Sam and Terry Noonkester are of a disappearing breed of Wilderness Renaissance People. They ranch, they farm, they preserve, they cook, they hunt, they work wood, and they weld steel. What’s more, they are happy to share the best practices for doing all of that bucolic, handy, and often super dangerous stuff.
There are six goats, three cows, six turkeys, a horse, bees, a garden and a variety of fruit trees on about ten acres. We basked in the endless strawberries, apples, grapes, tomatoes, plums and of course, blackberries.
The turkeys were our favorite. The head turkey is called a Tom. The Tom can be a real dick. One day, he took over the water bin and just stood, feather deep in the pool, preventing the other turkeys from drinking. They are fed table scraps, which Mandy liked to hold above them and run back and forth along the pen. Mandy called it “the turkey treadmill.”
We also had our first introduction to the crazy world of blackberry bushes. They grow like weeds out here, come to find out, and everyone hates them. This is because the handful of free blackberries one gets does not offset the hassle of a giant thorny painbush.
We named the puffed up guy in the front “Pat” after one of Mandy’s crummy roommates.
The Great Retaining Wall of Mandy.
Workin’ gloves can be found at your local trading post. They can be stylishly kept in the back pocket of ones jeans.
One thing about a farm is that there is always something that can be done. Like hoeing. Endless, eternal hoeing. Like, for real, always hoeing. Hoes errwhurr. But hey, the view’s nice.
It is also the time of year to give the goats their shots to keep them worms out! John held the goats against the fence, and Sam and Terry gave them the shots.
Another part of Noonkester Farm is the radio. Which is tuned into NPR at every hour, which made us feel right at home.
After dinner we retired to our guest house, and watched one of our huge selection of 90s action films. We then would have a drink, and play some backgammon and do our less than fun computer work. It was a pretty sweet gig, you guys.
We watched 17 films over the course of our stay. A lot of Bruckheimer, not enough Selleck.
Sam “Badass” Noonkester. He taught John how to throw knives. No Joke.
The time we have spent with Sam and Terry Noonkester has been a real pleasure. We got a crash course in farm life, had great meals, and got our first taste of Oregon life. //M&J