Dunton Family Farm News

What's Happening Around the Farm as well as a Soapbox for head farmer, Mike Dunton

My Office View and Thank You!

After a long day working outside, I packed up the family plus two workers who were here late, and we headed down the road to the local cafe for supper.  It was nice to unwind and visit as a family over a good meal . . . especially when there were no dishes to clean up afterward.

When we got back to the farm, the guys (son and both son-in-laws) headed to meet up with friends to play basketball.  I started to head out to the office to catch up on paperwork but it was so nice outside, and with rain forecast for tomorrow,  I grabbed the tractor key and a sweatshirt and hit the field.  I ended up tilling the gardens until 10:30 p.m. this evening.

Doing tractor work is one of those tasks that allows you to simultaneously work your mind.  It is kind of like time spent commuting.  And yes, I too once had a commute.  Commuting seemed like dead, wasted time.  But like this evening on the tractor, I always tried to make the time productive.

I started with going over the day’s accomplishments and what didn’t get done.  Then I started making a mental list of what I needed to get done this weekend and then I started thinking about the weather.  Then started watching the flock of birds that was following me around the field eating as I turned the soil.  Well you get the picture . . . my mind started to wander.  But that is o.k. once in a while.  It is like dreaming.  A necessary function.

And then, as I sat in the armchair that is my tractor seat, I looked up and took in the whole view as well as my situation.  And it was good.

My Office Window

My Office Window

It was like it just hit me.  After years working off-farm in a corporate, high tech career to pay the bills while we got the farm and the Victory Seed Company off the ground, I finally got my office with a view.  It is awesome and I am grateful and very appreciative for all of you that support our seed variety preservation work with your orders.  Your support directly allows me to work the soil, raise rare seeds and keep them available to gardeners.  I truly feel blessed and just want to sincerely thank you.


posted by Mike in Farm News and have No Comments

Nice Weather = Busy Mike

Here in Oregon, when the weather is nice, we have to take advantage of it.  I apologize for the lack of tweeting and blogging but with working outside as much as I can, it is all that I can do to keep up with necessary paperwork, CRMs, and email.  And here I sit, midday, in the office, blogging :)

Not for long though.  It is still nice outside – actually beautiful and sunny – and so I am heading back out into it.  This stretch of nice weather is forecast to end on Friday so I will catch up with office work then.

Yesterday I got about an acre of ground tilled up.  It was the second pass.  About 1/3 of the area I did as been in hay since 1961.  That is, it has been lying fallow my whole life and should be a nice, fertile area.  The only issue is that it is well established sod so will take another couple of passes with the tiller before planting.

This afternoon I am back out to the tree planting project.  I have 210 more Austrian Pines that I need to get either in the ground of potted up.  They are bare root and I have them banked in using potting mix.

I did get all of the tomato seedlings potted.  I finished up on Saturday.  I am about two weeks behind on that task so they are a bit on the small and scraggly side.  However,  just in the few days they have have room to stretch  their roots in pots and have been in the warmth of the greenhouse, they look a lot better and are growing.  I don’t yet have a final count on the number of plants or number of varieties.

Sunday I spent the whole afternoon and into the last bit of dusk, mowing.  My Dad usually keeps up with that ( I am sure not something he planned doing in his retirement).  But he is on vacation with my Mom visiting my sister in Illinois.  So, I mowed.  Like tilling, mowing is one of those jobs that requires two hands and just the littlest amount of brain power.  That leaves a lot of capacity in the noggin for planning, day dreaming, etc.  I actually look forward to those times as they are relatively rare for me.  Anyway, things looked pretty nice around here for a day or so.  Probably should mow again tomorrow before the rain starts in again.

Out in the seedhouse, the crew is cranking out orders pretty much within a day of receiving them.  So now is the time to order if you need something relatively fast.  Don’t forget that we also have a pretty good line of old-time, nostalgic candies and gum.  The quickest way to find them is to go to www.victorysweets.com.

That’s it from the farm.  I hope that all is well in your neck of the woods.

posted by Mike in Company News,Farm News and have No Comments

First Spring-like Day on the Farm

It was a gorgeous day here on the farm.  I got as much office work as needed to be done and got outside. Yesterday I had started working on cleaning up our blackberry patch so I set out to finishing that job.

Starting the Job

Starting the Job

It can be an overwhelming task by oneself.  When neglected for several months, the vines become entangled, overgrown, extremely long and generally unwieldy.  Ideally, this task is done in the fall after fruiting is done.  When you are finished harvesting, the old (two year old) canes should be then cut out and the new growth trained up on your trellis.  It is much easier when done at this correct time.  However, for me, I am busy with seed harvest.

A Tangled Mess

Others have helped me with this task over the years but the only one that I could really work well with is my son.  He understands what needs to be done and so his help is actually help.  The task becomes a team effort.  Others cause me frustration and so, since John is off at college, I did it alone.

Old Vines Gone - New Strung Up

Old Vines Gone - New Strung Up

That is o.k.  It was beautiful outside and I was happy to be at work on a task that will provide me gallons and gallons of awesomely good berries.  Along with getting the old vines cleaned out and the new ones trained up, I got the Troybilt fired up, tilled, gave them all a shot of fish fertilizer, fired up the tractor and hauled and spread mulch.  I am hoping that the mulch will help keep the weeds controlled better or at least make them easier to pull.

All Done

Got It Done In Time for Supper


Additional Information:

posted by Mike in Farm News and have No Comments

Click for Heirloom Tomato Seed Selection Save Seeds - Victory Horticultural Library matersearch.com - online tomato resources