Last Saturday we attended our first Gales Creek Farm and Garden Tour as a vendor at Gales Meadow Farm. Gales Meadow is our neighbor here is Gales Creek and also a grower in our buying club. Ann, Renee and their crew grow the most amazing organic vegetables as well as plant starts. They were one of the farms on the tour. We met their wonderful intern Mikey who gave tours around the farm to anyone who came to the Garden Tour. Garry had the dutch oven going carmelizing an amazing pork roast we gave out as samples. Throughout the day we met some of the nicest people and even were invited to dinner at the home of another local family wanting to learn more about rotational grazing and healing their land with the methods we have learned from Joel Salatin. Joel, a farmer extraordinaire from Virginia. has been our teacher and inspiration as we work to heal this land and raise our animals as animals were meant to be raised.
I first discovered Joel after my last 2 daughters had the audacity to leave and go off to college and leave me with all of their animals and their customers. As 4-H girls, Cayla and Darcie had raised sheep and pigs for 10 years for fair and had aquired quite a few happy customers looking for locally raised meat. I needed a solution where the animals would not only help around the farm but help a single mom raise meat for many while working full time in town. The first book I read was "You can Farm" written 20 years ago which taught me the basics of Joel's rotational grazing methods where animals are moved regularily, followed by other species for sanitation and manure distribution, as well as building up the humus in the soil while totally confusing the pathogens by continually changing species in the pasture. This not only saved me time hauling feed and scooping manure but it helped heal our pastures and build up the microbiology in our soil. I've read 5 of his books out of 11, and am looking forward to his latest book "Your Successful Farm Business" due out mid August, sort of an updated version of "You Can Farm." This man has taught us so much, and as a born teacher wants to help others learn how to farm this way. Check him out on his website, Polyface Farms or on many You Tube videos. We in turn hope to share and teach others how to run a successful farm business and leave the land in a better place than we found it.
Of the many things we learned from Joel is the use of Diatomaceous Earth and Shaklee's Basic H. Check out our next blog post for the amazing uses of these products and the wonder of the best green cleaning supplies on the planet, that actually work! This Saturday we will be back in Carlton for the Farmer's Market so stop by to pick up your meat for the week, and feel free to ask about the best way to farm.
This week has been a busy week, like most around here. The days have been filled with the First Wednesday market where we topped our biggest sale day yet, and seeing our new and old friends happy for our return to the Market. The pork sale is very popular and we sold out of eggs for the first time as well. Like many customers say, "it's really hard to eat store eggs after you've tasted the pasture raised goodness from your farm". Our whole chickens are also selling like crazy right now and are getting low in supply but will have a fresh new supply in about 4 weeks.
Tomorrow we will join the Gales Creek Farm and Garden tour as a guest vendor at Gales Meadow Farm. Gales Meadow Farm is one of our Mercantile growers and Anne tells me they will have plenty of fresh vegetables available soon. We will also have tastings of our amazing pork roast available during the tour so be sure to stop by and pick up your local meat and supplies for the week.
Check out the details at www.galescreekchamberofcommerce.org/farmandgardentour
And finally, if it's even possible, our lives have gotten a little more crazy this week with the addition of a new little member of the family. Meet Tank our new half golden, half lab puppy. He is 10 weeks old and a very large 10 weeks at that, (such his namesake) He is loving life on the farm and getting to know the animals. Lucky, our 15 year old lab/golden old man pup is giving him some guidance, bless his heart, but Tank makes us all laugh and tired at the same time. Such a sweet reminder of the joys and learning experiences in new life.
We have also created a new Facebook group to send out blog posts, specials and upcoming sales so please tell your friends about it. You'll find us at Bohemian Mercantile buying club or click on the link to find us. Thank you for your support and for sharing the excitement of small family farms in our area. Hope to see you tomorow!
Remember all orders for the Sunday pick up are due by the prior Sunday at Midnight.
This past weekend we attended the Gales Creek Strawberry Festival in our beautiful little town. The visitors came out like they never have before and even the occasional rain shower didn't keep them away. Thank you to Sharon and Chas for making this a very organized event, we will be sure to return next year. We met so many new friends, now customers who welcomed us and let us know how excited they were to have local products available so close to home. With the pork sale still going on, many folks were interested in trying many different cuts as well as the new grass fed beef cuts now available. One of the regular questions seems to be "how can I connect with the farmer directly to inquire about meat shares?" Please know, the email addresses listed on the grower pages are your direct link to obtaining pork and beef by the 1/4, 1/2 and whole. These shares are available at certain times of the year so contacting the farmer directly is the best way to set this up.
The Forest Grove First Wednesday market the prior Wednesday was a wonderful event as well, with lots of new folks coming to try our local products and talk about this buying club model. Many are very happy to have the option of buying as much or as little as they need for the week, and not being tied to any preset order or option.
This weekend we will be back in Carlton for their sweet little Farmer's Market on Saturday. With more and more products available every week, you are sure to find something to take home with you. As you think about doing wine tours and drives be sure to check out Carlton and stop by the market right in the middle of town. Hope to see you there!
With such a busy week and not much time to cook, my sweet man cooked us up some of his amazing cowboy chili to soothe our tired bones. Pictured below, this is a wonderful combination of pork steak, pork sausage, grass fed burger and our home canned tomatoes. Throw in some frozen peppers from last year's crop, beans, garlic and onion, this has to be the best chili I've ever eaten. Maybe one day he'll give up the recipe so you all can enjoy it. I'm enjoying a bowl every day for lunch as the rainy forecast continues, thank you honey. See you Saturday in Carlton or Sunday for order pick ups in town.
This week brings us a busy schedule with the Forest Grove Farmer's Market on Wednesday the 7th and The Gales Creek Strawberry Festival on Saturday the 10th. Both should be crazy fun as we have our delicious pasture raised GMO free pork on sale for 25% off.
Do you know how good grass fed and pasture raised meats are for your health? Check out this article on the Eat Wild website educating you on the amazing health benefits of grass fed products. www.eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm "Meat, eggs, and dairy products from pastured animals are ideal for your health. Compared with commercial products, they offer you more "good" fats, and fewer "bad" fats. They are richer in antioxidants; including vitamins E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. Furthermore, they do not contain traces of added hormones, antibiotics or other drugs."
Also covered in this informative research is the fact that eggs from pastured hens are far richer in vitamin D. "Eggs from hens raised outdoors on pasture have from three to six times more vitamin D than eggs from hens raised in confinement. Pastured hens are exposed to direct sunlight, which their bodies convert to vitamin D and then pass on to the eggs. Note that this benefit comes only from hens that are free to graze fresh greens, eat bugs, and bask in the sun. Most of the eggs sold in the supermarket do not meet this criterion. Even though the label says that the eggs are “certified organic” or come from “uncaged” or “free-range” hens or from hens fed an “all-vegetarian” diet, this is no guarantee that the hens had access to the outdoors or pasture."
Add in the fact that the grain we do feed our animals is GMO free, corn and soy free, our Pork, Beef, Chicken and Eggs are not only good for you, but good for the animal and the earth they are raised on. Please read this article, check the research and educate yourself in the choices you make for yourself and your family. By voting with your food dollar you can change the way the world grows our food.
Please come by one or both of the events listed above. We look forward to meeting you, sharing stories and bringing you delicious locally raised products for your table. Hope to see you there!
This blog post covers a lot of territory because the farm is busy with activities and work. We had a sweet delivery of 100 new baby chicks that arrived through the mail to our local post office. Coming into the post office in the early hours before opening, I could tell our new chicks had arrived as the building was alive with the sounds of little chirps. The postman said they had received 5 boxes of chicks that morning so it was crazy inside. We brought the babies home in two boxes and slowly removed them one by one. Dipping each little beak into the waterer to let them get hydrated and then set free to explore their new surroundings. Austin, our 13 year old has a ritual to count and pull each one out of the box and then lets them play all around her as she lays in the new chips. It's always a great photo opportunity, check out this year's great one below. All 101 chicks arrived safely and took off running!
Next we have the wonderful opportunity to join the Carlton Farmer's Market on a few Saturdays this summer. We started two weeks ago and will be joining them again this Saturday. Laurie and Joah are hard working, sweet hearted young folks who have worked tirelessly to get this market going in Carlton, Or. The locals and visitors alike are very friendly and inviting to this sweet little town. Please come by and visit on Saturdays and check out all the wonderful locally produced items available. We have our pork and duck eggs on sale this week at 25% off. Pick up some amazing GMO free, corn and soy free, pasture raised meat for your BBQ. You will not be disappointed. Also we will be bringing our Earthworks Diatomaceous Earth product this week as well. Stop in and learn about the many uses of one of our available earthen products.
Have a safe and blessed Memorial Day weekend as we thank our military service for those serving now and those who have lost their lives in the service to our country.
Last week we had the wonderful opportunity to join the Forest Grove Farmer's Market's first Wednesday market. Although a lot of preparation went into getting our booth ready, we were truly rewarded by the welcome reception we received. Seeing many old friends and meeting new ones was truly a blessing. For the past 5 years working a town job, I had lost touch with so many people and being able to connect once again, meet new friends and share our buying club idea was so sweet.
Join us every first Wednesday at the Forest Grove Farmers Market this summer. Every month we will feature a few different products at the market for sale. This is your opportunity to see first hand what is available in the buying club, and talk to us about these products. Check out the Farmers Market at http://www.adelantemujeres.org/fg-farmers-market/
Also this summer we will be having a booth at the Gales Creek Community Strawberry Festival. http://galescreekchamberofcommerce.org/strawberryfestival/ "This festival takes place on June 10th, 2017 in the middle of downtown Gales Creek! The event, held on the Gales Creek School and Gales Creek Church grounds features live music, dozens of fun vendors, a hot lunch, and of course, our world famous Strawberry Shortcake! "
Also on July 8th, 2017 we will be a part of the first annual Gales Creek Farm and Garden Tour. We will be a guest vendor at Gales Meadow Farm, who also happens to be one of our Mercantile growers. We will have products available for sale and lots of information to help you grow your own garden. Come on out and see us and put these dates on your calendar because "it's always a good day to come out to the country."
This week we started our early garden, by planting lettuce, spinach, chard, kale and onion sets. The raised beds Garry built us come in handy when the ground is still a bit too saturated to plant. By adding a bit of compost to the top of the beds, the vegetable starts go in quickly and start to take off. I added a watering of Basic H from Shaklee to help get them on their way. Basic H helps promote faster seed emergence, creates greater root development, helps the plants withstand cold weather better and absorb proper nutrients, which increases their growth.
This week we are featuring plant and herb starts from a local organic garden just up the road from the farm. Check out the beautiful offerings from Gales Meadow Farm under our store tab and watch for many more plants and vegetable offerings coming as the season grows. As I stopped by Gales Meadow Farm to take a few photos of the plant starts, Ann and her crew were busy working in the garden, planting and setting up the garden rows for vegetables which will be available for purchase in the near future. The warmth of the greenhouse was a welcome invitation as the wind blew that day, and I noticed her cat had found a resting spot on top of the warming mats, curled around the plants. Your local farmers are already working hard to bring you delicious, nutritious food for your table.
This being Easter week, I am planning my annual Easter brunch for the family. My sister Deb will visit from Washington and the family will share one of our yummy pasture raised hams, along with all the fixin's. These are the times I am thankful for the opportunity to bring this nutritious food to our family and to you, our friends. Be sure to check out our hams available under the store tab. We hope you are all just as blessed this Easter season. Thank you for supporting small farms and farm families.
I apologize for the gap in blogging but just like every spring, our world is surrounded by new life and babies on the farm. This year was a very special year because it brought into our family a sweet precious little girl. My daughter Cayla and her husband Ryan gave birth to their first child, miss Hallie Willow. We all are so smitten. I rushed off to Florida to help out and continue the tradition my own mother had done for me, by helping the new parents in any way I could. I cooked for them, worked in the yard, built some compost bins and even planted the garden with Cayla. Not to mention, held the sweetest little bundle of joy as often as I possibly could. The time went quickly and I knew I needed to get back to my family and the farm, but oh it was hard to leave.
From Beautiful 70 and 80 degree days in Florida, back to 50 and 60 degree days in Oregon, it was hard to head outside and get the rest of the trees trimmed. We have finally finished up and hope to get the early garden planted this weekend. The ducks have cleaned out the garden and prepared it for planting so now to haul compost to our no till beds and plant.
We have joined the Forest Grove Farmer's Market for the First Wednesday markets this year. You will be able to stop by and pick up local pork, beef, chicken and eggs as well. We will also be featuring some of our growers items each month at the market too, so keep a watch on this blog to hear which products will be available. Our first market is May 3rd, in downtown Forest Grove so stop by and pick up local nutritious food for your families meals. Items are also available for pick up every Sunday from 12-3 at the Forest Grove Assembly of God church parkinglot, be sure to get your orders in by the prior Sunday at midnight. Check out all of our NEW products and see the list continue to grow! Happy Spring!
As I spent the weekend trimming our fruit trees and grape vines, I thought of the gardening wisdom passed on in a book I purchased some time ago. It's titled Home Remedies II and is full of many remedies discovered and passed on by Amish farmers and gardeners. One of the products used in this book has become the mainstay of our natural remedies on the farm. This product is Shaklee's Basic H and is a product you need to learn more about. I have included some statements from the book below.
"Basic H from Shaklee is a concentrated, biodegradable, organic, non-iconic, non-flamable, non-toxic, pure, safe and economical product." It's actually marketed as a cleaning product but from the multiple uses in the home to a host of remedies on the farm and garden, this product is an invaluable tool. This post we will concentrate on Basic H in the orchard, but later I will post photos on how we have used it as an amazing animal wormer. " For spraying apple trees for example use 1oz. to a gallon of water for feeding trees and insect control. For Web worm, mix 1 quart Basic H with 4 quarts of water. Completely drench the tree with this mixture. Let sit for 30-45 minutes then rinse down the tree with water. This will take care of hard to kill insects in orchards and lawn trees.
Basic H used as a soil conditioner seems to give better absorption of moisture, thus having less run-off. There also seems to be a capacity for holding more moisture in the soil allowing for more mellowness and less cracking and drying. Basic H is excellent for stimulating earthworm activity. "
I used it in my houseplant water this summer and in one months time this is the growth I got on my Meyer lemon tree.
This same plant was attacked by aphids during this time so simply spraying the regular concentration on the tree once, took care of the aphids.
These recipes above are for use with Basic H, the original product. This is available in 5 and 30 gallon sizes. We have had a 5 gallon pail for over a year and still haven't used 2 gallons yet. It is very concentrated and has so many uses, you can use this for years. The second formula available is Basic H2. This is twice as concentrated and comes in 16 and 64oz. sizes. It tends to be a bit more bubbly but I have heard that folks just use half as much in the spray concentrations as quoted in this book.
Rounding on back to my original thread of trimming trees and getting ready for spring, I want to share all we have learned about this amazing product with you. Stay tuned for more uses of this and other remedies and please know this is available under our online store tab or by clicking this link. bohemianmercantile.myshaklee.com
The snow photo? This is what we woke up to on Monday morning, guess we postpone the tree spraying for a few more days.
As we start our second week of offerings, we hope our grass fed meats, and eggs are tickling your interest as ways to enhance your diet and bring the freshest, healthiest foods to your table. Our locally grown grains are such a hit and give you so many options to make wholesome nutritious baked goods to enjoy. Thank you all for your interest and for supporting our local farmers and our finely crafted products. Working with nature to raise pastured food for your table benefits the earth, the animals and you the consumer. Check out our facebook post this week about Grass Fed Basics and educate yourself in the products you choose for yourself and your family.
We are happy to say we will be adding a local coffee roaster to our list of growers as well as organic plant starts and later organic vegetables to the Mercantile. Check out our online store weekly as the offerings will change and grow as we find more amazing products in our local area.
While we are talking about caring for yourselves and the earth, check out our green cleaning supplies and other products produced by Shaklee. They’ve been making sustainably produced, organic, biodegradeable cleaners since 1960 and some of the products have garden and farm uses as well. I will share ways we use some of their products on the farm later in this blog, so stay tuned! Highly concentrated and very effective, this is one company who has really done their homework and walks the talk.
Shop and learn in the comfort of your jammies! Have a great week!
Hi, my name is Donna Van Dyke. We live and farm on just under 8 acres in the beautiful Gales Creek valley in Oregon. Join my fiance, Garry and me on a wild ride of building our dream business, renovating our barn, enjoying life on the farm and the many ways we have discovered to live, grow, eat and farm with products from the earth.