Evening glow in the greenhouse

Evening glow in the greenhouse
WELCOME TO MY BLOG! I am glad you found me because I hope I can be helpful or at least interesting for you to follow, be you a gardener yourself or just watching vicariously.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Diary 9/30/11

It's my birthday.  The big 6 0.  Sounds worse than it feels, but OK, it is old.  Supposed to be 10 degrees cooler tomorrow.  I have many baby plants to transplant.  Some will be fall crops, some will not be ready until spring.  Either way, they need new homes and tomorrow might just be the day they get them. Going to pick as many of the raspberries as I can with the help of a friend tomorrow also-before the rain on Monday.  Hope to make some red raspberry jam, a big favorite around here. Fall crocus popped up a couple days ago.  It is always a nice surprise.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Diary 9/29/11

Umpqua side

Willamette side
Couldn't pick them all...

The best huckleberry harvest ever.  Three of us picked over 4 gallons this afternoon in the Calapooya Mountains.  It was beautiful anyway at 5000 feet elevation overlooking the Willamette drainage on the one side of the ridge and the Umpqua drainage on the other. Then we found the huckleberries! First we were impressed with finding a great bush like this where we had been directed to go.  Then with some more exploration, we found a whole area of those bushes.  WOW!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Diary 9/28/11

Egads!!! The weather is predicted to make a big change next week.  I narrowed down my Wed. delivery for next week and I can see I better lay a few customers off next Friday. I have a few things stored to sell, but I would like to be adding other produce from the greenhouses to the bags; something other than winter squash! There are onions that are not going to finish in time.  The cool spring robbed them of two weeks.  Not sure what is on the other side of this rain event, but hopefully a blue sky or cloudy day or two so that I can pick more berries! Off to pick huckleberries tomorrow. Last chance for that one maybe. A drive to a new place sounds relaxing-even if there are a million things I could be doing; raspberries in the garden and blackberries in the yard, for instance. One literally can't do it all at this point in the harvest, but that's a good thing-Martha.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


My sister and I at Ethel M's M&M's chocolate factory.  They recycle their water and have a small desert botanical garden. Saw a Creosote Bush and JoJoba plus great examples of the Chollas and Agaves we had been seeing around town. Maybe spotted a gecko, also.  Are there gecko's there?  Maybe it was a skink, blue tail.  Anyway, cute face ala the Geico gecko.  All free, and I didn't eat any chocolate!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Diary 9/26/11

First day back from Las Vegas visit.  It is pretty green and lush around here.  I am enjoying the fruits of my labor, though it is all coming at once...Canning tomatoes, freezing berries, and drying figs.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Diary 9/23/11

Well, surprise, surprise, I am in sin city. Instead of gambling, we have been visiting relatives and bird watching.  There have been quail, pigeons, doves, mockingbird, a chipmunk, and rabbits out my sister's window beneath the cactuses. (or should I say cacti?) The weather is hot and hotter, but what would one expect in the desert?  Off to see some more of the sites.  Pictures later(maybe...)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Diary 9/20/11

Rosa Bianca eggplant

Mortgage Lifter heirloom tomato
Harvest, harvest, harvest.  There is so much ready to pick, can, freeze, dry, and eat.  I like this time of year, but I love the Autumn when it really arrives with some rain and  colder temperatures, but just not quite yet. Several gallons of raspberries to pick in the morning-better get to bed!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Diary 9/19/11

Garden Dog is getting better at spotting and escorting cows out of our garden and yard.  He knows it is illegal for us to forcefully remove the range cows, so he merely runs behind them barking and trying to keep up, not chasing.  The cowboy came yesterday and removed the 12 cows that caused the latest damage.  He was conciliatory, but I was humble as I am aware that I will have to put up a fence to garden because that is the law.  Yes, it is my property and I take care of it year round, but no, I have no recourse against these cows coming on our property whenever they are " put out" to range.  Is this fair?  Well, I don't think so.  The law says we have to get signatures from landowners in our area totaling 2000 acres in order for them to  consider a change.  That is rough seeing as how most of the range is Forest Capitol ground (formerly Boise Cascade ), BLM, or Forest Service. The private ground makes up little of the range.  I am not completely against open range. I have seen its benefits in places especially if the cow owner is vigilant on his job and doesn't let the cattle hang too long in any one place. I would just like it to not be in my yard, my orchard, and my garden.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Diary 9/18/11

Usually I like to be peaceful on Sundays; post a pretty picture of a flower or a poem or something. Today, I am still fuming from range cow issues.  I am still not understanding why one man's livelihood usurps mine.  I have spent the last two nights roving around at 3 and 1 in the mornings looking for and finding cows in my garden.  I am at fault as I have no fence, but I think there may be fault at the other end for the cow person.  There is no feed here, they are certainly not putting on weight from the corn, etc. they destroyed of mine, yet I can't call the guy because his voice mailbox is full.  He is not a neighbor, in fact his cell phone number is long distance and a northern California exchange.  There is no one locally I can contact to move the cows and so the saga continues.  We are contacting the county clerk in the morning, and I am demanding to see copies of the range rights including a map that proves I should not take this guy to court for property damages.  Sorry to rant and rage on a Sunday, but this blog acts as a journal and proof of my actions.  So far I have not hurt a cow, but emotions run wild when I am yelling at them or moving them out of my strawberry patch in the middle of the night. I am an omnivore, after all. My greatest fear is that they will barge through the greenhouse wall as they did last year on November 26th, eating our food for winter. Bear with me. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Diary 9/17/11

The Naked Ladies or Madonna Lilies or whatever you might call them are up.  It is always a wonderful surprise when they do.  They have nice foliage in spring and then nothing until late summer when here come the flowers. Thank you to Erin and Ryan, my June wwoofers, who bought these for me,  and thank you to Ryan for digging out the bed and adding compost before planting them so that they are so beautiful.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Diary 9/16/11

Open Range Sucks! There was at least two more pickings in this corn patch that the open range cattle ate.  Next year, I will have a smaller garden and it will be inside a fence.  The migration of the black-tailed deer has changed, and they have been staying with us through the summer. That is something they never did before.  That and this cow situation have taught me my mistake again.  I must fence my garden. I am resolved to it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Diary 9/15/11

Harvesting, harvesting, harvesting.  It all seems to come at once.  Things I picked today:  tomatoes, cantaloupe, yellow plums, purple plums, onions, white potatoes, cucumbers, flowers, peppers, lettuce, spinach, carrots, winter squash, corn, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, apples,and weeds.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Diary 9/14/11

Basket of Basil
15 bags and two other deliveries today-'tis the season.  The raspberries are starting and we have lots of plums.  Folks received a couple ears of white corn.  The tomatoes are slowing with the cooler weather, with even cooler temps for the next few days.  Have closed the sides and the ends some on the greenhouse to hold heat.  Tomorrow morning will be the cool one. Not quite a frost, but close I think.  I would like a shower, please.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Diary 9/13/11

Took a trip to the Umpqua divide yesterday to deliver food to our son and his fire crew who have been fighting the various small lightning caused fires in their area.  They have not been going to the fire camp to eat because the fires are in their district, so they have had to provide their own lunches and come home late and make dinner.  They have been doing this for the last 10 days and have no time to get to a store 40 miles away.  So, we combined a rescue mission with a huckleberry picking adventure.  There were definitely some nice berries there and I hope we can get back to them before they freeze as we only had an hour to pick.  It was beautiful over there and I had a whole new view of what the next ridge over from Mt. Thielson held; much wetter with small lakes, and a combination of Douglas Fir and more Eastern Oregon dryness. Our son and crew called at 8:30, very excited about a dining room table full of food, flowers in the living room, and pumpkins on the front stoop.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Diary 9/12/11

Canning tomatoes and freezing corn.  I cut the corn off the cob and leave it on trays in the freezer until frozen.  Then when I put the corn in containers, I can pour out what I need at a time.  I stopped blanching things before I put them in the freezer a few years ago.  I think that was important when freezers did not freeze things so quickly. I like to know that the first time I steam the corn is the first time and thus it tastes as close to fresh as possible.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Diary 9/9/11

One of our last hot days, I think.  Tomorrow may be the very last.  I am ready for the break.  I have many baby plants to transplant, but didn't dare while it has been so hot and dry.  11 bags full of goodies today.  Everyone received Shiro plums and corn, the two new treats, along with tomatoes(giant Super Tasty slicers), SunGold cherry toms, red and yellow onions, a couple of Russet potatoes, a giant sweet pepper, and either carrots, a cantaloupe or salad mix.  Canning tomato sauce, freezing corn, making pickles, and drying figs and plums tomorrow.  Better get to bed!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Diary 9/8/11

I am thinking of friends and family without power tonight in Orange County, California and south.  Hope they are prepared or have a good humor. Harvesting corn.  Have waited all season for this and now three kinds need picking.  When I am trying to figure out if corn is ready, I look for the more angle the corn is hanging out from the stalk.  It makes sense that the fully finished corn would weigh more and thus hang lower.  I also feel the tip of the corn from the outside.  If it feels more rounded than pointed, that is a good sign.  Sometimes, though corn won't be finished out to the end for one reason or another, cool weather or too crowded.  That can trick you. When in doubt open up and look, but don't do too much of that because it invites pests of all sizes. Will cut some from their ears and vacuum seal and freeze over the weekend.  Have eaten several ears in the last two days,.  Will go slower from here~ so spoiled!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Diary 9/6//11

We ate our first ear of corn today.  That is just over three weeks later than usual.  What a year.  It is super hot and sooo dry out there that I think if you spit wrong, you could start a fire. Good harvesting in the early morning, but by 11 it is too hot to do much.  Have some weeding to do, but when?  I am getting out there earlier tomorrow morning that is for sure.  Then grand daughter tomorrow afternoon.  Last visit before she moves 300 miles away :( .

Monday, September 5, 2011

Diary 9/5/11

Canned tomatoes and dill pickles today.  Harvest is explosive with corn tomorrow I think, lots of plums, blackberries, melons, and just the first of the new raspberries. two of the onion beds are finishing up.  There are still potatoes to harvest and some more winter squash.  Have carrots, lettuce, a few peas, and greens coming on also.  All at once-that is how it usually happens.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Diary 9/4/11

Yesterday was a beautiful day spent in a beautiful place where a beautiful woman became a beautiful wife.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Diary 9/1/11

Harvesting winter squash and potatoes out of the garden.  I see a red leaf on the Dogwood tree by the corner and I see another Maple turning yellow.  It was a cool start this morning, but supposed to be very hot this weekend.  11 bags tomorrow though I wasn't going to do bags at all...Prepping flowers for another wedding.  May miss a blog diary or two.  Have a safe weekend.