Happy Friday to you all! We have been SOOOO busy on the farm, is it really Friday already?!
Harvest season comes on slowly and then just really starts to take off this time of year. While we haven't even hit the height of it yet we are continually filling and refilling the dehydrator with some herbal goodness from the farm.
This week I was catching up on the calendula flowers. While we don't have enough of these farm grown ones to fill our tea orders yet we use them for so many other things. They are good for more than just tea!
We are sharing on this video how to harvest the flowers and save the seed along with 6+ ways to use calendula. We hope you enjoy, even if you don't plant to grow your own hopefully its interesting to see the process of the ingredients that get used in our teas.
It was a hot, dry, summer day and the air was thick with smoke. It looked like a cloudy fall morning exept for the heat was saying otherwise. Here in Oregon there has been a wild fire (or a few) burning for weeks but this particular one is 4500+ acres and about an hour from us. The smoke from that fire is just filling the valley which is below us and so it passes us on its way down.
Determined not to be stuck inside the farm house all day I went to wonder around the garden to make sure it was doing ok with all the heat and smoke. I found a cucumber about perfect pickle size so I plucked it from the vine. Then another, and another. Before I knew it my hands were full as could be. I sent the farm boy off to get my harvesting basket and finished picking the cucumbers that were all pickle size.
There were just enough to fill a half gallon canning jar but not enough for a full blown canning session. This will probably surprise some of our homestead readers but I’m not a fan of water bath canning or pressure canning. The heat of the water and the jars combined with the hot summer and no a/c in the house along with four farm children who want to be in the tiny farm kitchen with me just doesn’t get me excited.
I’m more prone to freeze, dehydrate and ferment our abundance for winter. I’ve had yet to try a frozen or dehydrated pickle (hehe) so fermenting it is!
Fermenting is almost as simple as freezing and dehydrating and the results are probiotic rich.
Today I’m sharing with you a recipe from Traditional Cooking School. Its super simple and after the recipe below we have a video that quickly goes over the steps. Not only is this recipe simple but it also uses TEA LEAVES… yep TEA in your pickles, yippee!
This simple recipe will also work for dilly beans dill/garlic carrot sticks or many other raw vegetables that feature a dill/garlic flavor. Thanks for stopping by the farm and we hope you have a fantastic day!
7 ¼ cups 3” to 4” whole pickling cucumbers
6 cloves of garlic
2 tsp dill seeds or 2-3 dill heads
¼ tsp black tea (we used Darjeeling loose leaf)
4 cups Basic Brine (recipe to follow)
6 TBL fine grain sea salt or 9 TBL coarse grain sea salt
8 cups of filtered water
The quick method:
We thought maybe some snow would cool everyone off during these dog daze of summer. This week we are sharing our family story and the story of why we started farming. It involves countries in far away lands, adventures and our family home at last.
From growing our own food, growing our own medicine to herbal teas that we share with our patrons, we invite you to join us on our journey as we become sustainable homesteaders and grow our tea farm. Watch us Grow!
It's harvest time on the farm! This is really the busy time of year for gardeners, farmers and homesteaders. There is so much to do between harvesting the first fruits of our labors yet continuing to plant for fall and winter crops.
There is not just the harvesting but the preserving of the harvest along with all the other things that life throughs our way. Oh June and July where did you go? As we rush on in to August we are sharing a few of the photos that we took around the farm in July. With our Youtube channel it seems like we have less photos and more video these days so there are a few gaps this month. If you would like to see more of what we have been up to on the farm make sure you check out our video section if you haven't already.
Harvest on the farm
A few of our volunteer onions decided to bloom, we decided they would make better decor than onions!
Our lavender harvest, very small this year but pretty and smells wonderful! We love lavender and we are anxious to get some more planted this fall!
A rainbow came out of our dehydrator! There is nothing we love more than seeing, and smelling the beauty of the plants we use in our tea.
A salad all from the farm: kale, chard, onion flowers, bachelor buttons, and radishes.
Tea harvest for the day, always such a pretty site! Rose petals, calendula, chamomile and bachelor buttons.
Calendula flowers, the flower that started our farm and herbal journey, they are so beautiful!
Chamomile is doing fantastic, can't wait to try local fresh chamomile tea.
Dehydrating calendula flowers, they do best when placed face down and it makes for an interesting photo!
The Tea Studio
We are making some great progress on our tea studio this month. The trusts were delivered and placed on top of the studio.
With some help the sheeting was placed on the trusses... one more step closer to finishing the roof.
Almost done, filling in the whole with the ridge vent. A little preview of the interior of the tea studio.
Front vide of the tea studio addition, so nice to see the roof on!
Roofing getting delivered and placed on top of the building.
ARound the farm
3/4 of the garden got planted and mulching commenced.
The tomatoes look so small compared to a month later! So fun to see how they grow. Check out our videos for updates on the tomatoes!
Kitten #1 of 3, this sweet girl will need a home if any one is interested. She is very calm and gentle!
The oregano plants are blooming! Always such a pretty site!
A calendula getting ready to bloom, the bees love these flowers!
Our first cucumber harvest for fermenting pickles! So exciting to see the fruits of our labor coming out of the garden!
The grapes are doing fantastic this year, so many of them and they are so big!
The basil is looking great and is plentiful. Its time to bring it in to the dehydrator to fill up our spice rack.
The purple basil is also doing great, what is your favorite basil recipe?
In the greenhouse
The bachelor buttons are coming on strong and filling up our herbal tea cupboard, we use these in our Oregon Harvest Berry Tea.
The chamomile is loving the greenhouse as well, its so sweet and fragrant!
In the Farm STore...
This month we packed and delivered tea to the High Desert Museum and the Blue Heron French Cheese Company,
Market time has hit the peak of the season and the veggies and fruits in abundance! We have broke out the iced tea for these hot summer days.
Were excited to have our tea be a part of Sea Star Gelato from Seaside, Oregon. A picture here their London Fog with our Cascade Earl Grey and they also have a fabulous Peach Hibiscus with our High Desert Hibiscus blend.
Tea tasting and tea by the cup at the Salem Saturday Market, a great healthy way to cool off on a hot day and to check out all the other great local market vendors.
A visit to the Blue Heron French Cheese Co. to deliver tea and check out what Tillamook Oregon has to offer. A little fun trip off the farm for the farm children.
Thanks for stopping by the farm to see what was happening in July! We are looking forward to an equally productive August. What do you have growing in your garden?
It was a Friday.
Our family all works, lives and school at home- all year around. There is lots to do this time of year between a continuous planting of crops, harvesting of crops, watering, feeding animals. There is no end to the work on the farm in the summer.
Meanwhile most are out of school and taking vacations all over the place. The farmers on the other hand await their downtime in the winter.... like January and February. Not the best time to visit the Oregon coast.
But every once in a great while.... the farmer makes it off of the farm and joins in the fun in the sun. We invite you this week to come with us as we deliver tea to a new location and take in some of the sites. Thanks for visiting us down on the farm!
Did you know that we grow in a 4o ft long green house year around? We grow mostly food for our selves but this year we started adding some herbal crops for our tea. Our green house saves us tons of money on greens throughout the year especially in the off season when greens get more expensive. Its so much cheaper to plant a $3 bag of organic seed than to spend $3 on one head of lettuce.
But that can be hard in some cold places.
It can be near impossible!
With the help of a greenhouse, polytunnel or hoop house you can grow in colder climates, even in Maine, and have greens year around! This is a great affordable way to extend your gardening season and your household food budget.
The Farmer took a few days to help his brother put up their new hoop house. Its very similar to ours wit ha few adjustments. Check it out in this weeks video!
Gardens are a lot of work! First the area is prepared, for us that meant rotating the chickens through the area and then tilling it and then tapping it. Next the seeds need to be planted, watered, babied. Then the seedlings get transplanted out into the garden. Phew..... I'm so hungry after all of that work I'm going to be anxiously awaiting the food that comes from it. But wait we aren't done yet... we have to keep watering those baby plants. Make sure that weeds don't take them over.
The good news is that with a little effort up front the watering and weeding can be dealt with fairly simply. Mulching to the rescue! This week we take you on our mulching adventure showing you 5 reasons that its a good idea to mulch your garden, no matter what size, with a little added farm humor. Thanks for joining us down on the farm and we hope you have a wonderful week! We would love to know what you are growing and about your experience with mulching, let us know in the comment section below! Cheers!
Were all about local farms, growing our own food and helping to supply others. But what do we do when our lavender comes from France? We only have a few small lavender plants.... for now, but certainly not enough to keep our tea patrons content. We were blessed to find this lovely Oregon farm in Newburg that has plenty to supply us with. We thought we would take you along to see it and not both you and I know where the lavender comes from!
We started this gardening journey with putting our chickens in the garden to till it up, yet before even that we took you along with us as we built our chicken tractor, chickshaw, chicken thing. Then we had you with us as we built our soil block trays, showed you our soil blocking method and planted our seed. Its time to move those babies out to the garden and watch them grow! Join us this week as we move our basil out with the tomatoes. Soon we will be adding herbs for tea and for culinary use including chamomile, tarragon, lemon balm and more! Join us every step of the way as we share the happenings of the farm with you once a week on Youtube!
Thanks for being part of our farm family! Cheers!
Hello fellow tea drinkers and gardeners!
We had this big plan this winter. I'm afraid it was delayed. You see we love knowing where our food comes from. We like to know what kind of conditions it was grown in, who was growing it, what our money supports or rather who it is supporting. Is it going to big corporations or a small farmer and his family? Did our fruit come from Mexico, our beef from Australia?
Sometimes it is just hard to know. We do our best, within our means and with what resources we have. But sometimes its either not in the budget to buy local like we would like or some things just are not available! We decided to take our food into our own hands and grow as much as we can on our own farm and then to buy from other farms in the area and leave the large retailers as a last resort.
What does this have to do with tea? You see we want our family business to be inline with the rest of our lives. That means that the Farmer came home to work on the farm so that we can all live, work and school together. It also means that we aim to have the same values with blending tea as we try to have with the food we feed our family with.
First we grow it. If we can't grow it because of time, space, money ect then we seek out other local farms who can. Today we want to take you on that journey with us which brings us back to our big "winter plans". You see we want to SHOW you were your tea comes from! We want to tell you the story of each and every one of our teas.
Haskaps usually fruit in May but this year Oregon has had a very long wet spring and so our winter plans were delayed...
We invite you on our farm visit picking haskaps and the first in our series on showing you the story of the tea you drink and enjoy. So sit back, relax with a good cuppa and see the story of your tea. Thanks for dropping by the farm and we will see you next week!
Welcome to our Family Tea Farm!
Howdy from our farm to your home! It is said that the, "farm is the nursery of the family," and that "the family is the nursery of the nation." We hope you enjoy your visit to our blog as we share with you the happenings on our little "nursery". Thank you for following us on our journey and watching us GROW! Read more about our farm HERE.
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