The Homestead


Here at Hollow Hills Ranch & Homestead, various kinds of livestock have passed through our gates. Horses, cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, rabbits, geese, chickens, and many more. Our horses have gone down from 7 to 1. We no longer have cattle, pigs, goats, or geese. We plan to get chickens and maybe rabbits again at some point. Sheep have persisted through the years.

Back in the early days, when Connie’s Grandparents and then Uncle ran the farm, there were wool sheep: Suffolk mostly. When our immediate family took over the farm in the 1980’s the sheep were Suffolk and North Country Cheviot. In early 2000 we added our first St Croix ram to the flock to cross over the wool breeds. Not needing to crutch (shear around the udder and rear ends) for lambing season was fantastic! Wool prices had gone in the toilet so needing sheep that didn’t require as much shearing appealed to us.

We soon added Katahdins, more St Croix, and dabbled with other breeds such as Dorper, Barbados, and Black Hawaiian. We finally settled on predominantly St Croix and Katahdin flocks. The crossbreds will eventually be “bred up” to become Registered Katahdins.

We are planning a new chicken coop/pigeon coop for the orchard/garden area so that we can sell both meat chickens, eggs, and pigeons. Rabbits and geese are easy to raise so we are determining if we want to again and the logistics of it.

Shane knows a thing or two about keeping honey bees and making honey so at some point we will be adding some hives to the orchard as well.

In the old days of Hollow Hills Ranch & Homestead, there was almost always a garden and a few random fruit trees here and there. In early 2000’s the family put in an actual orchard of 29 trees. Due to some irrigation problems though, many of the trees have died. We still have one apple tree, one pear tree, and one peach tree left. We are currently in the process of restructuring the orchard and scaling back some of the fruit tree plans. We are considering planting the orchard into a food forest. Basically landscaping with food plants, pollinators, nitrogen fixers, and things with deep roots to bring nutrients to the surface.

We will have apple trees, pear trees, peach trees, plum trees, sweet cherry trees, and pie cherry trees. We will be adding fruiting shrubs and vines such as Elderberry, Blueberry, Huckleberry, Grapes, Black Raspberry, and Thornless Boysenberry. Whatever we don’t use we will sell.

Another feature to the orchard will be the raised veggie garden beds, a few hoop houses and maybe a greenhouse. We will preserve what we want to keep and then sell off the excess.

We are toying with the idea of also growing mushrooms in a special mushroom shed or hoop house as well. Several varieties are fairly easy to grow.

There are also thoughts of selling cuttings, but we will see!

I have always had a huge interest in living primitively and in survival in general. Since I was a kid I imagined the scotch broom as my fort and had “rooms” in it for my home.

My daughter and I enjoy going fishing, often with Shane or my mother, Connie. My mother is actually who taught me to hunt, track blood trails (well track just about anything she knew how to track), fish. Outdoor school in 6th grade taught me many survival skills to add to what my grandmother taught me about foraging.
We’re all working on teaching my daughter, Morgan all these valuable things too!

Growing up I spent a lot of time with my parents volunteering with Oregon Equestrian Trails building horse camps and maintaining trails. I would always be the one who was First Aide and CPR certified during all these activities. My saddle bags were always packed with first aid/survival gear and I even showcased it at the Oregon State Fair when OET had a booth there.

More recently I have been able to teach the public, along with some other great folks, about basic emergency preparedness, bug out bags, etc. We had a lot of fun doing this and hope to be doing more of it soon!

Shane hunts using hawks or falcons and his English Cocker Spaniel, Huckleberry. He’s the type who could get lost in the woods for weeks at a time and be perfectly happy to figure out survival on his own. You can see why he and I get along so well haha.

I am also vastly interested in Science. Astronomy, Meteorology, Chemistry, Geology, Paleontology, Archaeology, Biology, Zoology, Botany, Technology, etc. You name it!
I have an Associate Degree in Biology/Medicine/Science, one in Microcomputer/Networking, and one in Computer Applications. It’s run in my veins from an early age from my first microscope to my first telescope and beyond!

As you can see, my daughter takes after her mother in sciences. Here she is breaking through a block to get to the crystals inside of it. We both love looking at the stars, the moon, random creatures we find in the woods or creek, etc. She is an avid slime maker and beginning coder as well!

I actually watched the training video to be a Sky Watcher in case any cool thunderstorms or other less cool weather comes our way. I’m a little obsessed with the weather and probably look at my NOAA weather app 5 times a day hahaha.