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.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Diary 10/28/12

The trees are finally changing their leaves.  Seems a bit slow this year.  With the rain, they are looking much better and not just changing color because they are so dry. Then given some more cold weather and some rain and wind, here will come all those leaves to cover the ground.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Diary 10/27/12

Soggy day.  It rained most of the time.  Everything is dripping.  When the weather let up a little, flocks of little birds would pass through.  I saw juncos one time, and then the next time I saw mostly male Lesser Goldfinches. They are the not bright yellow ones, but more subtle than their showy relatives.  They love the sunflowers and a certain few weeds, spending their break in southern flight to catch a bite. Lucky for them, the felines spent most of the day lounging about inside rather than on the prowl outside. On a sunny day such as the day a just a few before when I took this picture, there might have been casualties.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Diary 10/26/12

Someone's leaf collection
Yesterday was visitation day at the garden.  First there was a group of deer.  It looked like the same gang that had been eating flowers in the yard the morning before. Then we had a group of cows come through.  They are moving down from higher parts of their range.  Then we had a ancient brown bull come through.  He mostly stood there, not wanting to move. When I walked towards the group of younger cows beyond him, he just hoped he could stay put while the others left.  I had to give him hand signals and some "shoeing" to get him to start his swaying hipped sachet away. He came sometime this morning and ate our lawn.  Reminds me of the book I just finished, The Dirty Life. I really don't care, but worry a little what he might want to eat tonight.  Poor thing, he looks sore in the hips and even fell down when he slipped on the rock road heading downhill.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Diary 10/25/12

We headed out with an empty basket, and by the time we were through, we had an abundance neither one of us could carry home.  Some sun today was nice, but mostly cloudy days with chance of rain for the next few.  The fig trees caught a mild frost, but otherwise most everything looks great for heading into the last week of October.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Diary 10/24/12

Well~ I have gained a grandson, driven 400 miles, played with two three years olds, slept in a variety of beds, and been in court(that is a very long story-not to worry, it will have an OK ending soon) since I last posted. We worked on the elk meat, making a bunch of burger and sausage with different spices. Sunday night we attended a play in Ashland about LBJ with old friends and had a lovely dinner before with even more old friends. I am getting old, too, after all! Then got to bed around 11:30.  My daughter called with baby news at 1:26, and after asking her if she meant, now?, came to, drank hotel coffee, and took off in a driving rain.  Three hours later I made it to Eugene, caught a little sleep, and then watched Water Boy while Mom and Dad worked on labor and delivery.  Brother was born in the early afternoon, but the phone call met deaf ears as Grama and grandson were fast asleep. Later we made it to the hospital to meet the new little fellow and see that everyone was doing very well.  Water Boy received a nice excavator as a present from his new brother. Now I am home. The garden continues to flourish behind the greenhouse doors.  Lots of produce was waiting for me and we had a nice salad with some of it for dinner. Ready to sleep in my own bed!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Diary 10/20/12

We have had birds and squirrels harvesting like crazy during the day.  Squirrels have been chuffing while collecting the seeds from pine cones.  The Pileated Woodpecker has been cackling Woody Woodpecker style across the woods as he collects the last of the Oregon Grape fruits and the Dogwood berries. Scrub Jays yell "thief, thief" when they drop an acorn, as if it is the fault of someone else. Like looking at the quantity of acorns, does the quantity of berries have anything to do with a harsh winter? If so, we may be in for it!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Diary 10/19/12

A few busy days of cutting meat, tending the garden, getting ready for cover crop, and waiting for that new grandchild to arrive.  Inside the greenhouse, the plants took off again with the warm afternoons.  The cherry tomatoes are as delicious as ever and oh so prolific.  Outside, the strawberries decided they would try to make another crop.  They may not be quite as sweet, but I will pick them as long as they want to make an effort. Lots of rain on the way with cooler temps.  I will harvest any tomatoes after the weekend and that may be the last ones to ripen without cracking.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Diary 10/18/12

The overnight temperatures are dropping and the short days are beginning to take their toll.  With the next real rain event many of the tropical annuals; tomatoes, peppers, basil(especially), and cucumbers will begin to decay.  I have to keep the greenhouses very dry for the most part, but it was warm enough yesterday to go ahead and give the beds with greens in them a drink.  When that moisture gets moving around to the other dry areas in the greenhouse with condensation, it will add to their decline.  It is time, though.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Diary 10/16/12

Two inches plus of rain overnight gave way to sun by mid-morning.  The greenhouses warmed up, and I picked strawberries, spinach and few more tomatoes in the afternoon with some help from visiting friends.  I will be missing the pumpkin decorating party this year, so we made some here, instead.  So pretty.  Leaving them outside at our front doors where they will last for a couple weeks.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Diary 10/15/12

So here is a picture of a couple lucky elk hunters.  We feel lucky also to have such good meat for the winter.  The larger elk's meat will be ground into hamburger and sausage, but the smaller one will be cut and wrapped into many delicious steak and stew meals.  Yesterday, while the men were way up the hill hunting, the fellow wives and I went for a local hike.  We went a ways and then after a consult, we decided to go a bit further.  As we rounded a corner to get a better view of our property down below, we heard brush cracking and thundering hooves coming at us.  We were in the middle of an elk stampede!  Only ten feet in front of us, at least 5 moms and 5 yearlings and a couple other cows ran down the hill, crossed at skid road, and went up the other side.  A few seconds later and further down the hill, a bull elk followed.  We could just make out his horns as he snaked through the young replanted post-forest fire fir trees and willows.  The herd made it to the top of the hill and stopped as we could still hear branches cracking, though they were no longer visible.  One of my friends had complained about never seeing the elk in the wild, not just along a road while driving.  Well, we checked that box off!  So exciting!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Diary 10/13/12

My son got a another big bull elk today.  He has had some pretty good luck on the elk hunting, having harvested two big ones before.  The meat came home in small pieces as the elk was way down in a deep, steep walled canyon.  The hunters are fading fast now and we'll see how they all feel in the morning...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Diary 10/12/12

Twas the night before elk season.
And all through my house,
Lots of hunters tried sleeping,
Though they heard every mouse.
Their camo was hung
By the door just in case,
A giant bull elk
On our lawn might graze.
When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
Pre-dawn's light and another chance this year.
    The woods are very dry now, but there is rain due this evening, 100%, so that is going to change quickly.  Fire danger will go away and a more traditional autumn can begin.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Diary 10/10/12

The straw that broke the farmer's back, the deer.  So glad today is my final Wednesday.  I went out to harvest the beautiful cabbages I had for today and they were eaten down to nubs.  In just one night, I lost seven large cabbages.  It isn't just the pesky doe who has been here all summer, no, it is four moms and fawns, hungry and smart enough to dig the row cover off the vegetation hiding below.  I have been closing the greenhouse doors for weeks as they went inside there to eat some bok choy and lettuce I had.  Now I will fortify the ends as the weather continues to get cooler and I have only a little time left to produce tomatoes, cucumbers,. and melons, if I can, for two more deliveries. Even the raspberries are slowing down and I will finish picking the ripe ones tomorrow before it rains and they turn to mush. A few greens like turnips that self sowed, lettuce, arugula, napa cabbage and some strawberries and these carrots are what remains in production mode, but they too will slow when the clouds arrive this weekend.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Diary 10/8/12

Actually did some greenhouse work today.  Have mostly been harvesting and canning.  Planted some lettuce and cabbage plants of which I have so many transplants that I will try to find other homes for some of them. I planted spinach and radish seeds and weeded a couple beds.  The temperature was so nice in there.  I am looking forward to a less manic time in the garden. I am reading The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball. She talks about how the garden has a life of its own that will take over yours.  She calls it a"a manipulative creature". NO DOUBT on that one. I am ready to be back to love and beauty and not so much about chasing $.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

 I Love Fall!!!

Diary 10/6/12

Pulling the shade cloth off the greenhouses as it is only supposed to be in the seventies for the few days.  The greenhouses are still full and the foliage is keeping it warm in there at night.  That is one good thing about how dry it has been; the greenhouses have still yet to turn to mold growing.  Soon, the tissues of the plants will weaken and become more susceptible to decay. For now, I still have cucumbers and even a few cantaloupes I snuck in for these late deliveries.  So far, so good.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Diary 10/4/12

So dry.  I think this trend of no rain into Fall is going to do some things to migrations. There is no feed for deer here, so there is no reason for them to hurry on down from the higher elevations where they have spent the summer.  For those deer who have arrived, they are looking more fondly at our yard as other options are not available.  I actually took row covers off of the old broccoli and some lettuce that bolted just so they had something to eat.  I was also hoping to keep them entertained while my cabbage and bok choi finished up in another bed.  At least they don't eat onions.  Oh, but gophers do.  They selectively ate the red onions out of a bed of mixed onions.  I pulled the rest of the onions out before they ate anymore. Allen helped me gather the rest of the winter squash, a smaller crop this year, just in case anyone started eating them.  So, I have one more week of bags and a couple other deliveries after that and I just hope I can keep the critters at bay for that much longer!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Diary 10/3/12

Hot dry days and cold clear nights.  It was 36.4 this morning and 85 this afternoon.  There is a frost warning for the slopes in our area.  I wouldn't put it past the weather to do this all of October and stay dry, cold, and bleak.  The blue jays are working over the acorns and the squirrels are getting every pine cone in the trees.  The good weather has given them plenty of time to do so.  By the time the wet season begins, their hoards will be full and we will have plenty of baby pine and oak trees started!  There is a statistic about blue jays returning to their stash of acorns etc, and it is a terrible success rate. Meanwhile the greenhouses keep producing a trickle of vegetables, but slower all the time.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Diary 10/2/12

Just finished painting two walls white.  A little too white maybe, but too late to rethink that one.  I can always paint them again in 22 years.  No, no picture of the all white wall.  Not too exciting and nothing to do with gardening, but everything to do with my life!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Diary 10/1/12

Just finished shampooing the living room carpet.  Phew.  It looks so bright!
Now it is October, and still no rain.  Ten degrees cooler tomorrow and then some pretty cool nights coming at the end of the week, but not a frost, I don't think.  Busy weekend, I became another year wiser.  Visitors and reconciling with the thought of not commercially farming next year.  Yes, you heard me right.  I am going to take a sabbatical that I may never come back from.  Need a summer to do some other things in my life. I will still grow a garden and probably too much for two people, but not to be continuously on call for vegetables sounds good at this point.  I have said this before, but not so loudly.  On another note, the fall crocus are here and in the midst of all that is dry and finishing up, it is a delight to see something so new and fresh.