Sunday, January 31, 2010

photo comming soon!!

So I went over to dunes tonight and hung out has some vino and talked horses, life, and tack room celing height you know barn talk...... I laid eyes on the plow he has scored for me to use for the plowing competition!! holy cow if I wasn't already dreaming about plowing I am even more now - It'a buaetiful old John deere plow and damn am I excited to put my hand on those handels! - I feel like the boys are really working well together and I'm sooo excited fro Feb 20th!!! more photos to follow! - this is a photo from the web but kind of the stlye of plow : )


(this was the pig 'ambulance' that Chris rigged up for moving her around I think she almost liked the special attention)

I talked to my friend Chris last week - the one who I called about 6 months ago in the middle of harvest when I had two loose baby pigs and needed help right then and there - Chris dropped everything and came!.. Chris and Amy are organic farmers who live in Forest Grove about 20 min away they have become good friends and are both good farmers -

any way chris called and asked if I could help him doctor a pig. I was excited to be asked... humm maybe this means I'm a real farmer now : ) - anyway it was nice to see my friends and there new spring pigs the little girl was SOOO good she was caught with out too much fuss we held her over a sink for a good long time cleaning her wound and fixin her up and she sqwirmed a tiny bit but mostly just let us hold her and seemed to know we were trying to help her out ...

(holding a pig over a sink is always kind of funny : )

we prepped a little area for her to heal that was clean and dry and I'm sure she's on her way to being all healed up.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

painting at Big Table

Took advantage of a tiny window of sunshine today to do a painting here at the farm... see if you can find my neighbors cows : )

Monday, January 25, 2010

that time of year

It's still winter but we have been having a spell of very warm weather wet but warm...

The grass seems to think it's early march as do the chickens - there gonna get a rude awakening if or should I say when we get a cold snap... which I shouldn't talk about as we are down to about 1 and a 1/2 cords of wood...

lots of spring growth! which the animals all LOVE~

we are at 4 dozen a day now and more on the way ... when spring really comes in earnest!
if there are any locals that would like eggs there are for sale here at the farm. just drop me an e-mail

Drove horses both days this weekend! Sundays work was in the rain they boys took it well I think we minded it more than they did... and so since the harness was soaking wet (not something you want to do all the time) I figured I may as well scrub and oil it as I've been wanting to get that done for a while... I've started to really get excited about the upcoming plowing competition in February in WA (the 20th to be exact:) and have been slowly getting me my boys and equipment ready. (shoot I even had a dream abotu it last night : )

before scrub and oil

after scrub and oil : ) and a little elbow grease polish to the old brass : )

Also Josephine and I have been bonding a bit more of late she has finally decided me being right up next to her is ok with her and scratching her is a VERY good thing.. cows really don't' tend to like to be touched and handled unless there dairy cows that have been handled since birth - gentling a cow takes a lot of patience - it has taking 2 years of sweet talking Josephine to get her to trust me enough to hang out for scratches!! pretty nice really and boy is she soft!!!

A tree we just lost in the wet pink dusk light.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Home after a good trip!

we left the farm in the hands of my family (BIG thanks to Chris, Mary, Joseph and kids!) they promised to do all the care and feeding for us for two and a half days! and took great care of things...

we arrived at LAX and suddenly we were in a different world for sure! - the weather was notably GREAT!!

we also put our new garmin to the test (thanks to my brothers for this awesome gift!)

our hotel was chic and luxurious!! very welcome!

our first appointment was to pour our syrah for the staff at the tin roof bistro and talk about the wines and a little backstory ... they were super and very enthusiastic : ) we stayed for a meal which was yummy... thanks Tin Roof

the main event of the trip was the pinotdays festival which was very well attended with a great group of folks who all love pinot - it was great to pour our wines for these folks both trade and the public... and tell our story .. I'm not sure the LA crowd understood why we had little plastic farm animals on our table but they came around when they tasted the wines...

Our dinner Sunday night after the event was well deserved and we went to a new restaurant in Venice beach The Tasting Kitchen that some folks at the event recommended and WOW it was one of the best meals we EVER had!! if you are any were near Venice beach GO!! the food was off the charts and the spot was hip but laid back at the same time...the servers were professional and very personable... a truly memorable time and a great end to the trip!

I'm now in for some well earned sleep!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Moving animals

I often post on the blog "we moved the chickens, cows etc today" but I never really post the blow by blow of what that means!! - in case you thought I was getting way to hearts and flowers about this farming thing : )

For one thing we spent all weekend moving animals and we moved the chickens, horses and cows (the pigs got moved last week which was good they needed a new spot)

so it's a LOT of work it's a little less in the summer but in the winter the cows and horses are all the way at the top of the #&$@%##!@# hill so it take a good bit of time and a bit more schlepping now that the gator is dead (thanks a lot Michael) ahh well my butt is better off for it...

sooo here's goes...

Chicken moving
a. take down old fence this is a two person job - if you try to do it by yourself you are most likley to fall down in a heap of netting cursing and roling down hill
b. pick up all the bits -- stakes, chalks for wheels, ramp note these items are usually a little bit slimy with chicken poo!!
c. hike around and get into a sometimes heated discussion with hubs about best spot to move the chickens to next
d. hitch up bus on tractor raise legs and drag to new spot - this parts pretty low stress..

e. schlep posts, ramp and fence etc to new site this is my job while brian drives the tractor to the new site - I want his part of the job

f. level bus with jack and lowering legs (this usually evokes some pretty fine expletives from brain as we need a new jack) and also where he tells me about his new design and how much better it's gonna be (which it will I KNOW)- this is after his 100 other projects of course...

g. put up fence again - by this time we are typically so glad to be almost done and not talking all that much - except for Brian saying we need to charge more for these eggs!
z. let out the birds!! our favorite part they all pile out and go every which way with great enthusiasm! chickens moved now it's time for bacon and eggs!! (and today a bloody mary which may explain brian's hay stack interlude see below)

ok so now onto the cows and horses!!

a. Hook up trailer to tracter buck hay into it with a couple paletts to stack hay on up at new site and tarp it - this is for winter time supliment when they need a little extra to stay warm...
b. Fill up water tank - after you rinse it out which is always a fun job in winter - drive that up the hill too - I'm planing this blog post while brian does this part : )
c. Move animals houses this involves pulling stakes and lifting a 500# house onto the tractor hitch (I LOVE this part - I bend my knees for sure!!) then brian drives it to where it needs to go and I walk along side with a guide rope trying to both not fall on my face as I tromp through the scotch broom along side trying to spot this crazy thing and keep it balanced as we bump along... (i had given up my spotting position to take this photo )

d. something always goes wrong this time the track came off the crawler... that's always fun too... thank goodness brian knows how to fix just about anything...

e. now after all that brian needs a nap!! - josephine thinks this is a fine idea..

f. now moving the actual fence! - take down all the hot tape pace it out in new spot!! my favorite part of this is as you are dragging around about 50#'s of long loose coils of tape it get's wraped around something and you trip and fall on your face -- LOVE that part!

g. pull up all the old t-posts and the white step in posts - schlep them to new fence line straigt up hill stopping like every 20 feet so you don't' have a freggin heart attack!...

h. puond in new posts note ear plugs prevent you hearing your husband asking "why we are doing this anyway?" as he weed wacks behind you under the new fence line...

i - move water troughs to new spots - today I honed my rolling a stock tank uphill technique!! (due to the fact that the gator is done broke we couldn't use that like we usually do thanks michael )
j- move animals to new site which typically not bad as they like a new spot to graze - today this was thankfully uneventful!! ahh it's the little things that make us smile!

The goats are next up for a pasture move... in the mean time they aren't complaining too much as they are getting hay till we get them in a new spot!

So yup we're crazy - and thank goodness I have a short memory so I will keep doing this...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

officially 'working the land' and fozzy the bear

So every time I look at my cow Josephine (especially in winter) I think of Fozzy the bear - she's a VERY friendly cow and her ears just make me think of that particular fuzzy Muppet... see what you think - any comparison to you??

speaking of hair! sometimes I wonder how this guy sees ...

sooo in other farm news - Duane (once again) has hooked me up!! He found me the exact harrow for my place and a great deal on it to boot! that's the benefit of having done this farming thing for generations - Thanks Duane!... It's a pasture harrow which is perfectly suited to the type of work we are doing with rotational grazing --it's used for working up ground that 's been grazed, aerating as just spreading manure around to fertilize and work in it (which is what we did today) it's pretty wet so we didn't work a lot just experimented with a small piece - I have a few adjustments to make to the chain length etc but as usual the boys where super stars!! So we are starting to get them working around here in useful ways perhaps the hubs will stop calling them 'the stinks' and say "hey can we use your horses".. that will be when I KNOW we've arrived ...

my friend Laura has been coming over and working the horses with me as there is safety and more fun in numbers - she also has been taking hummer for short rides after we work which is great for him!

I think there's somethin' going on between these two I saw this sappy lovey look in hummers eye today when Laura showed up- and he looks pretty happy when she on his back... and I know Laura loves hummer - I understand he's solid GOLD!

This is just a farm shot at the am feeding - I crack up almost every morning I show up with my bucket of grain for the girls they come all at once and they really make a lot of noise with there feet I swear I can feel the rumble as 100 chickens come running at me in the morning... it is about 500 to 600 #'s of chicken after all : )

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

wow - thanks!

Big Huge Thanks to the Oregonian and to Kathleen who writes a great NW food blog - for the food day feature of this blog - I was stunned and humbled!! now I better start posting things of value.. eshhh pressure is on... hummm well instead I'll just post this evenings activity-- most folks hang out and watch a netflix not us we spent our evening pealing lemons - why you ask -- 'the nector of the gods' lemoncello - : ) if you've had lemoncello and it's been harsh or bitter try another one - there's a LOT of room for error in making this sweet wonderful drink ...

tonight evening activity- you can see it takes a LOT of lemons to fill one jar

a past 'vintage' consumed of course : )