Organic Spa Blog

A Haven of Natural Beauty, Delicious Food and Lessons in Awareness

By Leena Oijala

Our small homestead known as Myrtle Glen Farm sits in beautiful rural southwestern Oregon. Temperate rain forests cover much of the land here, with a mountain river, the calls of kingfishers, herons, barred owls and an ostentatious rooster part of our daily soundtrack. As stewards of the land we live on, we experience a constant feast for the senses through the invigorating and healing connection to nature this place provides. Our aim is to share all that it has to offer, giving visitors a chance to understand what real respect for one’s environment truly entails.

The property has been converted from cow pastures into a perennial paradise on a clear river in the foothills of an Oregon Coast Range valley. Built in part with recycled material from several old homesteads, the handcrafted farmhouse incorporates a tiled food prep room, connected greenhouse and 3 spacious bedrooms. Natural light pours in from the 17 skylights that also act as air circulators during the heat of the summer. A large kitchen wood stove heats the house, is the main tool for canning, acts as the stovetop and oven in the colder months, and heats the house’s spring water.

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Just a few days ago the crew here fired up our handmade cob oven with sustainably harvested wood from the myrtle and alder groves surrounding the land. The promise of a pizza feast to be shared with guests had all of our work traders through the WWOOF organization getting very creative with food preparations. Soon a frenzy of vegetable harvest from the garden began, along with dough kneading, pesto prep with basil from the greenhouse and fresh goat cheese being made from the morning’s milking.

As the evening approached, hungry guests arrived and the hot cob oven was ready to receive its first round of pizzas. After it successfully churned out nine pizzas covered in homegrown chard, onions, kale, broccoli, garlic, eggs, goat cheese, tomato sauce and even beans and salsa (Mexican pizza anyone?), 4 loaves of sourdough bread were ready for the heat. To top it off, a batch of cookies made with pumpkin puree from the previous season’s garden were baked to perfection with the remaining heat held in the walls of the cob.

What a feast for the eyes, mind and soul the evening was, complemented by fantastic conversation and homemade, organic blackberry and plum wines. Sitting outside, we were surrounded by flower gardens that practically engulf the farmhouse in their rainbow of summer blossoms. Adjacent to the farmhouse sits a two-story building with a vaulted and sky-lighted yoga/dance studio above and a wood shop and project recording studio below, acting as spaces for the mind, body and spirit, to complement healthy eating and sustainable living.

The rewarding experiences, sharing of knowledge and fast friendships that this venue provides for WWOOFers, guests and us as hosts is incomparable. The farm has recently opened its doors to guests through AirBnB, also offering guests a farm stay in a more indulgent way. Believing that the farm can act as a healing experience by interacting with nature and the wilds on several levels, we love giving any kind of visitor the full experience of cultivating the land with closed-loop methods and thus living in harmony with our environment.

 



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