Here’s a glimpse at some of what’s been happening around the farm, from Justin! We’re all excited for this rain to let up and for the growing season to begin.
Preparing to re-skin the hoophouse.
Smooth progress, as Gillie supervises. We got ‘er done with teamwork – one of Tulsi’s first farm tasks!
Here, Rudy tests out our new, flexible, low-level overhead sprinkler system.
New roll up door frame – the door is full width so we can get a tractor in, and right up to the edges for an initial pass of tillage, to break up compaction. It also allows for maximum passive ventilation – air circulation being crucial to helping reduce the incidences of fungal diseases in greenhouses, especially in our moist climate.
Corner detail. I’ve found that sectioning off this little area made a big difference in reducing heat escaping from that top third of the door.
Note the geared hand winders for the roll-up sides. The doors also use the same winders.
Here’s Teagan unveiling our new field area (left), and the first results of our occultation experiment. The tarps germinated the weed seeds in the soil, and are currently keeping it at a good moisture for tillage. I had plowed some pasture/roadways that were to become one of our new production field areas, but the chunky clods needed to be a lot finer to allow our planned no-till raised beds to be easily formed by hand with shovels. Luckily the tarps had kept the soil at the perfect moisture for tilling. After one pass, we are looking good!
Teagan hard at work building our raised beds in our hoophouse, while i ‘supervise’… ;o)
First planting of the season – thanks to a generous contribution of starts from our friend Beth at Goodfoot Farm! Teagan gets a colorful mixture of kale in the ground. Note the hi-hose, and the remaining beds, covered by landscape fabric – more occultation in action!
Justin and Teagan Moran arrived at our farm on November 1st from Ruby & Amber’s Farm down in Cottage Grove. We can’t wait for you to meet them! They spent the last two years, as part of the Rogue Farm Corps program, honing their skills at organic farming and learning to plow with horses. They brought with them a Labrador puppy named Rudy and a yurt (no plow horses yet). As a special addition to our farm family, Tulsi was born in the farm house on January 15th, 2017!
Justin is from Barnstaple, Devon UK and has farmed across Europe. Teagan is from Portland and met Justin while farming in England, although she too has worked on farms across the European continent. We are very lucky to have such industrious and energetic managers. Already they have put a hand to pruning and cleaning up the farm, worked on water drainage issues, and helped to prepare the farm house for our 2017 guests. Based on our conversations around seed catalogs, I expect we will have a highly diversified garden of veggies for you to choose from next summer, while our flower beds will abound with color as Teagan puts energy into her floral business.
I would be remiss if I didn’t promote some of the philosophy and interests Justin and Teagan bring to our farm.They are both very interested in community and interacting with others, just as they think education about food is vital to the choices we all make about our own health and the well-being of our planet. I expect you will find them engaging with you and your family quite a bit, willing to show you what they are doing, offering programs, demonstrating what farm to table looks like when one is only 100 feet from the other.
While Greg and I are not yet ‘doddering’, we welcome this addition of help and energy to Leaping Lamb Farm. We are still here. We are still working. We will still most likely greet you on arrival. But, this also means we can finally travel ourselves…together. Passing on farming duties and knowledge, as our generation of farmers begins to top 65, is extremely problematic and we feel incredibly lucky to have found Justin and Teagan to continue with new ideas, knowledge (and strong backs!)
We attempted a little holiday photo shoot in the barn this morning with a few of the farm animals. How did it go, you ask?
Opal the Tennessee Fainting Goat was up first. She didn’t want to stay in the shot until she realized she could eat the wreath.
Next came Cocoa, this year’s bottle-fed lamb. Sorry to report that Cocoa is no longer a cooperative photo subject.
Finally, we stuck a bow on Gillie and asked him to sit.
Good dog, Gillie!
Happy holidays to all!
We’re getting ready to host our third annual Open Barn Days at the farm! From 11am to 3pm on April 12th and April 19th, the public is welcome to visit our barn and see this year’s lambs, visit the other animals, and take a farm tour. Bring a picnic lunch and – if the weather is good – while away some time by the creek. If the weather’s bad, there’s always the hay loft!
This is a FREE event! Donations will be gratefully accepted to help defray costs. Look for the jar in the barn.
We’re trying to collect RSVPs, if possible, so that we can have an idea of how many people are planning to come. If you are on Facebook, you can visit one of the event pages and RSVP there. If you’re not on Facebook, a quick note to email@example.com with your RSVP would be most appreciated.
Looking forward to seeing you!
Visit our Rates & Directions page for directions to the farm.
Everyone and everything around here just can’t wait for spring, it seems. We’ve had a few arrivals that were earlier than we planned. Well, remember back in September when we found a ewe in with the rams? And then again in October, we caught Deedee in there. So, no surprise, those two have had babies already.
We’ve also got eggs in the incubator, and one lone chick hatched about a week before expected. Well, it’s a rare treat for our guests who stay here in March!