Welcome to 2023!

Are you ready for the future? Because we are!

Life on our little farm has been slow but busy at the same time. While nothing much has been happening other than getting through the cold weather, we have taken the extra downtime to delve into new ideas, research, and make plans to grow our small farming business into the future. 

While we love living and using many old ways, we also want to be included, as technology takes hold of our current times. We feel the tech-savvy world will not slow down but will continue to change and grow into the future, so in this blog post, I will share some of our futuristic ideas about how we can take our knowledge from the past and the present, and combine it with new ideas to hopefully help us get ahead as we delve into this ever-changing world.

Farming for the future

First off I will share that during the past month, which blessed us with a small window of reprieve from snow and ice, Travis was able to finish installing the fence around the spot where he is going to build a high tunnel. This high tunnel (or small greenhouse) will be used to grow some greens, but it will also give us a chance to try our hand at growing more diverse vegetables that we can use on our Homestead. It will be nice to have our own supply and still be able to sell an abundance of produce to the community from our separate lot. 

New garden area
This picture was taken in January and shows that we had a reprieve from the snow and ice.

Now I will get into what's to come if all goes well.

-Travis recently applied for a grant from The Oregon Food Bank, to supply over a thousand pounds of greens to the Columbia Gorge Food Bank. We should be hearing from them in the next couple of days.

-We also have been looking into a system of farming called "Verticle Hydroponics." This system uses a 40-foot shipping container to grow to produce in. It would work well with the small amount of acreage we have, plus we would be able to grow all of our produce here, on the Homestead, and no longer need to travel to the Odell lot where there is irrigation.

-There are several bonuses to this hydroponics method:

1. We will need to hook electricity to it, but it will keep the produce inside at whatever temperature we set it to be at. It's a low-energy setup and does not require a lot of power.

2. It will require roughly two and a half gallons of water daily, which is very manageable for us.

3. It will grow an estimated 13,000 pounds of greens annually so Travis can supply local vendors and restaurants (and our community) year-round.

4. It will protect the produce from inclement weather and other elements of nature, while simultaneously allowing Travis to farm and do what he loves in less time.

-There is more knowledge to be gained about this new innovative way of farming, so we will share more as we go.  If we decide to give this a go, it will still be a while out into the next couple of years for us. If you would like to learn more, here is a link to FarmBox Foods.

Now for a quick peek into our animal happenings and other Homestead activities

As I stated earlier, we were blessed with a good thaw out after December's deep freeze, before more snow and cold came.

January brought us visits from all the local wildlife! We have had deer peeking in our windows, hoping for a taste of any goods we are willing to share with them. We decided to lay some hay and alfalfa out in various places around the property, just to help see the deer through the month of January when there is not much forage readily available for them.

We had the farrier out to trim the horses' hooves and unfortunately, Willow (our senior mare) made the experience very difficult, but we got the job done. I have decided it is time to treat Willow for ulcers again.  This ulcer issue has come and gone for her since adopting her in 2018 and seems to be occurring more often as she ages. It has been about a year since I've treated her for ulcers, so we will cross our fingers that the ulcer powder will make her more comfortable. The cost is $180.00 for a container, but when she gets relief, she is a much happier girl and that makes the cost all worth it. 

Willow will be 23 years old next month.

At least we are all well (on the human side of us) and life has resumed more normally after the dark survival period that January often brings.

Looking Ahead

I'm excited about what's ahead, both for us on our little farm, and for the world. I believe there are many changes to come and while that can be challenging, it is also needed and necessary. So, we will keep learning all we can and I will share with you next month what we come up with. Spring is just around the corner, woo hoo!

Until my next blog post, take care and be blessed,

Amy E. Darr

3 corners Farm

Mosier, Or. USA