Somehow I strained my lower back doing farmwork, and so I’m sitting at my computer wasting a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. I should be out with Keith getting the old Allis-Chalmers tractor running and the mower blades sharpened but I’m listening to classic rock and tending to this neglected blog instead. (And also doing what I do best: googling and YouTubing for answers when Keith calls with tractor operation questions.)
I have no idea how to catch up with this blog so I’ll just give a quick recap of the summers major events. Hopefully that will get me back on track and then I won’t be so lazy about it!
So, without further ado:
It rained throughout most of June, so we had to wait a long time for the Annual Migration of the Eggmobiles. Not long before we moved them from our house to the 50 acre field, Eggmobile #1 got a flat tire. I found the whole situation quite hilarious. Poor Keith was not so impressed because he spent most of the time fending off chickens that were getting in his way while he changed the tire.
Our lambs kept on munching lush grass that lasted through the beginning of the summer. They are growing fast and I love ’em, despite the fact that they keep running through the electric fences in search of the chickens’ grain. For the record, sheep are stinkers.
The broiler chicken operation is going smashingly. We have butchered 3 batches of 180 chickens each, and Provenance Farm chicken is on the menus of some of the most renowned restaurants in Portland, and in the freezers of many of our favorite home cooks. We have two more batches of chickens to butcher and then….TURKEYS!
Keith and I on our first butcher day. Look at those giant chickens! That batch resulted in some 6 pound birds. Live and learn…they have been a lot more reasonably sized since then!
We rented a small tractor with a mower deck in July, and mowed the 5 acres around our house. Keith worked really hard that day. I am not sure what I was doing. I’d like to say I was clearing boulders or something, but I was probably sitting on the deck with a martini in my hand, working on my tan. Sounds like me.
Our cherry trees went crazy in July. There is nothing and I mean nothing like a handful of fresh sun-warmed cherries. Oh man! We canned a bunch and made pies. My mouth is salivating at the memory!
I have been entertained all summer by twin fawns that have been frolicking around our property. Did you know they make a squeaking little call when they’re looking for their mother? I had no idea what a baby deer sounded like until this summer. It’s really cute! Here’s a YouTube video I found that shows a fawn making the noise I hear outside my window all the time.
I turned 26 on August 4th, and Keith gave me a .22 rifle for my birthday! We went up to Mary’s Peak with our friend Matt and got some target practice in. I’m ecstatic to have my own gun. It will come in handy for taking care of predators this winter when we have our chickens at our house. No more coons in the hen house!
We made friends with an 80-something year old Philomath farmer named Fritz. He has chickens and dairy cows and sells fresh milk and eggs. Keith and I help him milk the cows sometime. This is just a crummy iPhone photo, but it shows the new farmer/experienced farmer duo filling 1/2 gallon jars with fresh, creamy milk. Clearly very serious business indeed.
Well that’s a small summary of what we’ve been doing this summer. It’s been a lot more low-key than other years. No backpacking to the Sierra Nevadas or Hawaii, no world-travelling. But I’ve actually been really loving what I’m doing and hey…if you have to stay put, the Willamette Valley is a pretty great place to be.
Hasta luego. I promise I won’t be gone so long again!