Did I really buy a 50+ acre orchard? Am I really a farmer? Friends, I am celebrating my 3 month anniversary of buying my families farm in Parkdale, Oregon. I am still reeling that this childhood dream is now a reality now in my life. Flashback to December 10th, 2014! I remember sitting in a yellow and green room with my parents lawyer(an avid Oregon Duck Fan) and signing my name about 1000 times and then handing my (glowingly proud) parents the biggest check I had ever written for the down payment. Gulp!
I have been asked by friends and family these past months how things are going? My common answer is that I have been deeply overwhelmed by paying the bills on the farm but that the actual farm work has been really lovely and that farming with my mother has been a total dream come true. My mother adores farming and she lights up like a Christmas tree when she is on a tractor doing the most of mundane of tasks. Her farming spirit is alive and well and it has been such a pleasure to study underneath her.
We just finished up pruning all 50+ acres which is about 15,000 trees combined. We started the first week of January and yesterday March the 12th, we completed this grand task. I am so very proud of our faithful and hard working employees who knocked this out in record time. They have done an amazing job this year and I am so grateful for their good work. Running this pruning crew was really a good learning experience for me and the first time I have ever been a boss in my life. They were very gracious to me in my new role and I have nothing but mad respect for their loyal partnership. I have decided to give them all bonuses to thank them again for how fast and thorough they completed the pruning.
We are also in the process of rototilling our new pumpkin patch and our Orchard Wedding Meadow to prepare for planting seeds when it warms up and the ground isn't covered with a thick of layer of frost each morning. This week the animals also had their corral cleaned up from the winter and a fresh layer of sawdust was sprinkled through out. They seem to really enjoy their fresh and newly sawdusted corral.
I feel like you know you're in business when you're 'nervous'! Business involves a lot of risk. Business is only for bravehearted dreamers, if you ask me!
I'm feeling good about the amount of planning and research that's happened thus far for all the new supplemental businesses I am attempting to launch here on the farm. . I can't imagine that I'll get hit with any giant surprises. The worst thing that can happen is that they don't work out or that the county permit office says 'no'.
Here is a favorite quote of mine. “It’s not the critic who counts; or the man who points how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena --who at best, knows in the end the triumph of great achievements, and who at the worst, if he fails at least while daring greatly. His place will never be with those cold, timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” (Theodore Roosevelt)
Here's to dreams and hard work! Thank you for everyone for inspiring me, encouraging me to take risks and to be the bravest version of myself. I am feeling a combination of excitement and some nerves this morning. Im praying for more bravery and trusting my intuition. Faith is spelled R.I.S.K. (John Wimber) xoxo your grateful farmer.
We are a farm that gathers and we had some extra winesaps and newtown pippins so I sent out an invite to my whole town we gathered and pressed cider one gloriously sunny afternoon at Mt. View Orchards. We also hosted some Orchardists from Japan and they pressed apple cider for the very first time as well. Smiles all around!