, pigs in oak groves to processing... in all this talking I met some new farmers like Sean of Dancing Cow farm that raises Dexters like us.. and got to talk Heritage breed pigs with some pigs farmers... and we also shared the day with Katie who has been out here working with us at Big Table since the spring and is part of our farm family now...

It was really very inspiring to meet joel he's just how he sounds in his writing in person : ) he's a dreamer and a goofball and a talker!

So I'm grateful to Joel for being such a huge advocate, to afton field for hosting.. but most of all I'm grateful to our community! -- all the people that buy our farm products and wine our friends who share meals, katie and others who have just shown up and worked moving fences or standing by my side at the farmers market... family, neighbors, and fellow farmers who have offered their time coaching and cheer leading as we grow our farm!

- thank you !

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Big Thanks to the Oregonian

Thank you Katherine Cole and for your beautiful work!!

the wonderful article!

ps... I'll get it up on the web site later today but the date for the next farm dinner is September 12th 2009 - and there are only 2 seats left for the August 22nd Dinner! cheers! Clare

Photo by /

Comming this fall ...

As promised a preview of the new pinot labels (the 07 Syrah will be posted soon)- these wines will be bottled in a few weeks and then released this fall in time for the thanksgiving weekend!

2008 Pinot Noir - Wilmette Valley

2008 Pinot Noir - Resonance Vineyard - Carlton-Yamhill District

In the mean time there's a very small amount of '06 Syrah left - which is drinking beautifully!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

the garden is cranking

I love summer!!!

Fair and Horsey 'family'

I was honored to spend two days this weekend working with Duane and Sarah and the rest of the One Mile Shires crew getting horses ready for the Wa Co. fair we showed off horses Friday and Saturday and it was just a blast!!!

Duane brought 8 of his 16 horses out and there was a lot of scrubbing and brushing to be done but it really fun and the horses are such a pleasure to be around.. Saturday I was on body brush duty and that was really nice I brushed every single one of the six horses for the hitch and got to really enjoy them... major horsey therapy... I also learned to show braid draft horses which may come in handy for when my time comes to show my boys!! maybe next year...

Big thanks as always to Duane and Sarah for treating me like family I have learned so much from you guys and continue to learn !!!

I also got to participate in three of the draft riding shows Friday, One of the driving classes with Sarah on Sat AND got to head for the other driving classes- such fun stuff!! - I got to ride Hanna in the bareback riding classes and she got me blue ribbons in 2 of the 3 classes!! amazing I think they got it wrong but it sure was fun! and then Sarah and I did snag the blue ribbon in the driving class which I can say was earned fair and square --- it was a relay of sorts where Sarah raced the team against two other teams and at each end of the arena where straw bales that I bucked into the wagon and then hoped in and raced to the other end... it was a blast and Sarah did some very fancy fast maneuvering and I bucked against guys and I'm not afraid to say I smoked 'em - ha!! The chicks ruled that class!! he he ... so Big Giant thanks to Duane, and Sarah and Maria too for all the kindness and teaching and friendship!! I treasure you guys!!