Monday, June 24, 2013

Raspberries Part 1

One of the local farmers offers a U-Pick Raspberry Patch and we were lucky enough to hit it early in the morning while it was still cool and the berries were abundant! There is a little table that says "honor system" put your money in the box! Flats are provided, pint sized boxes that fit inside of the flats are provided and even buckets with strings are available for use.
Between the two of us, we picked three flats of raspberries. There are plenty of berries now for freezing, jamming, baking, and eating fresh!
Three flats totaled just under 20 pounds of berries and they are full of the best flavor. Raspberries keep best will cooled in the refrigerator immediately and stored in shallow containers.
After picking we drove over to Jacksonville on the way home. We stumbled across The C Street Bistro which is a little restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating and all foods purchased from local farmers. They offer brunch all day long and strong delicious coffee!
We arrived fresh from the fields complete with stained fingers and barn boots! It doesn't matter as the usual dress code for restaurants in Southern Oregon is "come dressed"!
We sat outside and enjoyed fresh scrambled eggs with house made sausage and herb roasted potatoes. The food was really amazing and the potatoes were seasoned with a BBQ rub and rosemary that really made a delicious combination.
After our brunch, we were revitalized for the drive home through the Applegate Valley where we saw the Paraglider World Chamionships! It was picturesque to see the hang gliders circling over the tops of mountains at about 5,000 feet in the many different colors. There is always a treat to see around every country corner. Remember to get off the interstate!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hilling Potatoes

Potatoes produce more potatoes if the soil is "hilled" up around the main stem or stalk of the potato plant. Potatoes are actually tubers and the taller the soil, the more taters that will grow on the plant! They actually grow up the stalk. So today was hilling day for the potato plants. Some of the plants are budding up to bloom. If you look closely toward the middle of the row of potatoes you can see the three bushes that had an extra helping (the wheelbarrow spilled) of composted chicken manure. It looks like the whole garden would love some extra spillage!
In order to hill the potatoes, the soaker hose was moved away and extra soil was raked up to the base of the plant. There is 8-12 inches of soil that form the hills. Some of the lower leaves were buried in the hill and weeds were pulled along the way. The plants were heavily watered yesterday. The soaker hose was replaced next to the stem of the potato plants and we are hoping for a bumper crop of yukon gold and red potatoes!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

June on the Farm

We have wonderful helpers who visit the farm. Today were four of our grandchildren who came for an evening visit. We ate burgers o the deck made with ground bison. We also had deviled eggs made by Anna, cantaloupe, and strawberries and cream for dessert. There are ten turkeys, 39 chickens: 15 laying hens, 7 pullets and 17 meat birds that are New Hampshire Reds, 3 goats, 2 sheep, 2 dogs, and a couple of farmers! After our evening meal with the kids, we went to the barn to call all of the girls in just in time for other red-tailed hawk to strike one of the young meat birds. Tim was able to get the little chicken back, but we don't know if she will make it. The hawk strikes the back hard and it appears to damage or break the spinal column causing paralysis. The little chicken was carried inside and tried to rally around. Only time will tell. The young turkeys are darling. They whistle chirp when they are happy and content. There are 10 heritage birds: chocolate turkeys and bourbon red turkeys. Yes, I will admit I chose them for the name alone! They were hatched May 7, and seem to be holding their own. Turkeys are quite fragile. Just when we were beginning to get brave enough for the next level of freedom, the hawk struck, so the turkeys will have another week or so in the safety of the barn stall. We are getting about 11 eggs a day from the laying hens. A few of them are pretty old, but with names like Beauty and Maude, it has been hard to find them ready for the stewing pot! The seven newest are silver laced wing wyandottes and araucanas. I call them the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters, after the constellation. They are charming, sweet, and stick closely together. The young pullets stay close to the barn and coop and follow my voice when they hear me. The little hens will visit while I weed in the garden from the other side of the fence. Weatherwise, it has been beautiful in Southern Oregon. Cooler than average temperatures this past week, but also a welcome relief from the steady 93 degree weather we had at the end of May and first week of June. Hopefully this finds you healthy and happy and ready for a great summer with family and friends!