Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ladies in Waiting

The four reigning sheep on the farm have been displaced from the large pasture. Since the arrival of the little pigs, the lambs were moved to the front pasture for fresh grazing, shade, and a little renovation! As the days warm up, the sheep will enjoy the shade of the walnut trees, the cool green grass, and the breeze that blows in from the river that is not far away.
No matter how appealing we make this front pasture to our lambs, they are still hopeful every time they see us that they will once again be allowed back into the large pasture. In the meantime, we get to watch our woolly friends close to the house.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Greeting Party

With all of the excitement of the new batch of pigs arriving at the farm, the hens wanted to get in on the action. All animals seem to know when there is something new on the farm and the chickens are no different. The went into the big pasture and sort of pushed and shoved one another to go first and see what all the commotion is about.

Once they got to the back of the barn, the bravest hen stood at the entrance to the new additions. The hens were proud and determined to see the new pigs.

What happened next, we never expected! The little pigs discovered the chickens and mistook them for their own personal tubby toys! Those pigs chased the hens all over the pasture. It was the funniest site to see. The chickens, of course, wanted nothing to do with the pig chase and left with their feathers only slightly ruffled!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Preparations are Underway

We are getting ready for The Butcher Shop Grand Re Opening on April 30 and May 1. We will be setting up table with yummy pork samples and information about our wee little farm. If you are in the area, come on out to Eagle Point to see us. We will be taking orders for the ten Tamworth pigs we have out in the pasture right now. Mmmm-mmmm!The Butcher Shop asked local farmers that are supplying meat and produce to the store for a brief bio, or photo, or a combination of both so that customers know there are real people in the area growing real food. The picture above is our version of a photo-bio! Come on out and meet the farmers!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Visiting Ada Belle

We had the privilege of visiting our littlest farmer, Ada Belle Rankin at her home in Alaska last week. This little angel is just as sweet as her mama was at this age,which is just two tiny weeks old! Each new life reminds us everyday of the Goodness and Grace this Irish Family has been blessed with and we are so very grateful.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pollinators in the Apple Blossoms

The apple trees are bursting into bloom and we are happily hosting an abundance of pollinators too! These little honey bees can't get enough of the sweet apple blossom nectar and busily harvest from tree to tree and bloom to bloom.

We have about nine apple trees on the farm. The oldest is about 80 years old and most likely planted when the house was built it 1930. Part of it is an old time gravenstein and part of the old tree is a yellow translucent. The apples are delicious. We also have golden delicious, gala, jonathan, fuji and more gravenstein.

We'll plan to keep the little honey bees busy for a while with all of the fruit trees. This fall, plan to stop by for a fresh picked apple treat!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Blue and Purple

Oh, the warm sun shine has been shining on our shoulders and we are certainly enjoying all of the blossoms that are also reaching for the sun. At this time of year, anywhere on the farm smells sweet. The flowering trees have gently scented the air and as we walk out to get the mail, the lilac greets us with her sweet smelling flowers. This pretty bush has been shaped into a tree with years of pruning by Tim and the old fashioned flower reminds us of slower times and white lace. Find some flowers and be sure to take the time to smell them!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pretty Little Hen

This little hen is an Americana Hen and she lays the prettiest pale blue eggs. She is busy all the time and has a distinct personality. She expects special favors like a few of her own personal little nibbles from the compost bucket and she seeks out places to cultivate that have been resting over the winter. This little hen is about one and a half years old and we expect her to keep laying eggs for a few years. She comes running to the sound of us calling "Chick, chick, chick, chick" and will slyly follow us around the yard.

Friday, April 16, 2010


The happy colors of spring time are all around on the farm right now and nothing says "Good Morning, Sunshine" more cheerfully than a planter full of these yellow pansies! Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

So Many Eggs, So Little Time!

With all of the bright yellow-orange yolks and abundance of eggs this spring, we are enjoying some egg dishes like omelets. They are easy to make and can even be frozen for use at a later date. This one is ham and cheese. Anybody want a slice?!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Happy Birthday to Our Egg Collectors!

Today is a birthday shared by two of our favorite people: Tyler and Bob. We hope your day is full of all the fun you can dream up! Enjoy your special day!

Sir Tyler with one of his favorite hens!

Bob on the right with fresh eggs and a great sense of humor with his partner in crime, Tim!

Happy, happy day!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Butcher Shop

Our friends at The Butcher Shop in Eagle Point have remodeled the store front and with local farmers in mind have a Re-Grand Opening scheduled for April 30 to show off the new lay out, display cases, and local farmers.

We are excited to be one of the farmers doing business with The Butcher Shop. They are a family owned business, they offer old-fashioned recipes in their smokehouse for nitrate and nitrite free curing of hams and bacon. They also make about 30 different kinds of sausage. The Butcher Shop is committed to promoting a sense of community through locally produced and processed meat and vegetables in the Rogue Valley.

Visit us out at The Butcher Shop on April 30, we will be taking orders for our latest run of heritage breed, pasture-raised pork that will be ready in late August.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Pear Blossoms

It is that time of year with the Rogue Valley in full bloom and the annual Pear Blossom Run and Parade in Jackson County underway. The pear trees here on the farm are in bloom too.

We have six different varieties of pears for some tasty snacking, pear butter, pear pies and crisps, and adding to The Farm Mix. The red Bartlett and green Bartlett pears are great for canning and dehydrating. The Asian pears have a satisfying crunch and are very nice toppers to a salad. The Comice pears are juicy, creamy and delicious, and with plenty of water they can produce single pear that weighs a pound! The Anjou pear has a mild flavor and stores fairly well into the winter, and the Bosc pear has a distinct long neck and golden color when ripe. We even have a small Seckel pear tree that produces compact packages of sweetness.

With all this talk about pears, I think we will have some pear butter with our supper tonight. Enjoy the blooms!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Welcome Ada Belle!

Sweet Ada Belle is the newest farming member in our family. She was born today and weighed 8 pounds, 5 ounces.

Welcome Little Ada!

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Day After Easter Eggs

We had a peaceful and quiet Easter Sunday. We visited with family long distance, visited the animals in the barn nearby, and even collected a few more eggs! The hens out did themselves in March with the final count at 258 eggs for the month. That is a huge gain compared to the 100 eggs that were laid in February. There are only 13 girls that are laying right now, so we are pleased with the numbers. Here is one thought for the enjoying the delicious eggs!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

We have so many blessings to be thankful for each day. Enjoy the newness of spring.

Happy Easter from the O'Brien's!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Feed Station

We have a mini silo on the way, also known as a bin. The mini bin holds two tons of grain in a weather proof storage unit that is easy to dispense. The 4,000 pounds of custom ground, organic feed will be used to feed the pigs in a more efficient and cost effective way.

While we are waiting on delivery of the silo, a cement pad needed to be poured to hold the weight of the feeder. Our sandy, loamy soil compacts tightly, but a substantial platform is needed.

The timing had to be just right because of the steady rains we've had this April. Cement needs time to set, dry and cure without getting wet. The driver of the cement truck managed to miss every single walnut branch! What a driver! Then he manipulated the big truck back to reach the cement pad and missed all of the apple tree branches. It was worth the delivery fee just to see the slalom driving skills from Riverside Ready Mix!

We went with an 8 inch thick, 6 foot square, reinforced with rebar. This will not only hold the storage bin full of feed, it will also hold its own when the rooting pigs get curious! It was a mad dash to fill the frame, level it, and put a smooth finish on before the next rainstorm hit.

Stay tuned for more photos of the Finished Feed Station!