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Our latest crop, Tighty Whities

13 May

We aren’t exactly “growing” the infamous tighty whities on our farm, but we did plant one giant pair!!

Last week the kids and I teamed up with 9 other women and Marion County Soil & Water Conservation District and buried a very large pair of underwear on our respective farms.

The project named the, “Soil Your Undies Challenge” begins with the underwear being buried 3-6″ deep in the soil. In 2 months we will dig them back up to take a look at the condition of the cotton briefs. With the help of microbes, worms, bugs and other creatures who live in healthy soils we hope to have barely recognizable pieces of tighty whities.

Managing our soils is something that we take very seriously on our farm. Like many farmers we realize that our soil has a direct link to our ability to continue growing healthy crops year after year.

The field where we buried the underwear this year was just planted this spring with tall fescue. This crop will not be harvested until the summer of 2020. And hopefully it will stay in the ground, which means we will not till the soil, for another 5 to 7 years. It would be interesting to do this project year after year, to see the change of our soils activity with the years of non-tillage.

Our soil health is something that is very important to us. It is also something that we are continually learning more and more about as our farming practices evolve, regulations change, and markets fluctuate, farmers in Oregon are always looking to improve and do better.

**Photo credit goes to Capital Press & Marion County Soil & Water Conservation District.

FarmHer April 12th, 6:30pm

8 Apr

Hey everyone, some exciting news!  Last fall I hosted the FarmHer team out on the farm and the episode they filmed will be airing this coming Friday April 12th, 6:30pm! Below is the press release from the FarmHer team….

FarmHer Follows Women in Agriculture from Washington to Louisiana in the 2nd Half of Season Three

(NASHVILLE, TENN. — Apr. 5, 2019) FarmHer is back with new episodes on RFD-TV.
Meet a helicopter pilot who crafts Artisan cheeses, head to the hops capital of the U.S. and witness a woman who thought she would never walk again, ranch with all her might. The network’s original series highlights another powerful group of women in its
3rd season with host Marji Guyler-Alaniz at the helm. FarmHer airs Fridays at 9:30 p.m. EST on RFD-TV.

Season 3: Episodes 19: Oregon FarmHer Harvests Piles of Grass Seed & Hazelnuts
Friday, April 12, 2019 at 9:30 p.m. ET
When dust settles on Brenda Frketich’s farm, there are piles of hazelnuts. Take in this year’s harvest in Oregon while learning about another top Pacific Northwest crop: turfgrass.

Here are also a few sneak peak videos to check out while you’re anxiously (at least I am anxious) waiting for the episode this Friday.

We had a wonderful time showing this great crew around the farm here in St. Paul.  I have always said that our doors are always open and this was a wonderful way to bring the farm into living rooms across the US.  It airs on RFDTV, click the link below to find that channel in your area!
http://www.rfdtv.com/link/649370/find-us-in-your-area

Don’t have RFD-TV?  No problem…..
On demand service can be found a bunch of different ways including Roku and Amazon Fire. The apps are either “RFD Country Club” or “Rural TV”.

Some of those apps allow you to sign up for a specific category “Rural Lifestyle” for just $2.99 a month and that’s where you can find FarmHer. You can cancel anytime.

Or you can sign up for full on demand service RFD-TV Country Club at rfdcc.com. It has a monthly fee, but with no contract, so you can cancel anytime.

Questions….as always, just ask!!

 

Eagle Decoys

17 Dec

Pests on a farm come from all directions.  The brush rows, neighboring fields, under ground, in the form of diseases, some even are carried by the wind; and all of these can be a threat to our crops.final-31 This morning Matt and I were out in the fields doing a little work to help with pests that fly in from the sky, I’m talking Canadian geese.

It seems like we we involuntary feed these geese with our crops just about all year round anymore.  So when the crop is newly planted and small, it is at its most vulnerable.final-29
You can see the bitten off leaves where the geese have been grazing.

So how do we protect from such a moving target?  Well there are basically three ways that we do this on our farm.

  • Hunting.  Effective but time consuming, and we don’t have the time to be out hunting all of our fields every hour of everyday (a point which can be argued extensively by my hunting husband).
  • Hazing.  Works well when you happen to be out looking at fields when the geese also happen to be out eating.  We use special special shotgun shells to help us with this.  But again, it takes a lot of time….and it just impossible to haze all of our acres all the time.
  • Eagle Decoys.  These guys do have the “time” to just sit in a field and deter geese should they show up.

Here’s a quick video of how we make them out in the field.

Just like that, with a wooden stake, a garbage bag, and some white tape, we have 24 hour security.  They aren’t perfect or even pretty, but they are cheap and effective. final-32

Using these three methods all together on our farm helps us control what is going on out in the field from one pest.  Now if only we could get slugs to be scared of eagles too!

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