Tag Archives: Winter

Emmie Loves Herding Chickens

Emmie’s absolute favorite activity is herding chickens.  We never taught her how to do it, she just came built with that amazing border collie instinct. She was clever enough to figure out the process of paddock moves very quickly. She knows that as soon as we fire up the tractor and open the feathernets it is time for the birds to move from the old area into the new area.  The chickens know it too and they do a pretty good job of running straight for the fresh grass.  We move their hoophouses with the tractor and the chickens follow along.  There are always a few stragglers however and in this video there were a lot of dawdlers because we were moving them a long distance across a low-lying area that had become filled with 6 inches of rainwater. They were taking their sweet time, and I made Emmie wait for a few minutes so most of the chickens could get across on their own. She’s very obedient but as you can see, she hates to have to take a break from herding.  She never “talks” likes this unless she wants to herd the chickens.

Emmie herds fast and furiously but she almost never hurts the chickens.  Occasionally she gets frustrated at a wayward bird that won’t go the right direction and she tries to drag it by its wing.  I’m always there to step in and call her off though.



Filed under Farm

A Day in the Life of a Farmer (Winter Edition) – Sunday

7:00 : Up and showering to get to church

8:30 : Keith and I arrive at church (Grace City Church) and I begin putting together the Powerpoint presentation for our church service.  I’m in charge of projecting all the worship songs, announcements and the sermon slides.  One thing I love about our church is the number of women in leadership roles.  Kristin Osborne knocked it out of the park with her sermon on Mark 5. You can hear it here once it’s uploaded to the internet:  http://www.gracecitychurch.org/media.php?pageID=5

While I’m putting together the Powerpoint slides, Keith contacts a seller about a Craigslist ad we saw last night.  It’s for a 2006 Ford Freestyle, which happens to be an earlier version of the Ford Taurus X we were enthralled with yesterday.  We arrange to go see the car in Monmouth this afternoon.

9:30 – 11:00 : Church!

11:30 – 12:30 : Home for lunch

1:00 : Drive to Monmouth and see the car in person.  We take it for a test drive and decide it’s a keeper.  It’s got so much cargo space I can hardly believe it! We negotiate an awesome deal!  It was owned by a 89 year old woman who hardly put any miles on it.  The bank is closed though, so we have to wait til tomorrow to get funds from our checking account.


3:30 pm : We arrive back in Philomath and head over to the farm to do a little work before sunset.  I try to take advantage of Keith’s weekend availability to do things that I can’t easily get done by myself. Together we clean some old nestboxes and heave them into the barn loft. We store a bunch of chicken roosts and feeders, and then wash a few baskets of eggs to keep up with the farm store demand.

6:00 pm : It’s now dark and I haven’t had a chance to get in my long run this weekend.  I am starting to get more serious about base-building and upping my weekly mileage at this point, because I have my sights on the Eugene Marathon at the end of April.  It’s only 21 weeks away and it’s time to get cracking.  More immediately, I plan to run the Cascade Half Marathon on January 20th, which was my inaugural half marathon earlier this year.

We live near a pretty sweet bike path that runs from Philomath all the way to the Corvallis waterfront, about 7 miles away.  Keith and I decided to do a 9 mile out-and-back run on that path, so we strapped on headlamps and put a leash on Emmie.  She doesn’t usually run with us, as she gets plenty of exercise racing around the farm. Today she was inside a lot while we churched and car-shopped though, so we thought she better join the family run.

It was a beautiful dry December night.  We ran through quiet neighborhoods and enjoyed seeing everyone’s Christmas trees sparkling through picture windows and elaborate light displays decorating porches and yards.  Emmie was extremely well-behaved, trotting quietly at my left heel without pulling the leash at all.  She’s so fit that the run was like a stroll in the park for her.


Keith and Emmie during a run earlier this year

7:30 pm : We trot back home and stretch in the driveway for a while.  It’s so warm and peaceful out…a rare December night in Oregon so I try to soak up every minute.

7:45 pm : Showers and then we start warming up leftovers for dinner.  Keith got a pasta maker for his birthday and he whips up a batch of fettucini noodles to go with some leftover spaghetti sauce.  The man is a genius in the kitchen, have I mentioned that?

8:00 pm : We eat dinner and watch Netflix movies til about 11:00 when we both get sleepy and head to bed.

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Filed under Anecdotes

A Day in the Life of a Farmer (Winter Edition) – Wednesday

Everyone always asks me what my days look like as a farmer.  I find this question really hard to answer for a couple reasons: no two days of the week look alike for me and I feel like the details of my day are pretty mundane.  But I’m starting to realize that for those who aren’t able to live on a farm, a peek into a farmer’s life can be rather fun.

So the following is my week in all its glorious banality.  As I don’t have much time to blog in the summer time, when things are actually incredibly busy and slightly more interesting, I give you a Week in the Life of Rachel/Provenance Farm in the Winter. And yeah, I’m starting in the middle of the week.  Mixin’ it up!

Wednesday 12/5/2012

Up at 5:10 for Parking Garage Bootcamp workout from 5:45 – 6:45.

6:45-7:30 : coffee and a muffin with friend

7:30 – 9:00 : clean my kitchen, have 2nd breakfast (I get hungry yo!) , do a couple loads of laundry, get orders ready for farm store customers and Eugene stores.

photo (30)

9:00 : Go to farm, feed hay to cows, walk the lower pasture to check on river levels and see if my lamb’s hurt leg is healing. See how the laying hens weathered the night and ensure they have enough food.  Hang out in the barn for a few minutes, patting the cats and the Jersey cows.


10:00 : Give a farm tour to a friend visiting from Virginia with her 11 month old son.  Make some sales.  Talk to Beverly for a while.

photo (31)

11:00 : Wash and package eggs and put together Corvallis First Alternative Co-op egg orders.

12:00 : Lunch at home. Make invoices for Eugene and Corvallis store deliveries.  Find an old jump drive so I can take a file to Office Max for printing.  Discover pictures of 7 year old Rachel skiing (with very bad technique) on said jump drive.  Laugh uproariously and email copies to my ski buddies.


1:00 : Load up car with egg crates and coolers, head into Corvallis.  Office Max stop first for the print job and some office supplies.

2:00 : Deliver eggs to both locations of the First Alternative Co-op and chat with the grocery managers.


3:30 : Drive to Eugene.  Suddenly realize it gets dark at 4:30 and I won’t get home in time to collect eggs before nightfall.  Console myself that the hens have plenty of food and I can collect eggs in the morning. Deliver eggs and chicken to Eugene grocery stores. Stop at Coastal Farm and Ranch for some Christmas gifts and look (in vain) for some waterproof gloves that will fit my small hands.

5:30 : Arrive back in Corvallis.  Shop quickly for a white elephant gift for our Ekklesia Christmas party. I decided on an awesome Advent calendar that I actually want for myself.  It has stickers, guys!

advent calendar

6:00 : Run to farm, get the dog, unload all the egg crates and coolers. Run home to change, do my hair and makeup, wrap white elephant gift and warm up some artichoke dip.

6:45 : Arrive late to Ekklesia.

11:00 : We have watched 2 episodes of the Office, 1 episode of Star Trek (Keith), browsed the entire internet (Rachel) and are falling asleep on the couch.  Time for bed.


December 6, 2012 · 10:04 am