Monday, December 29, 2014

Catching up

Over the course of 2014 Keegan and I: had a child, moved, started a new career, eloped, scaled up our farming practices (and I mean up!), grew all of our staple foods, cultivated a locally adapted seed crop, worked with people, played with friends, hosted events, milked goats, canned food, raised two puppies, developed a business plan, mentored youth, taught university students, managed a CSA, raised 60 ducklings and 11 goslings, grafted and planted trees, harvested honey, planned a heritage hog stewardship program, expanded our landscape design skills, ate delicious food, and ultimately learned ALOT.  The blog has been vacant as of late because, well, life was happening and I was constantly running to catch up.  As I've told some of my friends recently, I finally feel like I've reached a point in motherhood and farming where I understand my roles and limits, and feel capable and comfortable with that reality.  And part of where I would like to direct my newfound energies is back into the blog world.



              




I continue to appreciate the model of a personalized blog more and more as I try to wrestle with the hierarchically based traditional structure of farming in conjunction with the techno-savvy 21st century.  An open access blog seems like the best way to share my thoughts, skills, and experiences with the largest audience possible in hopes that it will benefit the collective knowledge of all those who utilize the internet for the tool it is.





So I'll probably spend some time catching you all up on the extensive projects we dove head first into over the past year.  Through MUCH trial and error, heavy on the side of error, we've begun to refine our understandings of many farming practices.  This online documentation will allow me to share those experiences with the world, and also act as a chronological database for both Keegan and I to refer back to.




Thanks for listening!



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Microphone check


Here I come, back to immerse you deep into the stream of consciousness which defines my part of this existence.  I hope you're ready to think about the hard questions, and to look for the beauty in the simple things, and of course to look at a few too many photos of my darling little boy.  

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Serendipity

With a little bit of patience and continued pursuit of what you love, life finds a way to make everything work out.  Keegan and I were presented with the potential to caretake and farm some of the most beautiful land I have ever seen, nestled in the gorgeous foothills of the Southeastern Willamette Valley.  So naturally, we jumped all over the opportunity.  Please come out to visit us whenever you like, there's always work and food and nature waiting for you.  Things to look out for in our farming future are: rich and delicious Duck Eggs, edible Cut Flower Bouquets, open-pollinated Seeds, and a mud covered little blonde boy running the show.  Hopefully we'll be able to teach you the things we're learning as well.  Thank you to the partners for making this reality possible.  C'est la vie!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Nurturing

Why is it that we desire the stewardship of so many living creatures?  An average spring morning in our household unfolds with a 6am breastfeeding wake up call.  Keegan rises as Theo and I are doing our thing, offers kisses and a glass of water, then heads off to check on and rotate the baby ducklings in the incubator. The cats greet him in the hall, they exchange some love then head outside together.  Regardless of weather or impending obligations the rabbits require daily food and water, and the ducks and chickens wait impatiently to vacate the coop and begin their days foraging.  An expanding ripple of seedling trays request early morning watering before the heat of the day demands their continued growth.  Perennial plantings may occasionally call for the precious water as well.  Don't forget to check on the little baby chicks to make sure those darlings still have food and water.   Once these tasks have been completed curiosity and hope compels you to inspect the innumerable apple tree grafts that promise new life, or maybe peek at the inoculated mycelium running through the substrate.  Then, the morning generally can be capped off by a shared breakfast amongst our household before the day begins.

Why is it that we desire giving ourselves so much 'work'?  That's the catch right there.  To us, this amount of daily care is far from carrying a negative connotation like 'work'.  It's our passion.  Spring is heavily pronounced as the season for new life, and we look forward to this moment returning every year.  These projects of ours will hopefully continue to grow and provide educational experiences and nourishment to ourselves and the community at large.  These projects teach us the meaning of responsibility and our capacity to look after interests beyond our own.  We care for and steward these precious lives and in return they nurture us just as deeply.  

The Dalai Lama purports the meaning of life to be held within one's capacity to help others, to contribute to their happiness.  His philosophy is admirable and inspiring, and something to strive for everyday.  This thought will carry with me through the busy months ahead, as we continue to cultivate the happiness of the many lives in our care.

Happy Spring!












Monday, April 21, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ant Farm Collective: Onion Party
















































 The past month with it's fast pace and warm weather seems to have marked the full blown start to this farming season.  Flats are constantly being seeded out.  Starts are being potted up.  Plants are needing to be watered.  We even dusted the cobwebs off our sandals and sunscreen!  Let the fun begin.

The Ant Farm Collective is doing a collaboration with Bel's cohorts the Garden Starters, exchanging land use for labor and veggies.  This has allowed us to let the soil rest from an allium crop at the OG Ant Farm site, and two 100 ft beds of sweet red and yellow storage onions got to go into the ground at Lone Oak.  Right on time for these sensitive phototropes to get big and beautiful.