About 5R Farm
Little did I know when I got my first three backyard chickens over ten years ago, it would lead this city girl to the small farm life that I enjoy today. I’ve always loved nature and animals. In college I studied biology, and I spent my summers working for the Forest Service. After college, followed by a short stint in New York City, my husband and I moved back to Portland where we both grew up. I started a career in environmental consulting and began climbing the corporate ladder. Portland was at the forefront of the backyard chicken movement, and I began walking by houses where I could hear chickens singing the egg song in the morning on my way to work. I got my first three chicks in the spring of 2010, Rhoda the Rhode Island Red, Raquel the barred Plymouth Rock, and an Easter Egger who turned out to be a rooster and had to be rehomed. In a few months I added three more chicks - Ruby a gold laced Wyandotte and two more Easter Eggers - Rosie and Ramona.
Our first chicken flock at the farm
I let the girls out of their coop often to play in the garden, and in no time they devoured and scratched up everything green within beaks reach. I was surprised to realize that I didn’t mind all that much that the chickens destroyed my once thriving garden, and it wasn’t long before I began to wish that I had room for more chickens. For several years my husband and I had joked about buying a place in the country, but now the conversation became more serious. In a few months we were the proud owners of 4.5 acres in the country. We named the property 5R Farm, after the five chickens - Rhoda, Raquel, Rosie, Ruby, and Ramona that inspired us to make our dream of moving to the country a reality.
Putting in the vegetable garden
For the first couple of years after we bought the farm property we still lived in the city, but we spent long weekends at the farm working on projects like fixing the well and the water filtration system, battling thickets of thistle and blackberry, and putting in a vegetable garden. We built a large chicken coop and expanded our flock to 30 chickens, including several roosters. On Sunday afternoons we would return to Portland, while a friend that lived at the farm would take care of everything until we returned the following weekend.
The main chicken coop at the farm
As time went on, I began to feel like I was missing out on so much that happened at the farm while we were away. My husband and I both grew tired of the traffic and noise of the city and longed to spend more time at the farm, so after a couple of years of splitting our time between our city house and the farm, we decided to move to the farm full-time. I commuted to my job in the city for a while, but for the last five years I have worked for myself from home, and my flexible work schedule gives me more time to enjoy the farm.
Conducting a bee hive inspection
In 2013 we added bees to the farm, and we added heritage Narragansett turkeys in 2015. As much as I consider myself a crazy chicken lady, I’ve fallen head over heels for my turkeys. I find the behaviors and vocalizations of a heritage turkey flock to be so fascinating. Ringo, Eleanor, Dear Prudence, and Pumpkin Pie keep me on my toes with their endless turkey antics. One of my favorite farm experiences is watching momma turkeys and chickens raise their own little ones, it’s truly heartwarming.
Farm babies, one of the best experiences
I keep a large garden, and I love to preserve food from our garden for eating over the winter. I also have a hobby soap making business, and I sell natural soaps, lotions, and shampoo here on my website. Future dreams include raising ducks and goats, if I can ever find the time! The farm life keeps me on the go from dawn until dusk, but I love practically every moment of every day, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is amazing to think that our 5R Farm adventure started with just three little chickens.