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!
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!
Outdoor on the farm ...
The green house BEFORE the frost hit. I'm afraid between the chickens and the frost our late season green bean experiment was a bust. And its too cold even in the green house for most things to be growing! We have a very slow growing spinach patch and some lettuce with some beets but it is not looking as productive as last year.
In the kitchen …
What's New in the Farm Shop ...
Have any manly tea drinkers in your home? No? This might turn their heads, maybe get them to give it a try. Our new Bullets and Beans Green Tea is a fabulous blend of gunpowder green tea with spearmint and a twist of chocolate. It is similar to our Peppermint Patty tea in that its flavor is like that of a chocolate covered mint but more like a Moroccan Green Tea. Click to read more about Bullet and Bean Tea!
Thanks for stopping by the farm...
Please read about our farm's patron, St. Fiacre HERE. Enjoy some garden bounty today in his honor and ask him to watch over your garden and abundance! Today we also share our August happenings around the farm in hopes we can establish at least a monthly farm update as we did last year. The farm store should also re-open soon with a few new items and updates. Thank you for your patience as our family has been recovering from illnesses and business of life!
In the Hoop house…
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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