Earth work

Terraces are in and look amazing!

Imageterraces tilled by husband with borrowed tractor…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbeds built by hand and amended with compost….a bcs with a rotary hoe would make this go much faster.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbeds limed, amended with micronutrients and shaped

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAfirst beds planted and irrigation lines in place-wait, what is that in the distance? Hmmm, think I know what the next big project is…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbut enough boring pictures of dirt and thousand pound ungulates-that’s a herd of 30 or so cow elk on the hillside there….here is some spring veggie porn-

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand a new wildflower discovery-I think this is an orchid called Candystick

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand this is a sight for my sore eyes-our Portland house is all spruced up and on the market!  I get to spend an entire day on the farm today without going into town to paint, fix or clean-what a luxury!  Wish us a speedy drama free sale.

fish art not included

fish art not included

cheers!

The farm ate my blog post

Busy Busy Busy…..

Here are some pics from the late winter/early spring.  We are just getting into the thick of things-our earthmoving guy comes tomorrow to terrace the hillside where the main gardens and orchards will go!  Super exciting.  The new greenhouse works fabulously-one of my jobs for today is to get the prop cabinet up and running-time to start tomatoes!  Got the onions and greens going-bottom heat for the onions and the greens don’t need anything other than the greenhouse protection and warmth….here’s some Arugula. A little leggy probably due to the big fluctuations in temperature from night to day (downside of a small greenhouse)-but they are in the ground now and doing well!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABaby bunnies are growing fast-hope to have some more on the way soon…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd these girls are almost old enough to add to the breeding program….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe shuksan strawberries are coming along….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy kind neighbor came down with his tractor and tilled up the lower garden for me-long term plan is this is where the perennials and berries will be, also some of the orchard trees (cider apples perhaps?  or Pears).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Dingo – aka My Six Strong Men or MSSM-has been awesome for amending the beds once I built them (by hand with a shovel-some day I will have one of these).  Also for setting posts for the deer and elk fence-yet to be installed but coming soon to a farm near you!

We have for the most part been having freakishly warm weather both outside and in.  You can definitely heat a 4 bdrm house with a wood fired furnace!

too hot for me, but minnesotan husbands love it

too hot for me, but minnesotan husbands love it

The unusual weather is more than a little worrisome-will summer be hot and dry dry dry?  Or cool and wet as mild dry winters in the PNW usually indicate? More kale?  Or more peppers?  Hmmmmm.  Anyway, any sun at this time of year is greatly appreciated-it has been a gorgeous late winter/early spring.

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worlds most beautiful field mower IMHO

worlds most beautiful field mower IMHO

Hope you have some fair weather to enjoy where-ever you are!  Cheers-

Here goes….somethin’

Went home to Kentucky to see family last week.  Got in a lovely 2 hour ride with my father, who is in his late seventies, and Marilyn, a friend from the hunt club, on the two farms owned by family out in Simpsonville.

 

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love me a sycamore tree!

love me a sycamore tree!

there is really only one way to travel through country like this-on a horse!

there is really only one way to travel through country like this-on a horse!

We also did a drive by on my Old Kentucky Home-the house looks great.  Some day we will stop in and try to get a tour of the inside (I am betting the shag carpet and loud wallpaper are long gone….).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABack on the farm, the to do list is long!  But I am getting started on the propagation house, and thinking about fencing for the spring garden.

just add plastic....

just add plastic….

this little hoophouse will cost me about $300 for an 8×16 space-and all the materials can be repurposed into moveable animal housing or fencing…..

The garlic and leeks and walking onions are up and look great!  So far the gophers haven’t found them, but I know it is only a matter of time…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAnow…off to put my seed order in!

 

2014-A year I’ll never forget

What a year it has been!

We finally closed on the farm in Gaston last summer, and still I pinch myself everyday I walk out my front door. Especially on days like Christmas morning when I see our local herd of Roosevelt elk passing through and whistling hello.

christmas elk

christmas elk

Playing in the pasture with your very own mustang is a little like having one’s own unicorn.  She is such a fun mix of wild, wise and sweet.

no caption needed

no caption needed

And the house isn’t nearly done yet but it is getting close!  Soon I will be able to focus on other more farmy projects (like a propagation house….and a wash station….and and and)

gettin' civilized around here..

gettin’ civilized around here..

There is trim and furniture in my very near future, I can feel it!  I hope everyone has had as wonderful and exciting a year as we have, and here is to great things in 2015!  Happy New Year everyone!

Modern amenities

We have internets!

And indoor plumbing!

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Wood fired central heating that works excellently!  It is sleeting and 30 outside, cozy and 70 inside…..

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In farmy news we rotated the chickens onto fresh pasture:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARoosterman inspected and approved.  He really is a nice rooster, and I think the hens are happier and forage more with him around.

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And we continue to be amazed by the incredible wildlife we get to see and hear here at the edge of the forest:

M2E39L138-138R399B310You can see the beginnings of my funny little round raised bed garden down below-I did get a fair amount of garlic in this fall.  The 2015 growing season has already started!

Stay cozy!

 

Busy bees

Here is what we have been up to, not much farming but the fall rains are coming and we need to get the house in shape to live in safely… to prep for the electrician (complete rewire) and the plumber (complete replumb) we pulled trim and cut the lath and plaster at 40″ from the floor throughout the house.  Then we hired an amazing demo crew to come in and demo out the basement, the loft floor in the barn, and all the lath and plaster below our cut.  This will enable the electrician to get in and pull wire quickly, we also got a good look at the framing of the house (which looks amazing for 90 yrs old!), and made sure nothing else was living in walls besides the bees.  And we got those out too-took over a week and I almost got heat exhaustion, but it is done!  Oh, and we built a new set of stairs in the barn.

this fireplace is actually soapstone or marble painted to look like mahogany....it is a pretty good tromp l'oeil!

this fireplace is actually soapstone or marble painted to look like walnut….it is a pretty good trompe l’oeil!

found this beautiful floor under some gross linoleum in the bedroom with the bee closet.  I think we will clear coat and keep it as is.

found this beautiful floor under some gross linoleum in the bedroom with the bee closet. I think we will clear coat and keep it as is.

new barn stairs!

new barn stairs!

scary basement now significantly less scary...and we find out today hopefully if this old wood furnace is still useable...

scary basement now significantly less scary…and we find out today hopefully if this cool old wood furnace is still useable…

Huge huge thanks to Der Lovett deconstruction…they did a beautiful job with the demo and left everything spotless, and finished the house the basement and the barn in something like 14 hours.  They were awesome.  Now we are working on digging a ditch to the equipment shed for power, and hopefully if I get a chance building a colony for the rabbits…who do not seem to ever tire of blackberry canes for breakfast.  And did I mention?  Mustangs love thistles.  And generate a wheelbarrow full of ‘soil amendment’ every day while mowing. 

Osprey has landed!

Sorry for the lack of posting-we are super busy and without internets out in the country.  But not only do we have owls in the woods and swifts in the chimney (no more bees in the closet-hooray!), we have an Osprey in the barn.  Here she is:

 alfalfa for breakfast

alfalfa for breakfast

So far she is adjusting well, doing a great job of mowing down my waist high pastures.  She loves the trail rides, and is very tolerant of the dogs, who are turning into stellar farm dogs, as long as the chickens stay in their yard and coop……we are about to tear into the house for rewiring and replumbing, I have to head back out there to pull nails out of all the trim I removed this week.  Cheers!