"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!
My name is CeAnne, wife to my Farmer and mama to 4 adopted kiddos. I help farm lov'n mama's (and grandmas) turn common herbs into powerful medicines without being overwhelmed. Here you will find all sorts of nourishing goodness on natural medicine, herb gardening and wholesome real foods. Read more about our farm HERE.