ROOTS!

Growing up I moved 4 times I lived in 3 homes in and around the family ranch in Kimberly and once to Canyon City to the home I graduated high school from.  I just asked Julie and she told me that she moved 11 times before she graduated high school.  So when we had kids it was very important to her that we made our decision where we would raise our children before Olivia started Kindergarten.  Our family was comfortable in Kennewick, Washington where I had just taken a promotion into a very stable position with one of the best employers in the country (CalTech).   Then in the winter of 2014 we were walking from store to store in the Columbia Center Shopping Mall and I noticed a bunch of teenie-boppers wandering around without shopping bags. So, I asked Julie what the heck they were doing and she told me kids come to the mall to hang out…  Seriously!?!  I asked her if she had done that growing up in Beaverton and she said she did. So I asked if that’s what she wanted for our kids.  This lead us on the journey we have been on for the last 3 years down in Spray with Right Lane Ranch.

Fortunately for us I was working 2 jobs with Caltech and one of those jobs would continue part time for the next 3 years.  They agreed to keep me on part time while we started a new life down in Spray.  It’s been the best decision of our lives, although we have been tested in almost every way possible from Olivia getting pneumonia the first month we were there, to our manufactured home getting stuck in middle of our field, to me needing emergency surgery to remove a benign tumor and of course things continued all the way through to closing. That being said there have been far more amazing adventures and memories we created in Spray that we will cherish forever. 

When the opportunity arose for us to buy my grandpa’s home and raise our girls in the same home as their grandpa. There was never any question for us, we were going to do everything we could to make it happen. We are excited about the opportunities that we will have not only for our family but for our friends, neighbors and customers as well.  

Since my high school baseball days I’ve always believed in signs and superstitions, so I had to share a few with you since we have moved.  Not long after we moved I left the house and had just driven onto the highway when a Bald Eagle glided about 20 feet above the pickup window for about 30 seconds.  Then on the same drive 3 miles down the road I saw a beaver in the river working on a small dam.  The next sign happened about two weeks ago when we were on our way to Portland for a beef delivery.  Our neighbor rancher Jean Hill, who we are partnering with to sell Grass-Fed beef had two bulls standing in the highway.  One had a green piece of steel tubing around it’s neck like a necklace. So we immediately stopped, at the same time Joe, our neighbor who had just put shoes on our horse Missy, stopped as well.  He helped me catch the bull, get the tubing off his neck and get them penned up, while Julie called up Jean.  Jean reached out to another neighbor who got there just as Joe had left.  Within a few minutes we had reached an agreement to offer the Grass-Fed Lamb that he is raising to our customers through Right Lane Ranch.  Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to take a picture, but sometimes the best memories are always that way.  Kimberly is an amazing place to visit as is our “new” home, feel free to call us anytime to plan a trip out.

If you or someone you know wants to try our Grass-Fed Beef or Lamb, send us a text at 541-668-6048 or message on social media with “Grass-Fed” and you’ll get a $5 off coupon.  We have all cuts available and offer delivery within 4 hours of Kimberly.

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Living Life with Patience

Has it really been 7 months since I've had something to write about?  Absolutely not!  It's just that the last 7 months have left us living out of boxes, creating new business plans, and dreaming bigger than we ever have.  I've heard it's a contagious thing to do, so if you start working to live a life you've dreamed of, expect that there's going to be a lot of work and that your dreams come true.  So much so that you have to start dreaming more!  

One thing I've come to learn about dreaming and hard work is that you have to have two things; faith & patience.  Faith is easy.  It's like dreaming.  If you believe in your dreams then you believe in faith.  Yes, sometimes faith can try and slip away from you, especially during the difficult times, but it's usually right back in your front pocket to get you through.  It's patience that's tricky.  If you weren't born with patience, or haven't mastered the art yet then chances are it's going to be a struggle to maintain your patience through living a life built on your dreams.  Why?  Because nothing ever happens over night.  Nothing worth having in life is ever given to you easily.  It's cliche to say, maybe, but it's the truth that your dreams don't work if you don't and you never know what work it's going to take, or how much effort you have to put into, before your dreams are reality.  Sometimes it takes a lot longer that you think...

For example, we have officially been living the rural life for three years and it was ONE MONTH AGO that we (finally) started selling Grass-Fed beef!  Never did we imagine it would take us three years to be able to that.  However, everything we've been through in the past three years has led us here and has given us so much more experience and knowledge in the pursuit of this goal.  But you better believe that over the past three years we've leaned heavily on faith & patience.  You will never know how many times we've considered giving up!  In fact, I'll never know either.  Struggles like having no money, learning how to adjust to a life as a stay-at-home parenting team, and how to keep all the animals living and safe from predators during extremely cold & long winters.  

So what's the deal with having faith & patience, and then working hard?  It's like I said, your dreams come true.  Not only have we now been selling our Grass-Fed beef successfully for a month, but the universe delivered another dream this week... Grass-Fed Lamb!  We thought this might take us a year from when we could officially offer beef, but as it turned out, an opportunity knocked and we're so grateful that our eyes were open to receive it and will soon be delivering Grass-Fed Lamb to our customers, too!

For the record, I am one of those people who was not born with patience.  In fact, I have a family history of low patience levels on both sides of the family.  I've learned a lot of people can relate so here are a few of my tips on how I deal with life when I am low on patience:

-Gratitude Meditation: As soon as I start to think about the things I'm grateful for I can feel the anxiety and pressure start to release from my neck & shoulders.  My children are usually the first thing that come to mind and I can't help but be overjoyed that I am their mama.

-Varmint Control: When I need some patience during the warmer months of the year a sure fire way to find some ease is to grab my .22 and shoot ground squirrels.  Many people don't understand this form of therapy, but it does help our ranch to reduce the population of ground squirrels so we have more luscious grass for our animals to eat.  They can ruin crops costing us money and time so if I need a stress reliever, this is an activity I'll engage in.

-Journaling: I love to write, hence the long newsletters and blog posts I usually create, so why not journal my frustrations, conflicts and thoughts that I have going on in my head rather than keep them up there interrupting my ability to think clearly?  I've probably filled over 20 journals in my life, and currently have more than 8 that I fill pages of regularly.

-Exercise:  No one can deny the release of endorphins, epinephrine and serotonin that happens with a good workout, so get sweaty!  There are other benefits, but that feeling after a solid workout is hard to beat!

Alright, I better get back to my to-do list that consists of remodeling, domestic housewife things and ranch life mixed with a lot of motherhood and being an "okay" wife.  Ha!

Take Care!

ps... no time for editing around here!

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Ranching Heritage

When was the last time you met someone who said they were the 5th generation of anything?

 Read the Story behind the Campbell Homestead in Lonerock Oregon at www.rightlaneranch.com/heritage

Read the Story behind the Campbell Homestead in Lonerock Oregon at www.rightlaneranch.com/heritage

Our children are the 5th generation of children to be raised as ranchers in Eastern Oregon.  The Campbell family is deeply rooted in the history of ranching.  One big thing that we want to do here at Right Lane Ranch is to continue that history and share ranching heritage.

Our way of doing so will be to share ranching heritage stories from our family and other families with stories of ranching heritage through our social media pages.  Submissions must come through our email: rightlaneranch@gmail.com and stories will be shared to our page www.rightlaneranch.com/heritage as well as our Instagram and Facebook pages.

Chicken: Easy & Clean Eats for Dinner!

 Our Pastured Poultry Chicks are already 3 weeks old!!   They aren't that cute anymore but everyone goes through an awkward stage...

Our Pastured Poultry Chicks are already 3 weeks old!! 

They aren't that cute anymore but everyone goes through an awkward stage...

I’ve been a clean eating mama for close to six years now!  What does that even mean?  It means I don’t eat food that doesn’t have an expiration date, comes from a box, is processed or isn’t REAL food.  Most of the time, anyways, I mean I am human.  It wasn’t the easiest transition for me, however.  I knew that if there was ANY hope, seriously even just a smidgen of hope of me sticking to a clean eating meal plan or lifestyle that the food that went into my belly needed to be tasty, or it wasn’t going to stick.  I desperately wanted to eat clean food but not feel like I was depriving myself, or my taste buds!

So, I’m going to give you three recipes that are easy, healthy & clean!  In order of easy to easier, these three recipes are sure to please your taste buds and your goals of preparing clean, delicious meals at home.  Also, you’ll notice they don’t have a lot of clean up, which is a huge bonus for us busy mama’s, am I right?


Easier: One Pan Lemon Parmesan Chicken & Asparagus from Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Total Time: 40 Minutes

Serves: 4-6                                       

Calories: 432 kcal

GROCERY SHOPPING LIST:

1.5 Pounds of boneless, skinless pastured chicken breasts

1/3 cup flour

1 cup panko – check the Asian food aisle

1 cup parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon dried parsley

½ teaspoon garlic powder

3-4 lemons

1 tablespoon minced garlic

8 tablespoons melted butter separated, unsalted

1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning

1 pound of asparagus

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons of honey

(optional) fresh parsley and 1 lemon for topping

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

1.    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.

2.    Grab three bowls. Add the flour to one bowl.

3.    Combine panko, 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, dried parsley, garlic powder, about 1/2 teaspoon each of salt (I use seasoned salt) and pepper. Stir.

4.    In the final bowl, add 1-2 teaspoons lemon zest, 4-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on lemon flavor intensity desired), minced garlic, and 5 tablespoons melted butter. Stir. Remove 4 tablespoons of this mixture and set aside.

5.    Slice chicken breasts to the size of tenders (about 1 and 1/4th inch strips) or use chicken tenders.

6.    Coat in flour, heavily dredge in garlic lemon mixture, and then coat in the Parmesan panko mixture.

7.    Place on prepared sheet pan. Use any remaining Parmesan panko mixture and sprinkle over tenders. Sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning over the tenders (I use Mrs. Dash lemon pepper)

8.    Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes and remove.

9.    Flip the tenders to the other side.

10. Place the asparagus next to the tenders and drizzle the reserved lemon butter sauce. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese over the asparagus and toss with tongs.

11. If desired place lemon slices over the chicken (optional)

12. Return to the oven and bake for another 10-12 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 165 degrees F.

13. Meanwhile, whisk remaining 3 tablespoons melted butter, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1-2 teaspoons lemon zest, 3 tablespoons olive oil, and 3 tablespoons honey in a small bowl. Add some pepper and parsley if desired.

14. Remove from the oven and top with the honey lemon mixture and fresh parsley if desired and enjoy immediately.

15. Do not top chicken breasts with the honey lemon mixture unless eating immediately and aren't planning on having leftovers since it will make it soggy.


Easy: One Pan Balsamic Chicken & Veggies from Cooking Classy with a Sprinkle of Fancy

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 13 Minutes

Serves: 3-4

GROCERY SHOPPING LIST:

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons Italian salad dressing (I make my own, it’s simple, or buy a good brand from the grocery store)

3 tablespoons of balsamic vinedar

1 ½ tablespoons of honey

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper falkes

1 ¼ pound of boneless, skinless pastured chicken tenderloins

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound of fresh asparagus OR 1 pound of fresh green beans

1 ½ cups of matchstick carrots

1 cup grape tomatoes, in halves

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

In a mixing bowl whisk together salad dressing, balsamic vinegar, honey and red pepper flakes, set aside.

Heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste, then place chicken evenly in skillet. Cook about 6 - 7 minutes, rotating once halfway through cooking, until chicken has cooked through (meanwhile, chop asparagus and tomatoes). Add half the dressing mixture to skillet and rotate chicken to evenly coat. Transfer chicken to a large plate or a serving platter while leaving sauce in skillet. Add asparagus and carrots to skillet, season with salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer veggies to plate or platter with chicken.

Add remaining dressing mixture to skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes to chicken and veggies and drizzle dressing mixture in pan over top (or return chicken and veggies to pan and toss to coat).


Easiest: Baked Chicken with Potatoes, Carrots and Herbs from Sweet Phi

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 55 Minutes

Total Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes

Serves: 4-6

GROCERY SHOPPING LIST:

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled & cut into quarters

2 pounds large carrots, peeled & cut into chunks

1 medium-large sweet onion, peeled and cut into chunks

2 pounds of boneless, skinless pastured chicken breasts

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh herbs (thyme, oregano, parsley, rosemary – finely chopped)

1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt

½ teaspoon garlic salt and onion salt

fresh cracked pepper, to taste

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400.

Peel and cut the vegetables and herbs. In a large baking dish scatter the onions, potatoes and carrots, sprinkle with half the salt, pepper and half of the fresh herbs and half the olive oil.

Next add the chicken breast on top of the vegetables and slightly nestle them in to the vegetables. Drizzle remaining olive oil over the chicken, then sprinkle remaining fresh herbs and salt/pepper and garlic and onion salt.

Bake for 55 minutes then check for doneness, the potatoes should be soft when poked with a fork, remove from oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes, then enjoy!


Each of these recipes is sure to be healthy & full of taste!  I love the Baked Chicken the most of these three because I literally get to walk away while the oven does all the work.  Don’t forget to set your timer!  I’ve learned that the hard way before.

If you try any of these recipes, be sure to take pictures and share on social media using the hash tag, #RightLaneMeals

Also, if you’re looking for a place to get your pastured poultry, this year we are offering a limited amount to local friends and family, so be sure to get your orders in before they’re gone!  You can do that here: https://www.rightlaneranch.com/beef-chicken-lamb/pastured-poultry

 

Life is what you make it! 
When you grow your food, you feed your soul.

 

Julie Campbell

Right Lane Ranch

Spray, Oregon

Grow Your Food, Feed Your Soul

I'm not naturally open minded, and I take comfort in my routines... but I have come to learn that it's true what they say; Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone.

Once upon a time I lived in a naive world that I really appreciated because once I began to explore the truth about things I routinely did, I did not like what I found out, and that meant I'd need to make changes.  Change is never easy.  Change takes work.  It goes against our brain chemistry to make change because our brain likes to be cozy.  Go figure.  And I was okay with the idea of not needing to make changes... until I became a mother.  I'll save the topic of motherhood for another blog post, on another beautiful day, but it's true that once I was known as "mom" to my beautiful daughter Olivia, I could no longer stay settled in comfortable areas of my life when I knew they weren't the best for me, or for her.  You see, my routine was to eat food that came from a box, especially if it contained processed cheese, for two reasons: one, because it was tasty as heck, and two because it was simple.  I tried to stay in my safe, naive place and close my mind off to any negative information pertaining to my certain routine for as long as I could, but as it became more and more obvious to me that I was the one influencing my daughter it meant I was the one who needed to be a better role model for her.  Have you heard of "mom guilt" before?  It landed on my shoulders like a ton of bricks when Olivia was 18 months old.  Quite literally, I stood up from feeling frustrated on the living room floor and took myself on a little mom date to the grocery store.  I grabbed a food magazine for "healthy eating" from the magazine rack and just began to add things to my grocery cart that I had never purchased before.  A lot of those items I wasn't even sure how to pronounce!  One thing I noticed was how I spent most of my time in the produce aisle...

When I got home from my mom date I threw away a lot of items that stocked my shelves including items that didn't have expiration dates, frozen meals & processed foods.  My husband was rightfully irritated because those groceries cost us money, and were still edible, and he had no idea that we were making these changes but once I filled him in on the way my responsibility to be a good influence for our daughter was at the root of this, he was on board.  Over the next few months my husband lost 60 pounds by changing his eating habits.  This became a part of our lifestyle.  We added fitness into our routine as well, and I'd be happy to share some of my best tips to stay active at home, but aside from physical changes I noticed that eating clean, healthy food also had an impact on my emotions and I felt more reasonable and stable.  This meant that our healthy food was here to stay.

It wasn't long before I found out about food laws & regulations that I didn't agree with.  I don't like to talk politics, and I always try to remain positive, so let's just say that I wasn't about to take on the responsibility of changing the government but I was considering growing my own food.  At this point it had been years after that mom date, and our life had changed a lot including where we lived.  When my journey to taking better care of my health started we lived in the city and now we owned 160 acres - what were we going to do with this opportunity?  One thing that stood out immediately was that I had the opportunity to stick my middle finger in the air to the food issues I was researching about and feed my family with real, healthy food raised using sustainable, healthy practices.  And the kicker?  It was on our own land.

It was as simple as me suggesting to my husband that "we should get some chickens" before he was staying up late at night to read all about how to raise pastured poultry.  I won't lie and tell you that we had interesting conversations during this time.  In fact, all I ever heard about was chickens and how to raise them, how to feed them, how to build chicken tractors, and how they can have a positive impact following our grass-fed cattle around our property.  Romantic, huh?  It was certainly something my husband became passionate about which was good for me because I was passionate about eating and serving healthy food, not just to my family but to my friends and neighbors as well.  We all deserve to have options that meat (haha, get it?) our expectations for what we'll put into our bodies to nourish our adventurous lifestyles.

So, here we are, 2 years after beginning to talk about it to actually raising our first 50 birds that will serve as food on dinner tables for families who want to know they're nourishing their bodies with good, healthy food provided by a farmer who believes in sustainable farming practices where our biggest goals are to improve the land we live on for future generations and to offer a clean, healthy option that we all deserve without limits.

For more information about how we raise our pastured poultry, you can look on our Beef, Chicken & Lamb page or feel free to send us an email.  We like to say we're an open book and have faith that if our friends & family know what we do, that the truth will give them comfort in knowing what they eat is a good choice.  Because we care.  Also, if you'd like more information about staying fit at home, just shoot me an email and I'd be happy to start a conversation with you about some best practices and tips I have up my sleeve.

 Our youngest daughter Millaney (age 4) spending some time with one of our most trusty egg layers, Betty.

Our youngest daughter Millaney (age 4) spending some time with one of our most trusty egg layers, Betty.

Right Lane Eclipse: The people made the event!

Right Lane Eclipse: The people made the event!

You can't do epic shit with basic people, and the Right Lane Eclipse was pretty epic from our perspective.  Our volunteers showed up first and from a raw starting point transformed an empty field into the setting of something spectacular.  It's important to mention that nothing great ever happens without much effort and our volunteers worked with us and worked hard to create a place where experiences and moments could happen for hundreds of families.  From the least favorite responsibility of checking port-a-potties, where at one point we lost the key to be able to refill the toilet paper (YIKES!), to the physically demanding responsibilities of building & securing additional shade & moving hay bales, we acted as a team and while it felt like the to-do list kept growing, we finally were able to see the fruit of our labor pay off when guests arrived.

Changes

Just before Christmas 2014 Julie and I decided to seek a different life for our family. We had been living life in the fast lane and chose to seek out a life in the right lane; where we could enjoy the pace of nature.  We found this in Wheeler County Oregon near the town of Spray. Our family has been in the process of transitioning throughout 2015. I have been building a business plan, reading and learning as much as I can, while Julie is planning away and the girls are deciding what animals they want to have on the farm. We see a life with cattle, horses, sheep, chickens, elk, deer, dogs, cats and even bunnies in our near future.

Everyone asks me is this something I have done before? To be honest no, not really, although I have more experience than most and am ready to continue learning every day.   This wasn’t a decision we easily landed on.  Financial security is something that is very valuable in this day and age, especially for a family of four.  I have been in the project management field for nine years now and every year we had more and more security within my career. Julie has become an active part of the community and became an activist for personal lifestyle changes through her Julie Campbell Fitness page. I was recently promoted to a permanent position of a financial analyst working for the California Institute of Technology, one of the top employers in the quickly growing Tri-Cities of Washington. This is one of the best jobs in my career path that I could have asked for.  In my line of work you are almost always on a term, because it is based on project life cycles. We could have moved all over the world, but Julie and I wanted roots. We were thrilled to have the security of a job in one place for as long as we wanted, but something was missing. We were rushing through life…

 Photo by Bubba Sellars

Photo by Bubba Sellars