Farm Reclamation ~ Part 1

By | Reclamation | No Comments

In 2004, we purchased the original homestead near the Wildwood Falls. The homestead is a 151 acre piece that was settled by the Hunt family in the late 1800s located in Wildwood, Oregon. (The town of Wildwood merged with Culp Creek. When the Culp Creek post office closer, our area became part of Dorena.)

The property surrounds the north side of a local summer swimming hole, Wildwood Falls. We renamed the farm to “Wildwood Falls Ranch” to reflect this well-known landmark.

250barnsThe previous owner of Wildwood Falls Ranch had lived on the property for 11 years. Pete Janelli raised many different animals on the farm from cattle to ostriches.

When we first visited the farm, the front pastures was filled with grazing sheep, and behind the farmhouse and in the back 40 acres were his racehorses. There were 5 stud horses in the area of the coop and barn. (photo right)

Our first step was to clean up the farm and contact the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service.
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Time & Distance of Farming

By | General | No Comments

I’ll apologize in advance for the tone of this entry.  Recent events have made me view things a bit differently about the time and distance of the farm.  Additionally I have not written lately, so I wanted to touch base over recent events.

On December 20th I had received a call that my mother had been rushed to emergency.  I jumped into our car at 4am to make the 5-1/2 hour drive to Northern California.  By the time I had driven two hours, I found out that my mother had died.  I had missed the opportunity to say goodbye to the woman I loved most in the world. Read More

Planning to Purchase a Homestead?

By | General, Homesteading | 3 Comments

Homestead buying?  Here’s an example how not to do it.

A reader named Bruce recently asked me how we ended up at the farm.  It’s a story that has elements of warning that I probably should share.  So, here it is.  Thanks, Bruce!

Early in our marriage, my husband Nicolae and I enjoyed conversations that included:

“Someday on the farm…” Read More

Summer Farm Update

By | General, Homesteading, Storage | No Comments

I would rather write about a specific project on the farm, but we have been so busy that I’ll have to catch up on processes later.  I hope this overview will suffice until we catch our breath.

This summer has been helpful for some vegetables and fruits such as raspberries, corn and peppers; but not for tomatoes, eggplant, apples, and plums. Normally by this time, six-gallon pots of tomatoes would be processed daily into sauce. Now we’re eating tomatoes and drying batches, but we have yet to start on our sauce-making. Read More

The Art of Cheese-Making

By | Cheese Making, Farm Recipes, Fresh, Homesteading, Storage | No Comments

Cheese Making must be an art, because it needs more than exacting conditions – it needs artistry. (At least that is what I tell myself as another hard cheese is waxed and placed to age in our cheese cellar; my fingers crossed – yet they feel all thumbs.)

Count me as doubtful, but it’s difficult to think that the cheese I make will rival that of the fresh dairy beautifully-aged cheeses.

But this blog isn’t for the faint of heart, nor is it written by the fearful. So, I will record the history of our cheese-making experience.

Family Milk Cow - Holstein - 3.5 years old

Daisey Mae

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Winter Work

By | Homesteading | No Comments

During our previous life before homesteading when we were doe-eyed and innocent, I thought that life on the farm would be idyllic and relaxing. “Sure” I thought, “A farm is a lot of work, but when the harvesting is done I’ll just hang up my work gloves for the year.”

I could not have been more mistaken.
Tree Falling.  Clearing for growth

    Here the trees are thinned to allow others to grow. Read More

Winter Blues

By | Homesteading | 3 Comments

When winter hits and the cold weather closes in, sometimes I wonder if our move to the country was worth it. It’s the little things that really get me down. I’m not talking about the hour drive to Eugene to get to the theater or enjoy some clothes shopping.  It’s just …

As I tromp in my mud boots to feed the animals, I miss sidewalks.

As I loose purchase on the clay-based mud and land on my backside, I miss non-slip surfaces.

As the storm clouds open and the fields get flooded, I miss city drainage.

Shivering, as I rush out to the woodpile and refresh the stove, I miss adjusting a thermostat.

Mostly I miss friends drop-ins, and sharing a cup of coffee and conversation.

Yes, I miss that the most.