From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
The Place: Blue Plate Oysterette, Santa Monica

The Date: June 17, 12 p.m.

The Menu: Champagne, lobster rolls, espresso

Dempsey: Lobster's gotta come from Maine [where Dempsey was raised]. I love it.

PEOPLE: How often do you make it back home to see Mom?

Not nearly enough. I think we're gonna go up soon. The kids are easier to travel with now, so it makes much more sense, and they keep asking. They want to see her. My mom battled a recurrence of cancer this year, and thank God, things are on the up and up now. She's a real fighter.

Ever get homesick?

I really had the fantasy of moving back full-time. But I don't think that's possible with my career here. Still, I think we found a nice balance by moving to Malibu. I like the feeling of a small town. I like getting to know everybody. I'm happy walking around and guarding the chickens.

You have chickens?

We have tons of chickens. We could live off the land if we had to. We have an organic garden. The kids are harvesting what they've planted. There's a big sense of accomplishment.

Your twin sons, Darby and Sullivan, are 4, and your daughter Talula is 9. Other than farming, what are they up to?

With the boys, we just finished T-ball season. My brother-in-law and I were coaching, and a lot of other fathers and mothers were involved. We watch all these young kids improve, learning how to have fun and be competitive about it. Talula has a dance recital coming up. It's like ... jazz, I would call it. Also, Darby's into hip-hop and Sullivan's really into classical ballet. They each have their own thing.

In a few weeks you'll head back to your eighth season of Grey's. Soon you'll have to decide if there will be a ninth ...

I'm thankful that I've had a job for as long as the show's been on, which is unbelievable. I also think everything has a beginning, middle and end, and I think after eight years a lot of stories have been told. It's always very scary. Like: Will you ever work again? Is this the last job? I don't think you ever get over that.

During your last hiatus, you shot Transformers, which has pretty heavy action sequences.

But I'm not 25 like [Transformers costar] Shia LaBeouf, who can bounce right back. I get a scratch, and I need to go home and take a hot bath and take care of myself.

You still have enough stamina to burn off lobster and champagne ... not to mention race cars with your own IndyCar race team.

I'd like to do the Intercontinental Challenge next, which goes around the world, and take the kids with me so they can experience all those different cultures. And now I'm going to Moscow for the premiere for Transformers, then Berlin and France. Then back to work on Grey's. Yeah, come to think of it, wanna get an espresso?