A short reprieve

We finally have made it to a slower pace in life on our little farm and homestead!  It is time for me to share some of what our life is like. This lifestyle, while not always easy, is what makes our hearts beat. Through sharing our normal life happenings, others can see what living on a homestead is like and how there are times of lots of activity, and times of slower paced living, but it is always beautiful.

Travis has a large role to play 

First up, I will start with what Travis has been working on and accomplishing. Number one, he works on the side for a local company as an I.T. consultant.  In all honesty, this helps keep us afloat through the Christmas season, but it is not something Travis Has to do. If this work causes him too much stress or unhappiness, we will manage without it.  We work a multitude of jobs to make ends meet, but all the jobs and projects are things we are good at and like doing. Travis would much rather be working with his hands or using technology to improve the business he has made for himself and our family, but we are grateful for an abundance of opportunities, this one is no exception.

Number two, Travis has still been tending to some of his last remaining crops.  There a few things that have been hanging onto life. A few of these last harvests are some arugula, spinach, baby kale, salad mix, radishes, and salad turnips. These are sold through the Gorge Farmer's Collective co-op. Travis also has to plan for what he will grow next year and start working on clearing out the land, and if nothing else, he has to do much planning in his mind. Next year's produce production will go up another notch. There will be so much more of it! More to clean, prep, and sell. More seeds to order, more planting to do...the list is long. We as a family need to enjoy these slower months of winter because I have a feeling it is going to take all of us to working together, to run our business come spring!

Number three for Travis is that in the meantime, he has been working on homestead projects, and has built a bigger run for the pony which will eventually be a track that goes all around the perimeter of our pasture with the horse in the middle, and our goats will be able to intermingle. (This aides in the ponies diet and movement while still allowing him to be with a herd, but that info will take me into a whole other blog).Travis also built a shed off our hay barn (which he built last year) to house a number of tools, axes, shovels, rakes, pitchforks, a lawnmower, a shredder, and then some.  This last accomplishment of building the tool shed derives from me, his lovely but nagging wife, who incessantly complained that one of these times of stepping on pitchforks around the property will be my demise. 

I am so grateful for such a capable, strong, and handy husband!

What do the kids do?

Now to the kids. Oh, the lovely youth of our lives. Trevor (19) is still working at Mosier Market but their business seems to have slowed down so he is working less hours, however, he is still steadily making progress building his tiny house on the property.

Blake (16) is still attending Riverbend school but it is changing from a charter school to a district run school. The hardest part has been driving him to and from school (that's a long story), but we have the support and help from a few other families who live in our area that help us by taking turns with the carpooling.

On the side, Blake has reached out to a community member and he was granted permission to start a paintball group on a portion of their property since our property is filled up. This will be so great for the kids and teenagers who want to join from our area because it is a great way to get away from electronics, get exercise while having fun, and socialize with peers! We are grateful to live in a place where there are so many great people. Blake will be paying to buy start up supplies for the paintball group himself with money he has saved from summer jobs. His goal is to be ready to start playing in January and be able to get together with others for paintball at least once a month.

Megan (13) is on-line schooling through Connections Academy and doing great with it!  She has occasional sleep overs and get togethers with her friends, and is enjoying the activities of the season such as putting up the tree, buying gifts and wrapping them, and indulging herself in hot cocoa and Christmas movies (with a few horror movies mixed in because, let's face it, this girl loves Halloween all year).


What have I been up to?  Well, besides feeding animals, choring every day, driving kids up and down this seven mile hill, and tending to the needs of house and home, I am very close to publishing my first book!  It was sent to an editor who returned it with some great feedback and suggestions. It took me awhile to make some of those changes, but it is now in the next phase of editing. When it is ready, I will be sharing it with anyone who is interested in reading it, but I will share more of what it's about in a future blog. From there, I plan to write another, and another, and another.  I also plan to get more interactive with our 3 Corners Farm YouTube page, but I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, so this first book is good enough for me, at this moment in time.

Our beloved animal friends

The animals are great! Each year, their structures and environment get built on a little more to improve and enrich their lives. Currently, the most challenging animal to care for is the old horse Willow, and that is mainly due to having difficulties in getting the feed she needs for her special diet and her aged teeth. We should be getting a call from a feed store any day now, where the store manager said he could order her some Triple Crown Senior feed.  That will help so much because then I won't have to mix alfalfa cubes, timothy pellets, beet pulp, and minerals to soak into soft feed. I took that route (of soaking feed) with our former pony Chewy last winter, and it is not fun for anyone. Senior feed is expensive but I feel my time and Willow are both worth it.  

In other areas, the old dogs are still old. The cat is still bossy.  Oh! But we sadly lost a hen to a hawk last week. We usually let the chickens roam free, but they are now needing to stay in the coop for the time being.  The hawk found an easy meal and it is now hovering in our area. If the dogs were still young, they would be out keeping watch, but that is no longer the case, so this is kind of new territory for us. 

I am not ready to get another dog.  I must enjoy every precious day that I can with my oldies but goodies. They deserve to be coddled at this stage in their life after giving us years of protection, activity, and love.

The Weather

One last topic is the weather. For us, the fall came in very mild, then it seemed to pick up it's fall weather patterns of cooling and rain.  I thought we were headed in the right direction toward winter, however, it has warmed back up.  Weather reports were calling for snow, but now they're not. I suppose this is the reason Travis has still had some produce left, but it is a bit concerning after our droughted summer. (Or shall I say summers...plural). 

Our neighbors to the north, Washington state and British Columbia, Canada, had more than their fair share of rain, which caused massive flooding during the month of November.  I must remember to be grateful for getting rain here in Oregon without that drama and stress, and my heart goes out to the people that are left with losses, overwhelming clean-up, and for some, starting over. It is a reminder to not take a single day for granted, and that each day is filled to the brim with so many blessings!  Our homes, family, pets, kids, cars, furniture, food, livelihoods...can all be gone in an instant.  It's a hard pill to swallow so we must all do our part in helping those in need whenever we can because it may one day be our turn.

Welp! If you have read this far, you have almost made it to the end of this blog. If anyone ever wonders what it is like to live a quiet country life in 2021, this might give a glimpse into it. Our days start at 6 a.m. and end at 10 p.m., pretty much like clockwork.  Feeding farm animals, keeping the wood stove burning, and getting all the daily chores and tasks done needs a set routine in order to squeeze it all in, especially when there is so little daylight this time of year.

I will end this blog by saying, I hope you get to enjoy this season and all it's wonders. I love to see the twinkling lights on the tree and smell its goodness. I love to bake cookies with my daughter after dinner and watch the guys eat them all. Haha! 

It's a season for giving, receiving, family, and reflection. May you all be happy, well, and blessed this Christmas season. Much love from us,

Amy E. Darr

3 Corners Farm

Mosier, Oregon U.S.A.