As 2015 winds down I like to look back and share images from our farms. The pictures highlight the diversity of crops and livestock we manage across a backdrop of changing seasons.
In February, dormant blueberries are pretty with their pink bark in the foreground. The hazelnuts in the background are in bloom but these are not showy as the plants are wind pollinated. Nearly all hazelnuts in the U.S. are grown in Oregon. Picture from Nut Farm, in our second fund, near Buena Vista, OR.
Asparagus was once a significant crop in California but planted acres have declined from 40,900 in 2000 to just 11,500 in 2014. Causes include low prices due to competition from imports and recent years with very warm springs that shorten the harvest season. All the asparagus acreage at Brentwood Creek Farm has been replaced with other crops and this year only one of three processing lines at our facility was operating. Picture from April near Brentwood, CA.
The puppy will grow up with these lambs and become their protector. It was amazing to see this little guy become huge over the next 6 months. The baby lambs are only a few days old and within a couple of weeks will be out on pasture. From lambing barn in May at A2R Farm near Corvallis, OR.
The Willamette Valley is known as “the grass seed capital of the world” and orchard grass, pictured above in bloom, is one of the most valuable seed crops we grew this year. We often use orchard grass in pastures as part of our organic conversion process. June picture from Kester Farm near Monmouth, OR.
Our investor and partner event in June at Brentwood Creek Farm was a big hit and included hay rides out to the fields.
Frank Savage, our Farm Manager in California, shows me cattle on pasture at Burns Farm in June. Near Tracy, CA.
The first farm we purchased, Fern Road near Philomath, OR, grew organic spinach (shown above) as well as organic oats, butternut squash and pasture. Pictured near harvest time in July.
Annual ryegrass seed harvest in July with the combine fleets on a field near Airlie, OR. The seed is used mainly for cover cropping, over-seeding of dormant pastures and as part of new pasture blends.
Blueberries being machine harvested in July and green beans being watered in the background at Nut Farm in Oregon. Hand harvested berries go to fresh markets and machine-picked to processing. Machine-picked fruit comes off at peak ripeness and is frozen soon after harvest.
Cucumber harvest in August at Brentwood Creek Farm. These are pickling cucumbers.
First organic beef cattle on pasture at Brentwood Creek Farm in August.
Our first organic vegetable crop in California, tomatoes for processing ready for harvest in late August at Brentwood Creek Farm. The tomatoes were farmed by Mussi Ag, a younger generation from an established farming family in the area.
September brought delicious Pinot Noir grapes, shown nearly ripe at Massey Wells Farm near Buena Vista, OR. 2015 will be a fantastic vintage of Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley.
Hazelnuts drop naturally on the ground in the September at Nut Farm near Buena Vista, OR.
Sheep flock being shorn at A2R Farm in September. The animals are calm when expertly handled.
A pumpkin seed crop at Nut Farm in October. At harvest the meat is typically left on the field as this variety is selected for seed yield and doesn’t have much meat. The seeds are dried, roasted and salted for a healthy snack food.
An organic annual ryegrass crop vigorously sprouting in November near Corvallis, OR. This fall sown crop will be harvested in July of 2016.
Frank Savage and crew are planting 2700 ft of native hedgerows to promote native pollinators at Brentwood Creek Farm. A grant from the Natural Resource and Conservation Service of the USDA helped cover the cost.
Thanks for the great year everyone. We look forward to 2016.