Monday, January 10, 2011

Eight* Eggs




2011 will be a little different for us at Rosemont Farm. My mom has cancer and while we work on getting her healthy again we have made the decision not to raise any pastured meats this year and possibly the next as well.

What hasn't changed is my love of gardening and growing my own food! So while my mom recovers I am going to focus on my 1/3 acre city lot, and much like the Dervaes family, I plan on seeing how much food I can grow in the city.

Right now we have 2 stands of Kale. One bed is a group of volunteers left over from a patch I planted 5 years ago. The other is a nice bed of Tuscan Kale that I planted last spring. Both are amazingly prolific.

I'm also pretty sure a few carrots and beets are hiding under the volunteer Kale bed if I look hard enough.

We also have various pots of herbs on the back porch and a few plants of spinach.
Other than that we just have the chickens...

Currently here in the city we have 16 Delaware chicks that are 4 months old. The hens we will keep (or sell if we have more than 8 total) and the roos are going to "college".

Last fall I gathered up all our chickens with the exception of one naughty Welsummer hen who was hiding and took them to the big farm so my parents would have eggs too.

In honor of solstice the lovely city Welsummer decided to provide us with an egg, and another and another (you get the idea!).

In 2011 I plan on tracking the amount of food that we produce from the city lot and providing updates as I can here on my blog.

2011 HARVEST TO DATE

8 eggs (*3 are missing from the photo, they're in waffles which are now in our bellies :))

Future plans for the city lot include an edible hedge in the front yard, a small walk in hoop greenhouse and a massive garden expansion including terraces and trellises.

Stay tuned!

Hurry up spring!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Our Future









Man is what he eats.


Quite literally, the molecules that were once our food become the structure & function of our human form.

They were born in a tiny seed, nurtured in a bed of clay, fed by the light of a star.

The clay is ancient, the light is now, intimacy with the food is our future.

Denesse Willey (T&D Willey Farms)

Heather - I've never heard of this farm until today, when I saw this quote on Facebook. It moved me. I had to post it here.
I hope they don't mind :)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Etsy shop finally open


Well I finally got around to opening my etsy shop.
I hope you'll stop by and see what I post from time to time.

I'll be listing hand painted items, hand sewn items, vintage treasures, ephemera...you name it...

"Oddities for your perusal"

:)

Friday, August 13, 2010

At sunset the other night my soon to be daughter in law Megan stood next to me and gazed across the fields towards Yamhill. The sun stretched its fingers out and lingered on the city proper, leaving the surrounding areas in the shadows. At the time we didn't notice the way the sun shone, just that it was so breathtakingly beautiful we nearly couldn't tear our eyes away from the view. Megan snapped a few photos and we talked for awhile, but the bugs came out and drove us inside.

It was only the next day when Megan looked at these photos that we realized what an incredible picture she had captured.

I wanted to share it with you to make you understand why we love this place so much. Why it means so much to us and why we do what we do. Every day that view is there, just the same as always; and every day that view changes and reveals something we've never seen before.

I wonder every time I am there if my forefathers were as captivated by the view as we are. Did they stop in the middle of a mundane daily chore and just gaze over the fields in amazement like we do? I wonder if they built the house on this knoll with a 360* view on purpose? They must have. I would if it were up to me.

A picture will never do this view justice. It is something only to be seen in person to be believed.

Garden Update:
Summer is marching on at the farm and we've yet to get a ripe tomato. A few ripened in the city garden already but they had a little help because they were planted near a south facing rock wall.
Blackberries are ripening by the bowl full and we can't pick them fast enough at this point.
The zucchini has gone a little mad, but the pigs don't complain much!
Our plum trees didn't do anything this year, but the apples are loaded.

Animal Update:
We have 16 pigs on the hoof right now, most of which are spoken for.
They have lived a life of piggy luxury for the last 9 months...mud wallows, hay nests, walnuts, apples, fresh local wheat, chevre, goat milk - the list goes on...but they eat better than most people I know ;)

We have 2 Nubian does who are looking for a Nubian husband (preferably spotted) so if you know any dairy quality bucks who need a small harem please inquire within!

We will have very limited pork available for 2011 as we are transitioning to breeding Tamworths. We will also be growing all animal feed on farm! This is a huge milestone for us.

I added a donation button at the top of the page - we have 22 acres to fence for pig pasture rotations & honey that's a HUGE deal ;)

Stay tuned for more updates. Thanks for stopping in.

Best regards,
Heather

Friday, June 11, 2010

Pondering the Big Woods

Photo courtesy of Lori Watson


What follows is an excerpt of food preservation information from "Little House in the Big Woods" by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I do not claim any rights to this information, I just compiled this as a courtesy for people who may be interested in how the Ingalls family prepared for winter and what they ate in the Big Woods.

Venison Jerky - salted, smoked with green hickory chips, wrapped in paper and stored in the attic
Salted fish - salted and placed in barrels in the pantry
Potatoes - root cellar
Carrots - root cellar
Beets - root cellar
Turnips - root cellar
Cabbages - root cellar
Onions - braided and hung in the attic
Red Peppers - dried, made into wreaths and hung in the attic
Pumpkins, Winter squashes - piled in the attic
Hard Yellow Cheeses - made from calf stomach rennet, placed in buttered muslin sewn shut and stored in the pantry
Herbs - dried and hung in bunches in the attic (culinary and medicinal)
Maple Syrup (if any left from prior year)
Maple Sugar cakes (if any left from prior year)
Molasses
Salt
Sugar (light brown for company)
Cornmeal
Flour
Pickles - sour
Walnuts
Hickory Nuts
Hazelnuts
Honey
Coffee
Tea
Vinegar
Dried Apples
Dried Berries


Pig Butchering Day:


Hams and shoulders - brined then smoked, wrapped in paper and hung in the attic
Other meat cuts - salted, smoked, wrapped in paper and stored in the attic
Cracklings from lard making - stored in jar or barrel in the pantry, used in making Johnny Cakes
Sausage - finely minced meat and fat mixed with salt, pepper and garden fresh sage then formed into balls and stored in the shed (to freeze)
Lard - jars stored in the shed
Salt pork - stored in a keg in the shed


Butter - grate 1 fresh carrot and soak in milk for a few hours before making butter so winter butter is not pale

Food:

Salt rising bread
- this recipe has shortening, but I assume you can use butter instead
Rye 'n' Injun bread
Swedish crackers
Baked beans with salt pork and molasses - disregard the mustard if you want to be really authentic
Vinegar Pies
Dried apple pies
Cookies
Cake
Molasses & sugar snow candy
Red & White striped peppermint sticks
Pancakes
Cold venison sandwiches and milk
Hasty pudding
Pumpkin Pies
Dried berry pies
Cold boiled pork
Bread and butter
Hardboiled eggs
Stewed pumpkin with bread - pumpkin slow cooked all day with spices until reduced and very thick
Hubbard squash - baked in hunks for dinner
Hulled corn and milk
Hulled corn and milk with maple syrup
Hulled corn fried in pork drippings
Boiled potatoes, cabbage and meat
Johnny Cake
Pitchers of milk
Tea
Coffee

What I find interesting is how the Ingalls family doesn't eat much meat through the summer months because Pa doesn't believe in killing animals that may have babies.
They eat ultra seasonally (obviously) and naturally limit themselves to what is available or what they can afford if Pa went to town.

I've read this book 3 times since last fall and my main takeaways are the simplicity and seasonality of their diet.

I think as Americans who are used to having whatever we want whenever we want this type of thinking may be a tad extreme, but it's good information to ponder as we go through the fruitful months of summer.

What do we really need in order to survive?

Friday, May 7, 2010

On layoffs, new adventures and being a full-time mama & farmer



Today marked the end of my 9 year employment with Hollywood Video corporate offices. Hollywood is closing all their stores in the coming months and my position as a Specialty Sell Thru buyer was no longer needed.

That said, I loved my job at Hollywood and will cherish the memories and friends I made while I worked there.

But in the words of Walt Disney, I need to "Keep Moving Forward!"

I've been spread pretty thin with a 2 year old, farm, full-time job and a house in the city; so I'm really looking forward to being able to devote myself full-time to the two real loves of my life (family & farm).

What we're up to:

We'll be sending a fresh batch of pork to "Farm to Fork" restaurant in Dundee, Oregon sometime in the near future.

Patience is a virtue when watching pastured pigs grow as they do not make the same astounding rates of growth in six months like a confined feed operation pig does.

Chef Paul Bachand did all sorts of fun things with our pork last time, and I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.












We're also one of the suppliers for chef Jeffrey Kingman at "Cognito" that opens this summer in PDX. We'll be providing pork & vegetables for their top secret menu!

The Willamette Week also mentioned us in their article about Cognito today which was pretty thrilling I must say!

We can be found on Twitter @Rosemont_Farm.

We're hoping to partner with a few more local restaurants in a CSA type model to allow us to expand what we can offer from our sustainably run, ethically grown 22 acre slice of heaven.

Here's to a fun and healthy summer full of family and farm memories...plus some really darn good food.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Alternative Pest Management with Edible Plants


Image source: Pollenatrix

A long time ago, I read that the shortage of Hummingbirds was because of pesticides. At my old place (about 75 miles east of here) I counted 11 Hummingbirds at one time all vying for a spot on the feeder. I have seen 1 a year here in the Willamette Valley! The difference is terrible, and I really miss those little zoomers.

According to Jonathan Ya'akobi at Dry Climate Gardening, a pair of nesting birds can eat 75 pounds (POUNDS!!) of bugs in a year. This includes aphids, insect eggs and caterpillars.

I've been actively researching plants that attract birds (bees, butterflies and beneficial insects) and are still part of my edible landscaping plan.

To attract and keep the beneficial critters a few things are needed - food, water, shelter and no pesticides.

Food:

Blueberry
Huckleberry
Raspberry
Grapes
Mulberry
Plum
Calendula
Dill (food for Black Swallowtail caterpillars)
Fennel (food for Black Swallowtail caterpillars)
Nasturtium
Parsley (food for Black Swallowtail caterpillars)
Sunflowers
Anise Hyssop
Pineapple Sage
Cherry
Crab Apples (Crab Apple Jelly anyone?)
Hazelnuts/ Filberts
Walnuts
Chesnuts

Check out this LIST online that has some great suggestions for attracting birds.

The folks at EarthEasy have plenty of suggestions how to control pests by attracting beneficial insects too!

Shelter:

Evergreen shrubs and trees (leaves or needles or both!) to protect them from predators and the elements.

Water:

Birds love water that drips so a tiny fountain is sure to attract them.
A birdbath is great too.

Butterflies like a little muddy place that they can sip tiny amounts of water from. Think 'marsh garden'.

I don't know about you, but I would much rather lose a berry or two to a flock of birds than sit on a chemical soaked lawn.