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Wow. These last few months just FLEW by. I did my last farmers market of the season on October 29th. I did my first market of the season on April 30th. We got rained out of four. (Because all of my soap and jam labels are paper, rainy markets and I don’t mix. Even though I’m under a tent, its almost impossible to keep everything dry.) We took one additional Saturday off. So I did a total of 47 market days, in four different locations, this year. My sales were up about 40%, so the move into the Pendleton and Richland markets was a good one, even though the first year at a new market is always about building your brand and customer base with the locals. I attribute a large part of the increase to my being able to offer jams throughout the year. Jams were about 27% of my sales this year. Mostly, I am thrilled to be finished. I’ve been pretty darned brain dead these last few weeks. Read the rest of this entry »
The calendar says March 4th. The ground says early spring. I’ve got chives coming up, California poppies reseeding, daffodils pushing up flower buds, violets blooming, fruit tree buds swelling, silver maple blooming. There is the faintest tinge of green, if you squint and get the light just right, on the line of “wind break” willows that line two sides of our property. Read the rest of this entry »
Well, after about 2 1/2 months of no rain, we’ve had more than 2 inches in the last few weeks. Aside from the wet, the weather has generally been in the 60’s to 70’s during the day, which means that lots and lots of cheat grass (Bromus tectorum) and storksbill are germinating like crazy. Areas of the pasture that were totally brown a few weeks ago now look like a golf course. Read the rest of this entry »
We bought a new American Black Belly ram last Saturday. We also bought two additional ewes. So we now have 8 females and 1 male, and hope for lots of bouncing baby lambs around mid March next year. We’ve named the ram Pasco (after a local town – we’ve decided to name new sheep after streets and towns in our area).
Charlie, the Tom Turkey, quickly figured out there was another set of rather large testicles in the barn yard, and he wanted to make sure that Pasco knew who was in charge. My husband shot this video. Note how Pasco eventually puts the ewes between himself and Charlie. Wuss. I’m sure he was thinking, “man, that friggen turkey is crazy”. Read the rest of this entry »
Wow, it’s been a busy couple of weeks. On May 5th (while having a Kentucky Derby Party at the house) we had 6 new sheep delivered. They are all girls (ewes). Three adults and three little ones. We found them on Craig’s List. I know, not how you are supposed to buy livestock, but they were the right breed at the right price, and they were delivered. Read the rest of this entry »
I woke up this morning and listened to a report on NPR about how the long-term unemployment numbers have not been this high since the great depression. Our house in Colorado has not sold. Our income is down considerably. I left a good paying job that I loved to move to the Inland Northwest to farm, but getting the farm going is slow due to limited cash. It’s cold and rainy. My husband is in Walla Walla most of the week. Was I nuts? Read the rest of this entry »