Molly and Eric are on the road!

A collection of observation, experience, and creativity based on or inspired by the trip we've embarked on. Seeking out and utilizing time with conversant individuals and relevant organizations we hope to turn our attention toward realistic attempts at bridging the gap between city & farm.

We welcome your comments! If you have a Google account, click "comments" at the end of any post. If you do not, feel free to send us a note - cityandfarmblog@gmail.com.

Where are those city & farm bloggers now?


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26 October 2011

04 October 2011

Post Portland Oregon

Note - Since the loss of our computers in Portland we have had a bit less time on the ole interweb.  As such, our posts will be a bit shorter.  We'll have to tell you all of our great stories and adventures in person or by phone.  

That said, Oregon is a great state!  We had a really good time exploring what this lovely state has to offer. Bend, Eugene, the coast, rivers, lava fields, and more.  The farm photos were taken at Rogue Valley Brambles where we had a great WWOOFing week.  Check out some pics HERE.

24 September 2011

Portland

Portland was full of warm reconnections with old friends.  We hoped to make connections with local farms and wineries, but our plans were spoiled by local thieves who decided to break into our van and take our laptops, lots of camping gear, half of Molly's clothes, jewelry, passports, electronics.  We spent the rest of that day figuring out where to get a new window, filing a police report, and reporting our passports stolen.


Overall, though, Portland still ranks very high on our city list as far as beautiful, fun, friendly, hip, local-focused places.  Catching up with Azusa friends, biking the Biking Mecca, strolling Hawthorne, sampling local fare, enjoying some local bands on the streetcar, Racing for the Cure, and a nice hour up in the Rose Garden filled up our stay in the City of Roses. 
 

  
And if Portland needed a bit of redemption after the break in, it came through viewing the Swifts and kicking back at Swift.

We joined hundreds of picnickers at a school in NW Portland to witness the beautifully entertaining actions of thousands of swifts.  Their annual migration takes them not only through Portland every summer, but to this same school with the same large chimney that serves as their sleeping quarters.  The show lasted about an hour, the birds figuring out a massive coming-together in spiral form, interrupted occasionally by a hawk or other unwanted guest in the sky, finally all swooping down into the chimney.  Quite a spectacle!  And then very apropos, we walked across the river, finding the hip, inviting Swift Lounge and joining other Portlandians for an herby ball jar cocktail on the sidewalk, taking in the rare dry warm evening.


To check out some more pics of our Portland adventures click HERE.

Green Angel Garden

Long Beach, WA has a gem on Sandridge Road.  Larkin spoke of his operation - Green Angel Garden and Sustainability Center - as a school of sorts.  And as a teacher, he shared so much with us about his wind turbine, geodesic dome, composting techniques and biointensive gardening methods.  We also shared music and movies and meals and lots of good conversation.  Highlights were the successful bread-making experiences, live flute melodies (by Larkin) warming the home, bike rides and strolls through the dunes along "The longest beach in the world",  drinking fresh goat milk after a tour of a local goat dairy, and selling out of pesto that we made at a Friday farmer's market.



  
To see a few more from Green Angel click HERE

22 September 2011

A Bit of Beauty Between Farms

On the way from Creviston Valley Farm to Green Angel Gardens we stopped for a couple of nights in Olympic National Park.  Amazing!




See more HERE

15 September 2011

Creviston Valley Farm

We finally make our way back onto a farm!  Creviston Valley Farm was certainly a different experience than any of our previous farms. This was our first farm where the owners had full time jobs off the farm - Lalaine runs a successful bed & breakfast in Gig Harbor and Greg has had a lucrative career selling life insurance. In their spare time they run a 45 acre farm raising cows, sheep, chickens, pigs, and a few goats. This can make it difficult to keep things going on the farm so it was fun to be able to lend a hand.


This was also the first place that we were not staying on the farm.  Lalaine had rented out the farm house to a young family with five daughters so we stayed at the B&B right on the water - pretty plush farm accommodations.  We enjoyed wonderful meals and great conversation on a daily basis.



On the farm we worked at a variety of different tasks.
     - Feeding the animals every morning
     - Herding the cows in when they get out the gate left open during morning feeding - oops!
     - Enhancing soil with mushroom compost
     - Harvesting eggs from the chickens
     - Burying baby piglets that don't make it :(
     - Corralling baby goat back in when he gets out under the fence, then fixing the fence
     - Castrating baby boy cow
     - Herding pigs into the trailer for transport to auction, then taking them to auction

video

Check out pics of our farm work HERE 

12 September 2011

Seattle and its Environs

From BC we made our way to Seattle to catch up with some old friends.  On the way we stopped at a two farms in the Mt. Vernon area.  A good ole Gun Lake friend hooked us up with New Earth Farm where Nick and Victoria showed us around and told us a little bit about the farm.  They are growing organic produce for local sale, providing advocacy and support for marginalized families, and promoting sustainable, organic agriculture and healthy lifestyles.  They partner with the Mt. Vernon Christian School to lease land where their farming operation takes place.


We also made a stop at Ralph's Greenhouse where Tim showed us around the farm.  This was a very different experience for us.  Ralph's is a commercial farm growing 12 crops on 250 acres.  They have up to 60 people working for them during the busy season and have a very efficient system.  For all our Colorado friends - if you buy organic leeks at Whole Foods they probably came from this farm!  They are also one of the biggest leek growers for Annie's Organic Foods.  Tim gave us a great tour and while we failed a few of his quizes - never seen a recently cut potato field - we did guess right on the leek flower.  It was really neat to see a larger scale organic farm in action.  Also didn't hurt that it was in a beautiful setting.


We made our way to Seattle where Eric and Carrie were nice enough to put us up in their lovely Queen Anne apartment.  Two days later and their place was loaded up and headed to Portland in a U-Haul.  In the time between it was great to catch up with Eric and finally meet Carrie.  They seem to be living the good life and have several really good spots within a close bike ride from their place.  Close bike rides are something that Eric scoffs at.  He decided to take a 50 mile ride across the greater Seattle area to catch up with his old college buddy Joe.  (From Queen Anne, around the north side of Lake Washington, over to Joe's office in Redmond, through Bellevue down to Mercer Island for dinner with Joe and Erin and their boys, back into the city, through Capitol Hill, and back "home", surprisingly with no saddle soreness.)


For more pics click HERE