George's Farm Blog

Weekly stories from the farm


Repairing the river pump

More Water Woes

11 March 2023

NeverStill, Oregon

You may recall from a previous post last year and another from the year before, that we have been having issues with the water system at Neverstill Ranch. Water supply is an ongoing issue here, but the good news is that the more I work on the system, the better I understand it and am able to quickly troubleshoot and repair. It is a rather complex and elaborate system, consisting of many disparate sub-systems. In general, it is a very effective and high quality system, and we love the pure, clean flavor of the mountain spring water. This week the issue turned out to be specifically an electrical issue. A contactor (sort of a high current switch) had gone bad on the primary pump that transfers water from Deep Creek up to our 6000 gallons of storage tanks. It took a fair bit to track down the problem, and then a few minutes on the phone with my friend and customer Dejan, a fellow physicist and Boeing engineer, who happens to have a lot of experience and expertise specifically with contactors and has been a welcome and helpful resource with similar issues in the past. I was able to isolate the contactor and rewire a bypass, allowing the pump to begin filling our storage tanks once more. However, it turned out I wasn’t going to get off the hook quite so easily as the water flow was woefully inadequate. Further inspection into the water transfer hose in Deep Creek revealed a massive rupture. From there it was a cold, wet, miserable job, hauling the muddy hose and pump up the 20 foot bank to work on the repairs. A few hours later the tubing was replaced and we had good flow into the storage tanks. A quick round of the various subsytems on the farm revealed a few more leaks caused during the freezing weather, which were quickly repaired and I retired to the FarmHouse to join the family for a satisfying roast pork loin with farm rice and buttery carrots that Rose had prepared.

Rose did an unscheduled PopUp at our NW Portland location in front of St. Honoré Boulangerie yesterday (Friday) evening! It was very well received, so we intend to continue that schedule heading into Spring and Summer. I have added it to our weekly Magic Meat Truck interary below.

I have been experimenting with a new loaf, “Pain de Mie”. This is essentially a French sandwich bread, focusing on the soft delicate “crumb” or interior, rather than the crust. My version uses our French heritage “Rouge de Bourdeaux” whole wheat flour, honey, butter and milk to create a delicate, soft bread, perfect for traditional sandwiches. We have also been making one of our favorite condiments, Aïoli, a traditional garlicky mayonnaise which highlights the golden radiance of our pastured hen eggs. We love to pair it with our mortadella, raclette cheese, mustard and garden greens for a quintessential sandwich that is full of nostalgia! This week is in very limited quantities as a prototype product. Buy it by the pound, any quantity from a slice to a loaf. In coming weeks I will increase my production according to demand. Look forward to our Aïoli and mustard to be stocked on the Magic Meat Truck soon as well!

Rose will be operating the Magic Meat Truck this weekend while I tend to the farm critters and farm children, and continue work on our new chick and duckling brooder. I have baked a village loaf, a “pain de mie” loaf for sandwich bread, and harvested fat ducks and chickens for the markets. Rose has made some stunning cuts from a beautiful boar we slaughtered this week, baked delectable pâtés, smoked meats, and stuffed a bountiful array of sausages.

Find Rose Saturday morning at University District, Saturday evening on Vashon Island, Sunday at Ballard, and Monday and Friday evenings in Portland! Details of time and address are at the bottom of this email.



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ducklings in the brooder

The bad contactor

ducklings in the brooder

Water storage tanks

ducklings in the brooder

Friday Magic Meat in NW Portland

“Pain de mie”, or sandwich bread in the foreground, village loaf in the background

Mortadella, Raclette and aïoli sandwiches with garden lettuce!

Gathering eggs for Aïoli

Farm lunch!

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Magic Meat Truck Popup Schedule for this week:






If you have trouble finding us, text George @ 20 64 27 33 96

George & Rose