four-ish acres

seems like a little explanation might be in order. can't really start from the beginning, but I'll start a while back. in 1920, Selma Julianna and Juho Turpeinen moved down off the hill by the Little Kalama River to a nice spot on the Cowlitz side of the North Fork Lewis River. at some point, "Turpeinen" got shortened to "Turpin." the fisherfolk among you might recognize that name from "Turpin's Hole," the deep spot on the river in front of Selma and Juho's place. rhubarb and asparagus were planted, apple trees, grape vines, and plenty of other food.

Selma and Juho's son, Laurie, was the next to take over the place. we still call the old house on the property "Uncle Laurie's." never met Laurie, myself, but I salvaged wood from a couple of saunas he built across Lewis River Road before the Woodland Fire Department burned them down for training purposes. in old family photos, Laurie looks right dashing.

in the 1970s, Selma and Juho's granddaughter, Lucille, and her husband, Leslie Hummels, bought the place from Laurie. it had lost a bit of acreage over the years, but the four or so acres that we now (but didn't yet then) call the Pikku Farm remained. Leslie raised cattle, chickens, hogs, sheep, and at least one turkey (I believe somebody won it at a Lion's club event) over the years, as well as a whole lot of sweet corn and a good variety of fruit and vegetables. his daughter, Merry, made a brief attempt at growing a rather more dubious crop, but was exposed by a neighbor who warned Leslie that law enforcement might not take kindly to the contents of his garden.

fast forward a couple of decades, and Merry's children, Hillary and Tel, showed up on the scene. Grandma and Grandpa's farm was home for a couple of years in the 80s, and felt like home for the intervening twenty-some years. and now it's home again. Hillary lives with Lucille on the farm, and Tel lives within bicycling distance upriver. they aren't the only two working at the Pikku Farm, but they're the faces you're most likely to see if you stop by.

five generations on the same piece of land isn't unheard of, but it isn't exactly common in these parts, either. so we're trying to honor the folks who shed their blood and sweat here before us, as well as those we hope will be around after us. the way we do things around here might not be the most economically expedient, but I think if Grandpa Les was still around, he would approve.




pikku maatila home