hutchins farm

I have been meaning to write a post about a typical day on the farm for a while now.  And thanks to a few faithful readers for your curiosity I will try to fill in some of the gaps for you all.  But first I need to rewind to the summer of 2008.  That is when Taylor and I first began talking about working on Hutchins Farm.

It was a hot July afternoon in Bend, Oregon when we received a surprise package in the mail.  Blueberries!  But these were not your average blueberries. They were organic, delicious, and most importantly, grown by Taylor’s dad.  I declared them the best berries I had ever tried.  And after consuming about a pound of those blueberries my mind began to wander.  It wandered all the way back to the east coast where the berries had been grown.

I am lucky to have Taylor by my side whenever I start thinking of crazy ideas for the future.  He is a dreamer as well and we were both dreaming up ideas for what we wanted our future to look like.  And one common theme that particular day were those blueberries.  And for some reason two years passed and we were still thinking about them.  And that’s when we hopped in the car and drove east.

Lucky for us, those delicious berries we consumed out in Oregon were grown on Taylor’s family farm.  Taylor’s dad and uncle are the farmers and owners of the land and we had a sneaky feeling they would put us to work if we so desired.  Which we did.  And now as you all know, we are currently employed by Hutchins Farm.

One of the great things about Hutchins Farm is that we are surrounded by seasoned farmers.  We have not one, not two, but four amazing farmers who are multi talented.  Not only are they knowledgable farmers, but they are mechanics, they are accountants, they are irrigation specialists, they are welders, they know how to operate heavy machinery. They know what, why, and how things grow in specific locations on the farm.  They know what needs to get planted where, when, and what needs to follow that planting.  The duties are divided up between them.  We have a farm manager, and orchard specialist, and irrigation/cultivating/mechanic/welder specialist.   The list goes on.  Which is why we are so lucky to work here.   We didn’t have to go out and buy 70 acres of land on our own, or stay up all night worrying if the greenhouse is going to blow over on an exceptionally windy night (our farm manager gets to do that!)  We casually showed up and were put to work.

Our days typically start at 7 am.  We have a brief meeting with our farm manager and take the day from there.  The field crew can be as few as 3 people in the early spring and late fall, to over 10 people in the heart of the summer.

Taylor and I get days off along with everyone else, but there is always someone at the farm round the clock.  The days can be extremely long and hard, and I would be lying if I said I loved every minute of it.  I try to keep the blog up beat, but that doesn’t mean the some days I am so exhausted that I am brought to tears.  However, that is what makes it all the more rewarding.

And of course, when we are not at Hutchins Farm we are at the Emerson house cleaning and doing yard work.  We do not give tours, we are simply the care takers.  I know that is what attracted many of you to the blog in the first place.  However, (as many of you can tell) it is not something I choose to write about.  We are passionate about the farm and that is where our hearts are.

I hope this answered some of your questions.  And please feel free to ask more questions if/when you have them.  If I don’t know the answer I know who does.

And again, thank you to everyone who has been reading along.  I appreciate each and every one of you.

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22 Responses to hutchins farm

  1. Dorothy says:

    Thank you so much for this very informative, fascinating piece! It helps us better understand what goes into running a farm. When many city dwellers go to the farmers’ market, we have just a vague idea of how the produce gets there. You’re teachings us some valuable lessons!
    Thank you – and keep up your fine writing!

  2. Thanks, Andrea! I’m so glad your heart is in farming and even happier that it was a pint of blueberries that grabbed ya! Blueberry picking (and eating) is my favorite job to do on our farm – the bushes are the perfect height and if it’s a good season, you can fill your bucket with just a couple bushes! Ah, the little things:) One question – what is that rolling contraption in the last picture? Please tell me it’s for making the holes for seeds – we have a more tedious contraption on our farm that we use for transplanting the dried flowers and I’d love my parents to get one that rolls! Much quicker than the method we’re using:)

    • drealieberg says:

      The rolling contraption is a row marker. it is totally awkward, but amazing at the same time! Two people walk it down a freshly made bed and it marks the holes where the plants go. I believe it is about a foot between each hole. It is great, but you need to walk in a REALLY straight line. (which is hard for me!!) Remind me where you farm is?

  3. Marcia says:

    Loved hearing about the farm operations. I feel lucky to live here where I can buy such great produce and blueberries/apples. Thanks for all your hard work!!

  4. Jill says:

    Thanks for your insightful post. Let’s hope the buy local movement continues to gain traction. How wonderful that you are contirbuting to it and keeping the farm knowledge bank going. I know the work is hard but it sure beats being cooped up in an office. Thanks also for your Oregon posts all winter. Because of them we are taking our first-ever trip there in less than two weeks; we are very excited about hiking and beer!

    • drealieberg says:

      I am SO excited you guys are going to Oregon!!!!! Where in Oregon are you traveling??? I am jealous! It is a great place with a lot of spirit. Let me know where you are heading!!!

      • Jill says:

        We’re from Chicago and are flying to Portland and spending 4 nights there. We plan to see the Japanese Garden, Powell’s Books, the Saturday Market, the Columbia Gorge, and sample beers at a slew of breweries. Then we go to Cannon Beach for 1 night on the beach and then to Newport for 1 night. Along the way we hope for some time to hike to coast. From there we go to Silverton for 1 night to hopefully hike the nearby Trail of the Ten Falls. From there we will spend our last night back in Portland before heading to the airport on Sunday morning. Not enough time, I know, but it’s the best we can do right now. While in Portland, what brewpub or brewery is a must see?

      • drealieberg says:

        I am SO jealous of you!!! I want to come along! Okay, here are some good breweries in Portland to check out:
        Hopworks, Deschutes brewery, Rogue ales, Widmer, BridgePort brewing, tugboat, and if you get to Hood River, which you will if you explore the Columbia Gorge, go to Double Mountain Brewery!!! So good! and get their IRA. Best beer I have ever had! Powell’s bookstore holds a special place in my heart. Best bookstore in the country. The coast will be great! You will love Oregon! Bring an umbrella!!

  5. Terry says:

    I don’t usually comment but I just have to tell you how much i love your blog and all the good recipes. And you are a GREAT writer. Hope to visit you there someday.

    • drealieberg says:

      We would love for you and Bob to come out to the farm. You guys would love it!!
      We have plenty of room, plus extra hoes and shovels in case you guys want to get a little dirty at the farm!

  6. Sue says:

    Thanks for your post. It gave a pretty good basic idea of how a farm is run – and it is complex! Thanks again!

  7. Jean says:

    Thanks for educating us about the risks and rewards of farming. I am thrilled to hear that you and Taylor have lost your hearts to Hutchins Farm. Didn’t know if it were an interesting life experience of the “been there, done that” ilk, or something that may be more long-lasting. Glad to be able to hope you two may be the future of the farm.

  8. sundya says:

    I have been reading your blog every day since you started…it’s the first thing I go to when my day is done and I can relax. Thank you!! I love reading about your days at the farm and all of your wonderful recipes… I know the work you do is very grueling, but the results are amazing! Soon you will be at the farm stand eating yummy food from Ragab! xo

  9. amy leclerc says:

    I get the feeling this blog might be the platform for some amazing things to come for you Andrea. Keep up the great writing and cooking!


  10. Martha says:

    Thanks for this post. I’ve been wondering about the decisions you have made on your blog about writing about the farm and the Emerson house, and I appreciate the clarification. Keep up the good work!

  11. Beth says:

    Because of your blog, Andrea, I say a daily prayer for farmers everywhere.
    With respect for your hard work…

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