“Why do farmers farm, given their economic adversities on top of the many frustrations and difficulties normal to farming? And always the answer is: “Love. They must do it for love.” Farmers farm for the love of farming. They love to watch and nurture the growth of plants. They love to live in the presence of animals. They love to work outdoors. They love the weather, maybe even when it is making them miserable. They love to live where they work and to work where they live. If the scale of their farming is small enough, they like to work in the company of their children and with the help of their children. They love the measure of independence that farm life can still provide. I have an idea that a lot of farmers have gone to a lot of trouble merely to be self-employed to live at least a part of their lives without a boss.”  – Wendell Berry 

Hi Friends & Farm-ily,

Forward March!  March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb… and in the first week of March it has definitely felt like both (a rainstorm, some flooding, sun, clouds, light rain showers and warmth).  With all the snow and rain in February our bottomland on the property flooded out into a glorious pond.  A week ago the water level was already back to where it started and then another rainstorm came through at the end of last week – and it has risen again!   We appreciate the water though as it is the perfect way to bring in March and celebrate the coming of Spring (not to mention all the beautiful minerals the flood brings to our farm from the coastal range).  There is so much growth and green already around these parts…

Many new things have been happening on the farm since our last update.  We’ve been seeding like crazy and are pumped for the coming months and the glorious transformation of the farm.  Seeds are sprouting in the greenhouse and we are just a few weeks away from planting them in the ground.   For us, there’s nothing better than a greenhouse brimming with glorious & healthy seedlings.  This week we are starting all our peppers and tomatoes as well as leafy greens, our second round of brassicas (cauliflowers, kohlrabi, cabbage) etc.  Now is the time to spread the good word as we have less than 10 shares available for the 2014 season and are so excited for fresh vegetables and fruits!  Help your farmers to grow better and spread the farm love!

Also, just a friendly reminder that your first CSA payments are due by April 1st.  Please email us if you have any questions.  Checks can be mailed to 7705 SW River Rd. Hillsboro, OR 97123 or if you would prefer to drop off your payment in person send us an email to arrange a time.


Ahab our pup and Gloucester our barn cart..

Welcome to the farm-ily!  We welcomed a few new (furry) members to the Working Hands Farm-ily last week.  A very fuzzy pack mate for Una, little Ahab and our amazing new barn cat, Gloucester that we picked up from the amazing folks at Quail Run Creamery in Gaston (if you haven’t tried their little goat feta you are missing out!)  Gloucester is already the best barn cat we could have asked for.  He fancies his new life here on the farm and greets us each time we step into the barn.  True to his nature – he is a great mouser and Ellie and Maribelle are big fans of him as well.

Our little pup Ahab is a great pyrenees/maremma mix which means he’s a working dog through and though.   Ahab and Una have been a great balance for each other.  We’re excited to see how they learn and grow together as they teach these two farmers a thing or two.  Raising pups takes a lot of hard work but they are eager to learn, discover and find their place here on the farm.


They have such a sweet bond already…

Greenhouse # 2.  We’ve been busy putting up our second greenhouse – piece by piece – and have hopes of raising the bows later this week!  We are just too excited about season extension here on the farm….

Pasture, pasture, pasture.  With all the rain and sun our pasture is really taking off! Last week we moved the pigs out to pasture and let us tell you, they are some real happy pigs.  We’ve been rotating them around an area we had a hard time tilling up last Summer/Fall and are letting them plough it up and fertilize it for us.  So far they’ve done a great job.  The flooding has taken over their area a bit so we’ve had to improvise on our rotation but nonetheless they have been extremely adaptable and are meant for this kind of living!  We’re hoping by the end of the month that the cows should be out on pasture too (it needs to dry out a little bit before we turn the heavier critters on it).   We’ve been busy enclosing the main pasture fence and aren’t too far away from seeing the cows out there in the fresh grass and sunshine…


Piggies on pasture.. what could be better?

The chicken pasture is now enclosed with electric netting (to keep them safe from the many predators who enter the farm as well as making it highly moveable for your farmers).   The girls love all the bugs and sprouts they are finding outside.  We will over-seed their second pasture this week and rotate them between both pastures throughout the season.

In just a few months time the younger laying hens will be ready to move into Chateau Poulet.  Until then, we built a sweet little mobile chicken coop for them (also, in anticipation for our Freedom Ranger – meat birds – that will be arriving later this Spring).  When the Freedom Rangers are old enough they will be out on pasture in their new cool pasture shelter.  So far the little ones love their new little space and even after a few seasons of raising chicks – still can’t believe how quickly they grow!  Also, we will have egg shares available to purchase for the upcoming season SOON!


Not so baby chicks are moving on to greener pastures…

Fresh, pasture-raised eggs!  ‘Tis the time in the season to support the ladies of Chateau Poulet.  With the longer days the hens are starting to lay again. If you are already signed up for the CSA and are interested in buying the best darn eggs this side of somewhere. Email us and we will put them in the cooler for you. All of our hens are fed an organic, corn/soy free, verified non-GMO diet and have access to pasture 24hrs a day.  A quick tip-trip saver- our eggs are super fresh so buying several dozens at a time will keep longer and save you a weekly egg trip!  Give the ladies some love!

Volunteer Day – Strawberry Planting.  Many Hands, Make Light Work… This week we will be receiving a large shipment of strawberry plants, which means we’ll be planting 10+ 100ft rows of strawberries this weekend (here’s hoping for dry weather)!    Last year we planted a similar amount and it took us 2 full days with a dozen or so enthusiastic helping hands!  Please send us an email if you are interested in coming to help and we will keep you updated towards the end of the week with all the details!


The green garlic grows and the fencing continues..

‘Tis the time of the season to send your farmers some love as we continue to seed, till up the first ground of the season, finish up the pasture fencing and construction of greenhouse #2, construct the new shade structure and pick up area for the CSA, lay irrigation for the vegetables etc etc… phew.. (we LOVE it!)  Here we go!  Bring on Spring!

Enjoy that (almost) Spring sunshine,

Your Farmers

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts

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