Hunkering In Place

There has been a lot of hub-bub in Oregon over the last couple of months regarding the Total Solar Eclipse that has a path of totality right through the state. I have had several offers to travel 50 miles and camp out with 1 million other gawkers who plan on visiting this state to see the eclipse from an extraordinary view.

I declined each offer. There were several reasons;

  1. Never been camping. I live the rural life already, if I wanted to rough it I would turn off the circuit breakers (I already think that happens naturally enough on its own).
  2. Don’t relish the thought of sleeping next to a bunch of strangers in the middle of a field on damp ground without my coffee pot brewing automatically in the morning.
  3. Willing to do without what could end up being gridlock on every road in the state.

Although we are not directly in the path of totality, we should be able to see the sight from right here on the farm with re-runs on the Science Channel, the NASA Channel and each one of our local news channels. And that is exactly what we plan on doing.

Everyone stay safe out there and respect the great outdoors. I look forward to hearing about all the adventures once you get unpacked and have a good shower taken…

Preserving The Sweetness

Ah, the figs are so good! But in this household, I am the only one that enjoys them so much and I really loaded up from my old high school chum.

So aside from eating as many as I can while they are fresh, I filled the dehydrator with a load of the sweet fruit.

Sliced figs on a dehydrator screen.I did not treat them with any preservatives or sweeteners, I simply sliced to approximately even sized pieces and loaded them into the dehydrator.

They look very pretty now, but after the drying process will be much darker and not so showy.

18-24 hours and the figs should be dry enough to package into airtight bags where their extended sweetness will last several months.

 

 

Beans In Production

The whole family loves green beans. We enjoy fresh ones right off the plant, make simple stir fry recipes with tons of green beans, lightly saute with garlic and a crumble of bacon, I could go on and on.

We also like to have quite a bit of beans frozen so that we can savor the summer flavor all winter long.two gallon bags of green beans ready for the freezer.

This last picking gave us enough green beans for two meals plus two gallon sized bags to be put into the freezer for wintertime.

Usually we go through about 10 of these gallon bags a year so I will have to make sure to keep the beans irrigated and picked every couple of days to ensure that the harvest will continue for several more weeks.

A Moving Day

Pickup and stocktrailer parked by barn.The time has come for our loaner herd to return home since the grass supply has dried up with the summer weather.

Three cows, two calves and a yearling bull were all loaded up at the neighbor farm about 20 miles from the farm. They had done a good job cleaning up all the extra growth around the barnyards and into the pastures.

Once home the cows and calves were turned out into the main herd and the bull was moved into the bull pen with another bull about the same age. The first hour of their return yielded a lot of pushing, shoving, sniffing and chasing but they have all calmed down quickly and by dinner time all was well once again on the farm.

Figs!

My attempt at growing figs began about 6 years ago. A friend convinced me that I could indeed grow my own delicious and somewhat exotic (for me) fruit. I had been sure that being in the Coast Range next to the Nehalem River would not be suitable for that kind of tree and had up until that point, bothered every friend and relative in the Willamette Valley to snag my fair share each year as they ripened. Continue reading

Outta Control

I took a few days off last week and went bummin’ around. It was delightful to get away for a change and especially to let others cook and clean for me during a break from the farm.

Early morning fog hangs around garden area.But now it is back to reality and the garden is hopelessly overgrown.

Today will be spent harvesting and cleaning up the rows of veggies, picking up apples from under the trees and discarding anything over-sized to the cows (torpedo sized zuchinni, anyone?).

The herd from the show barn are already standing by the fence line, waiting rather impatiently for a tidbit to be thrown their way so it is time to get to work!

 

Creating A Platform

The tree that I had told you about last week about the old sump showing signs of the fire that swept across our hillside many years ago is now ready to be cut down.

Bulldozer jammed up against a tree.Since the old, rotten stump that the tree grew out of, Mike had to use a little imagination to be able to get to the spot where the tree needed to be cut.

The orange that you see about mid-picture is the saw sitting on top the rotted part of the old stump. The cut will need to be about one foot above where the saw is right now.

By levering the blade and running the caterpillar at a slight angle up the rotten tree, he was able to make a solid base to stand on while making the falling cuts.

This dangerous tree fell right where planned and did not harm any of the trees that are still growing healthy around this spot. We will be planting a few new trees around this open area to keep the forest well-stocked. What is left of the old stump and the remnants of this tree will stay in place in the forest to decay and feed the rest of area.