Time to Redefine our Lives in Oregon

Archive for the ‘Oregon’ Category

Rainy Days and Mondays

I would like to be a Weather Reporter in the Pacific Northwest this winter of 2016.  I know there is more to it than it seems….but, really, unless you are predicting a day of sunshine, you are practically guaranteed to be right.  Rain, rain, and more rain every day.  I am totally NOT complaining.

 

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An unexpected break in the rain

I like the rain.  I like how it sounds, I like how it feels, and I like the freshness that it brings.  Right now, we have had about 7 days of pretty constant rain with maybe a few short breaks on a couple of those days.  Otherwise, rain is the order of the day, as it has been for about a month.  As I look at the extended forecast….the next 15 days show rain….everyday….at 60+ percent which, up here means one thing….it gonna keep right on raining!!

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The goats are mostly hanging out, inside their house and do not venture out unless it is a very light mist….or less.  This makes for the need of a deeper kind of cleaning everyday.  Their bedding is deep in straw, and hay that they have decided wasn’t good enough to eat <sigh>.  We need to remove the wet, urine soaked straw mixed with poop…which makes like a poopy mud.  I do not like nor intend for my little herd to spend their days and nights housed in dirty digs.  So I rake out the wet straw in the places they seem to like to pee, down deep into the layers, until I hit mostly dry material.

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Sprinkling a product called, Zeolite, over the now damp…not wet….exposed areas helps to control the formation of ammonia.  This powdery product really does help.  By throwing down a new, thick layer of straw, our year old whethers have a dry place to bed down for the night….tomorrow afternoon, I will clean it all up again…and at least for the next 15 days….it will be the same routine.  When they stay inside all day there is more to do.  But, it makes me feel good to give them a clean, dry place to hang their hats at the end of the day.  This routine will ease up a bit once we build the small, but larger barn, hopefully next month.

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Sometimes, I wish they were chickens!!  Hahaha

Thank you for visiting on this rainy Monday.  I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful week ahead.

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami   http://haveadanehilldanes.com

#doesitrainalotinoregon  #dogoatslikerain  #spanishmeatgoats #zeolite #doeszeiolitecontrolammonia

 

Animal Management

 

October 2015

In the stark darkness of the early morning hours, on a day in which the shine from the moon is blotted by the thickness of the clouds passing between the dirt and the heavens, without a moments notice, two young, rogue roosters are suddenly plucked from their warm roosts.  Their world is literally upside down as they are carried in that manner to their interim home.  Confused, they sit quietly in the darkness of their enclosure, waiting to see what the light of day holds.  At least they are together, as they have been from their day of hatching.

Movable for sunny days.

Movable for sunny days.

These, young brothers, so to speak, hatched underneath the hen, Kermit, who led them through tall grasses, and kept them safe from harm.

May 2015

They grew in to very handsome birds, but alas, there can only be one master for the hens, and these roo’s do not understand that.  Driven by intoxicating hormones, the hens were constantly on edge, frantically running to escape the unwanted pursuit to claim the flock.  To say that the hen house has been in upheaval would be to playcate the true sense of the drama infused into their recent days.

October 2015

Hens running to and fro, cackling, loudly cackling and calling out to their protector, Benedict.  As master of the hen house, Benedict is driven to protect the flock from threats such as these types of internal coup attempts.

October 2015

At this stage of the game, they are relentless.  In squabble after squabble, Benedict engages the young warriors in battle.  At this point, they back off…Benedict has the maturity of his adult talons, size, and experience on his side.  The time has come for intervention.

October 2015

In a swift, stealth like moment, the whisking away of the young roosters was part of the necessary evil that comes with animal management on the farm.  It is imperative that peace return to the flock.  What will come of the insurgent duo, you may ask?

October 2015

They will be confined for a period of time, given shelter, dirt to scratch around in, and plenty of corn and scraps to……shall we say, fatten up a bit.  They have had a good life, free ranging in the best possible way…

October 2015

…they will have plenty of good food….and then they will have one bad day….just one, in a life full of excellent days.  In the meantime, peace will reign once again in the life of the flock.  Those hens that were stressed to the point of hiding in the small, dark spaces of the hen house….that would only eat or drink if I stood beside them, with food and water, will emerge from their safe places into the open spaces that they so greatly love.

**UPDATE on how the day went…. The flock was on edge in the first morning hours.  They could hear the young roo’s, and this continued to raise the stress in the hens.  By noon, I think they realized that the dynamic duo were separate from them, except one hen…

September 2015

…the most stressed hen, Chablis.  She has been waiting for me in the hen house everyday until I can walk with her to her food and water…she continued to do that today because she did not leave the hen house, and did not see that she was safe.  As she ran to my feet, I picked her up and took her outside to the rooster’s new digs.  It seems she understood, as I was able to walk away from her without her running back to me or back to the hen house.  She stayed outside for the rest of the afternoon, and a calm was over the flock.

Animal management isn’t always easy, but it is necessary to prevent diseases and injuries.  It’s important to keep ahead of the curve!

Thank you for visiting the flock today.  Please have a wonderful day!

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

We’ve Left the Farm…

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…it wasn’t easy to do.  The decision was the result of a few months of thinking, planning, and visiting options for the furry four legged, and feathery two legged residents of our little community.   The circumstances driving us away were/are important, equipped with their own unique pulls.  So, during this past week, we made the final arrangements for the animals, packed up, and left the farm.  To say it was a little emotional for me would be like saying, “The sky is blue” … a bit obvious.  I haven’t left, left my new home for 3.5 years….except for a short trip to Disneyland a few months after we had moved here.  Our beautiful piece of God’s great creation has become my most favorite place to be in this world….sorry Walt.  Really, why would I want to leave it?

For my Bay Area peeps... Can you tell what area we were flying over?

For my Bay Area peeps… Can you tell what area we were flying over?

So, is this the end of our Oregon story?  No!!, because you see, although we did leave the farm, it was only for the weekend!!!  Hahaha….gotcha!!!  Since this blog is about the journey of moving from our life-long lives in the San Francisco Bay Area to a small town in Oregon, and how our lives change, grow, and expand, I thought it was only natural to write about the experience of my first time visiting home.  It was all so familiar, yet all so different.

Leaving is a struggle, it turns out, I don’t really like the “leaving” part.  My mind is filled with, “What if’s” and “look at those big brown eyes,

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she’s not going to understand why I’ve been gone so long.”  The longer the delay, the bigger the, “What if’s” become.  In contrast, the logical part of my mind works on the premise of the “to-do” list….the preparations so that leaving is actually possible.  It’s a little different now….it’s not just about packing….and it is helpful in keeping the “What if” bugs out of my head….they are definite energy zappers.  Studies show that, approximately, only 8% of the things we worry about are likely to occur, or actually impact our lives in some way…..Who studies these things??!!  Good to remember…..did it help…..well, I didn’t worry about the flock much at all while I was gone…LOL….they are pretty self-sufficient….with a little help…..

New Chicken House 2015

……like a quick, temporary fix to the new chicken house.  Wait….What??!!  I didn’t mention the new chicken house…….well, it’s not quite finished, but it has an automatic door that open and closes with light and darkness., hence nobody needs to do that for them.  I just looked around and grabbed what I could to make their lives comfortable.  I hope they were!

Thank you for stopping by and visiting today!!  I hope your day is amazing!!!

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

 

 

Our 2014 in Review

WOW…I can’t believe that today is the last day of 2014!!  To say that this year has flown by would be quite the understatement.  In summary, here are my top five posts of 2014 that, the stats tell me, you all have enjoyed the most….

1  That Certain Age   Purple Aug. 2014

2  Morning Sunrise

3  Alien Invasion

4 Premature Chick Hatch

5  My Coyote Theory….

…followed closely by…..

Harvesting Walnuts

 

The top referring sites linked to this blog were:  Facebook, and http://www.adairhomes.com … our awesome builders.  The very beginnings of my writings here were all about the house-build in 2011, and it is amazing to me that I still get so many clicks from those early posts.

This morning, very early, people from….

Country Views
United States FlagUnited States  14
Brazil FlagBrazil 4
Japan FlagJapan 2
Argentina FlagArgentina 1
Malaysia FlagMalaysia                          1

….and throughout the year, readers from 94 different countries had clicked on my humble attempts to write, and somewhat, entertain those who would happen here.  It amazes me!!  A heart felt, “Thank you,” to all of you!!

I was thinking that we could take a walk through the forest today, through the year that has been 2014.  I have greatly enjoyed your company, and hope to see you back on the farm in the coming year.  There is much work to do in 2015…and hopefully, a few warm surprises along the way.   Please enjoy this journey in pictures…..

Just ’cause your legs don’t work very well doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a shot at life!! Little Austin Healey got stronger and had a good life as a free range rooster.

I so hope this works!

Whooooaaa, I'm not going out ther!!! Whooooaaa, I’m not going out ther!!!

Hey what's that?? A little spinach hung from the ceiling helps break the cabin fever!

Hey what’s that?? A little spinach hung from the ceiling helps break the cabin fever!

Claudio wondering, "What the heck is all that cold, white, icy stuff!"

Claudio wondering, “What the heck is all that cold, white, icy stuff!”

Our neighbors horses...so gorgeous!!!

Our neighbors horses…so gorgeous!!

We had a lot of snow in the winter of 2014.

IT'S A HUGE NEWT, OR SALAMANDER OR SOMETHING!!! And what's that thing next to it??

IT’S A HUGE NEWT, OR SALAMANDER OR SOMETHING!!! And what’s that thing next to it??

We had our own alien invasion in the spring of 2014…..

Benedict checking out his progeny!

Benedict checking out his progeny!

Beautiful Pear Trees

Beautiful Pear Trees

Penni watching over the youngest flock.

Penni watching over the youngest flock.

Jag....one of our Buff Orphington / Rhode Island Red mixed roosters...very handsome!

Jag….one of our Buff Orphington / Rhode Island Red mixed roosters…very handsome!

The Muppets and Chardonnay!

The Muppets and Chardonnay!

In late February the Elk returned for the first time in 2014.

Elk 2013

Whoops!!!

Whoops!!!

We cut down trees to rebuild our wood pile…had this one little “Whooops” moment.

Sizing logs for splitting1

Sizing logs for splitting1

We need to build this stack as high as the highest log, and forward to the front of the pallets!

We need to build this stack as high as the highest log, and forward to the front of the pallets!

The Captain of this ship....the mighty Benedict!

The Captain of this ship….the mighty Benedict!

Who laid the egg on the right???

Who laid the egg on the right???

We marveled at the difference in size of our hens’ eggs from day-to-day, and hen-to-hen.

Tito and Lilly

Tito and Lilly

The two surviving  Bernices.

The two surviving Bernices.

May 2014

Of the two orphaned wild turkey poults, one survived and escaped back into the wild….a little earlier than I had planned, but he could fly and was ready to go.  There was a group of wild turkeys in the neighborhood that I am confident he joined.

And our garden did pretty well, although, was in need of more actual sun-time throughout the day. We’re thinking where to move it for next year.

Sugar snap peas...TODAY!

Sugar snap peas…TODAY!

Beautiful Broccoli TODAY!

Beautiful Broccoli TODAY!

Strawberries...TODAY!

Strawberries…TODAY

YES!!!  That's our Benedict!

YES!!! That’s our Benedict

Beautiful golden gems.

Beautiful golden gems.

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A beautiful sunset!

A beautiful sunset!

Tucker in the summer of 2012

Tucker in the summer of 2012

In late July, we said goodbye to our dear, dear friend, Tucker.  We miss him a ton!!

A truly sad, heartbreaking day.

A truly sad, heartbreaking day.

Making jam...

Making jam…

Strawberry jam

Strawberry jam

We grew one successful artichoke!!

The mighty artichoke

The mighty artichoke

That’s either a BIG apple, or those are pretty tiny cantaloupe….you decide!!

Tiny Cantaloupe

Tiny Cantaloupe

July 2014

Salsa 2014

CHEVY'S ... Yummmm!!

September 2014

HEY!!! Get off the porch!!!

HEY!!! Get off the porch!!!

Tito August 2011

What a beauty!!

What a beauty!!

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We had one, beautiful, summer hatchling….she was Mama Chardonnay’s shadow…

Sorry little girl!!

Sorry little girl!!

….sadly she was lost to a hawk, or possibly, a racoon or coyote.

The undeniable evidence.

The undeniable evidence.

UUUhhhhhmmmmm….Go Giants!!!! What an awesome season!!

Mickey and the Giants

Black Walnut Tree 2014

October 2014

October 2014

Walnuts 2014

The elk returned for a 2nd appearance this year in late November….

The Elk are early this season!

The Elk are early this season!

….and our forest turned into a beautiful ice castle…

So beautifully encased in ice.

So beautifully encased in ice.

It was a good year!!  Thank you all for sharing it with us.

Happy New Year to you all.   Here’s to an amazing 2015!!!

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

Frozen in Ice

November 2014

As much of the country continues to protect themselves from the recent polar vortex of November’s Arctic Cold…

http://www.weather.com/news/weather-winter/arctic-cold-outbreak-november-locked-20141110

….we are thawing out! Temps in the warmest areas in our neck-of-the-woods, should be around 40 degrees today, dropping into the low 20’s this evening. With no real rain in the forecast for the next few days, the icy conditions will be greatly improved. Now is the time to look for those areas of black ice that hide in the shadows on roadways.

November 2014

The beauty in this icy storm has been incredible!! Please enjoy this little video of our forested ice castle…it was purely gorgeous!!

For those of you in the areas of the continuing, strong, deep freeze…we’re praying for your safety!!

Thanks for visiting our frosty forest today!!

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

Walnuts, Walnuts, Everywhere…

My life has been shrouded in the realm of walnuts. My earliest memories include my grandpa sitting after dinner cracking walnuts. Once I had the hand strength to squeeze the metal nut cracker hard enough to break the shell, I would sit next to Gramps, cracking walnuts along with him. After that, I lived most of my adult life in a home with a giant black walnut tree which stood 50 ft. tall, and had a span of branch width of at least that many feet if not 60. It was huge, and provided shelter for squirrels, raccoons, and opossum. I loved that big old tree. I still have walnuts in my life.

Black Walnut Tree 2014

These trees are dropping round, squishy things with a hard pit that threaten to twist your ankle upon a misstep.

Black Walnut Tree 2014

There are five of them, all abundantly dropping as quickly as the leaves are falling.

Black Walnut Tree 2014

They do resemble ornaments hanging in the breeze. I wonder how white twinkling lights would look strewn about the branches?

Black Wlanut Trees

After the last big rain, the trees are more devoid…..

Walnut Trees 2014
Walnut Trees 2014

…but now, the ground is covered. They do make quite the mess.

Dropped Walnuts 2014

After talking with a friend about collecting and drying walnuts, my curiosity was ignited. I Googled the process and found some good information. This year, we are going to try our hand at collecting, de-husking, drying, and harvesting the nut from the very hard, thick shell. Black walnuts differ greatly in shell construction than the English variety that are usually sold in grocery stores.

Black Walnut 2014

The shells are harder to crack, and instead of a two chamber contraption, it has four.

One older shell, and a new one that I cracked today showing the wet nut.

One older shell, and a new one that I cracked today showing the wet nut.

I have read that the meat of the black walnut, once dried, has a wonderfully nutty flavor. It is apparently, well worth the effort, and will keep well in the freezer for two years. I hope this works out, and will help cut the costs of enjoying these healthy, meaty nuts.

Thanks for enjoying the farm with me today!

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

The Green of Spr, Uhhmm, Autumn

Click “PLAY” if you’d like an added ambiance to this post.

Spring is not the exclusive season for new growth. Turns out, Autumn’s early rains are amazing for springing life back into the lifeless, dry, landscape of late summer. This year, the long, hot, dry summer caused more dryness to the land than we have experienced in our three short years of living upon it, and an additional six of visiting it. Seriously, it’s true … but my heart goes out to California where the long, dryness of summer has lasted through too many seasons. Hopefully, this will be the year that the mountains get a great snow pack, and the reservoirs fill back up. Praying for that!!

Take a look at the magical qualities that just a few days of rain can have on a landscape pleading for a drink of water….a 6.68″ glass of water….

September 2014

October 2014

September 2014

October 2014

September 2014

October 2014

September 2014

October 2014

Can you see the rain??

October 2014

I hope you have a fantastic Monday!! Thanks for walking in the rain with me today!!

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

The Littlest Hen

The morning was filled with the warmth of summer in late July. Anticipating the freshness of the day, the flock was noisy, calling for their freedom. I pulled opened their door, and quickly, hens rambled outside. Opening the “people” door, I heard that familiar little sound. Although, somewhat muffled, it was undeniable. Peering into the brooder, my eyes landed on the source of the high pitched “peep peep peeep”……

July 2014

…she would have been easy to miss, as she quickly hid in the warmth of Mama Chardonnay’s wings. Out of seven eggs, she was the only one to hatch.

August 2014

The baby chick quickly grew, and became her mama hen’s little shadow. Chardonnay shared all of her food with the chick, always allowing her to eat first. She has always been such a good Mama Hen.

Mama and Chick catching some rays.

Mama and Chick catching some rays.

She grew, and grew.

She grew, and grew.


Corn has always been one of her most favorite things.

Free ranging everyday, she diligently followed Chardonnay, listening, watching, imitating, and learning. She became well integrated into the flock, and was rarely chased or pecked at by the older hens.

September 2014

As is the danger of growing up in the middle of a farm – forest, predators are a real threat when feathers cover your body. The flock works hard to safeguard themselves against these threats, and they do very well. Sometimes their efforts, and our efforts are not enough. Something attacked our littlest hen.

The undeniable evidence.

The undeniable evidence.

I found the evidence yesterday morning…I’m not sure if it happened Saturday evening, or Sunday morning. Usually, I count the flock to make sure everyone made it into their house for the night…I didn’t do that Saturday night. I don’t remember specifically seeing her come out of their house on Sunday morning, but nothing alerted my conscious thoughts to her absence. In any case, she is gone…I wish I knew what got her!

It’s that circle of life thing. The flock knew it and were on high alert all day, hiding underneath things..running from cover to cover to change locations. They felt the loss, and the danger. This is the life of a free ranging chicken. There are real dangers, and in spite of that, there is real freedom….and sometimes, if I catch it just right, I think I can see them smiling!

Sorry little girl!!

Sorry little girl!!

There are definite life lessons that occur in nature, look for them, they’re there.

Thanks for walking through nature with me today.

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

29 Hours on the Farm

I’ve come to realize that my life is all about the chickens…and of course Sir Benedict.

October 2014

They tell me, under no uncertain terms, when to wake up. On those rare mornings that I have not gotten out of bed before sunrise, Benedict loudly calls from his high roost, and the hens squawk and complain….and poop…everywhere. Since I clean their roosts, nesting boxes, and platforms in front of their nesting boxes every morning…it’s a good idea to get them out just as the sunlight crests the darkness. I fudge this timing, just a little on the weekends, but still need to get out there before the hens have need for their time of privacy.

No more rooms at the Inn!!

This flock dictates how late I can stay out at night…somebody has to close the door to the hen house after dark!! Predators in the forest = a definite need for security.

Moonlit Night Oct. 2014

The flock and I have a symbiotic relationship…..they poop…I pick it up. They eat…I buy more food. They get blown by the wind….I cover up the drafts…. (this will be the last time I do this….more on that in my next post.)

The UPS guy told me that that was the most "Red Neck" chicken coop he's ever seen...hahahaha!

The UPS guy told me that that was the most “Red Neck” chicken coop he’s ever seen…hahahaha!

…..they poop…I pick it up (yes, I said that twice…I spend a lot of time picking up chicken poop!) My flock free range. They follow their natural food sources, and always end up back in their house at night. Sometimes that means this……

Hey, get off the porch...that water is for the dogs!!

Hey, get off the porch…that water is for the dogs!!

….and this…..

Seriously...that is chicken poop...That's ridiculous!!!

Seriously…that is chicken poop…That’s ridiculous!!!

….so, I follow them around picking up their…not so golden surprises. In the end, I believe the flock is healthier (I know we are!) and happier.

If you have 41 seconds….take a look at our little video, 29 Hours on the Farm , …. this is the reason I let this flock run my life ….

….next stop….well, we’re looking at goats (any ideas?), but I think I need a trip to Disneyland first!!! I’ve definitely got the bug!!

Thank you, for visiting the farm this morning!! Have a wonderful Sunday!!

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

Nope, Not Moulting

You may remember this guy…..

Benedict....our Big Daddy Rooster!! Patriarch to the Middles, and the Littles (aka the Muppets.)

Benedict….our Big Daddy Rooster!! Patriarch to the Middles, and the Littles (aka the Muppets.)

….big daddy, Benedict….our gentleman rooster. Always polite, never asking of his hens without the traditional dance. He doesn’t eat of the discarded kitchen goodies until his family has had the chance to partake. This boy keeps his eye on the sky and warns the flock of any impending dangers…Yes, he is the stud of the farm.

The past couple of months, Benedict has become somewhat of a bully to a few select hens. Oddly enough, these are hens of his roo-hood…the full Rhode Island Reds, all of them…except mama hen, Chardonnay. He will literally chase them down, not necessarily to mate, but often times just to, well…stand on them. Really, at this point, I know the difference..hahaha! Their backs are bare, or in various stages of feather regrowth.

Poor little Reisling's bare back...FYI she had just gotten up from a dust bath, her back looks dirty.

Poor little Reisling’s bare back…FYI she had just gotten up from a dust bath, her back looks dirty.

I’ve read about this. Their feather loss is not due to molting, there are even thick wing feathers that have been broken off, not pulled out. And I’ve witnessed it…I’ve seen the intentional chase..mount..stand, just standing, no rooster duties going on. Sometimes, Claudio, our Buff Orphington hen, gets in the act with Benedict, and will run over and start some weird kind of hen attack…plucking at the other hen’s feathers while Benedict stands on them. Is this common behavior??

Benedict and his harem...including the 4 bare backs.

Benedict and his harem…including the 4 bare backs.

As the colder weather approaches, I’m a bit worried about these girls. At the advice of our local feed store, the flock is now getting supplemented with Purina Flock Raiser which is higher in protein and fat than regular chicken feed (Purina Layena.) It seems to be helping with feather regrowth, and since the cold weather is currently knocking on the door, I’ve made this their primary food. As the feathers attempt to grow back, those thick shafts stick out, and it seems much more painful for them when Benedict does…whatever it is he is doing. I’ve become, Alpha Rooster, and chase him away from these girls when he pursues them…he does seem to be listening. I’ve read about hen jackets that are made for this reason, however, you run a greater risk of a mite infestation with the jackets….I don’t think I want that…but I also don’t want my girls to be cold. The only thing I know is….there’s a lot I don’t know!!!

HEY!!! Get off the porch!!!

HEY!!! Get off the porch!!!

Thanks for checking in on the farm today. When I tell the flock that you’ve been here…they get very excited!!!

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

Tule (Tooley) Fog

I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.” ― Henry David Thoreau

Okay, that’s pretty much true…unless I have a chance to sit on the couch and cuddle with this sweetheart…
Penni Sept. 2014

…..uuuhhhmmmmm, I mean this sweetie…
My Sweet Guy - April 2014

As if scripted by a professional screenwriter, Autumn rolled in, in the form of the very familiar covering of ground level fog…in the SF Bay Area, it’s called Tule (Tooley) Fog.
Oregon "Tule Fog" Sept. 2014

I called the valley fog here in Oregon, Tule Fog once…..I got blank stares accompanied by a smile or two…hahaha…nobody seemed to know what I was talking about..hahaha! So, I don’t really know what to call it…I guess just fog..haha. I had no idea that that particular weather terminology was specific to California.

Rain is in the forecast, in fact, it drizzled much of the day, and has now rained throughout the night. So at the great advice of two of my friends from work (thank you Sabrina and Angie) I picked the rest of my tomatoes. Many were immensely green, but off the vine they came.
Green Tomatoes Sept. 2014

These will, hopefully, ripen in a paper bag, and be no less than the quality of a tomato bought in a grocery store. At least I will know that these were grown without pesticides, and unnatural fertilizers.

Corn Stalks Sept 2014

The corn stalks came down today, as well, to keep them from molding. I like to use them for outdoor decorating…they don’t usually last very long…the chickens like them too!

Corn Stalks Sept 2014

While we wait for the rain, Penni promises to keep watch over the tomatoes.

The Guardian Sept. 2014

Thankfully, they don’t taste like blackberries…that bucket would be emptied by now!!

Looking forward to sharing this wonderful season with you….thanks for visiting the farm today! 🙂

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

It’s Salsa Time!!!

So what do you do when you have a bunch of tomatoes and jalapeno peppers? SALSA!!

This is my all-time favorite salsa…..literally, every once in awhile we will drive over an hour just to get to the restaurant that creates this outrageous bowl of goodness …… CHEVY’S SALSA!!

CHEVY'S ... Yummmm!!

A pound and a pint (sometimes two) take-out always accompanies me home…that’s non-negotiable!!

With this salsa addiction, I am on a quest to reproduce this outrageously yummy concoction. I just can’t get it right…there is always “something” missing and I can’t put my finger on it. There are knock-off recipes out there that get me pretty close…just nottttt quite at the point where I can exclaim, “That’s it!” So, once a year when the tomato harvest is at full speed, I tinker with salsa…one of these tomato seasons, maybe I’ll get it right!

This is my latest attempt…..

Roasting the Veggies

Roasting the Veggies

Salsa 2014

An innocent looking bowl of fire!

An innocent looking bowl of fire!

A new ingredient...trying to get a bit of a smokey flavor.

A new ingredient…trying to get a bit of a smokey flavor.


The roasted garlic on top is so delicious and creamy.

The roasted garlic on top is so delicious and creamy.

Salsa 2014

Where are the chips???

Where are the chips???

The chipotle peppers in adobo sauce did make a big difference. I still have to figure out how to manage more liquid in the finished product. My salsa usually comes out quite “meaty”…not necessarily a bad thing, but I think a little more moisture would be good. This definitely is one of the better blends…not sure that I’m satisfied as it is not as close to Chevy’s salsa as I’m looking for, but…yummy in it’s own way.

Darn…I guess I’ll have to keep trying.. hahaha!

Thanks for visiting my kitchen this morning. I hope you have an excellent day!!

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

Morning Sunrise

I’ve taken a bit of an absence from writing lately, a time to clear my head of old thoughts and to see if there is still room for new ideas. That step away brought a type of solitude, an inward look into the entire last three years raising questions in my mind.

I have been missing my home of 22 years,

So many beautiful memories made in that house.

So many beautiful memories made in that house.

and the San Francisco Bay Area…the place of my entire existence up until our big move three years ago. To say that I never look back would be completely untrue. Something usually strikes a chord in me, however, bringing me back to this place.

As I sit here drinking my coffee and watching the morning sunrise,

Sept. 2014 Sunrise

I am taken by the unique beauty that is all around me. The sun’s light rises in the east, yet casts its first warmth on the western hills behind us slowly erasing the shadows of the night.

Sept 2014 Sunrise

The diurnal wilds of the forest are awakening, yet the nocturnal are taking their last look around within the shadowy places. I know this because I hear the “hoot-hooting” of an invisible owl to whom I am probably well in focus, yet to me remains stealthily hidden.

Sept. 2014 Sunrise

A cacophony of birds, all different in their song, resounds in the background, the foreground, all around me. The neighboring farms are awakening with sounds of crowing, braying, gobbling, quacking, and the ever present, “Hey, I’m laying an egg here” repeated clucking of hens giving of their provisions.

Sept. 2014 Sunrise

I may have left my heart in the San Francisco Bay Area (seriously, this is true),

Beautiful San Francisco

but my soul finds peace in this little slice of Oregon. Well, actually, my soul finds peace in Christ, but as I look around me, the brilliance of the Creator envelops my very being. That is what has drawn me to this place from the beginning…I see God’s handiwork all around me, and in that there is great peace, contentment, and a huge desire to be here…to be right here!

Beautiful Oregon Home

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

I hope you have a wonderful Sunday! And hey…Go Giants….and Niners!!! Both play today!!!!
Giants & Niners!!

Thank you for sharing my morning!!

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

My Least Favorite Time of Year

Do you like summertime? I do! I like harvesting, sharing, and eating the beauties from my garden….

Summer Corn 2014

I like the long days that stretch into the later hours…

July 2014

……and the hot summer night sounds from my neighbors Peacocks

I like the warmth of early summer….

June 2014

…..when the ground is still green…

Happy chickens in the warmth of early summer.

Happy chickens in the warmth of early summer.

THEN…..August thinks it can just come along and spoil the goodness of my green summer days……my least favorite time of the year!!

What's that???  Hey who invited, August, to our summer party??

What’s that??? Hey who invited, August, to our summer party??

August brings the heat, and the dryness to the land. It is the time for getting poked from stickers that get stuck in your socks as you walk through the dry grasses.

August 2014

August 2014

Unfortunately, a bolt on the mowing implement attached to the tractor was broken for awhile at the end of June. Burn restrictions went up on July 3rd…since we have rocks, and metal blades against rocks can create sparks…sparks against dry grasses can create fires…mowing season ended earlier than usual. I didn’t have a chance to do the final cutting…so, unfortunately, the weeds are larger, and uglier than I am happy with…

YUCK!!

YUCK!!

The chickens get hot, and scrounge the dry grasses for bugs and seeds. I hooked up a fan in the chicken house for relief of the hens while they conduct their “business”…then I turn the fan in the afternoon toward the roosting boards so they can find some relief as they need it.

August 2014

The pond has receded….thankfully it has never gone dry! But this summer…actually, the past two summers, have really tested our little pond….

The pond is way down...this "green" area is usually not as large.

The pond is way down…this “green” area is usually not as large.

See the green ridge above the water line? This is where the pond usually recedes too…the ridge above it is where the pond sits when it full…I call that the NORMAL part of the year!!

August 2014

Saturday, August 30th, did bring some relief…

Fall can’t come too soon!!

Thank you for sharing the first day of September with me. I hope your Labor Day is spectacular….put one on the barbie for me, and I’ll add a burger on my BBQ for you!!

Your friend from the NW,
Tami

It’s In the Little Things

There are tiny things in this world….

The Royal Antelope

The Royal Antelope


The Brookesia Micra Chameleon

The Brookesia Micra Chameleon


The Fennec Fox

The Fennec Fox

The Paedophryne Amauensis Frog:

The Paedophryne Amauensis Frog:


Photos found at http://http://www.viralnova.com/smallest-animals-in-the-world/

…..then there are the fruits from my garden. It’s been an interesting year for growth. Maybe it’s the water, maybe the soil. Whatever the reason, many of the veggies and fruits are quite small…some are plentiful, but most are kind of tiny. Guess what?? There are powerfully big, fresh flavors coming out of those little packages! I wish I could share more with you than just their pictures.

Little yellow bell peppers

Little yellow bell peppers

Tiny, tiny strawberries

Tiny, tiny strawberries

Beautiful Jalepenos

Beautiful Jalepenos

Okay, Grape Tomatoes are supposed to be small...er

Okay, Grape Tomatoes are supposed to be small…er

This is the entire harvest of nine potato plants…hahahaha…there is one fat little gopher running around here somewhere full of my potatoes!!

Garden 2014

The apple in these pictures is there for size comparison (of course you needed that explanation, ;D )…

We actually got pears off of the 1st year pear trees...hahahaha

We actually got pears off of the 1st year pear trees…hahahaha

The mighty artichoke

The mighty artichoke

Tiny Cantaloupe..smaller than a softball, bigger than a baseball

Tiny Cantaloupe…smaller than a softball, bigger than a baseball

Major big flavor in a tiny little package!

Major big flavor in a tiny little package!

Apples from an old, old apple tree.

Apples from an old, old apple tree.

Each year a different garden has grown, same basic varieties, very different results. We have been playing around with soil and location a bit, this year mainly soil. Time to start taking notes.

I hope you have a wonderful day…go ahead and pick a few tomatoes…they are amazing!!

Tami

Oh, Did I Tell You…

It seems like forever since I have sat down to write. It is that time of year. Mid-August usually demands a certain amount of sweat-equity…not only from the summer heat,

Oregon's best kept secret....

Oregon’s best kept secret….

but also from the demands of the oh-so-soft-spoken ripening garden. It has been dry, really dry.

The ground is so dry.

The ground is so dry.

Everything, is feeling thirsty from the lack of those wet, drippy things that fall from the sky. It takes a bit of an extra effort to keep the flock in fresh water (they get overheated very easily), to maximize the benefit of the water given to the garden, to water young fruit, nut, and Sequoia trees one by one by the bucketful, while keeping a balance with the water level in our holding tank. That tank holds water from our well…which in turn, waters this family.

"Yeah, I'm guarding the water!"

“Yeah, I’m guarding the water!”

In spite of water rationing for the garden, there is plentiful ripening. Harvesting of more than just a couple of tomatoes here…a pepper there…has begun! We are starting to enjoy the “fruits of our labor”, especially in the berry department. Wild blackberries are ripening at break-neck speed, and my little strawberries are right behind them. When you pick them at that juicy, sweet ripened stage from the vine, they don’t last long. The upshot of that is turning this…..

IMG_6460

….into this!!!

Making jam...

Making jam…

Strawberry jam

Strawberry jam

And this….

Bucketful of Blackberries

Bucketful of Blackberries

…into this…

Blackberry Cobbler!!!

Blackberry Cobbler!!!

Oh boy!!!

Oh boy!!!

A little time consuming, but totally worth it!!

Oh, did I tell you….

The newest addition.

The newest addition.

….welcome to the farm little Roni Jr. ….. hatched on my daughter’s half-birthday. Out of six eggs, this is the only one that hatched. After several days, Mama Hen abandoned the nest, and the eggs went bad. The baby is out and about free ranging with the rest of the flock, watching every move Mama makes.

Thank you for sharing the long days of summer on the farm with me!! Hope you are having a wonderful August!

Your friend,
Tami

A Study in Purple

Do you like the color purple?? According to http://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/personality-color-purple.html , “Having either purple or violet as your favorite color means you are sensitive and compassionate, understanding and supportive, thinking of others before yourself – you are the person others come to for help – being needed motivates you but sometimes people take advantage of you.

Purple Aug. 2014

You are a gentle and free spirit. Your feelings run deep and you can be quite sensitive to hurtful comments from others, although you would never show it…you have a peaceful and tranquil quality…You are usually introverted rather than extroverted and may give the impression of being shy although this is not the case.”

We’ve had a lot of purple on the farm lately, mostly propagated by those things that I spend hours mowing down. They are spiky, intrusive, and relentless in their pursuit to dwell on this land. However, there is beauty, if just for a moment….

Purple Aug. 2014

Purple Aug. 2014

The purple dot in the middle of this abundant weed tells me this is probably the versatile Queens Ann’s Lace….

See the purple dot?

See the purple dot?

…as opposed to this, very similar looking weed, which is highly toxic (hemlock??) The lack of that purple dot is a HUGE red flag!!

Poison Hemlock?? No purple dot!!

Poison Hemlock?? No purple dot!!

This purple bed (and the two furry babies next to it) are missing the furry guy who used to lay upon it. (See https://haveadanehill.com/2014/07/29/morning-has-broken/ )

RIP Tucker...we miss you.

RIP Tucker…we miss you.

The purple flowers of wild blackberry bushes…

Purple Aug. 2014

…bring a bowl full of deliciousness!!

First wild blackberry harvest of 2014

First wild blackberry harvest of 2014

The beautiful sunset on a night full of thunder and lightning. Gorgeous!

A beautiful sunset!

A beautiful sunset!

Purple is a beautiful color…don’t you think?!!! Do you see purple in your area of the world?

Thanks for sharing my morning…I hope yours is fantastic!! Tami

Dinner Last Night

There is artistry in the food we eat. I realized this with last night’s dinner. I don’t mean in the way of how it is displayed on the plate, or the unique style in the craftsmanship of the porcelain it sits upon. More and more, thanks to the numerous cooking shows on T.V., I’m experiencing the depth of flavors one can create when the main seasonings go beyond garlic salt and pepper (that’s where I’ve been stuck for many years.) Even this, however, is not really what I’m talking about right now. Although spices add to the complexity and success of the dish, the main ingredients, the stars of the show, are what my thoughts have been focusing on.

OOOOPPSSS...how did those Little's get into the garden??

OOOOPPSSS…how did those Little’s get into the garden??

Dinner last night, the sustenance of nutrition, was completely grown, or raised, on this little beginnings of a farm…right here on Haveadane Hill. Okay, so the spices I used and the local honey were not…but….does that count??? Something to think about…can I grow my own cumin, how about ginger?? Something to definitely investigate!!

Baking chicken on the grill.

Baking chicken on the grill.

This beautiful bird (one of the roosters of the Littles, aka The Muppets hatching) was hatched, raised free ranging from day one, culled by Tony, cleaned and processed by my own hands, chilled in the fridge for a few days, and became the star of the show!!

Isn't that gorgeous??!!

Isn’t that gorgeous??!!


Rooster Aug. 2014

I made a rub of powdered garlic, cumin, ginger, thyme, parsley, salt, pepper, and olive oil. This little bird was well coated and cooked up beautifully!!

Then I chopped up onion, crookneck squash, young yellow bell peppers, and zucchini…all from my garden…sauteed them in olive oil (well..no, I didn’t squish the olives hahaha)…cooking the onions first, sprinkled with cajun spices until well caramelized, then added the two squash.

August 2014 Saute

As the veggies started to release their juices, I added the wonderfully delicious local honey I discovered a couple of weekends ago (I was not at all fond of honey until I discovered REAL honey…not the junk sold in the grocery store.)

The end of the honey drizzle....who wants to lick the spoon??

The end of the honey drizzle….who wants to lick the spoon??

I thought that I had possibly cooked the veggies too much…I didn’t want mushy, but I wanted them to be cooked through. Much to my delight, they still had a nice crunch from their skin due to the just, picked, garden freshness. Next time for color, I may add some spinach at the end of the veggie saute. I think that would be good!!

My completely home grown dinner...delicious!!

My completely home grown dinner…delicious!!

The little rooster was really, really flavorful…and a bit tough. He was a very fit bird, with very little fat. Butterflying the bird and roasting it on the grill breast side up (thank you FoodNetwork – The Kitchen) allowed the spices and the small bit of fat from the skin to permeate the meat making it very moist. The veggies were outstanding, and the sweet honey added to the brightness of the cajun spices really complimented each other. The flavor that stood out to me the most, however, was how absolutely fresh everything tasted…really, it was amazing.

Making chicken stock.

Making chicken stock.

THEN….not wanting to waste one bit of this amazing little rooster, I added water (we’re on a well so again…straight from the farm), carrots and onion (from the garden) and made a wonderful stock.

Stock after sitting in fridge overnight.

Stock after sitting in fridge overnight.

There was so little fat that rose to the surface, that this is all I could skim off….

Rooster Stock Aug. 2014

I’m proud of my little rooster…he was one healthy bird!! He provided my family dinner last night, and will provide us broth for a great soup once the weather turns cooler.

Cooled, skimmed, and ready for the freezer...to enjoy as soup in the cool of a fall evening!

Cooled, skimmed, and ready for the freezer…to enjoy as soup in the cool of a fall evening!

Who would have ever thought that this city kid from the San Francisco Bay Area, who ate in restaurants more than she cooked, could move to the country and raise the meat and veggies entirely on the farm for dinner last night?? I’m so excited to explore what is next for the farm…I keep talking to Tony about a couple of cows…he keeps talking about a couple of pigs….bee keeping for honey is totally on the list…stay tuned, there’s more to come!!!!!

Thanks for sharing my dinner last night!! Have a wonderful, wonderful Sunday!!

Your friend,
Tami

Fencing and Biscuits

The work on the fencing….

Fencing

…once again…NOT THAT KIND of fencing…..is getting closer to completion.

***RETRACTION FROM YESTERDAY’S POST…CREATING BOUNDARIES https://haveadanehill.com/2014/07/20/creating-boundaries/ … Tony has informed me that he is building 1,063 feet of fencing…not 367 feet …. a slight miscalculated reporting there…hahaha.***

Tony and the son, Will, took a lazy Sunday worked a little, came in for a country breakfast of cheesey, scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, biscuits….and…..Froot Loops…then lingered awhile. Worked some more….took a 35 min. drive (both ways) into a town with an open hardware supply store to purchase more fencing bolts. Worked about an hour more and ended for the day.

Farmer Tony

Farmer Tony

Fencing 2014

Poles waiting to become gradual fence corners.

Poles waiting to become gradual fence corners.

Breaking through this stuff was not easy.

Breaking through this stuff was not easy.


Luke 6:48
He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock.

Fencing 2014

Sundays are lazy days around this farm, you didn’t hear my name mentioned on the fence line, did you?

Hey I did make the biscuits, from scratch, and they turned out a bit like hockey pucks…but they tasted okay….with butter, blackberry jam (not homemade…yet – still waiting on the blackberries), and a little local honey – which by the way tastes so much more wonderful than the store bought stuff.

Rustic, dense, hockey puck biscuits...I need more practice!!

Rustic, dense, hockey puck biscuits…I need more practice!!

This is the recipe I tried to follow… http://blog.williams-sonoma.com/brunch-101-how-to-make-tender-flaky-biscuits/ Although they are supposed to be rustic, I think I worked the dough a little too much. I am challenged to perfect my biscuit making!!

Have a very happy Monday…the start of the work week…enjoy the moments in your day, the weekend is just a few days away!!

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

Creating Boundaries

Harvest 2014

Fencing….the sport of fighting with swords, especially foils, épées, or sabers, according to a set of rules, in order to score points against an opponent.

Fencing

Wait a minute….not that kind of fencing…this kind of fencing…

Not our farm...just an example.

Not our farm…just an example.

…lots and lots of fencing!! Three hundred and sixty seven feet to be approximately exact.

I think it is safe to say that every farm has fencing…lots of fencing. I am in the conflict stage of needing fencing, and wanting to keep the forest that merges with the farm in smooth transition. However, there are realities in the relationship between wildlife, farm production, dogs, and neighbors…the latter becomes the biggest issue.

We have neighbors…one of our neighbors has goats..see my earlier post https://haveadanehill.com/2013/10/27/my-neighbor-has-goats/ This same neighbor, has two big, white farm dogs that protect their goats. I like my neighbor’s dogs, they bark…often…but they are very nice dogs. Recently, however, the intact male has grown up. He has become a dominant boy, and adamantly protects the fence-line between us. Unfortunately, this means that the friendship he and Penni have had since his puppy-hood is now in contention. His mama dog,

which is now his wifey dog (yeah, it’s complicated…not really…just weird) is still friendly, but the boy dog – her puppy now her stud dog (I just think those are questionable breeding practices) does not agree with these friendly neighbor relations. Thus the need to create a secondary fence line buffer zone. It’s needed both for the safety of all three dogs, but for peace of mind. Do I really want to worry every time the dogs are out what might happen at the fence line? NO!!

The thing with fencing is when you start one line, it gets you thinking about other lines…where can you go from there? With the occasional coyote (or possibly coywolf – see my previous post https://haveadanehill.com/2014/05/29/my-coyote-theory/ ) and who knows what else (we are in Black Bear and Cougar country) we decided to create an area of 3 plus acres wherein the dogs can run freely, but still be controlled.

May 2014

It’s a big project, and takes a ton of muscle power to sink the wooden posts into this rocky ground. Thank goodness for a tractor sporting a post hole digger. Thank goodness even more for a husband who is willing to spend the past 3 days of his vacation breaking up rock where the post hole digger couldn’t get through…and the next 2 – 3 days pounding metal poles, stringing fencing, and hanging gates. He’s had some help from the male offspring when available after work. My assistance has been nonexistent due to my work schedule. So here’s a standing applause for the man on this farm…

…for a man who works hard to make sure we (including our animals) are safe, and is willing to work really hard at everything he does!!!

The work is in progress…and Penni is waiting very patiently…with bated breath…waiting to get off of her restriction…

"Whyyyyyyyyy do I have to have this stupid leash on?  I'll just lay here then."

“Whyyyyyyyyy do I have to have this stupid leash on? I’ll just lay here then.”

…and once again able to stretch her legs freely. It’s so wrong…34 acres, and nowhere to run…for the moment.

Hope you have a wonderful day…thanks for popping over and visiting the farm.

Harvest 2014

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami
***RETRACTION…I have been informed that the actual feet of fencing being constructed is 1063…not 367. My apologies to those who may be taking note…hahahahaha****

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