Several weeks ago I received an email from Lora Lea of Quillisascut Farm asking me if I’d be interested in coming to her Intro to Farming workshop and being a guest blogger. I had been to Lora Lea & Rick’s farm back in February during their Chef Retreat, an annual gathering of local Chefs that happens the weekend after Valentine’s Day, and did not hesitate to send back my response that I’d love to attend.
This is new territory for Lora Lea and Rick, as they’d never had a blogger come for the sake of blogging the days events. So we’re learning to ride this bicycle together and I am truly honored that my name was the 1st out of the hat.
Rick and Lora Lea bought they’re piece of dirt in scenic North Eastern Washington state in the late 70’s and have built an amazing farm on 30+ acres nestled into the mountains of Rice, WA. They have goats, pigs, chickens & ducks and have several gardens for fresh grown organic vegetables and herbs. One of the main things they’re known for is their farmstead cheese. After arriving today, we were all greeted with a hearty snack of fresh bread and crackers and 6 kinds of homemade cheese, from soft fresh Chevre to a semi-hard Curado cheese that is similar to a Manchego in taste and texture.
One of the items on the itinerary for Day One was learning about composting. Not just a heap of compost but also about worm composting. A tip from Rick is that the worm composter should never smell. That’s the sign of good worm action. Stinky = too wet, so add some dry matter such as leaves or shredded newspaper.
The “Worm Juice” is used as a concentrate to mix with water to fertilize the garden, trees and new veggie starts. Rick swears by the stuff. Note to self: Buy a worm composter ASAP. After getting a tour of the gardens and animals we all headed back to clean up for dinner. Stine was on kitchen detail and she made us a rockin Duck Leg, Heart & Gizzard Confit, Baked Kabocha with Curado & Bread Crumbs, White Bean Ragu and Sweet and Sour Caramelized Onions. The meal was phenomenal.
After dinner Ann Harman from Morning Myst Botanics gave a presentation on growing herbs and value added distillations and hydrosols. She distills her own hydrosols (evaporated water infused with oils via distillation from flowers or herbs) and sells them wholesale. It was absolutely fascinating. You definitely should look her up if you enjoy homeopathic products. I purchased a couple of hydrosols from her….shhhh don’t tell the husband.
Well, that’s the end of Day 1 here at Quillisascut Farm. Day 2 is going to be a fun one…the day starts at 5:45 with goat milking and will be nonstop until 9 pm. But that’s life on the farm! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s excitement.
Thanks for reading!