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FARMSTAY ECOLODGE OPENING SUMMER 2021

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Last week, I spoke to Michelle Aguilera who is behind the “Stone House Mini Donkeys” Instagram account. The interview focused on how she became a donkey owner, and insights around donkey care. The backstory A few years ago, Michelle and her husband of 24 years decided to move from Charleston to Oregon with their three kids. The reason behind the move was a desire to spend more time outside. They had family there, and were looking forward to living in a climate they considered more appealing (the “less bugs” thing

Have you ever noticed that sometimes, you hear about a thing – a word, a book, a movie, a person – and suddenly, it’s everywhere? That’s what happened with me and The Biggest Little Farm. Since it came out, I have gotten emails, WhatsApps, and had it mentioned in conversation as a must-see “because it’s a lot like what you’re doing!” At long last, on Earth Day (a happy coincidence), we watched The Biggest Little Farm documentary. If you’re too lazy to read to the end, here’s my big take away:

It’s April 2020, and this blog is about what we learned in the growing season 2019 – so yes, I should have done this recap earlier. Better late than never? Our first year was incredible, fun, and a massive learning curve. Last year, we made a few changes up-front: We expanded the size of the garden and the number of beds Three of the beds were turned into raised beds by lining them with old ceramic roof tiles What used to be the tomato bed got converted into an asparagus

If you follow us on Instagram, you’ll know that we recently downsized our goat herd. In 18 months of owning goats, we went from four does (not a deer in this case, but a female goat) to sixteen goats including two billy goats. It was fun because we regularly had baby goats, and kids are the happiest, funniest, most adorable things that never fail to make your day. Unfortunately, it was also chaos. Goats are sneaky: This is not an overstatement or a drill Amidst the 16 goats, we had a few

Earlier this fall, I finally met Antonella Notari – the cofounder of an agriturismo in Italy, Podere Trafonti – in person. A mutual friend connected us, and was spot on when she said we had a lot in common. Regardless of the age difference between us, with years of “corporate life” behind us, we have both opted to shift to a simpler life. A life closer to nature, on a farm, and hosting guests. In our first conversation, over coffee and a hot chocolate (piled with whipped cream, my

Somehow, even though "write a blog for Casa Beatrix" is often on my to-do list, it just as often gets bypassed in honor of other commitments and to-do's. I am working on changing that, but in the meantime, something else that is preventing me from posting blogs is the feeling that there is so much I want to share with you (ironic, I know). So, to take the proverbial bull by the horns, here's a quick and dirty all-around update to reset my feeling of guilt on not sharing

In the middle of the night on Monday, Francois and I were startled awake by one of the dogs barking inside the tiny house. I was about to tell them to be quiet when I heard the ducks quacking – unusual at best, as they usually sleep through the night (as do the chickens, and contrary to the goats). I let the two dogs out and they raced off, barking at the top of their lungs. The next day, I noticed that our white duck Marilyn (her name might change)

Imagine finding the most delicious, crunchy, slightly tart yet still sweet, apple. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a tree that produces such fruit? The trouble is, apple - and many other fruits - seeds are a genetic gamble - no seed will ever produce the same fruit as it came from. This is why fruit producers use often grafting to reproduce winning fruit. Grafting is both a simple and surreal concept. You cut a branch off one tree (the "scion"), and stick it on another tree (the "rootstock"). Done

When I was eight or nine years old and living in Switzerland, I asked my parents if I could dig up a patch in the garden to grow things. I’m not sure where the idea came from, but the response was “of course!”. Somehow, my idea of growing vegetables morphed into a little rectangle under the kitchen window. Half was planted with basil, and half with mint. The basil died, and the mint took over (knowing what I know now… duh). Last year, I finally got my wish! Starting our

Almost a year. That’s how long it took us from the moment we first saw the property we fell in love with to the moment we signed the papers that made us its official new owners. Well, 11 months to be exact. Ten, maybe, if you count from the moment we decided we wanted to buy the place. No matter how you look at it, it has taken quite a while. We are partly at fault, because we wanted to cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s –

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