Monthly Archives: October 2009

The Trailerhood

You know you’re a redneck when you own a couple of chicken coops on wheels that you refer to as the “Trailerhood”.

As in, “The trailerhood, the trailerhood, ain’t nobody doin’ what they should, way down yonder in the trailerhood…”

Josh Turner, anyone?  Anyone?  Tell me you’ve heard that man’s heart-melting baritone. Go buy the album. Now.

joshturnerh35

Josh Turner

Ok, back to the story.

The inherent redneck-ness of owning a Trailerhood becomes evident when necessity forces you to move the Trailerhood from one property to another.

Eggmobile Travel

just your everyday morning commute

Through town and down the highway.  That’s right.  We trucked those gleaming beauties full of chickens across town to a place where there is less mud and less chance of getting my pickup stuck while collecting eggs this winter.

IMG_2906

good morning, Philomath!

That place is my backyard.  My five acre backyard, as a matter of fact, which is a great place for chickens.  I’m still not sure about the fact that the first sight out my bedroom window now is the Trailerhood.  I used to see deer frolicking in the long grass every morning.  Now I see chickens frolicking.  This will take a little getting used to.

I owe special thanks to Tyler for lending us his incredible chicken-transporting skills.  It’s a true friend that will help you move your Trailerhood at 7:30 in the morning.

 

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Autumn at My Place

porch punkins

porch punkins

Despite the often drizzly, dreary days that autumn brings to Western Oregon, I am always romanced by the glory of fall.

Nearly every year, I find myself surprised at the rapid onset of rain and with it, the changing colors of the deciduous trees.  Wasn’t it jump-in-the-sprinkler, barbecue-a-burger summer just a few short minutes ago?

I attribute much of this confusion to my childhood on the Oregon Coast.  I grew up smack-dab in the middle of a Douglas Fir forest, where the colors never varied from your standard, run of the mill evergreen.  Aside from annually shedding a pile of fircones on the lawn, the trees just never really changed that much.

fog droplet

fog droplet

I remember driving Highway 20 to the Valley with my family, as a kid.  In the fall, around the time we hit the metropolis of Eddyville, we would start exclaiming, “look at the trees!  Check out that bright orange one up there on the hill!”   Fall was a novelty to us.

This year, I’m particularly enjoying autumn.  Maybe it’s the fact that I’m outdoors much more, or that I’ve moved to a new home resplendant with the bounty of the season.

I went on a little stroll around our new property the other day to share my view with you.  Hope you enjoy the colors as much as I do.

a mushroom after the rainfall

a mushroom after the rainfall

recollections of childhood

recollections of childhood

hedgerow pears

hedgerow pears

our backyard

our backyard

pears and lichen

pears and lichen

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Canning Mania

Having recently moved to a new house on acreage with a tiny orchard, I’ve been newly inspired to preserve some of the autumn bounty.

I have zero experience in canning and until recently have had zero desire to try it.

That’s why God gives us friends.

Alicia & Bula the Gargoyle Dog

Alicia & Bula the Gargoyle Dog

Alicia and I decided we’d tackle this intimidating canning thing together.  So we made a list of 85 varieties of sauces, jams, chutneys and conserves that we wanted to make, and set to work harvesting and canning.

apple bounty

apple bounty

Rule number one of canning:  have some good company because you’re going to be working all day. Alicia and I canned for 12 hours straight.  I’ll be honest:  we were a little nutty by the end of the night.

coring

coring

I’m sure our great-grandmothers would have laughed to have seen us scrambling around the kitchen forgetting to set timers and figuring out how to use this thing.  It was a circus.

heating lids

heating lids

The applesauce tasted divine and our jars sealed properly, so I count the day as a success.

cooking apples

cooking apples

I would definitely do it again.  I just need a few days break.

Besides…we’ve got 84 other kinds of preserves to make.  We can’t stop now!

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Welcome to Provenance Farm

I feel like I just emerged from a whirlwind of activity.  It’s been an exhilirating past couple of weeks mainly defined by a bunch of really hard work!  I won’t lie – life lately has been very stressful but also incredibly satisfying. Allow me to take you along on a recap of our journey…

In the past three weeks we:

  • ripped the floors out of our trailers, and hired a friend to do some major cutting and welding.   We welded expanded metal to the floors to allow waste to drop through as fertilizer for the pasture.  Then we got busy with hammer and nails and framed the coops – a solid week of dawn til dusk work!  I feel so empowered by this project…now I can build anything!
One wall up

one wall up

all framed and ready to go

all framed and ready to go

no electricity means sawing by hand

no electricity means sawing by hand

  • Put up corrugated metal siding and roofing
    the fun part - swinging from the rafters

    the fun part - swinging from the rafters

    finished!

    finished!

    shining beauties

    shining beauties

    back of the coops

    yeah i know the roofs are hokey. live and learn.

    • Got 320 chickens of diverse breeds.  We have Silver-Laced Wyandottes, Barred Rocks, Buff Orpingtons, and Black Australorps.  They all lay brown eggs…or will once they finish molting and start laying again.  The chickens have a huge yard surrounded by electrified netting and we move them to a new location every 1-3 days.  They eat chicken pellets as well as all the windfall apples, insects, grass, and forage they can find!
      the girls

      the girls

      Heading inside to roost for the night

      Heading inside to roost for the night

      sleepy chicks

      sleepy chicks

  • While all this was going down, we found a house on 5 acres to rent.  So last week we packed up and moved.  I’ll post pictures of our new place soon.  It’s great and we have so much more space!  No more farming from a duplex, as fun as that was.

I kid.

  • Last but not least, we named the farm!  We are now called Provenance Farm.  ‘Provenance’, from the French provenir, “to come from”, means the origin or the source of something.  At the heart of the concept is the idea of farm to fork, or being able to trace your food back to its very place of origin. In a society that celebrates half-rate, highly-manufactured foodstuff, my desire is that our farm will encourage people to value the provenance of their meat and eggs.   Our goal is to provide great food that brings health and happiness to your home.   I’m so looking forward to getting it from the field to you!

Thank you for coming along with us on this journey.  To all our friends and family – we are so thankful for your support.  We could not do it without you!

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