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Christmas Lights!!

3 Dec

While I haven’t been busy blogging the past few months….life as you can imagine is always busy busy busy!

Got our Christmas Lights put up, which made our 2 year old ecstatic! I can’t even begin to tell you how excited it makes us for Christmas when we see how excited our little man is! 

Auggie on the other hand will know what all this hubbub is about next year, so far he’s just annoyed that I dont let him crawl in the wet lawn. 

Only  22 days until Christmas!!!

How Does a Farmer know it’s Time to Irrigate?

25 Jul

When to water and how much to water is always a question on the farm.  Especially when you have a large mix of fresh crops like squash, green beans, peas, etc.  These crops take anywhere from one to six irrigations (waterings) depending on the weather, time of year they were planted and when they will be harvested.  Irrigation is no exact science on our farm, but I want to say we are getting closer.

Irrigation timing has always been something that heavily relies on “rules of thumbs”.  For instance if the squash is wilting by 3pm, they need water.  Or on the beans, “Just go every 10 days with about an 3/4-1″ and you should be fine.”  And there is always the tried and true, stick a shovel in the ground and just plain play in the dirt and squeeze some soil to see what is there for moisture.

final-130A field of squash that we are getting ready to irrigate.

This year however, with the help of the Natural Resource Conservation Service we were able to get some funding to help us pay to install sensors in the ground that allow us to monitor how much moisture is in the soil.  This type of technology can get pretty fancy, ours however are very basic.  The electrodes are installed into the ground in the row of the crop, you can see this in the photo below.  Ours are installed at 8″ and 18″ deep.  final-132

Next you hook up the reader using two alligator clips and it reads the moisture saturation in the soil at each level.  The higher the number the lower the saturation of moisture in the soil.

final-131

Here is a video of me checking the electrodes.

As you can see it doesn’t take much time to get the information that we use.  This information is then put into a graph on my computer so I can monitor where the fields are on a day to day basis.

It’s been a learning curve mashing together our old rules of thumb with these new readings to give us the best timing for irrigation.  I would say that the best thing it’s done is given us a number to fall back on when we’re triaging which irrigation to start up and when.  It’s a quick way to see which crops need to be irrigated first, and which can probably wait a day while the others get a drink.  Farming has always been a mix of old traditions and new technology, this is just another way that our farm is moving forward with both the past and present ideologies working together.

Crop Farm Tour 

9 Jun

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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