1. So lovely to be BACK, friends. I am thrilled to share with you all more stories in my 2nd year in this great adventure called farming.
2. This time of year we are pruning all of our fruit trees on our small family farm. We are about 1/3 completed(Shout out to my mighty men!) The goal is to give all the tree haircuts before the blossoms start popping out in April. its a bit of a race against the clock and the biggest barrier is often the weather. Pruning the trees is critical for abundant, flavorful harvests. If you don't trim back your trees you will have small, tasteless fruit in the upcoming summer and fall. I enjoy pruning with my mother and find cutting back our skeletal looking fruit trees this time of year really cathartic and satisfying. (PS if you want a lesson because you have a few fruit trees in your back yard give me a holler and I would happily share any knowledge I have on the vital topic of pruning)
3. Good News, We have had a good amount of snow this winter and our snow pack on Mt. Hood is reported to be ample and abundant. I am so grateful to live at the base of majestic mountain and to have a generous source of irrigation water for my thirsty trees each and every year. Listening to the soothing sounds of the middle fork river that flows by my land is such a gift. I know that other drier regions are not as lucky as this grateful farmer.
4. The snow has began to melt at Mt. View Orchards and I have restarted my nightly prayer walks around the perimeter of my land. Blessing my land, our upcoming harvest and praying for the sweet families that live and serve on our farm is my favorite thing to do at the end of the day. Farming is such a profession of hope and I am so hopeful for the 2016 crops but have no guarantee of what they look like. Thank you to all of you who pray for my small family farm as well. I love being your farmer and care deeply about growing your local fruit in this region.
5. Cheers! I am persevering through all the permitting paperwork for our Cidery and I am pleased to announce we will have hard cider for this upcoming farm stand season and to serve at our elegant farm to table weddings. This has been a battle of perseverance, grit and heart. Not giving up has been my goal and I feel like ROCKY a this point in the journey. I have taken some hits but somebody please cue Eye of the Tiger cause I think I am in my last round.
6. We are raising the roof today on our pole barn in our orchard meadow wedding venue. Construction is coming along nicely and we should be finished with the project in April. Hosting weddings on our farm has been a tiny seed of a dream for the past 3 decades and my eyes are filling with tears of joy that this dream is finally doing true. Calling all you dreamers and little girls who kept hope alive for the dreams in their hearts!!! We are booking weddings and giving tours if you or anyone you know anyone would like to get married in the heart of an orchard at the base of Mt. hood. We would be honored to host your big day.
7. Today I am heading in the Portland to attend the Oregon Psychiatric Association conference to get more continue education for being a Nurse Practitioner. I love working in our local county jail and working with my amazing colleagues in community mental health here in the Gorge. I love my sweet patients and serving here where I live is dreamy. This part time job has completely covered my land payments each much and I am so thankful to work for the Mid Columbia Center for Living. (The Farm doesn't make enough to sustain me at this point so working off the farm is a must)
8. Farming is the ultimate surrender and trust fall. My 2nd year in farming I am having less tearful breakdowns when I am paying the bills and I wanted to share my go to anchor verse with you all. "You will keep in perfect peace, those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You."(Isa 26:3)
9. We are getting ready to launch our 2016 All Fruit CSA, friends. I will blog about that next week so to be continued. Thank you to the 30+ families who committed to support local farmers and farms. We need more friends of our farm and I am hoping to double our shares this next year and have drop sites in Madras/Bend, West/Eastside Portland, Hood River, The Dalles and Vancouver. (15 weeks of our abundant fresh picked Cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, plums, apples, quince and pears!)
10. I am so thankful for my warm lil farmhouse today. Waiting to get through all the permitting issues and construction was an emotional and challenging chapter but this morning I am so so thankful and believe it was worth the wait. Hold on to all of you who in the middle place of a hard chapter. It will eventually pass and on the other side are rivers of gratitude and refreshing.
11. Moving back to carry on my families legacy initially was a shocking transition because I left behind so many dear friends in the city. Today I am feeling so incredibly grateful for the old and new friends who have invited me into their stories and homes for meals. I have learned to made friends with time and know that one day I will be connected with my life companion out here on the farm but the kindness and friendship of my community has meant the world to me as a single farmer. Thank you for welcoming me home so well, friends and family. So grateful to be good and backed by my home town. xoxo your grateful farmer