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Goodbye to Old Grey

6 Mar

Old Grey has been on our farm for 22 years.  22 fertilizer seasons of running around loaded down from field to field.  22 summers of hauling grass seed, clover, wheat, even filberts on long hot days.  22 years of wear, tear, washing and waxing before each season.

I realize it might seem silly to have an attachment to just a piece of equipment on our farm, but silly or not, I was sad to see her go.  Maybe it’s because I always think back when I was a kid and that steering wheel seemed so big!  I can perfectly imagine it’s what Hoot is thinking right as I took the photo below! Or maybe it’s the memories later, sitting in the driver’s seat of Old Grey, learning how to drive a semi, while dad sat in the passenger side and told me to “Take it easy on her!” and inevitably cringing while I grinded every gear heading down the road.  Old Grey is the truck that didn’t have the get up and go of her new counterparts at our farm, but I’ll be dammed if she didn’t always get you where you wanted to go….eventually.We bought a new truck that is currently being put together, painted up all pretty and shiny.  She’s newer than Old Grey by a long shot, has more horsepower, and will be a great addition to our farm.  When we bought her and made the decision to sell Old Grey, it was the end of an era.  This is the first large purchase that Matt and I have made since buying the farm from my parents.  In a way Old Grey represents the past generation on our farm and the transition to the next.

So while Hoot was farming with me on Friday, we went to say our goodbyes.  I gave our boy, generation number 4 a chance to stand on the seat and pull the horn one last time, just like I did growing up.

Obviously Hoot didn’t quite feel as sentimental as me, he was just excited to go see the combines haha! But regardless I said my thank yous for being such a great part of our farm, and for always getting us where we needed to be….eventually.

A “Little” Hazelnut Pruning

24 Feb

final-58I went out with Matt today to do a little pruning on our youngest hazelnut trees.  I say a “little” pruning because I only made it about four trees before I realized that I was no where near dressed with enough clothes on for a 33 degree wind chill.  final-59But what we were able to accomplish was some consensus on what we were going for, once it warms up or I get more layers on, we will be able to get the job done.

Trees, especially hazelnut trees (which are naturally more bush than tree) take a lot of work get looking just right.  We were working today on making sure that the crotch of the tree has the correct angles for the most support system to hold up the branches and the weight of nuts.  final-60Also we were looking at branches coming up through the middle.  Light in a tree is a very important factor.  And then just the overall shape of the tree, are there branches going just one direction or in all directions?  How tall is the tree and all of the leaders?  Lots of questions…final-57

And since every tree and the way every person looks at a tree is all very different, it’s important to get try to start on the same page, where you end up will probably be all over the board (haha!), but starting out on the same page is good!

Weather Update…It’s Still Cold!

13 Jan

Well it’s still freezing here in Oregon on the farm.  We did get a little insulation for the crops in the form of snow, but not sure it’s enough to make a difference. final-25

I get a lot of questions about what this will do to our crops.  So far I’m really only worried about our vegetable seed crops that were planted in the fall.  We have both cabbage & swiss chard that is still pretty small and not looking too happy with this cold weather.  I am told not to worry too much until 12 degrees, we have gotten down to 14 so far, hopefully that is the lowest we get!

final-22final-23This is a photo of some of our younger hazelnut trees.  These trees pollinate in the winter, however not when it’s this cold!

Just another reason why being a farmer is truly so risky, no one can control the weather, and no one can tell you what is going to happen.  Would we have changed our planting schedule last fall if we had known this was going to happen…probably so!  But once again (I feel like I say this a lot) that’s farming!

final-26Yukon sums up how we all feel about all this cold weather & snow pretty well…we know how you feel old dog…and we are right there with ya!

Happy Friday folks and stay warm!

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