Friday, July 29, 2011

The garden in early morning
 Life has been full these past three weeks. It has been the good kind of full, with visits from dear friends, making sauces for the freezer, preserving and harvesting, and the usual business of family life. As a result, my blog has been sadly neglected. I have realized that I need to snatch little pockets of time as they are presented to me.

farm girl on a tractor

As I wait for my lovely kotata berries to juice, I realize one of those little bits of time has just been handed to me! The children are all outside, either working or enjoying the perfect blue and golden summer morning. The steam extractor is doing its work on the stove, giving me lots of juice to turn into deep crimson jelly this afternoon. My kitchen smells wonderful,and I always love seeing the rows of jelly jars cooling on the counter, knowing that come winter, we will have lots of jars of summer time goodness to slather on our freshly baked bread! The steamer is an old Saf-t-born my parents bought in the early 70's. It has seen a lot of use!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A little farm tour!

The store, with the bakery on the right.

Walking in to the store

Lovely gooseberries and pink currants for sale!
I have shared many pictures of the garden, the crops growing, and the beautiful 64 acres which we are blesses to call home. However, I have never posted pictures of our store! The store was built in 2005, and it has allowed us to greatly expand our operation. Prior to that, we only sold u-pick fruit, and a few crates to other stores to resell. Now, we not only have u-picks, but we can sell fruit already picked, produce we have grown, and a few antiques. In 2009, we added a certified kitchen, and now we have added the farmer's delicious baked goods to the mix! He makes the best pies I have ever tasted, and some pretty delicious scones as well. 2009 was such a hard year, losing my father, his brother, my aunt, and his grandmother in a three week span in April. The building project and the excitement of our dream of having a certified kitchen coming to fruition gave us something positive to work towards during those dark days! The gooseberries and currants have been a fun addition for us. We have a lot of Russian customers, and they love the currants, especially the black ones. People get so excited about finding them, because not many people grow them. I have done some fun experimenting with  them, including making a delicious raspberry-red currant jam. The cassis I made (black currants with red wine, sugar, and vodka) was less than delicious, but my customers assure me it makes a wonderful health tonic, high in iron and anti-oxidants. They tell me it helps them feel good all winter, but I have a hard time getting it down!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

find the spider!

My daughter Evangeline loves spiders, and is always pulling me out in to the garden to see the latest. I thought this one was pretty! She has also found huge Black and Yellow Garden Spiders, with their cool webs and egg sacs. It is a good thing I don't mind spiders, as the garden is full of them, and every trip out to pick a bouquet seems to involve spiders crawling on me!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Guests for breakfast

 Sometimes, I have guests for breakfast. They watch me eat my scone and drink my latte. They are very quiet, and do not disturb the calm of the morning.
However, they usually decide that they prefer grass (or my fuschia bush, or some fresh blueberries) for breakfast, and so they wander away and leave me to my solitary breakfast.

Monday, July 4, 2011

off the farm for the day!

Baptist church, built in 1858

Methodist church, built in 1886. The little white building to the left of the church contains the outhouses, still in use!

Can not identify the birds, but loved their perch. You can see the bird in the nest if you look closely.

A farm girl in a really good climbing tree

A farm girl holding the little frog she found

The farmer and the three youngest farm children

Loved these geese!

View of the lovely Willamette Valley!
We went for a lovely drive yesterday. The farmer has always insisted that no work be done on Sunday, and for this I am so grateful. We really do need a day of rest, need to go to mass together, and need a day to spend together without the pressures and busyness of farm life!