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Weather Update…It’s Still Cold!

13 Jan final-22

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!

Ask a Farmer at the Smithsonian

8 Aug

final-134Last week Dad and I got to take advantage of quite the opportunity.  We were asked by the US Farmer and Rancher’s Alliance if we would come speak on a panel at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.  The panel was called, Ask a Farmer: Family Farms, Family History.  We were joined by two other farm families.  Evergreen Diary from St. John’s Michigan, represented by Carla Wardin and her mom Cherie Anderson.  And Cooley Farms, a chicken and beef farm from Roberta, Georgia.  Who had three generations there representing, Larry, Leighton and Lawson Cooley.

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The event was featured within an exhibit called “Enterprise” which looks at history through the eyes of business.  Including the business of agriculture, which as we all know has shaped many ways that our country operates still today.  The panel’s moderator started off by asking some great questions, hitting on topics including the struggles and joys of working with family in business.  Also touching on how the younger generation decided that they even wanted to come back to the farm.  For one, Leighton Cooley, it took only 6 months off the farm to realize it’s where he wanted to be.  For Carla Wardin it took starting a whole career in marketing and living completely away from the dairy for years with her husband to decide to make the call home to ask her parents, “Please don’t sell the cows!” They wanted to give it a go.  And then for me, a college degree from Loyola Marymount University, a lot of concrete life in LA, and I was ready to be back in the dirt.

We were also asked questions from the audience, which included an awesome group of school kids.  Asking everything from, “How do worms make holes in the ground?” to “Do farms have names?”  All in all it was truly a great event.  The panel itself was recorded and will be available in a few weeks, stay tuned and I’ll share that once it’s up and running.

I think the best part for me was getting a chance to meet other farmers from across the nation who also have a passion for agriculture and doing what they love  with the people that they love everyday.  We had no problem all becoming fast friends.

While I was heading off across the country things at the farm didn’t slow down.  The crew was at home finishing up our swiss chard harvest, getting things all switched over for wheat and also keeping all our fresh crops irrigated.  So it obviously wasn’t ideal to take off, but since it was only 36 hours away from the farm, since it was the Smithsonian, and since I got to go talk about what I love the most, family and farming, it was an opportunity that I knew I couldn’t pass up!

I want to thank the USFRA and the Smithsonian for this wonderful chance to spread my family’s farm story!final-136

To learn more about Carla Wardin you can follow her on her blog, Truth or Dairy.
And Cooley farms has quite a large role in the movie Farmland.  For another look at their family operation check out this commercial from Farm Credit.

Crop Farm Tour 

9 Jun final-84

Here in Oregon, we grow over 250 different crops. So it’s no wonder that in our soil this year we have 10 different crops growing.  And while in the next three months they will all get harvested, currently everything is at all different stages. Some crops are just getting planted, some starting to flower, some are pollinating, and others are already ready to be harvested! 

So here is your photo tour of our farm and the 10 crops we are raising. 

First stop the grasses, both perennial and tall fescue are grown on our farm. 


Next, vegetables seeds. We are raising red cabbage seed…

Swiss chard seed…

And radish seed. 

Then finally, all the crops you can eat!!! Wheat…

Peas…

Hazelnuts…

Squash…

And Green beans…



So there you have it! And yes, to answer the question I most often get asked, we are really busy!  And most of the time, we are loving it!

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