Winter weather is here with 17″ of SNOW!

I love the first snow of the year!  So quiet and peaceful; everyone slows down (at least for a little while!).  The whole town seems more like the quaint mountain town we are.  Even with the extra work needed on the farm, I still love the snow!  It is a time to allow ourselves to relax a little – at least after chores!

Thankfully for this storm we had some warning and we were able to get the pigs tucked into super insulated shelters!  The cows and sheep seem to mind less, but (as you will see below), we did move the sheep out from the trees and into an area with more traditional shelter.  We ended up with just shy of 17″ in this first storm with more due this week.  I hope you love the snap shots of the farm in winter!  

Hauling water out to the pigs and sheep!

Pig Train coming out of their straw insulated Pig-loo.

Checking out the fresh water, wondering where breakfast is!

Tabor – our little boar from Loreen Milbrath at East Island Farms!  He’s such a poser!!

These large trees also help shelter the pig lot – allowing an easy place for them to feed. 

Pharaah the farm dog having fun in the snow!

Love Machine and Panama are not so sure about all this stuff!

The Cattle enjoying their Organic Cabbage scraps from Oregon Brineworks!  Check this company out if you need amazing fermented foods or the best hot sauce around!

Poco helping lead the sheep to more sheltered pastures!

MORE fun for Pharaah!

Morning light!

Pig Swap!

We had so much fun meeting a fellow Kunekune breeder from Vashon Island Washington!  Loreen and I connected through the wonderful world of Facebook.  We each had a hankering for some new pigs and thankfully we were able to make a 2 for 2 trade!  So much fun!  So we each loaded up our pigs and met to do a swap!  The new kids are settling in well and after a short quarantine period are in with the females and our remaining 2016 piglets. Still looking to sell 2 more Ru x Jenny Boars! If you are interested, let me know!

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Loading up on our end  – Reginald and Josephine – off to live on Vashon Island.  One of the many benefits of smaller pigs – two 7 month piglets fit in a XL dog crate in the back of a Honda Fit!

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Introducing: Tabor – He is a super sweet and lovely deep ginger Boris (x Rebecca Gina) Boar.  We are so excited to see how he continues to grow and potential add genetic diversity to our herd.  Thank you Loreen for trusting us with this guy.

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Introducing: Ireland – a lovely compact, chestnut colored Rebecca Gina (x Boris) gilt.  At 3 months old she is just beautiful.  I think she will continue to develop well.  I was saddened a couple years ago when I sold a piglet that was very similar to her.  Now I have that piglet back in spades.  Ireland is a tough, sweet, gorgeous piglet!  While she does not have wattles – her confirmation is very nice and her color is to dye (pun intended) for! Thank you again Loreen for allowing us to add her to our program.

Rain, Rain, Rain

We are closing in on the end of a very wet October.  October in the Columbia River Gorge is usually a beautiful time to be here.  We have amazing fall colors and crisp fall mornings that warm into mild, clear days. The green starts to come back with cooler weather and intermittent showers, waterfalls come on strong and our surrounding mountains (Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams) are blanketed in new snow.  This year we have had lovely colors, new snow, and the waterfalls are huge because of all the rainfall.  While we are pleased with the filling of waterways, aquifers and snow – the mud season on a farm is always a little hard!img_0560

Finding surprise low snow in the foothills when going hiking!

 

img_0656 img_0684When October gives you rain – go mushroom hunting!  Wild mushroom risotto on top, NOT made with the inedible coral mushroom below!

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While not exactly our view of Mt. Adams, this is what we would normally experience for fall.  This picture was taken at a wonderful Alpaca farm about 40 minutes from us!  Check them out online: www.meadowrockalpacas.com

Honey Harvest

It has been so exciting to have bees on the farm.  We did lose one hive last winter and unsuccessfully tried a split this year.  As a result, I was not expecting much honey from our one strong hive, but boy was I pleasantly surprised!  2 Gallons of beautiful, rich honey.  Now, some might say that 2 gallons should last me forever….well I LOVE honey and cook and bake a lot with it, so here’s hoping for two strong hives next year!!

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Beef Share available

We have 1/2 a beef share left for 2016.  Scottish Highland meat is lean and lower in cholesterol than other beef.  These animals have been raise completely on pasture with minimal intervention from us.  Utilizing natural means of intensive pasture rotation, interspecies mixing, and a varied foraged diet we are able to keep them in optimal health without all the traditional means.

Pasture raised beef has higher omega-3 fatty acids and a better ratio to omega-3 and omega-6 than other beef.

 

Fall Additions to the Farm

Fall is definitely upon us in the Pacific Northwest.  We would like to welcome our newest members to the farm:  Charlie, from Portland Oregon,  is a Ginger colored Rona Kunekune gilt who we are looking forward to breeding for a spring litter.  And Kennedy, from Oregon City, Oregon: who is a lovely deep blond Scottish Highland Cow who is expecting a calf late winter/early spring!

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Multi-species grazing

We love the fact that the temperaments of our animals allow for multiple combinations of grazing partners.  Below is a picture of the piglets being introduced to the cattle – we then integrated the group and had sheep, cattle and pigs grazing together.

Grazing different species allows for a more completely grazed pasture, improves land quality and acts as a natural parasite control.  We also appreciate the protection the cattle provide for the other species with them.

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Farm Chicken

Getting ready to process farm raised chicken.  Here’s our set up.  We strive to live up to this ideal from Wendell Berry: “If I am going to eat meat, I want it to be from an animal that has lived a pleasant, uncrowded life outdoors, on bountiful pasture, with good water nearby and trees for shade. And I am getting almost as fussy about food plants. I like to eat vegetables and fruits that I know have lived happily and healthily in good soil”

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