Due to a warm spring and a mild fall, our Satsuma mandarins are ripe and ready for sale a little early this year. Here’s the scoop: Satsuma mandarins are alternate bearing, meaning they produce a lot of fruit only every other year. This is an off year, but somehow we ended up with about the […]


Harlan, Oregon with it’s forested hills and vibrant green pastures is one of the prettier places on this earth. In the first half of the 20th century, this area was a major producer of angora (goat) mohair. Delbert Kessi was born and raised in this valley and has worked goats pretty much his whole life. […]


First off, we don’t know what we’re doing. Secondly, THIS IS SO MUCH FUN! A few weeks back, Henry and I were standing around the kitchen, and maybe it was because I’d been reading too much Little House in the Big Woods to the kids or admiring archived posts on Amanda’s blog, but for some […]


There are a handful of questions that I get over and over, in person or via email/other social media. “Why did you choose to live the way you do?” “How did you get to where you are now?” “How much did it cost to build your house?” “Do you ever wish you lived in town?” […]



December 13, 2012 · 1 comment

‘Tis the season for mistletoe! Actually, mistletoe is evergreen, so it’s around all year, but no one seems to notice it until December rolls around. Henry brought home a giant pile of mistletoe the other day. He trims horses at a quarter horse ranch in Airlie that has a grove of oak trees on the […]

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My mother in law is a¬†certified Master Food Preserver¬†(kinda like a Master Gardener) and an active volunteer at our local food bank. A couple years back, she combined her passion for food preservation with her desire to better serve individuals and families who couldn’t always afford good healthy food by starting a program called Jamming […]


As if Henry wasn’t busy enough with horseshoeing and beekeeping, he also does habitat monitoring and restoration work locally as a contractor for the Marys River Watershed Council and United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). For the past month or so, he’s been spending a day or two a week counting butterflies, quantifying nectar […]


My Twitter/Instagram feed is full of folks bragging about unseasonably warm weather and photos of blooming cherry trees on this second day of spring. It’s nice to know that spring has sprung in other parts of the country. We have snow. A LOT of snow. When people ask me if it snows in Western Oregon, […]


Happy Birthday, Oregon!

February 14, 2012 · 7 comments

The View from Prairie Mountain The great state of Oregon turns 153 today. Personally, I’m choosing to celebrate February 14 by expressing my deep love and gratitude for this wonderful place where I live, always have and always will. I don’t want to be a grinch about the whole Valentine’s Day thing (I did actually […]



November 25, 2011 · 4 comments

                          I’m a naturally frugal kind of person. I drive a 10-year-old car, I haven’t been on a “real” (not visiting family) vacation in over four years, and I stare at price tags, agonizing over “Do I NEED that?” “Do I REALLY want […]