Saturday, May 30, 2009

Leaving my first farm...

Sooo, it kind of feels like graduation from...I don't know, maybe Middle School??? While it feels a big accomplish to me, in the big scheme of life, it really is just another day. ;-)

The memories that stand out the most for me about Stillpoint Farms...

Goats - I just love these animals. They are so interested and yet not attached - they just kind of roll with life. When they are hungry, they eat, when they are not, no quantity of sweet peas will interest them (if only I could be like a goat!) Their eyes are amazing - dream poker eyes - I bet nobody can tell what Chessy is thinking or what hand she is holding??? I will, for surely, miss sharing my sweet pea scraps and apple cores with them -

Nobody can claim callouses like goats - they have some GREAT ones on their knees...from getting up and down - those are not 'brown spots' on their knees - those are callouses!!

Chickens - I will miss my full body armour to survive the chicken coop - and I will miss Clubby - a club foot chicken - I used to give her the raisins from the bagels - she especially enjoyed those. And, of course, there are the ladies that continue to nest on their eggs in the afternoon (see below all hunkered down) - oh ladies, don't you know when the dinner bell rings?!?! I can really sum up my experience with the chickens in 3 short words...poop, poop, and more poop. (I am not good with these self pics...clearly - and never mind I haven't showered in 7 days - doh! Details, Details.)

The Berries...oh dear, the Strawberries - it was like I was swimming in a sea of chocolate..oooooorrr strawberries - as I was weeding, I could eat the little guys - they treated me well - here is a pre-Joy unweeded bunch and then my beautiful post plant - hope you can see the TLC.

BEFORE Joy weeding AFTER Joy weeding...

Wouldn't you like a Joy weeding today (Dr. Pepper tune)??

And, of course, the beautiful setting that makes up http://www.stillpointfarms.com/

The greenery -




Living in the middle of a field...


The wildlife...a wild turkey walking by my TT...

The (literally) farm fresh produce...a beautiful salad I made - full of sweet peas, walla walla onions, strawberries, lambsquarters and a number of other wild greens (including purple ones!)

Soooo, you may ask where is Waldo going now?? She is heading up NORTH - going North of Seattle to Concrete, Washington...and then, and then...oooh, so exciting, I have found a spot on the Fruit Loop Tour (appropriately titled!) I will be spending some time in Hood River on a farm that is part of the http://www.hoodriverfruitloop.com/ - kind of like a wine tasting tour but with fruit -yum! I will be at the Gorge White House - a really, really cool cultural destination! Will keep you 'posted' on the adventures to come...

Lots of love and local farming...

Joy

Simplifying life...

2 major things I have learned in the past few days....

1.) having an extra set of hands are a blessing beyond belief - I have such a new and awakened appreciation for teamwork!! The tasks that I have had to talk myself through (cheer myself, through, really) are amazing and I feel stronger for them - but when someone comes along and helps me with these tasks it just blows me away how MUCH easier and faster they all go. I wish everyone could experience this as it is really powerful - and such an important lesson as to how we are all here for EACH OTHER - and I am so grateful for any extra hands that present themselves. Next time you see someone struggling to lift a package or open a door - dive in - it makes ALL the difference...so grateful for teamwork.

2.) simplifying my life has been easy...in all areas but one...that one being usage of my computer. It almost feels like an addiction...something I want nothing to do with (in my head - logical, of course) but then something I can't live without (the addiction angle). The days when I am unable to get on my computer - I feel a sense of peace and joy - and yet then I have 10 times more things to do...thus, the next day I make up for for not using it x10! My goal for this next month is to really work on spending 1 hour a day on my computer...and 2 hours on Sunday for bills, etc....thus, if you don't hear from me in a while, please know why! ;-)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A story similar to a grandma's story!

You know those stories...the ones that go, 'when I was a kid, I had to walk to school in the snow up hill both ways'...you know what I am talking about. Well, guess what?!? I now have my own version!

Hold onto your rocker...are you ready?? Okay....I manually emptied my black water (aka sewage) tank and carried 4 sloshing buckets up a 3 block long hill...up hill both ways. ;-) I was fully decked out with gas (no pun intended) mask on, rubber gloves up to my shoulders and knee high rubber boots...let's just say that I was prepared. I had to empty the buckets into an already full outhouse...with flies.

I gotta say...I am real close with my sewage now..we are close friends - well, not really friends...we simply have a deep understanding.

Be thankful EVERYDAY for modern plumbing...it is beautiful and should be cherished.

I took this picture from the outhouse - I had to walk all the way around as the area you see is fenced in...good times. Again, gratitude for modern plumbing...put that on your list.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tomatoes, tomatoes, I love you, tomatoes...

Tomatoes...is there anyone that does not like tomatoes? Julie doesn't like mushrooms, Jed doesn't like cucumbers, Olaf doesn't' like cheese...well, I get that one. BUT WHO?? But who, I ask, doesn't like tomatoes???????????????? They are the perfect balance of sweet and sour, juicy and firm - just a mix that tempts us all...

Whew, I got carried away there drooling in the joy of them...

Some basic tidbits about the loveable-licous treats -

- when they split, it means you have watered them too much.

- when they start to turn red, stop watering them - pick all the red ones and then start watering the green ones again...

- when planting, make sure and give them 3 lengths the size of their container - they like to stretch their roots (think yoga for tomatoes).

Has everyone planted their tomatoes???????????????? If so, let me know and I am on my way over!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Organic Farm in Veneta, Oregon

Hi y'all!!

I am HERE!! I am on my first farm - only been here a few days and LOVE it - love the other workers - they are sooo nice and kind and PRODUCTIVE (see pics - the first few are of the landscapers and the others are of the rototillers - cool group of workers - Harley is not so sure about them, tho).

Because everything is ALL new to me, I could write a book...but for now I will summarize...

** Driving the rig is becoming more and more effortless - my first hook up and unhook on my own! (driving from Austin to Bend I never unhooked the trailer)

**Driving along the Mackenzie river from Bend to Eugene is something everyone should do in their lifetime...breathtaking.

**The farm us uber cool....40 acres feels like 200 - the working farm area is only 5 acres but is PLENTY of room for LOADS of yummies.

**Hope for rain and pray my trailer stays level in the mud. ;-)

**Greenhouses...underappreciated. Add 15-20 degrees to the current outside temp...yum.

**Fresh organic strawberries - DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVINE - I could have been a commercial for strawberries today the way I ate one - I even had to pause and just smile.

**Fresh Snap Peas - I have never tasted such a watery, crisp sweet treat - the ones in the store aren't even in the same food group!

**Harley - where does the grass end, ma??? it goes on for as far as the eye can see!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

**Feeding chickens...watch where you walk - little toes scampering all around (and you thought I was going to say something about their poop!)

**Rubber boots - best investment EVER for this trip.

**Internet - be thankful for your connections and the ease of getting one...living in the sticks - no signal for miles (or at least no neighbors for miles that you can tap into!) ;-)


Projects ahead...install a solar shower, weed the blueberry bushes, weed the onions, keeps the chickens happy and productive, talk to the goats, help clear out brush under the new cherry trees (did someone say CHERRY trees...if I had known I would have stopped here in August!), sell strawberries, eggs and snap peas to friendly customers, help with a 'tomato talk' demonstration, eat all the blemished strawberries, relax and be still...

Will write more as I get smarter....

Love to you all!

Joy