"If it Never rains then we will never grow."
It's true for people and its true for plants too. If it never rains then nothing will grow. I think here in Western Oregon we have had plenty of rain to make lots of things grow! While most of the country has inches and feet of snow we haven't seen one snow flake this year. In some ways its really nice not to have the snow. In Oregon we see so little snow that it really causes problems with traffic and getting to and from places. Though at times it would be really nice to have that snow white blanket covering the mud that is all over the farm.... and it would be a little cleaner for the farm children to play in.
In the Greenhouse
I avoided photos of the greenhouse last week in our Around the Farm post. This week I decided I'd show you the ugly mess that it is in January.... at least this year since we didn't plant anything over the winter. The grape vine is missing its leaves, the grass is over grown, the bean plants are dead and moldy. It really just isn't what it should be. But life happens and gives us a chance to reflect on our choices. This year we made choices that involved putting our time in places other than the green house.
My sad attempt at throwing some spinach seed in the green house turned into a gnarly mess. While there are a few leaves that could be salvaged its really only enough for maybe one salad.
The slugs seem to be enjoying bits of it and mold the rest of it. The spinach also looks like it spent more time trying to go to seed than to make leafs.
Carrots! These have been in the ground a little long, the only plus to that is that I don't have to figure out where to store them. They will be coming out Thursday when we start the greenhouse clean up.
The Swiss chard looks like its coming back to life but could also use its share of clean up. There are plenty of moldy leaves to get rid of.
Even with the shade cloth on the greenhouse things are warming up and these arugula plants think its time to go to seed. I guess at least we can plant arugula again soon without buying new seed.
Broccoli flowers are showing up. We had so many bugs on these plants that the chickens should have a fun time cleaning them up when we send them in on their greenhouse project.
That's our broccoli harvest. Yep like two little buds of broccoli. Later this year we will be planting it outside to help with the bug pressure and growing temperature.
Our hazelnuts are mostly doing their job in the greenhouse. Back in August or so we laid down hazelnut mulch in the greenhouse pathways to try and keep the grass down. In hind site plastic might have been a good option to put under nether them. We have a little weeding to do but the mud was kept at bay and it still looks decent in the pathways.
These leeks were planted last spring and it looks like they are almost harvest size. At least these three!
A side shot of the greenhouse. See how well that hazelnut mulch is keeping down the grass! Usually there would be a carpet of grass down the aisle trying to get away from us.
ARound the Farm
We grew pounds and pounds of squash last year and it was stored on our front porch since our root cellar wasn't done yet. Sadly between the freezing temps and the alternating warm weather a bunch of it started to wrought. Nothing goes to waste on the farm though, the chickens were more than happy to put that butternut to use.
Not much grass left in the pasture and a WHOLE LOT OF WATER. January is always ruff on the animals and the grass but God is good and will send warmer weather soon! And with it more grass!
Little Bitty says "hi"! She has been rather lonely lately. Our two little lambs, Hey Ewe and Dodge, were re-homed and Roscoe, the goat, doesn't care for the rain. He doesn't have a woolly coat like Little Bitty and so he hides in the barn most of the time.
I thought she was being friendly and wanted petted then she proceeded to try and ram me. Guess she had me fooled!
The weeds are growing! HAPPY DANCE! Yes I know, I'm crazy. But you know what that means, if the weeds grow that means seeds can grow. And if seeds can grow that means its time to plant spring crops in the greenhouse!
The garlic we planted in the fall seems to be pretty happy! This is our first year planting garlic and we are excited to see how it does. We use our share of garlic in the farm kitchen. It would be nice to have a locally grown source.
The borage is making a come back... that bee attacking plant! It doesn't look like I will have to replant it which will be nice. At this rate is should also be big and tall and flowering by spring helping to bring those pollinators into the garden sooner.
Wet and sloppy. This water is running all over the the farm. Thankfully its keeping to the areas it is suppose to stay in but the farm is still wet and muddy.
More water, something I got to jump over as I cam down from the hill. Its always a slippery slope back behind the house and I've slid down the hill a few times. Thankfully I kept that white on my skirt white and made it down ok .... this time.
The Mary Garden isn't very pretty at the moment. Those calendula sorely need to be cut back. The new calendula are sprouting up and taking off already. These are the most hardy flowers I have ever encountered. Almost like a weed, but not. They are very wanted right in this spot!
A calendula trying to sprout in January! Pretty amazing isn't it?! The things have only been out of bloom for about a month and they are ready to take off again. We love these little flowers so much! They are what got us started on our herbal journey and tea making!
Those clouds! They are great, dark and mysterious! But.... in their own way beautiful to boot.
Tea Studio Progress
Taping and texturing continue on the addition/tea studio. This is the dining room extension, the entry way the foyer. We aren't sure what to call it yet or what it's function will be but its getting closer to finished!
Last week we picked out our flooring for the stairway and the tea studio. Fake, but looks like real, wood vinyl plank flooring. We are hoping this will look fantastic and rustic.
In the Farm Kitchen
Kombucha! This poor scoby hasn't been fed in probably two months. I'm afraid instead of kombucha we probably have some serious vinegar going on in here. Its on my to-do list to freshen this tea up and do something with the vinegar. Are you a kombucha drinker? What is your favorite flavor?
Two loaves every other day. Our sourdough bread baking is still going strong. Thankfully through my illness the Farmer learned to make sour dough bread and has done a pretty good job at it! Light and fluffy and not too sour, just the way we like it.
In the Farm Store
Today we infused some garden salve oil so we could make Lavender Lemongrass Garden Salve and shoot a video while doing it. That video should be up tomorrow so that you can make your very own at home! Made with Oregon grown lavender, some of those calendula we mentioned above and comfrey. Its just what the hands need after a hard day in the garden and drying soil.
The bee's wax we use in our salve come from a local bee keeper in 2 pound blocks. Those two pound blocks are really hard to measure up so we always melt our wax down into something smaller and more manageable. Someday I'll have an official mold that says 100% bee's wax and molds the wax in bricks. For now I had this Christmas tree mold and it seems to work ok. Anything is better than trying to chisel off the right amount of wax for the recipe!
Royal Ann's Roses is the newest edition to our farm tea collection. This royal beauty is headed to our Tea Club members come February 6th! Paired with some locally made chocolate, a great recipe and more. If you would like to try this rooibos based tea out make sure you check out our Tea Club for more details!
Locally grown Royal Ann cherries and pink bachelor buttons are sprinkled in this coming months tea. As always we have to include a little local flare in our teas. Thanks for stopping by the farm this week and we will see you tomorrow with a video and blog on how to make herbal infused salve!
Where did the last 4 weeks go? Between the holidays and fighting colds and bronchitis down on the farm it feels like we have been missing in action around here on the farm blog. I say we are long over due for a little Down on the Farm update!
This lovely cheese platter pictured above was a practice round for a little special project we are working on. We took this platter to our family Christmas Eve party along with some tea. It was super yummy and the last treat we enjoyed down on the farm before coming down with a round of colds.
Around the Farm
Yes, the shade cloth is still on the greenhouse in December and January. No. We don't really need it on the green house this time of year. Summer got crazy busy and then lead into a crazy busy holiday shopping seasons. And, well there sits the shade cloth. It is getting time to get that thing off of there, get the greenhouse cleaned up and start planting! After trying so many different things in the greenhouse we decided its really best for greens of any kind (kale, lettuce, chard etc.) and starting seeds. So this year the tomatoes, cold weather crops like broccoli, cabbage and such will be going in the outside garden. And no more stringing green beans. They make lots of beautiful leaves but not much fruit. What garden plans do you have brewing?
A couple of the girls hoping to get treats. Here in Oregon we don't get much snow, just lots of WET! So the pasture is wet and mucky and the grass isn't growing. The rest of the yard is similar and these ladies are starting to look bored with their surroundings. Another month and the grass should start growing again and we can rotate them around the farm once more, putting them to work, which they love.
Most of the ladies also went through a molt about a month ago. This one is one of the last to go through the process. The poor things loose all their feathers so that they can grow new ones. They don't look very healthy during the process but its completely normal. When chickens molt they also don't lay eggs because their bodies are busy making new feathers and trying to stay warm. For a few weeks there we had a chicken protest and were only getting a couple eggs a day. I'm glad to announce that most of them are back with it and we are getting 10 or so eggs a day now. Its never fun to buy eggs at the store because we just don't know how the chickens were treated. If they got to be outside eating bugs or if they are some of those strange "vegetarian" chickens that never get a worm or bug. Just incase you didn't know, chickens are not vegetarians. They love their grubs and meat too if that is what you feed them! They can even out beat a cat at catching mice!
Here sits the lonely mobile pastured poultry set up. With so much rain and no grass growing the girls only turn their work space into a mud hole. So during the winter they get a bit more freedom in the pasture where they are not as likely to scratch it up too bad. In the mean time we continue to pile compost and manure from the barn on the garden space to add nutrients to the soil. When spring comes we will move the chickens through that pile so they can scratch it up and fertilize the garden some more before we mulch and start planting in the nutrient rich soil.
We do have a few things growing. This was our first year to plant a winter garden. I'm thinking that I didn't get the starts in the ground soon enough. These are some turnips that are coming up ok but slugs and bugs seem to be getting them because it is so wet. I have hopes they will grow more when spring comes around but I'm not sure if the bugs and slugs will get to them first. One never knows how it will go unless they try!
These tiny turnips are at least the right color but they didn't grow very much. We enjoyed them in some warm soup. They taste just like potatoes when cooked that way!
Earlier in 2017 we planted a test row of zinnia's, some herbs, borage and chamomile. Our goal was to see how well they grew but also which ones would over winter and come back. It looks like some of the borage either survived the frost or started growing back. This picture is of the tarragon that made it through the frost. Quite a hardly herb and a win in our book. The flowers of course succumbed to the frost but we will see in the spring if they reseeded themselves.
This picture doesn't do it justice but there between the brambles and the tree is the entrance to the children's favorite place known as the "Whisker Store". Its a little hole among the brush that they made a fort out of. Its not near as hidden as it usually is the rest of the year.
Some of the plants around the farm seem to think that since it isn't in the low teens temp wise that its now spring. The rhododendrons are starting to bud and the hazelnut trees are sending out tassels, and all the fruit trees and such show signs of budding. Hopefully they don't get a shock by another cold spell. I'd like to think maybe spring will just come early!
Usually I'm on the ball when it comes time to plant. There isn't any where I love to be more than in the garden or greenhouse getting my hands in the soil and watching one of the miracles that God allows us to participate in - growing plants. With such a busy holiday season and then fighting bronchitis for 3 weeks it really wasn't even on my mind. Other than to get that greenhouse cleaned up. The Farmer has been after me to order seeds though and get a move on it early. The Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog came the other day and I'm excited to start dreaming and ordering seeds. Planting always gives us a hope for the future!
Tea Stuido Progress
With not much to do outside this time of year the tea studio is seeing more and more progress as we near the end of its completion. A big change came right before Christmas when the wall in our dining room that separated the old house from the new came down.
The wall mostly out and the view from the dining room to the new foyer, or at least that is what we are calling it for now. The door goes to our new garage and to the left are the stairs to the tea studio.
The Farmer hard at work taping and mudding the stairwell to the tea studio. Around and around the building we go, when it ends... no one really knows. But in the mean time the Farmer works as hard as he can to get it done, one more coat and one more round. Some day it will be a beautiful workspace for blending and sipping tea.
Even with the drywall up and not finished it really gives shape to our new tea blending workspace. This area will have counters for shipping and packing along with a big island in the middle for blending tea and creating other herbal conceptions.
Just to the right of our packing and blending area we will have a desk or two and between the two window's closest together, a table for sipping tea and talking about all things herbal and business.
Turning to the right again is our kitchen area that will be set up with commercial sinks for washing and drying dishes.
And last but not least one of the views from the many windows in the tea studio. This one is one of my favorite with the view of our outdoor gardens and the chickens. Also the beautiful mountain side across the way that you can't really see in this photo. Some day a table will sit here with chairs to sip tea and take in the view.
Below the tea studio is our garage and down the road, as our business grows, our shipping department. The Farmer has been hard at work dry walling the area and finishing it off. Its such a nice big dry space!
There is our commercial sink that will be going up in the tea studio and also the door way to our future root cellar. No more storing the harvest on the front porch and under the house! YAY!
In the Farm kitchen
The Farmer has really been doing most of the cooking and so the only Farm Kitchen photos this time around are from Christmas. The last day or two that I didn't come down with a cold and could still cook. Cheesecake is our Christmas Eve tradition for dessert. We have a special meal every Christmas Eve, meatless and usually featuring salmon. Its a combination of a Russian, Polish and Bulgarian tradition where they celebrate the most Holy Night, Christmas Eve, with a large meatless meal. This meal features 12 dishes and many of ours are Russian and Bulgarian since that is where 3 of our 4 children were adopted from. The cheesecake is probably the most Polish item on our table. This one was made gluten and sugar free (aside from the toping which I had to scrape off because of my sugar allergy.
Usually we stay home this evening but this year was special and we visited family earlier. Everyone else indulged in treats and so they weren't as hungry as most years when normally we are fasting before our 12 course meal. (This year Christmas Eve was on Sunday so we didn't have to fast). We ended up keeping the meal more simple and not having all 12 dishes. Salmon with capers and lemon butter sauce, broccoli, garlic mashed potatoes, mushroom soup, olives (green and black), pickled herring and of course cheesecake dotted the menu. I guess we were not too far away from 12 items! We commence our meal with special prayers for Christmas Eve and the reading of the story of the birth of Christ.
Farm & Family Traditions
For the last several years we have had the tradition of getting our Christmas tree just a few days before Christmas. As we keep Advent from the start of December-ish to the 24th of December we prepare for Christ's birth with prayers, fasting and reading of the four thousand years those in the Old Testament waited for their Savior to be born. Our Christmas season on the farm starts on Christmas and lasts until February 2nd, the Feast of the Purification. So we naturally want our tree to last for that time! Since we live in Oregon, Christmas tree country, its not as hard to find a tree as other areas in the country but it can still be a challenge. So many of our trees are shipped out of the state to other states that many of the tree farms here are closed down the week before Christmas.
Thankfully we have some dear friends that happened to be clearing one of their tree fields and gave us this lovely tree for free. It had a couple of places where branches had not grown. So the Farmer took a trick from my paternal grandfather's book and drilled a couple of holes to stick branches in. Worked perfect if you ask me! Nothing like an old time Depression Era hack to make things work just perfectly!
Christmas morning probably looks like most around here. Having prayed our midnight mass, I woke the children up for presents. Yep... me, mom, wakes the children up. I still win the prize for being up first on Christmas morning! I know my brothers are probably cringing right now because of all those years I woke them up so excited. What I can I say, I was born a Christmas baby! A few years ago I started wrapping the children's gifts in brown packing paper and then instead of tags I print out pictures of them from the year past in black and white. I tape them to the packages and they have to find their picture. They each get three gifts - representing the Three Wise Men. Santa also doesn't bring the gifts but they are given by the parents and the Christ Child is the one who sends them. We do our 'stockings' during St. Nicholas day on December 6th brought by the saintly bishop himself.
While they were all mostly sick they still had plenty of excitement for the morning. They are all getting so big!
Moving on into January we were excited to get to celebrate my maternal grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. Lives that have spent so long together, going through many trials deserve to be celebrated with love, friends and family.
Their love is multiplied in their children and grandchildren and may they have many more wonderful years together continuing to help each other along.
In the Farm Store
The farm store has continued to be very busy the last few weeks. We sent out our VIP limited edition blend to our tea club members here in January featuring this earthy yet robust Golden Turmeric Spice tea featuring marigolds grown in our own garden.
Such a beautiful tea and so nourishing to the body as well. The benefits of ginger and turmeric are well known and make it a great blend for this time of year when colds and the flu are rampant. Perfect with some local raw honey and blended into some Golden Milk.
Remember that cheese platter at the beginning of the post? That was practice for this and while I can't totally spill the beans yet let me tell you that tea pairs excellently with cheese. That whole wine and cheese thing? Yah. That. Let me say that tea and cheese has you beat. Though I know wine drinkers love their wine so this might be an alternative for a quite evening, for those who can't drink wine (me! me!) or those who want that third flavor that hot tea brings out in cheese... something wine just can't do.
While we say farewell to this last month at the farm, we leave you with a sneak peek at what our new lip balms will be looking like! A new batch of Vanilla Chai, fresh from the farm kitchen! They bring some fresh new bold lids to match. Keep your eyes peeled as we start to switch over. There will also be many new products coming to the farm store in the next couple of months as spring comes our way. Thanks for stopping by the farm and we hope that your family is well and healthy!
Oh my, its been a while since we have done a Down on the Farm post! That's about to change though, starting today! We have plans for this to become a weekly feature on Mondays so look for it in your inbox weekly or visit the blog on Mondays!!!
Soooo much has gone on since we last did our farm update post. To catch up were just going to cover November and the start of December of 2017. We hope you enjoy our little photo tour of the farm and happenings here. If you would like more detailed updates make sure you check out our Youtube channel. We have several videos there of various recipes, gardening tools and tactics along with updates on the farm.
Around the Farm
During growing season this section of photos is A LOT bigger and more defined than 'around the farm' but with the cold, cold, cold winter weather and nothing growing I'm afraid it's going to be shorter than our usual.
Kittens, lots of them and several are headed for new homes! Between them and the chickens there isn't a live mouse to be seen on the farm.
The chickens have been moved into the main pasture with the other animals. All the rain and cool weather has really soaked our garden area where we usually rotate them through. Not only does moving them to the main pasture keep the chickens out of the mud and the muck and let our garden area grow a cover crop, but the chickens also clean up after the other animals. While its gross, the chickens like to pick through the other animals droppings for bugs. They get food and it helps keep the parasite issue down in the main pasture.
Our egg count is WAY down on the farm with this super cold weather! (19 degrees this morning!). With our 24 chickens we are getting 5-7 eggs a day. Pretty sad but the chickens need their rest and half of them are molting. Time to grow new feathers for these chicks and get a break from egg laying.
Hey Ewe wanted to make sure she got her face in the camera. This ewe lamb is getting close to breeding age, probably this spring. She is 1 of 3 in our lamb breeding crew which is our means of raising our own pastured grass fed lamb on our farm. A great way to fill our freezer on our 2 acre micro farm.
This one I guess doesn't have a name. "The bravest one," is what Farm Boy says, the one that eats the snakes. She looks like a chicken you wouldn't want to mess with!
The chickens are not the only animals on rotation. When the sun is out and its not too cold the sheep and goat get to free range around the yard outside of the pasture. This helps us mow the grass down while getting them some fresh grass. They also browse on blackberries and other weeds. Win! Win!
Little Bitty, who isn't so little any more, browsing and making sure I'm not going to ride her or something. She is always a little sheepish ;)
The views from our tea studio are always the best. Its a great way to get a perspective of the whole farm over all and a great way to keep track of the farm children. This is our little barn where the animals keep warm and stay dry.
I think the shade cloth is long over due to come off of the greenhouse. While we usually grow enough greens in our greenhouse during the winter for fresh salads every day through February, we didn't manage to plant this year. So much of the greenhouse needs cleaned out and it will be happening very soon!
Tea Studio Progress
The Farmer has been going full steam ahead on our tea studio when he isn't busy helping the Farm Boys with their math (oh algebra! ugh!) or packing tea for our orders and events. Late November the insulation went into the studio.
Lots and lots of insulation! Its amazing how this stuff makes the studio quieter and warmer and really turns this into a room rather than just a square with wood walls.
November brought doors to the addition/tea studio. Its nice to have it all sealed up and it makes it formally part of the house.
From the exterior the addition looks done. All the siding and trim was finished up, the garage doors on and everything sealed up! The Farmer did such a great job staining our rough cut siding and getting it looking nice!
Hello December! No it didn't snow in the tea studio but dry wall is going up! Its looking real now! All this lovely space to organize and pack tea for all of our tea loving customers!
That wall there by the door is going to be shelves to store our huge herbal apothecary! With plenty of windows around to let light in and give us a nice view.
The Farmer hard at work dry walling the stair well.... I"ll be glad when he is done working in this awkward space! Up high and down low....
Daily Life on the Farm
Sundays are days for family, God and my new hobby. Working, teaching school and living at home 24/7 makes it really hard not to be antsy on Sundays. We always take Sundays off, its our day of rest. But what does a farmer, entrepreneur and work at home mom do to rest? Well if I'm not reading, or napping, I'm learning to crochet. I'm glad to say that I think I"ve finally got the washcloth thing down. Time to move on to something a little more challenging. What handi-craft do you like to do?
December 6th brings us to St. Nicholas' Feast Day. We don't do Santa here on the farm. But every December St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra, visits our home. The children put out their wooden dutch clogs the night before and they get filled with treats and gifts! Our celebration is about the virtues and miracles of this great saint who loved children. St. Nicholas being the patron of Russia, Bulgaria and orphan children makes his story perfect for our family as we adopted from both Russia and Bulgaria.
Golden coins are a tradition on this day as St. Nicholas is known for providing the dowry for three maidens to keep them from life on the street and find them good husbands. Every year chocolate gold coins are part of the treats.
Normally I purchase cookies for this day that are of German origin but this year I decided to make a healthier cookie and keep the German tradition by making Speculoos. Our tea club members this month will recognize this recipe that came with their Aronia Plum Berry tea!
And... oh my ... WHO is that?! St. Nicholas made an appearance at our farm this year courtesy of my brother-in-law and his beautiful traditional St. Nicholas outfit that he curated himself. The children were SO excited!
Picture time with good St. Nicholas! In Germany they have St. Nicholas festivals on December 6th.
We don't celebrate Christmas ........ not until December 25th. Instead the weeks prior to Christmas are kept preparing for the arrival of our New Born Lord. We call these four weeks Advent. During Advent we refrain from singing Christmas carols, our nativity is waiting for Baby Jesus, our tree not put up until Christmas Eve, no cookies (other than St. Nicholas day) are baked and we spend our time in prayer and contemplation of the Savior to come.
Every Sunday we light one candle on the Advent wreath. Four candles for the four weeks. The third Sunday is joyful, and so it is a pink candle, the third Sunday is more about the upcoming joy and a little more excitement! Christmas is almost here!
Angles wait around an empty crib as a reminder that Jesus is not yet born yet. But He is coming! Its a great way to teach our children about the preparation for Christmas. It also helps them understand that Christmas' is Christ's birthday rather than just a day for gifts.
Joseph and Mary headed to Bethlehem .... part of the four weeks of waiting.
The angel guarding the Nativity crib waiting for its Guest. Baby Jesus gets placed in the crib on Christmas Eve along with the gifts under the tree from the Farmer and myself. Sometimes the children get to put the Infant Jesus in His bed. Its very special and they look forward to it every year! Christmas on the farm lasts 40 days starting with December 25th until February 2nd!
in the farm store
Late November and early December was busy month outside of the farm with events in various places. This is the famous Deepwood Estates house in Salem, Oregon where we were glad to be part of their holiday shopping event. This home was built in the late 1800's and is restored and maintained by the city of Salem.
Our display in this late 1800's Victorian home's sitting room. So many tea lovers at this event!
We introduced Oregon Mulling Spices to the farm store in the last month. A great way to spice up some apple cider or a good red wine. Also makes for a great air freshener!
In November we were super excited to introduce our teas to Great Harvest Bread in West Salem! Bread, tea and jam.... they just go together!
We have been making a lot of Winter Balm this year! Made with frankincense & cinnamon this salve sells like Christmas! Its a great way to moisturize the hands, cinnamon is also warming for cold winter hands and both are helpful in assisting with dry cracked skin. This salve is also featured in our tea and herbal care gift set.
Gift Sets! Gift Sets... are flying off the farm! We introduced our Winter Tea Collection, Oregon Tea Collection and our Tea and Herbal Care Gift Set! Already wrapped and ready to give these have been our most popular item this season! FREE SHIPPING on these going on NOW until December 19th 2017.
Our last and busiest event of the year, the Salem Etsy Team Holiday Market! We were excited to have our event sponsored by Etsy for the second year in a row allowing us to have more marketing funds this year. This event is always a great way to kick off the holiday shopping season.
We stocked up big! Lots of popular gift sets and some new teas. Tea was flying off the shelf and keeping us on our toes at this event. Its always fun to help customers find that perfect gift for the tea lover in their life.
New tea tins! Gift Sets! Lots of tea to check out and sniff in their little smelling jars.
aAnd last but not least our December tea club member's blend, Aronia Plum Berry featuring Oregon grown Aronia berries from Mt. Hope Farms paired with locally grown Italian plums... there may not be sugar plum fairies dancing around but this sweet fruity tea comes with a variety of flavors the more or less it is steeped. There is a week left to grab yours! Check out our Tea Club here.
Thanks for hanging out with us down on the farm! We hope you enjoyed a little peek into our farm happenings. Let us know what handi-work you love to do, a farming project your working on or a tea you wish to see!
Until next week,
CeAnne & Paul
Some times loose leaf tea is not that convenient. Its loose after all, making it hard to take it with you any where. It requires a container to put it in in order to steep it. Its not something you walk out to the swing set with and start sipping unless its already brewed.
Its not something that is easy to have around toddlers, or a drink known for taking on the go. Loose Leaf tea is known as the slow down drink, the sit and relax by the fireside drink.
In an effort to make loose leaf tea easier and fit better into our farm schedule I set out on a search to find an on the go option that would work. For about a year I tried the Bodum travel tea/coffee press. I wasn't very happy with the results and so I purchased an Espro Travel Tea press and I'm super excited about it! Finally a way to have my loose leaf as I dart out the door to the farmer's market, early in the morning or to take around the farm with me when I don't have time to slow down.
Check out our review in the video below and share with us how you drink your loose leaf tea on the go! The second half of our video is a little farm update if you would like to see what we have been up to!
Want to check out these Tea Presses online? The Links are here below, and yes, we receive a little bit of a commission (no extra charge to you) if you decide to purchase. We never share products we wouldn't use ourselves! And every little bit helps us provide our family the farm life style we live. We thank you for your patronage!
Espro P3 Tea Press: http://amzn.to/2fmwRO5
Stainless Steel Espro (18 oz): http://amzn.to/2wtaMmv
Stainless Steel Espro (32 oz): http://amzn.to/2wdiq9E
TRAVEL MUG!!!! Espro http://amzn.to/2f8NH62
Espro Milk Steaming Pitcher :http://amzn.to/2wdByEm
Bodum Plastic Travel Mug http://amzn.to/2xAAWFr
Bodum Stainless Steel Travel Mug http://amzn.to/2zSA2oD
We Give the French Press from Bodum a much higher rating than the travel mugs! They have stainless steel presses that work better than the silicon ones in their travel press.
Bodum Stainless Steel French Press http://amzn.to/2h0ZRyR
Did you see it? Did you see it? We were blessed to be in the line of totality for the Solar Eclipse. Despite the scare of how many people would come into Oregon it wasn't really all that bad.... actually it was so quite prior that it was strange. It seems like it all worked itself out though.
We went LIVE on Instagram down on the farm and thought we would share with you our eclipse experience. A once in a life time event....
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?
Our farm is about to move up, we spent the week preparing for the arrival of these things above! Trusses for our tea studio have arrived! Our daily rotation of the sheep and goat continue as they clean up the brush in future gardening areas. We also found some other treasures in our brush. Check out this weeks video for all of the above!
After a long long wet spring we finally have some sunshine down on the farm and we are loving every minute of it. Flowers have started to bloom, the greenhouse veggies are taking off and the berries have started forming. May surely brought the sunshine down to the farm!
In the BarnYard....
Its always fun having babies on the farm and equally as fun to see the farm children enjoy them so much. They get to experience so much daily on the farm, run all over on different surfaces and see so many different things. They don't miss out on real life down on the farm.
The chicken's finished their till job in this years garden and are temporarily moved into the pasture area to clean up after the sheep and the goat. Were battling with some parasite issues so between rotation, the chicken clean up crew and an herbal dewormer we are hoping we are good to go!
This is our summer/fall garden area, the chickens have rotated 2-3 times cleaning up all the grass and weeds, fertilizing the ground and scratching it up. Its time to get it tilled, tarped and then planted!
Dodge Ram is growing well but he still has a bum leg in the front. We aren't sure he is going to make it but that doesn't stop him from enjoying the lush green grass. He is such a sweet little guy!
Hey Ewe is getting her share of the green pasture for sure! Look at those sides stick out!
We have kittens on the farm again! They are always so much fun, and quite the distraction. Two of the farm children have the cats named after airplane models and pieces of building construction. They get crazy like that sometimes ;) I call this cat Moo, doesn't he look like a cow?
It was almost impossible to get all five kittens looking at a camera, the sweet fluffy bunch of kittens was too much. And all so different looking!
Sorry for the blurry photo, my photographer was a little excited and couldn't hold still! A handful of fluff!
In the Greenhouse ...
Spring crops are in the ground almost ready to harvest which means its time to plant summer starts! Tomatoes, peppers, summer and winter squash, basil, you name it! If you haven't seen our soil blocking tray video check it out here!
The grass is mowed and the greenhouse is looking good! Life is good down on the farm :)
Inside the poly tunnel, greenhouse, hoop house indoor plant growing thing a ma jig :)
Pea flowers are so beautiful!
The peas are reaching higher and getting close to the top of the greenhouse!
Radish crop number 3 coming up and looking ready to thin out.
Baby peas are growing up fast!
Tomatoes are coming up and so are a lot of other seeds, not long now until we are in full gardening mode.
Oh basil how I love thee, I could eat pesto three time a day! I might get to with the three kinds of basil we planted and our new garden space. Hopefully I'm able to dry some for #ProjectFillTheSpiceCupboard
More seed starting trays! Were going big this year adding lots of herbs for tea and getting ready to store our new larder under the tea studio.
It isn't broccoli..... its kale going to seed and flowering. So pretty and it seeds so well!
The Lemon Balm is slow but its coming up and will be great to have for our High Desert Hibiscus tea, we are so excited to be adding more herbs to the farm so we can keep it fresh and local!
ARound the Farm...
The Lady's love the Oregano plants! Is it true that you can tell their age by how many spots they have? If so this one looks to be 6 years old or so.
He is faking! Our new morning habit is to rush out after prayers and cut blackberry leaf for the dehydrator! It is growing faster than we can cut and our Oregon Harvest Berry Tea that it goes in is selling almost faster than we can dry it!
With the sun out that means its time to make SUN TEA!!!! I love this summer time tradition, its one I grew up with and plan to keep though we have shaped the Lipton out for some High Desert Hibiscus.
The lavender plants are starting to bloom, this is my favorite time of year, so many beautiful flowers and I love harvesting these. The smell is so peaceful and relaxing! We feature this in our Rose City Repose and Cascade Earl Grey teas.
Purple belled flowers hanging from our wild comfrey plants! We weed around this letting it grow big and strong. It makes great chicken and lamb food, its roots go deep into the soil helping to bring nutrients up and its a great medicinal plant to have around.
More lavender beauty!
The rhododendrons are blooming, they are one... maybe the only plant we have that isn't edible or medicinal.
Our tiny blueberry plants are loaded with berries this year! If the birds don't take them all we may get our first small harvest!
The haskaps are starting to ripen up! They are determined to make their normal May fruiting season. They just squeaked by this year though with the cold wet spring we have had!
Not only are the haskaps turning color but they are huge this year, all the extra rain we had made the plants grow like crazy!
A "weed" but beautiful non the less!
Pardon the deck mess as we are under construction but our grapes and hops are doing wonderful this year. It should be an excellent year for both!
Its time to harvest spearmint for our High Desert Hibiscus! There is quite the abundance of it this year!
The Tea Studio...
The tea studio has walls! What is a tea studio you say? Its a spin off of an art studio.. where one creates art. This will be where we create our artisan loose leaf teas! Currently all of our teas are hand blended in the farm kitchen between nap time, at night time ect. This space will allow us to blend any time and help keep us organized as well as able to produce more tea.
The interior walls being jacked up, quite a scary process to watch but better than carrying board up ladder to build the walls.
The last wall is going up!
The front view looks kind of silly at the moment without the windows cut out or roof on but that will be taken care of shortly!
In the Farm Kitchen...
My farm kitchen pictures seem to be limited this month. With the sun out we spend more and more of our day outside and less in the kitchen. This lovely meal is a weekly favorite, moroccan chicken with baked carrots and onions!
A salad from our yard! Beet greens, kale, spinach, chard, french radish, peas, hard boiled eggs, chives with beautiful flowers and cilantro. Its always a celebration when the first salad comes entirely from the garden!
In the Farm Store...
Sporting my orange as we join the Salem Etsy team at a local craft event!
All of those blackberries above? They were for this! A shipment going to Tea Box Express for their June tea box!
We are in full market swing and enjoying every bit. We do a taste testing of three different teas every week so if you are in or around Salem, OR on a Saturday stop by between 9 am and 3 pm! Check out our market specials including discounts on full size bags and tea by the cup!
We were so excited to barter tea with a tea farm in Maine that grows local wild maine blueberries and chaga. These teas are fantastic and we are enjoying them very much! Thanks for stopping by the farm this month and we will see you next time!
Do you know that person who lives in a tiny duplex in town and grows their own food in their tiny back yard? No? Don't have one of those huh? Well we use to be that family until we were blessed with almost 2 acres of our own. Now not only do we hand blend tea on our farm using the best that Oregon has to offer but we make an effort to grow as much of our own food as possible.
From eggs, to lamb to produce and beyond. This week we are taking you around our farm to show you what has been 'springing' up! Thanks for stopping by and checking out our virtual tour. Maybe some day you will be growing your own food too! We would love to have you join our journey!
Do you already garden or raise animals for food? Share with us in the comments, we would love to chat about it!
Oh March you were so wet, so cloudy and so windy!!! Despite the wet and windy weather St. Ignatius Vineyard was still so beautiful that I had to stop and take pictures. The clouds just made the bright green grass even brighter and the blues bluer! We took a little trip off the farm to pick up some of these beautiful dried Royal Ann cherries from Cherry Country to add to our chai tea blending turning an already fantastic blend into Cherry City Chai, a chocolate cherry chai!
Aren't these cherries beautiful! They add such a wonderful aroma to our chai tea and knowing that they were grown right here in Salem, Oregon and that they are an heirloom to the area makes us feel like we are drinking history in a cup. Check out our Cherry City Chai here.
Around the Barnyard ...
Chicken's and tea? Who knew? We are loving our Great American Farm Tour cup, great for drinking tea hand blended down on the farm.
We have two new additions down on the farm! Meet Hey Ewe and Dodge Ram! They are sure sweet little ones and babies are always welcome down on the farm!
In the Farm Kitchen...
Kefir grains, they make the fastest yogurt with the biggest probiotic punch! We have been loving them in our morning smoothies with bananas, Bliss Nut Butter and local raw honey from Flying Bee Ranch!
Mixing up some purple dilly kraut! Fermented foods make the gut healthy and happy and this one is beautiful to boot!
Local granola with some of our kefir yogurt, a tasty breakfast and treat!
Crepes? Yes please! Filled with Bliss Hazelnut Butter, cocoa powder and local raw honey to make a fantastic "nutella" like spread! Complete with a bright yellow tint from our farm fresh egg yokes.
Building the tea studio...
March brought us the completion of the bottom level framing! Getting a little bit closer to that tea studio being complete. Estimated competition date is Summer of 2017
In the Farm Store...
Ahhh... Cherry City Chai, beautiful and delicious. Sporting our new Mexican hot chocolate mixer which we used to help froth our Cherry City Chai milk for latte time!
So in love with these flowers from Floating Petal Confetti! They are the beauty in our Oregon Harvest Berry Tea!
Rain or Shine its Market time! We are back at the Salem Saturday Market doing tea tastings! Come down and have a try. Salem Oregon Capital area from 9 am to 3 pm.
We welcomed a new piece to our tea business. Our new dehydrator will allow us to dry even more local goodness from black berry leaf to cranberries, aronia berries, haskap berries and more! We are super excited to be able to provide local goodness without any additives or chemicals!
These beautiful cranberries from the Bandon area just make us want to drink tea! Coastal Cranberry Spice tea that is! We hand sliced 40 some pounds of berries in order to bring this wonderful tea to Made in Oregon. We are now located from Portland to Eugene and to Newport!
Thanks for joining us down on the farm!
We are excited to be providing a hand-crafted, artisan loose leaf tea featuring Oregon grown ingredients. Local farmers. Local Families. Small Business. Just plain good tea! No nonsense! Visit our store and make sure you get free shipping through April 21st using coupon code HEisRISEN17 on orders $25+.
February brought some crazy weather down on the farm! From ice to snow, to hail, to sunshine and LOTS and LOTS of rain! All that crazy weather kept us inside the farm house, inside the barn and working on the farm store more than usual.
These cows thought they would tell us about the snow on our way up to the dairy farm, I think that they are also looking forward to some warm sunshine!
In the Farm Kitchen...
Down on the farm we love supporting other local farms and other local small businesses! We had the pleasure of meeting the owner of Epiphany's Caramelized Balsamic Vinegar and had to bring some home with us. We created this griddle cake recipe that it goes great with!
The end of January marked our first on farm experience with having an animal that we raised, butchered for the freezer. It was a new experience for the children and a little hard on them at first but they seemed to get over it ok. These are some of the lamb chops from the first lamb that we had processed. Aside from him eating too much of the chicken feed it turned out ok. We will be trying again but separating the lambs from the chicken food! Grass-fed lamb is best! Grain just makes them fat, and fatty meat.
Breakfast down on the farm: homemade whole what sourdough toast with plenty of butter, scrambled eggs with spinach and homemade kimchi. Oh yes, don't forget the tea!!!
Despite all the snow and the huge amounts of rain, spring must be near because the chickens are finally laying eggs again! Farm Boy #2 calculated that if all of our chickens start laying eggs (half the flock are newbies and haven't lain any eggs yet) we will have 120 eggs a week! If you are local this is good news because this means we will have farm fresh eggs awaiting for you! Keep your eyes peeled on our Facebook page for announcements.
Bread and water can be so easily made into toast and tea! Mt. Hope Farm's Strawberry Lavender fruit spread is WAY too yummy. I had to share so that I didn't eat the whole jar. Paired with our Lavender Earl Grey tea in a Silverton Food Co-Op mug. This was the perfect afternoon snack!
Around the Barnyard...
Betsy the bunny getting a break from her cage and a good pet, complete with a snack. She was playing dead until the carrot came near her nose. Rabbits! They fall for the carrot every time!
The cats have officially become barn cats! We decided to move where we feed them so they don't hang out at the front door so much. I guess they decided that being fed in the barn wasn't so bad, they find quite the cozy spot.
The pasture is about spent so the chickens have been allowed to free range around the farm. They are doing much better health wise, their feet are a bright yellow, their combs more red and we have more eggs to show for it. The only down side is the poo that is all over the farm! Hopefully that will be remedied soon with our new garden plans. Check out our Youtube channel to see more on that.
In the Greenhouse ...
We started planting in the greenhouse in February and a few things are SLOWLY sprouting up. Its been pretty cold so things are really slow in the growing department. These are beets working their way up from seed that we saved in the fall.
A little behind the scenes shot from our Youtube video titled "How do you say Fiacre? Farm Tour" This Joby tripod is pretty fun to use, it just likes to hang out.
The peas and spinach are coming up and we are getting super excited to have a greenhouse full of produce again! We have missed our winter garden sorely.
Radishes are getting a good start and will be moving to the above ground garden boxes very soon.
Around the Farm ...
The tea studio project is coming along nicely. This was an earlier shot before all the walls were totally finished. The ground level is done and next we go up!
Cutting and dehydrating blackberry leaves for a few of our tea blends. Blackberries grow almost year around here in Oregon and they actually make a great tea. The longer it is brewed the sweeter the leaves get!
Traveling off the farm ...
We had a little break from the farm as we visited the Winter Ag Fest but on the way we picked up some manure for the garden and had a tea party in the barn. Check out our day in our Youtube video "Making Tea in the Barn"
We had fun showing off our hand crank grain mill and teas at the Winter Poultry and Homesteading Faire in Eugene, OR. Farm Boy #2 spent a good portion of the day demoing the mill and oqccaiosnally letting others try it out. It works out the farms for sure! If you want to see how bad the 'burn' is check out our video "The Fermented Bread Winner"
Grinding up the wheat, can't have a proper tea time without some baked goods!
In the Farmstore ...
We are excited to announce that we will have these great cards at the Salem Saturday Market starting in April! Buy 12 bags of tea and get one free!!!
A new bath of Lavender Lemongrass Garden Salve is in stock! Ready in time for gardening season. It moistens the hands after gardening in dry soil and assists with sore muscles. Find this great hand salve here.
We have been enjoying our new bag stamp from Authentic Heirlooms! Its really made our packaging look wonderful.
Our new label line up! All bags are now switched over to their new labels and packaging and even new sizes! Check it out in the farm store.
A gift that we had fun packing up for a customer, its always a treat to get to use creativity in wrapping up orders. Every order feels like a special gift from our farm to your home!
From blackberry leaf to black berry tea, its fun to see it grow on our farm and get turned into a yummy tea. Blackberry leaf gets sweeter as you brew it and is quite a bit more pleasant that one might expect. Our blackberry leaf is in our High Desert Hibiscus as well as our Oregon Harvest Berry teas.
Oregon Harvest Berry showing off her new labels, we are glad to not be printing and cutting these by hand any more. It has allowed us to enter the wholesale arena and be able to up our processing. Plus they look fabulous!
Where did January go to?! It was a busy month for this family down on the farm and the weather was interesting too! We have had snow here and there where as last year we hardly saw one snow flake. We had sunshine and blue sky, we had freezing rain and then just plain rain. Much of our time was spent working on indoor projects and cleaning/organizing our spaces. Thanks for stopping by the farm to see what is new!
Around the Barnyard ...
The chicken's seem to be happy with the abundance of water, it makes for some yummy slimy snacks. Since there isn't much for grass left out in the pasture this time of year those worms are quite the treat!
Bob basking in the sunlight and hoping that I will keep my distance, he isn't a very cuddly cat but we love him any how.
The spearmint is making a comeback even through the cold snow, its good to see some signs that spring is not that far off!
A wonderful blue sky day with a little snow on the ground!
From blue sky to ice, every day brings us different weather down on the farm.
The fog floats down on the river as the sun rises in the trees.
In the Greenhouse...
The chickens were suppose to be on bug duty in the greenhouse but I guess they needed a bath! Its quite entertaining to watch them take a dust bath!
Hey if weeds can grow in the greenhouse then so can lettuce and kale! Its time to start the spring planting and get our greenhouse flowing with abundance again! These are seeds that we saved from last year... aka free food!
Planting spinach, oh how we have missed our greens!
Tea Studio Construction ...
We started January out with just the foundation to our tea studio addition....
And slowly but surely....
We have some WALLS!!!! The framing is coming along quite nicely and giving us something to be super excited about!
In the Farm Kitchen ...
Dehydrating some haskaps for our Willamette Berry Pie Tea, a few more months and we will be picking these beauties!
Making a little skin care product in our farm kitchen this month, this lovely French Green Clay and Violet Leaf Lotion Bar has its very own DIY vide on our YouTube Channel. Have you seen it yet? Check it out here!
Farm Girl #1 had a birthday this month so for our Tisane Tuesday that week we made her a special birthday cake! Check out the recipe here!
Happy Birthday Farm Girl! Your a blessing to our family <3
We are adding away to our new YouTube Channel with this exciting DIY Cheese Making video featuring our local dairy farm and Portland, Oregon's Urban CheeseCraft. Check out our v-log style make your own cheese video here.
New in the Farm Store...
We are increasing our spring inventory in anticipation of several events and our February promotion (get a free lip balm with every order)! We thought we would update some photos too and these two lip balms got a new little photo shoot. Check out the vanilla Chai Lip Balm Here.
Ginger Snap Lip Balm, almost like a cookie! But if you are wanting to taste the flavor we recommend our Gingerbread Spice Tea instead... this one is for lip licking only!
We are SO excited to be partaking in the Salem Saturday Market again this year and have expanded our attendance to every weekend rather than every other. We will have these beautiful Market Cards for our loyal customers this year so they can earn a free bag of tea! Make sure to stop by and get your card with your favorite blend.
We are slowly introducing our new packing to our farm store and local events! We are super excited to show these off as we are happy with how they represent our farm, the other farm's that we use and the quality of our teas.
Along with new packaging also comes new sizes! We have our trial size and our full size now. Perfect for either testing out a new flavor or for that flavor you already love!
Thanks for stopping by the farm!
We are glad that you stopped by the farm and hope that you enjoyed your stay! If you need to fill up your tea stash or herbal care cupboard please do so this month and make sure you take advantage of our February promo- A FREE lip balm with every order! We will see you again soon!
December the last month of the year and a time for playing catch up on the farm as we continue to recover from such a long lasting cold. It was a time to deck the halls in prepration for the coming of Our Infant Lord on Christmas day. A time to plan gifts for loved one's and tidy up around the farm. Thanks for stopping by on such a special month! Welcome to our farm!
In the Barnyard...
In our little reading on lambs and experience with them before getting them no one mtioned how dirty they are! Our one goat seems to be nice and tidy yet these lambs seem to find every gross thing to get on them. The exciting adventure of a new farmer! This is Big Boy, who will soon be leaving us to go to the freezer. He is getting a wee bit pushy when it is time to put the food out.
Roscoe our only goat peeking over Little Bitty our Ewe. He is still busy trying to be king of the barn yard but these sheep are getting much bigger than him.
Our excitment for the month has been this vistor. He likes to hang out on the porch rather than his home across the street. Thankfully he isn't very agressive but he likes to make a mess near all the door ways and make sure his presence is known by doing what roosters do best.
This turkey, I mean turken is one of the most interesting chickens I"ve seen with his bright red bare neck. He is still a messy rooster.
Sorry no treats for you Big Boy and Little Bitty!
The pasture is still green, but its cooold and the grass isn't growing much. The chickens are quite happy though with all the wet and rain, it makes for some good worm feed.
A close up of one of our hens, she is watching you!
In the Greenhouse ...
Last month we caught bad colds and were not able to water the starts or get them in the ground for the winter garden. Sadly the greenhouse is resting. It is probably really good for the soil to rest but its been ruff not having fresh greens when ever we want them. We are making the best of this season to clean up and debug and get ready for planting in February.
Thanks to Justin Rhodes at Abundant Permaculture, we decided to put the chickens in the greehouse while it is 'resting' and let them clean up all the bugs and hopefully come spring, we won't have the pill bug infestation that we had last year. They certainly have plenty to eat out there!
And then..... there was snow! In Oregon some times we don't see one snow flake all year. This year seems to be making up for the drought that we had last year. Not wanting to see how much snow the greenhouse could hold we went and knocked it off the top.
And then it snowed again....
Around the Farm ...
Despite the cold weather the mint is still growing like crazy and doesn't seem to mind the cold freezes. Like they say, you can't kill a mint plant. No kidding!
Every once in awhile the sun peeks out and these 'mountians sing'.
Some see weeds.... All this farmer's wife sees is a whole lot of blackberry tea! These blackberries are still hanging on in the cold. Fresh blackberry and mint tea must be in order.
We thought we had a never ending wood pile, but with a drought last year that thought is bound to creep in. This year our wood pile is dwendling quicker and quicker. It has been pretty cold outside!
And then.... snow... here though it doesn't stay around too long.
In the Farm Kitchen...
The greenhouse might be resting but our fall crop garden is still giving with an abundance of winter squash in storage.
Dehydrating mini oranges to decorate the Christmas tree with.
Pulling out strawberries from the freezer that were put up from the Spring Farmer's Market, time to make Strawberry Bread for Christmas breakfast!
Christmas Eve Dinner at our house is the most special part about our Christmas traditions. A three course vegetarian meal served after the reading of the Birth of our Infant God from the Bible. Afterwards we decorate our tree and stay up until Midnight when Christ was born.
In the Farm House...
December 6th brings St Nicholas to our house. In keeping with European traditions the feast of St. Nicholas is when he brings gifts and puts them in the children's wooden clogs. Complete with oranges, nuts and treats.
Wrapping hand towels for a family tradition... brown paper packages all tied up with string. And tea! A few of my favorite things...
Christmas morning, Christ our Saviour is born! Always a favorite tradition to put Baby Jesus in the crib that has been empty and waiting all the month of December.
Up in the mountians picking out a Christmas Tree... think we found just the one!
Christmas inside the farm house, white and golden..... Merry Christmas from our farm to your home!
In the Farm Store...
Packing orders for the Christmas shopping season, some lovely things going out in the mail. We are so excited to a part of our customer's Christmas celebration knowing these healthful items are going to others.
Packing up a special order with a special gift wrapping request.
No these are not Christmas treats but a way to melt down the local bees wax that we use in our herbal salves and lip balms so that it is easier to weigh and measure. But they are beautiful and smell heavenly!
Thank you for stopping by the farm! We wish you and your family a blessed New Year in 2017 from our farm to your home!
Not all stories are full of beautiful pictures or perfection. I'm afraid this month down on the farm was mostly this- facial tissues, cups of hot medicinal teas and herbal tinctures as our little family all came down with a cold that decided to hang on for most of November. It put our herbal knowledge to the test, read to lots of reading about the medicinal effects of certian herbs and forced these farmers to rest, and rest , and rest. I did manage to snap a few pictures one day of the very end of fall and begining of winter look showing up on the farm.
In the Greenhouse...
The grape leaves over the door have changed color and fallen off leaving the greenhouse looking a little bare. Most of the greenbeans have been cut down and the greenhouse is screaming for a clean up from the gardner. Sadly we didn't get our winter starts in the ground before the cold/flu hit us and they didn't make it.
Still peppers in the greenhouse to be harvested, these are purple peppers that didn't get all too big.
There are still tomatoes to harvest in the greenhouse, most of them have turned red and one last harvest should clean it up!
Our sad carrot starts that died while we were all sick, not sure if some water would bring them back to life or not.
Plenty of work to do in the greenhouse even in the late fall but time to bundle up because its coooold out there!
In the Barnyard...
Our baby chicks have been growing up all the meanwhile and are about ready to join the rest of the flock. We will have plenty of egg layers come spring!
Betsy our rabbit has not been enjoying the colder weather too much and longs for some fresh spring grass.
The mud and muck has shown back up in the barn yard, have to love Oregon rain! The chickens seem to enjoy finding plenty of food there though so their glass is half full!
Mama cat was so perfectly posed until she saw me with the camera, my little garden buddy who follows me every where hoping to get something better than cat food.
In the Farm Store...
Christmas shopping is upon us and we have some new holiday sets up in the farm store! We geared up at the end of the month for the Salem Etsy Holiday Show in Salem Oregon.
Lots of artisan handcrafted gifts ready to go! Many of these are available in the farm store, and make sure to grab our free shipping offer for this coming week and a half! Support small business and share the farm love. Thanks for stopping by from our farm to your home!
It is getting cooler here down on the farm and the out door garden is done, the greenhouse is slowing down and our projects have slowly been moving inside the house as we finish up preserving food for the winter. Thanks for stopping by the farm, we hope that you enjoy your visit!
Around the Farm...
Our squash harvest curing on our front porch. We have probably consumed 1/3 of it all ready so it probably won't get us through the winter as a family of 6 but its a start to some food sustainability!
A few rose beauties bloomed this fall so we snatched them up to dry for our Rose City Repose Tea and Willamette Berry Pie Tea. Nothing like fresh herbs/tea from the farm!
Our chickens started molting at the start of the month and as a result we had very few eggs. It appears that they are back at it and making up for lost time. This poor chicken must have though she was a goose because her egg sure looked more like a goose egg than a chicken egg!
It wouldn't even fit in the egg crate. And to our disappointment there were not two yokes just one huge one!
In the Barnyard....
Sock's Jr. getting some snuggle time away. Kittens are just so adorable aren't they?!
There is much joy in farm life but it certainly comes with its sorrows. This month we lost our lamb Tiny, he is the one standing with his back turned. This was the last photo we have of him. He came to us very sick and wounded which we though we had fixed but he was always a little off. It seems it got the best of him as he slowly wasted away regardless of the helps we applied. Now we are just down to Little Bitty and Big Boy. Hopefully they will provide us with a nice herd.
I spy, a kitten in our sage plant. As I knelt down to take product photos with our wooden planter as a back drop I became eye level with this cute little fluff ball. Quite the surprise but it made me smile.
In the Greenhouse...
Fall had not quite come yet the beginning of October, leaves were just starting to change but not drop yet. The greenhouse was still going strong. Over the month though the leaves have all fallen off the grapevine leaving our greenhouse a little bare. Mold has started to hit some of the decaying bean and tomato plants. We are busily cleaning up and translating winter crops to hunker down for a few months.
Green beans the start of October, getting a decent harvest for the start of fall!
Its still harvest time!
In the Farm Kitchen...
Italian sausage, with fresh basil and garden fresh tomato sauce over spaghetti squash. Grown from our farm and what wasn't was purchased from a local farm. Topped with a bit of raw cheese!
Enjoying the last of our fresh apples with some local cranberries, maple syrup and cinnamon, yum!
A special event in our family called for some off the farm treats. Chocolate covered pretzels are always a request.
A tea party for a little pumpkin coming our way, tomato and cheddar cheese filled croissants.
Enjoying a Pinot Noir Sourdough from Cascade Baking Co. in Salem, OR topped with free range chicken salad and local cranberries. Delish !
Pumpkin Cheesecake dip with probiotic cream cheese and farm grown buttercup squash.
Farm made pumpkin bread with our buttercup squash topped with probiotic cranberry cream cheese.
That says it all, no need to mess with God's creations here!
Venturing away from OUR farm...
This full size sheep makes our lambs actually look like lambs, this one was very friendly!
Pumpkin pick'n for our Little Pumpkin Baby Shower, complete with a field of solar panels.
Cute little root'n piggies!
I wanted to take this sweet calf home, he was so friendly!
Tea Studio Progress ...
Construction on our tea studio continues with pouring the final pad on the foundation, next are walls... yay walls!
There is quite a bit under that cement pad many wouldn't know was there! Building a solid foundation....
Smoothing it out to perfection...
In the Farm Store...
Sharing our goods at the Fall Oregon Poultry and Homesteading Faire, we are excited to be back to their winter Faire in Feb.! Eugene here we come :)
Lip balm and salve display, decking out in our fall colors with flowers from the farm.
Introducing a new box to our farm store, the Men's Tea and Salve gift set, check it out here!
Another set with three of our most popular salves/balms for new mothers: Nursing Salve, Baby Bum and Body Balm and Belly Balm. Grab the details here in our farm store!
Last but not least our most purchased item from our farm store sans tea, our Expectant Mother Gift box. We have customers who love to gift this to friends and family who are expecting babies and need a little extra TLC or cheer up during the trials of the first trimester. The gift recipients have enjoyed this box so much that they send one of their own when their friend is expecting and so it continues to go. Get the skinny on this lovely box over at our farm store.
Thank you for stopping by the farm!
In the Barnyard ...
Lots of lovin' on animals in the barnyard by littles.
Oh Tiny you are such a sweet lamb.
Daisy Dog a little too anxious to meet the animals in the barn yard.
We added 18 more layer chicks to the barn yard in hopes of replacing our current laying flock. We are adding three new breeds to the barn yard and we are looking forward to some deep dark chocolate eggs in the spring :)
Hi Roscoe, our barnyard mascot, still not the same without his Lucy Girl.
Big Boy is fattening up well and probably headed to the freezer soon. Its a blessing to be able to give them such a good life and to know where our food comes from and know it wasn't a feed lot.
Around the Farm ...
Bloom'n going on in the garden down on the farm!
God makes wonderfully beautiful plants, this is our tea harvest going into the dehydrator for our new Oregon Harvest Berry Tea, and Rose City Repose.
Beautiful roses from our single rose bush which hopefully will be graced with many more roses bushes this fall.
Harvesting our hop plants, such a wonderful blessing of a harvest this year!
The hops are big, bold and beautiful this year! Such an abundance!!!
September can be called harvest month for sure as we started hauling in the abundance from our crop garden. We missed a few zucchini but the chickens really didn't mind ;)
So many wonderful spaghetti squash will be entering our fall dishes so very soon.
We harvested giant red and yellow potatoes from our crop garden some of them weighing over 1 lb each!!
So much money saved by growing food in our yard... growing money in our yard ;)
About 55 lbs of potatoes from one small row of potatoes in our crop garden. Not enough to get us through the winter but a wonderful start and proof that they may be grown here in not even the best soil. We will be sure to add many more rows in our next planting of spring potatoes.
Building the Tea Studio...
If you have been following our farm you are already aware that we are adding on a tea studio to our farmhouse. It will give us a dedicated area to create the items in our farmstore. Currently every item is carefully handcrafted in our farm kitchen. We are very excited to be expanding our space!
Lots of dirt and lots of digging to get the foundation ready for the tea studio.
Building forms, this will be one sturdy foundation!
Helloooo cement truck! Time to pour! And this time it isn't tea ;)
Every good building starts with a solid foundation, how about this puppy?
The Farmer standing on our big wall... its starting to look like something now!
In the Greenhouse ...
Learning to work the new soil blocker and getting some winter plants started.
So happy to see our peppers start to fruit! Thank you St. Fiacre and Christ our Lord for answered prayers.
Working out in the greenhouse picking tomatoes with the toddler. She set them up just perfect for a little photo shoot. Time to put these puppies into the dehydrator for future sauce.
In the Farm Kitchen ...
Peaches from our local peach farm into the dehydrator and freezer for future treats.
Dehydrating aronia berries from Mt. Hope Farms for our Oregon Harvest Berry Tea. So yummy and unique!
Dinner from the garden including potato and zucchini fritters with farm fresh eggs, mini cantaloupe from the crop garden and cucumbers, tomatoes and basil from the garden.
Lunch time for our hard working construction grew! Hydrating Bloom'n Hibiscus tea and nourishing Sourdough Whole Wheat Bread... just the main ingredients for our lunch ;)
A busy day in the farm kitchen! Canning sugar free apple butter with apples we were blessed with, kombucha on its second ferment (elderberry, ginger, cardamom) and kefir fermenting.
Our tomatoes dehydrated, in their jar until its sauce making time! God's bounty is beautiful!
And the finished product, homemade tomato sauce with garden fresh dehydrated tomatoes served over a locally hand crafted pasta and on the side, a garden fresh salad!
In the Farm Store ...
Welcoming fall with our newest tea, Oregon Harvest Berry! Featuring four local Oregon farms: Blackberry leaves from our little farm, apples from Queener Farms, Aronia Berries from Mt. Hope Farms and blue Cornflowers from Floating Petals Confetti.
Its a beautiful applish berry tea, so Oregon and so harvest season! Check out more photos and the details of the tea over in our farm store. Welcome Oregon Harvest Berry!
Another Oregon blend on our list for the fall/winter season! Say hello to Coastal Cranberry Spice! Featuring Oregon grown cranberries along with hibiscus, cinnamon, lemongrass, ginger and more. Very reminiscent of a mulled wine with all the benefits of tea and alcohol free! Check Coastal Cranberry Spice out here in our farm store here.
Today's cool Oregon rainy day is making me wish for this lovely vibrant tea!
Three new gift sets have made their appearance in our farm store as well! Two new sets for men: one features 2 oz tins of our Cypress Deodorant and Beard Balm. The other features our tea and salve with smaller tins of salve. The third is a salve only set for new mothers/expectant mothers. Featuring three of our 2 oz salves: Farmer's Wife Nursing Salve, Baby Bum and Body Balm, and Belly Balm for growing and changing bellies. Check them all out in our farm store under the gift set section! And for being a devoted reader please make sure to take 10% off your order with coupon code THANKYOU2016!
Thanks for stopping by the farm!
Thanks for stopping by the farm! August proved to be a very busy month especially for harvesting. It seems that fall showed up early in Oregon this year and went from very green and growing and quickly changing to brown, blustery and falling leaves. We hope you enjoy your virtual visit!
In the Greenhouse ...
Our 100 ft hose dragged out to the greenhouse ready to water, good thing for the invention of the hose! The blue tarp is covering up our extra compost for seed starting, potato covering and other garden uses.
Kale, there is always kale in the greenhouse year around. It seems to do its best in the spring and the fall but its always there! Growing it close together allows for some tender baby kale that doesn't come with the typical kale texture that most people don't care for. It does sometimes breed bugs that way but we make sure we move our kale patch around the greenhouse and keep the dead leaves away. That seems to help a lot.
Basil is growing well and providing us with just the right amount and maybe some to freeze or dry.
Green beans and dill in the baby seed beds, looks like they are doing ok. The lettuce not so much! Ants seem to favorite our lettuce seed, good thing we have lots of kale I guess!
One side of the greenhouse sporting our sweet pepper plants, some tomatoes, beet seed growing tall while drying out and kale.
The other side has more tomatoes, basil, onions and more grass than should be in the garden beds. Green beans are growing tall down the middle of our 40 ft greenhouse.
Around the Farm ...
The hops are extra 'hoppy' this year taking over our Angelus bell. I think there is some homemade brewing in our near future.
The only pumpkin on our farm, this was a volunteer which grew a little bigger than a grapefruit. It is making a great fall decoration at the moment.
When it rains it slugs = welcome to Oregon! These lovelies show up in our greenhouse when it gets cooler. I think its time for some ducks since the chickens are picky. There is plenty of duck food here.
View of our crop garden, growing faster than the grass thankfully! The straw really helped with that even though the grass did come up eventually the plants got a good head start.
A day's harvest from the crop garden and our first tomato!
Spaghetti squash! This is the same squash just a few weeks apart, its huge! And about time to harvest...
17 some tomatillos plants later and we are officially tired of green sauce, salsa verde and all things tomatillo. There is about 14 quarts put up and more green sauce to make. The plants were about 4 feet tall until they fell over because of the weight of the fruit. Lets just say that if a zucchini plant will feed the world a tomatillo (two, because they have to have a friend) will feed all the planets in the universe :)
Another days harvest: zucchini, tomatillos, grape leaves, cucumbers and dill.
Quite the cucumber harvest, lots of fermented pickles on the way!
This zucchini grew right up the middle of the plant and was huge when I found it because it snuck in there. Those sneaky zucchini!
Harvest with the tiniest farmer and some beautiful morning glories!
Zucchini AGIAN.... 7.34 lbs. The health food store is charging $3 a pound for organic zucchini... thats 21 plus dollars right there... about every other day for the whole month. That is growing money in our yard ya'll! Plus those seeds can be saved and grow more next year... after we have zucchini amnesia.
Tomatillo, tomatillo, tomatillo! Time for some salsa verde. Oh and there is a mini cantaloupe, cucumber and squash and one tomato.
Happy fall ya'll! Its here whether my tomatoes are ready for it or not!
The sun is still out even if the leaves are turning brown...
Farmhouse Addition Updates...
In August we broke ground on our farmhouse addition. We will be adding a garage and some upstairs living space that will be a huge blessing to our family and growing business.
For now its a lot of dirt moving, dirt here, dirt there, dirt every where. And for those of you wondering, YES, my husband built the greenhouse and YES a tutorial is coming this winter :)
Like the big black greenhouse snake? Thats our drain or the leftover pipe from the drain.
In the Barnyard...
This month we introduced Miss Daisy Dog to the barn yard. She is an Australian Shepherd/Akedia/Lab mix.
She is a very energetic puppy... that pretty much says it all right. Jumping, running and chewing. With some training we hope she will be a beneficial working members n our little farm.
Feeding frenzy! Roscoe and the ladies cowing down.
We are sorry to have to report that we lost our Lucy goat this month. She had been unhealthy for some time having troubles digesting every few weeks. This time was the worst and we were not able to save her. Her collar hangs on the barn gate. Loss on the farm is hard but it teaches some life lessons which are very important. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
A week after we lost Miss Lucy Goat God blessed us with three new furry friends on the farm. Mama Cat had another batch of kittens.
In the Farm Kitchen ...
We were able to test some tea from a local and the only tea farm in Oregon this month. Minto Island Tea Company is the only tea farm in Oregon. It takes a reallllllly long time to grow a tea plant and then only a few leaves on each plant are usable so it takes quite a bit of tea plants to get a cup of tea. We hope some day to be able to add this lovely tea to our herbal blends.
Dinner grown on the farm, Zucchini 'parmesan' , pasta with garden tomato sauce and garden salad.
Preservation going on down in the farm kitchen.
Garden salad with kale, green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, purple cabbage and our one lone tomato.
Our antique store find a fermenting crock made right in Portland, Oregon. Its over 100 years old. We still need to clean it up and test it for lead. It will either get used to ferment sauerkraut in this year or wait for next year.
Running the dehydrators outside during the hot days to keep the house cooler.
Celebrating the Feast of the Assumption with a special farm grown meal. Chicken from Bear Branch Farms, local potatoes and veggies from our garden.
Chocolate Sourdough Zucchini Muffins and beautiful flowers from our yard. Find the recipe for the Zucchini Muffins here.
Summer meal on the table, local melon, zucchini from the garden and garden salad with more tomatoes, yay!
Celebrating the Feast of Saints Faith, Hope and Charity. Name days here on the farm are more special than birthdays! A pie in the shape of a cross for Faith, heart shaped watermelon for Charity and Three Sister Salad.
Another Feast Day at the end of the month, the Feast of St. Fiacre our farm's paton! We had a garden themed feast since he is the patron saint of gardeners and herbalists.
Since St. Fiacre is from Ireland we had some Irish fare! Colcannon (potatoes and kale from the garden) and a mix of sausage/bacon, potatoes and gravy! It was so good :) Fast well, feast well!
All from the garden accept for the pasta! Its so fun to see our meal all come from the farm. Its one more closer to growing all of our own food. Tomato and cucumber salad, Pesto pasta and a mini cantaloupe.
In the Farm Store...
We started packing our Sampler Single tea packages. They come with 1-2 servings of tea and a disposable tea bag. They will soon be available in our tea sampler package. Hopefully coming in October!
Still loving our Saturday's at the Salem Saturday Market! Its so fun to talk with our customers about tea and visit with the other vendors. There were some great violin players this weekend too.
We had so much fun putting this basket together for an auction at the Deepwood Estates in Salem, Oregon. Look for more of these gift baskets at our our winter events. They make perfect gifts for tea lovers, gardeners and mothers! Find our winter event list here.
Thanks for stopping by the farm!
If we could sum up our July in a few words I think they would be: Plant, harvest, eggs, zucchini, dirt, rocks..... and God's beauty. Pictured above is our 'coming soon' download in our Simple and Easy Steps to Ditch the Grocery Store series. If you haven't read part one you may find that here and the part 2 of 6 is coming early this week.
In the Barnyard...
Chickens! Now that we ferment and regulate their feed (thanks to Justin Rhodes and family at Abundant Permaculture) they know that I feed them and are SURE that I have food every time they see me. Or hear me. Or think they do! One was sure my camera was food and took a nip at it and me.
See that mean look in her eye?! Watch out!!
Ok moving on to something MUCH cuter. My buddy Tiny is the sweetest little lamb. We will see how this Farmer's Wife does when it comes time to butcher in the fall.
In the Greenhouse...
Transplanting round two of the pole beans hoping they survive the pill bug infestation.
Yep, that pill bug infestation! Timmmmmmber! I call them little lumber jacks. The Oregon extension office told me they only eat dead and decaying matter. Maybe after they fall over the bean plant... but it wasn't decaying when they fell it. Accepting all tips of how to be done with these things. A live trap so I can feed them to the chickens would be awesome. So far nothing has worked.
Harvesting spinach seed from the green house plants. I think we have enough for quite some time.
Harvest from our spring greenhouse clean up. Learning out the cabbage patch, it did ok considering it didn't look like it was going to do anything a month or two ago. Some bits of lettuce, green onions and the eggs.... those came out of the barn not the greenhouse. ::wink:: ::wink::
Around the Farm...
Our list of reasons for LIKING all the abundance of wild blackberries is actually growing though we are still constantly cutting them down and using every thing not made from chemicals to get them to go away. List of reasons we DO like them: #1 Pigmy Goat food = less animal feed #2 Blackberry leaves make great tea, check out our Bloom'n Hibiscus #3 Those lovely blackberries! Some work but they are worth it.
Red clover.... red clover.... send some Farmer's Wife tea right over! We love this time of year when the tea grows in our yard.
Bloom'n oregano! The bee's are loving this!
Lavender has to be the Farmer's and my favorite herb. Its such a pleasure to see it bloom and then to have that beauty in the yard. I have such a hard time cutting it down to dry it but here it goes! Featured in our Rose City Repose and Lavender Earl Grey Teas.
Oregano, rosemary and thyme from the yard going into one of our farm fresh meals.
Breaking ground on our up and coming tea studio!
After being sick for six weeks last year I'm finally making it back into the Mary Garden to clean it up and hopefully find a way to keep all the weeds (unwanted plants) out. Trying out some watermelon plants up here for now since we ran out of space in the crop garden.
In the Farm Kitchen...
One of our last salads with snap peas in it, good bye spring and yellow summer!
Sourdough Breakfast Braid featuring Mt. Hope Farm's Aroina Berry Fruit Spread.
Chicken Pesto Salad Sandwich with Kale Pesto and dehydrated tomatoes from last years garden.
Local grass fed beef, organic tomato sauce, garden fresh zucchini, and onion/garlic/mushrooms from the farmer's market...... all going into this.....
Farm grown lunch; eggs from the chickens, zucchini from the garden, Rosemary from our herb garden and cherry plums from our wild trees.
Kale Grain Salad with locally grown quinoa, wild black berries, locally picked blue berries and wild cherry grapes with a watermelon from the farmer's market.
Its been hot so salads are in order! This was a Chicken Grain Salad with kale and zucchini from the garden topped with tomatillo salsa from last years garden.
In the Crop Garden...
Pulling grass and remulching the crop garden to give the starts a better chance at out growing the weeds.
The tomatillos and zucchini are coming along. Also a few cabbage seed pods in the greenhouse.
The crop garden is filling in and looking good. The tomatillos are in bloom and so are the potatoes!
Our nasturtiums are blooming! We planted them in the crop garden to help with insect replant and bee attraction.
A baby cantaloupe! Sweetness is in our future...
Our first pickling cucumbers are in their jar fermenting. Its super simple and a great way to skip the heat of canning. If you would like a short video tutorial make sure to follow us on Instagram!
In the Farm Store ...
We are still spending every other Saturday at the Salem Saturday Market enjoying meeting new customers and sharing our tea. Pictured below is some sample tea, make sure to stop by and try a cup at our next market August 6th!
Our lovely sign carved by the Farmer's brother-in-law and our bulk single teas.
Trying out a new tea display and trying to beat the sun! St. Fiacre is on guard making sure they don't get too hot.
This lovely photo is from Elizabeth Looney at the ModernHippy87 on Instagram. We swapped some goods during the #trademethursday swap. She took this lovely photo of our end of the trade. She did such a good job!
Thanks for visiting us down on the farm for July's update! We hope to see you in a day or two with our newest blog series; Simple and Easy Skills Make You Grocery Store Free . From our farm to you home we hope you have a blessed week!
Looking back I think we could name June spring harvest month! We have been busy down on the farm harvesting our spring crops and putting in our summer crops. It sure has made for a busy month out in the garden but one full of many blessings. Welcome to our farm!
In the Farm Kitchen
First up on the harvesting list is our nubby carrots. These were intended to be short, a mere 6 inch carrot, but they decided to go wide as well. We would have liked to leave them in the ground longer but needed the space for other crops so out they came!
This was probably our biggest strawberry harvest in one picking from our small strawberry patch. Much too small of a patch for our liking, we will be finding a place to expand it for next year. There is nothing better than home grown, fresh from the vine strawberries!
A nightly harvest from the greenhouse garden: a few beets which don't grow so well in our greenhouse, a lovely green cabbage, carrots and lots of salad greens.
Cabbage cabbage! After figuring none of it would actually make a cabbage head it turns out that patience is fruitful.
Nope not green beans but kale pods! When kale flowers it shoots out these pods and the seed is inside. We picked some early and fermented them in a salt brine for a few days on the counter then let them rest in the fridge. They came out like a garlicky green bean. We used them similar to capers cut up on some salmon with lots of butter and salt. It was fantastic!
One big radish! Kidding, a turnip snuck in with our radish harvest. We made sure to put it to good use.
Dinner all from the garden, now to replicate that 364 more days and we will have met our goal of being self sustaining with our food! Roasted beets, turnip and radishes with a balsamic honey glaze and garden fresh salad.
The purple cabbage was ready and my was it dense, which is great! A little on the spicy side so I'm thinking it didn't get as much water as it needed. It has been adding color to our salad for weeks now.
Lunch down on the farm made and grown on the farm. Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread from our fresh ground flour and made with local honey, eggs from the chickens soon to be egg salad, peas and carrots as our veggies.
Home made mayo in less than 5 minutes, grab the tutorial here. This was a shot intended to go with our first video DIY but the iPad died just before the end so it go set on the back burner for now.
Fresh and local Sunday breakfast tradition down on the farm! When we can't grow our own there is no better sub than locally grown from other farms in the area! This is truly a Farmer's Market Breakfast from the Salem Saturday Market. Eggs provided by our own chickens, nitrate free bacon, fresh fruit from the market, marion berries from family, Cinnamon Raisin toast from The Bread Board of Falls City and wonderful Haskap Fruit Spread from Mt. Hope Farms. Delicious tea from our farm store with a bit of local raw honey from Beeline Honey Co. in Salem, OR.
One of the things we love most about Oregon is all the wonderful seasonal fruit, it is a real treat for our family every year! Oregon strawberries are some of the best around and while the season is short we make sure to enjoy God's wonderful strawberries! Salem, Oregon is also known as the Cherry City and so cherries are in order for sure along with some marionberries grown by our family members. Such a treat!
Eggs are still abundant down on the farm though it seems we have one chicken having a ruff time. Chicken egg colors are based on their breed and the two breeds we have are suppose to lay brown eggs which they usually do. It seems this chicky isn't getting enough nutrition but my guess is that she is low on the pecking order since all the other eggs look well and fine.
The Farm Animals...
Oh how we miss this little kitty, we are not sure what happened to her as she just disappeared one day but she rather enjoyed my gardening shoes when she was with us. Farm life is always teaching us about life, loss, love and sometimes death. God's cycle is always a lesson.
Our lambs are getting rather big! July proved our last month for bottle feeding Little Bitty who isn't so little bitty any more. The lambs are enjoying their free range and pasture grass with a nice rub under the chin here and there.
Mama cat is still parked in front of our door with her furry babies. She is having a ruff time with the loss of 2 of her 3 kittens especially when the one left took a ride to town under our truck. St. Francis must have been looking out for her because she survived two trips under the truck and came back home. We call her spunky because she is always looking for a fun time and hitching a ride.
Around the Farm...
The outdoor garden went in this month. Lots of digging, tilling and then mulching and cleaning up the area. Talk about motivation for a different way of preparing the land. We hope to use our chickens as our tillers this fall and work on a deep mulch system that will save us the work and hopefully build better soil while feeding our chickens. Thank you to Justin Rhodes of Abundant Permaculture for inspiring such an idea.
In go the plant starts and the straw mulch. Nothing like crawling around in your garden ;)
Ahhh! Done, what a happy moment and thankful the garden was smaller rather than larger at least in this regard.
When plants bloom it sure is easier to identify them! We discovered after being here two summers that we have St. Johns Wort growing along the front of our property. Oh happy day to know that we have such a wonderful herbal medicine right in our yard!
Lavender harvest has begun! I always hate having to cut the flowers off the plant because they make the yard look so beautiful and we really enjoy having these plants around but they are so beneficial that flower cutting must commence.
Hand tying lavender wands for drying. We use lavender in three of our teas in our farm shop; Floral Repose (Soon to be renamed Rose City Repose), Raspberry Repose (soon to be renamed Riverfront Repose) and our Lavender Earl Grey.
Evening Lavender Harvest, the best way to relax down on the farm!
Harvesting chamomile from down on the farm which may be found in many of our teas including Orange Jasmine Green Tea, and Floral Repose (Rose City Repose).
Our grapes are coming along well and we are so excited to see fruit on the vines for the first time!
Sometimes there weeds, sometimes their food. Blackberries in Oregon can be so bitter sweet (pun intended). They take over any yard and are near impossible to kill off unless you want to use chemicals or let pigs free range on the farm. Our pigmy goats are helpful in keeping them down some what by eating the leaves which kill off the canes. But when this time of year comes around we are thankful for their fruits!
In the Greenhouse...
Harvest basket hanging out in the greenhouse collecting kale pods and the like.
Chickory bloomed this month, the flowers were so pretty!
Radish pods ready for harvesting for seed. We didn't manage to pickle any of these but perhaps next radish season.
View looking out from the greenhouse on a wet day. A dash out to grab salad greens for dinner while the sun peeks through the clouds.
Mid-spring harvest pulling up radish seed and chickory root making way for summer plants.
Farm girl #2 packing Spunky around the garden. Spring peas falling over and summer green bean starts in the ground.
Tomato starts in the ground with beet going to seed in the background.
Down come the peas to make way fro green beans.
Baby bean starts hoping they hold off the pill bugs ... we shall see....
Kale, lots of kale. Kale in the winter, kale in the fall, kale in the spring and kale in the summer a green for all seasons. I must confess we started sautéing it as we are rather tired of kale salads.
Trips off the Farm to other Farms...
Blueberry season is here and we could not be happier... so happy we picked 91 lbs of these lovely things for the freezer. Check out how huge they are! If you ever get a chance to pick at Satterwhites Farm off Hwy 22 make sure you take it!
Earlier in the month we picked haskap berries for our Willamette Berry Pie Tea blend from the local test farm in the Eugene area.
In the Farm Store...
The Salem Saturday Market is always bringing us surprises with the weather! This particular day was so hot we made sure we had plenty of iced tea to share!
Bloom'n Hibiscus and Bullet and Bean tea were in order for sampling this market day served with a bit of local raw honey from Beeline Honey Co.
We introduced a couple of new teas this month made especially for mothers. The one pictured above is a lactation tea called Our Lady of the Milk in honor of the devotion to Nuestra Señora de la Leche y Buen Parto a Spanish devotion to our Lady of the Milk and Happy Delivery.
Our other new addition to our tea selection is a monthly tea for women called Our Lady's Mantle in devotion also to Our Lady but also because the main ingredient is called lady's mantle that has great properties for assisting women during their monthly menstrual cycle.
A few of our organic hand blended loose leaf teas ready to go in their new home at Bear Branch Farms in Stayton.
We were so excited to welcome this St. Fiacre statue to our Salem Saturday Market display. Its quite a treasure to find such a rare saint statue in our area and one of good quality. We are happy to have our patron with us now where ever we go. May St. Fiacre bless all of your gardens and thank you for stopping to see what is new down on the farm!!
May has brought us green trees, green grass, blackberry weeds, and so much more growth in the greenhouse, the barnyard and the whole farm. We hope you enjoy your May visit down on the farm.
Around the Barnyard ...
The very beginning of May brought some new friends to our little farm. Two ram bummer lambs took over the inside of our barn. These little guys will be raised for the freezer as part of making our little micro farm sustainable and to help in raising our own food.
Please meet Tiny and Big Boy...
Socks got a little surprised and woken from his nap... ahhhh stretch! Nothing like a nap in the dirt.
Tiny and Big Boy get a break from their barn life to taste the green grass...
Big Boy enjoying his outdoor time...
Time for a bottle.... Pepsi the breakfast of champions ;) We started them out on lamb replacer and gradually changed them to half cows milk kefir, half formula and some raw scrambled chicken eggs with molasses.
Meet our little ewe lamb, Little Bitty... she was the last bummer lamb from the local lamb farm and left all along so of course we welcomed her to our farm. The future mother of our future freezer lambs.
Lambs out for a walk.... they follow where ever I go...
Spotted by the chickens who think they are going to get treats....
Getting bigger! Lambs introduction to the pasture, they thought follow the leader sounded like fun.
Farm Girl #1 visiting with our every growing lambs and Lucy the goat.
One of our two little farm kittens, not a fan of getting her picture taking. Our mama cat had two kittens last month.
In the Greenhouse and Around the Farm...
Our busy greenhouse at the beginning of the month, packed with peas, cabbage, carrots, chicory, kale, beets, fennel, radishes and lettuce.
So excited to see cabbage heads forming!
After burning our summer crops in the greenhouse last year we broke down and put a shade cover on the hoop house. Its amazing how well it works and it keeps the temps down 10-20 degrees.
Seed shelf built by the Farmer to keep the pill bugs away from our seedlings. Its working great!
Baby seedlings growing big for our summer garden...
Little Lady in the greenhouse enjoying some sunshine!
Our two grape vines are looking like they will fruit on this, their second year.
Foraging for black berry leaves for our Bloom'n Hibiscus Loose Leaf Tea.
Blooms showing up in our Mary Garden...
Roses, lavender and chamomile from our Mary Garden.
Our Floral Repose Tea bouquet, one of the few teas that we grow many of the tea ingredients in our yard. A great caffeine free night time tea drunk to assist with restful sleep.
In the Farm Kitchen ...
Haskap Berry Whole Wheat Sourdough Muffins for Sunday breakfast.
A small but beautiful haskap berry harvest from our few plants.
Our first spring salad all from our garden and farm. Kale, haskap berries, steamed eggs, and peas.
Abundance of eggs brings us weekly frittatas, quick and easy dinner- just add green salad!
First radishes and carrots from the greenhouse.... love those Easter Egg Radishes!
Another all garden/farm produced salad.... snap peas, carrots, radishes, steamed eggs and kale.
Sourdough Whole Wheat Scones with haskap berriers grown on our farm and some dairy free whipped cream. With tea of course!
Whole Wheat Sourdough Pizza, a little treat not out of our garden but made for special company.
Fermenting green haskap berries, they turned out great! They taste like something between green olives and capers.
Curry Chicken Pasta, kale and strawberry salad and local sourdough bread... dinner down on the farm.
Local spray-free strawberries brought us a morning of making freezer jam. A great and easy project for our Farm Girls, a home ec. lesson.
The Feast of Corpus Christi brings us cross cut bread, red wine, grapes and roast lamb as we celebrate and remember the Last Supper and Holy Eucharist.
In the Farm Store and at the Market ...
The start of May found us packing up a whole sale order for a new cafe opening in McMinnville, Oregon called, Mommies Minis. You will find some of our teas served there, some for purchase and our mother's and children's line of herbal care along with some great fun for the children. Make sure to check it out when they open.
Our 'how to brew loose leaf tea' station at the Salem Saturday Market.
Introducing Dog Salve for your doggie friends available in our shop and at the Salem Saturday Market.
This month we spent time repacking tea into our new bags, blending new batches and taking photo shoots. Here is our Peppermint Patty Loose Leaf Tea which makes an excellent iced drink.
Check out our post on how to make a Blended Peppermint Patty Latte,
Our Marsala Chai Tea was next on the photo shoot list. This is one of our two caffeinated teas and very lovely for a cold rainy day. We spruced it up a bit and turned it into a latte using our French Press to make some frothy milk. Yum!
Noggin Tea for when you need some ginkgo to assist with brain function be it studying or planning your crop rotation, its a 'smart' choice for tea drinking time.
Our first Salem Saturday Market at the start of May went so well we turned our six dates into 12! A little cold, no rain but a good day for loose leaf tea!
Introducing our newest loose leaf tea to enter the farm store! Our Haskap Berry Pie Tea Blend is made with locally grown haskap berries courtesy of Dr. Maxine Thompson of OSU. These blueberry like berries pack a higher antioxidant punch and make this cup of tea taste like blueberry pie in a glass. Grab your bag online or at the Salem Saturday Market. This one will only hang around as long as the berries last!
Coming soon! Our Herbal First Aid Kit which will included a 1 oz tin each of Arnica, Calendula, Plantain and Joint/Back Salve complete with a card on what to use and when! We will also have these lovely lavender sachets available at the Salem Saturday Market, filled with home grown lavender for keeping clear moths from closets and dressers or freshening up a bathroom. Make sure to check out our Farm Store to see what is new!
Thanks for visiting us Down on the Farm!
Its been a busy busy April and May is just busier! Our apologies for the mid month, rather than the beginning of the month farm update. Without further ado.... here is what we have been up to....
In the Greenhouse ...
The greenhouse at the beginning of April, spring is just getting a start here.
Here come our sugar snap pea blooms, so beautiful!
The radishes are coming out nice and plump with only a few critters taking some bites. These were a lovely addition to our nightly green salad! Maybe we should call it garden salad instead....
Goodies from the farm from this particular day, beet leaves, a few baby beets and some fresh eggs. Thank you chickens!
Our cabbage getting a little too much warmth in the hot hoop house, doesn't look like it will probably give us a cabbage head but we shall see.
Our cabbage patch.... not dolls, but food :D
The rainbow chard is looking beautiful!
Kale Brocoli? The kale is trying to flower in all the heat we had but it goes great in salads any way!
The end of April in the hoop house has quite the growth going on, spring is here for sure!
Around the Farm...
I spy with my little eye a HASKAP! Exciting to see our first fruits of the season. These lovely blueberrish treats are similar to blueberries but they are from Japan/Russia and are a more tart elongated version of the blueberry. We were blessed with many of these plants and hope they continue to grow!
A few more berry sitings.....
These lovelies went into a batch of kombucha!
Our wild grown comphrey patch. They are beautiful to booth and great for muscle soreness.
In the Barnyard ...
Fat fat Mama Cat.... getting ready to have her babies!
Rocco you crazy goat! I don't have any treats for you!!!
Speaking of babies, turns out she was really ready to have them. Three tiny kittens, sadly one of them was malformed and didn't make it more than a week. We are glad that he didn't have to suffer longer poor little guy.
The Fermentation Station ...
Kimchee fermenting on the counter, a staple in our house for scrambled eggs and anything else!
Purple Kraut, for those who don't like spicy kimchee.
The haskaps from above fermenting away in their kombucha brew.
Everyone has a fermenting shelf right? Ok so maybe its time to eat some of that and make space.... Fermented beets, fermented jalapeños from last summer, a bunch of cherry tomatoes from last summer (red and green), kraut of a couple kinds and some mixed veggies and our sour dough starter. At least I'll know that they make it a year.. hehe.
Meet our scoby... this is what makes our kombucha tea ferment. Looks kinda crazy like a mushroom but its a colony of bacteria and yeast that help brew our brew. I accidentally made one of these when putting orange peels in vinegar... though that was a vinegar scoby. Makes for a great science experiment!
Straining some finished kombucha brew from its second ferment, looks like some yummy Bloom'n Hibiscus!
Our Daily Sourdough, a Class of Its Own...
Two loaves a day keeps hungry tummies away....
Love this crusty loaf great with a bowl of soup on a cloudy day. There are still a few of those left but not many.
In the Farm Kitchen ...
Curried Chicken a la pressure cooker
Weekly quiche provided by our barnyard chickens.
The garden is my paint palate... a couple of our nightly salads from April. All out of the garden accept for the broccoli and strawberries..
Blending up a green kefir smoothie for an afternoon snack with some frozen blueberries from our u-pick adventure last year.
What's New in the Farm Store ...
In April our tea was featured by world renowned florist, Katie Davis, from Ponderosa and Thyme. Our beautiful Floral Repose Tea here traveled from Salem Oregon to England as a gift to her workshop participants. I'd say a florists touch did our tea pretty good. Thank you Katie again!
It started with the Arnica...... we have been busy rebranding our labels. This was the first one to get its make over. That also means some fresh inventory in stock!
We added some dog salve to our shop for our doggy friends! Great for snouts, skin and paws. Where ever doggy skin needs attention due to dryness, itching, or wound healing. Click photo for more information.
Our first Salem Saturday Market was a blast and Salem was very welcoming. The weather perhaps not cheerful and sunny but we didn't get rained on!
Our products are made by hand from the bottom up.... from design, to printing, to packaging and everything in the package... sealed with love and prayer. Here is a look at our new Belly Balm Labels. Click photo for more info.
Our Beard Balm is sporting a new label and a fancy photo shoot, check it out by clicking on the photo.
Our popular Joint and Back Salve has lovely cayenne pepper in it to help bring heat and circulation to your painful muscles. Read more about this salve by clicking the photo.
The end of April took us to the Salem Armory in Oregon joining fellow artisans from the Salem Etsy Team showing off our goods.
Inspired by Ponderosa and Thyme's lovely photo of our tea we decided not only to give our salves a new photo shoot but update our tea photos as well. Pictured above is our Farmer's Wife Tea Blend, a light green and raspberry tea that is especially good for women health. Pictured below is our Floral Repose Tea, wonderful not just for looks but as a relaxing night time tea. It also works great for teething toddlers!
A close up of our Floral Repose.... we nick name it the Pretty Tea
The warmer days are coming so its time to break out the Bloom'n Hibiscus Tea! Our favorite summer sun tea sweated with some local raw honey. Click the photos to order yours today!
That wraps up April down on the farm! We will see you in a couple of short weeks with our whirlwind May updates. Harvesting season is upon us and planting season for Summer as well!! May God bless you and keep you and thanks for visiting down on the farm!
March will be finishing up here soon and April is headed on in. We have also had some beautiful sun breaks but a whole lot of that liquid sunshine has been coming our way. That along with a thunderstorm or two and all the plants are looking vividly green and the leaves on the trees are coming on out. Many of the trees and plants are blooming, Spring is here for sure!
In the hoop house...
Not too much change in the hoop house through the month. We had some good planting weather in February with plenty of sunshine. Since then its been wet, very wet with not much sun and most of our seedlings and plants are fairy stagnant for now. The cool weather crops don't seem to mind too much and there are still plenty of bugs after our tiny plants.
Whats growing outside...
The farm animals ...
The Fermentation Station ...
This week we start a new adventure in our kombucha brewing. Sadly our homemade starter from GT's Kombucha turned into a vinegar scoby and we have been drinking vinegar for a few weeks :( Thankfully we received a Tibetan Scoby that is working out wonderfully. Much better tasting! We are second fermenting the tea here with some Pinot Noir grapes from Thistle Hill Vineyards.
In the farm kitchen...
Eggs, Eggs, Eggs, and more Eggs! Go chickens go! We had quite the amount of meals with eggs in them last week I might say. Its time to get our little egg stand down at the end of the farm driveway.
What's New in the Farm Store and
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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