Tag Archives: holidays

40 Pound Thanksgiving

Megan has a crazy idea to try breeding our Narragansett turkey tom to a Broad Breasted White hen.  In order to get a hen, for the second year in a row, we’ve raised BBW chicks.  Last year we had the extraordinary luck to raise 5 toms, but this year we got luckier and had two hens and one tom.  This year’s tom was a monster even early on in his life!

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Butchered he weighed in at just over 40lbs!! We put him in a dry-brine in the fridge for 48 hours, and then roasted him outside in an elaborate vertical roaster John basically invented by looking at old roasting methods (thank you, google!).

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It was a total of 14 hours of cooking, starting in the oven overnight at a very low 175, then transfering to the outside roaster at 6am (in the dark!) to cook until about 2pm.  But the turkey!!  This was our first dry brine attempt and we are now total converts.  We sent so much turkey home with our guests, put more in the freezer, and made soup with the bones.

Thank you, Mr. Turkey, we’re so grateful for your short stay with us.

Thanksgiving 2013

Last Thanksgiving, our first on the farm, we were thrilled to have so many things we’d raised or grown included as part of our meal. This year, though, we blew that humble beginning out of the water.

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This year we had so many local things, I came up with a shape coded indicator for our menu board.  The stars mean the primary ingredients came from the farm. That’s a lot of stars!

  • Pickles!
  • Turkey
  • Chard
  • Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Shallots
  • Cauliflower
  • Scarlet Runner Beans
  • Garlic
  • Herbs
  • Pumpkin Pie

…technically we could have added carrots and onions to that list, but our stores were so low that I opted to save what we had for our own use this winter. Note to self: plant more carrots and onions next year.

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Actually, neither of these handsome gentlemen in the foreground made it on anyone’s plate this year, as they’re both destined for breeding, not eating. Lucky!  That black guy in the back right, fed our lovely neighbors down the road, as thanks for the emergency donation of some of their extra goat milk when we needed it this spring before our does started producing.

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The finished product: an amazing, hyperlocal meal!

Happy New Year!

It’s been a whole year since we threw a housewarming/New Years Eve party on the farm. What a crazy year it’s been, too!

Just days after we mailed out our holiday cards last year, on December 5th, we found ourselves signing an enormous stack of papers, as we closed on a house after a year of hunting. Talina left for a pre-planned trip to Nicaragua with her school, and two days later, Megan arrived at the new house to pick up the keys. While Talina was away in Nicaragua, Megan and an army of friends and family, including her brother Thaddeus, who came up from California to help, washed and painted, ripped out the carpeting and installed new flooring before Christmas Eve. After Christmas, we moved out of our apartment in Portland and were finished unpacking in time to throw a New Year’s Eve party in our new house.

After the New Year began, Talina headed to Seattle for a two month clinical rotation at University of Washington. While she was away, Megan worked from home, and spent her free time working on the new house, preparing space for a garden, and settling into “farm” life. With Talina home on weekends and help from Megan’s parents (and Weed Wrenches), we attacked a pasture full of scotch broom bushes and the task of rebuilding a luxury chicken coop in the barn.

In March, Megan started to travel regularly to Austin, TX for work, and it was Talina’s turn to be home alone. We brought home baby chicks and raised them in the bathtub (something we’ll probably never do again, the dust was incredible!), then found a few adult chickens, and a rooster, to round out the flock, and by the end of April we had 12 birds and enough daily eggs to swear off store bought eggs for the rest of the year.

For Megan’s birthday in May, we threw a big garden party… as in, everyone helped us build a garden! Friends sorted seeds and hauled loads of compost, and by the end of the weekend, our first 1500 square foot garden was in. Some of Thaddeus’ goats came to join us permanently, making us feel like a real farm. On May 19th, after three years in undergrad and three in graduate school, Talina graduated from Pacific University with a clinical doctorate in Physical Therapy and the Director’s Award. She accepted a job at a geriatric outpatient clinic in McMinnville, a twenty-minute commute from our house, and spent June studying for the national PT board exam, which she passed in early July.

Also in early July, Talina’s father Oscar, sister Khylia, and our niece River came to visit us. We hung out on the farm, went berry picking, split logs, and took River to the Oregon Zoo; it was fun to share our new life with family. With the warmer summer weather came the discovery of fruit trees in the pastures, and the seeds planted in May began to erupt into food! The rest of the summer became a flurry of garden chores, the biggest of which was figuring out how to eat or put away all the food we grew… our freezer and pantry shelves are quite full.

August, September and October passed by in a flash. We harvested hundreds of pounds of food from the garden, and spent some time off-farm dealing with various medical related events.  Reaching the quiet time on the farm, in November and December, has given us some time to regroup and begin to plan for the next tasks. We look forward to the new year, and the continued realization of our dreams. We hope that you too are seeing the realization of your dreams in this year and into the next. We are so thankful to have you in our lives.
Love,

Megan & Talina

 

A few photos from our New Years Day walks:

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Happy sheep in a frozen pasture

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The whole menagerie in one photo: Sheep, Turkeys, Chickens, Goats

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Next year's holiday card photo?

Christmas Season

It’s our first official Christmas on the farm!! We were here last year, but in the middle of our mini-remodel, so we didn’t take the time to find our own tree but instead bought one from a neighbor.

But this year, we took the time over Thanksgiving to hunt down our own tree on our own property.

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We chose a tree from the bluff along our road, and took it down with a small pruning saw.

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Talina carried the tree back home for us, and we set it up in the living room… Happy Holiday Season, let the Christmas Caroling begin!

Thanksgiving

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For Thanksgiving dinner, we celebrated our year on the farm with many local ingredients:

  • Turkey
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Goat Milk
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Potatoes
  • Sunchokes
  • Herbs

Goal for next year: Add brussel sprouts, parsnips, and carrots to the list.

Happy Fourth!!

I insisted that we spend the Fourth of July up on our hill, to see if we can see fireworks from distant towns from up there. Answer: YES! We can HEAR the Forest Grove fireworks, but they are behind us, so we couldn’t see them with all the trees and hills in the way. But, we could see fireworks down in the valley. Here’s a very blurry and dark video — it was a little more impressive in person, but my iPhone wasn’t up to the challenge, I guess. 🙂

The moon gave the fireworks stiff competition, though!!
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New Years Day 2012

Traditionally, Talina and Megan spend our New Years Day watching TV and working a puzzle at home. It’s our way of focusing on accomplishing tasks together, a symbol for how we’re going to try to get through the year. Since we had guests this year, we didn’t get far on the TV series (sorry, West Wing. We’ll catch up later), but we had lots of hands to help with the puzzle, which was very appropriate: we’re going to need all the help we can get this year!

We also took a break and went for a walk on the property. Since we’ve been so focused on the house, I thought I’d put all the photos we took together so you can see why we REALLY bought this place!


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

And bonus: a short video of the incredibly cute goat pack who came with us for the hike. Can’t wait to have them here full time!

Day Fifteen: New Years Eve Party!

To celebrate 14 days worth of progress, we threw a New Years Eve party in the new house! Here’s some great photos of the clean, unpacked house, and all the lovely friends and family who came out to join us in celebrating. At the cusp of the new year, we had lots of hands to bang pots and pans in every room, scaring out the evil spirits.


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Work Break: Merry Christmas!

For mental health reasons, we all took the Christmas holiday off from work on the house.. Although we did work enough to be able to host Christmas dinner there with my dad’s family!

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No furniture in the living room yet, but we got a tree from the neighbor down the road and put the presents under it. Sitting on the new flooring is the best way to celebrate, anyway!