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.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Diary 9/29/14

Here's our latest lawn ornament~

 He is actually coming in to eat all the plums I knocked off the tree. Hope he knows that Saturday is opening day of deer season...!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Diary 9/27/14

These cooler evenings require a cozy fire~

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Diary 9/25/14

I am proud of my small crop of tepary beans that I grew this summer. The gophers didn't seem to want to bother them, so I may try more dried beans next summer, something I used to grow quite a few of. Anyway, I learned about these beans when visiting Cheryl in Arizona. The Huhukum tribes of pre-history times grew these as they are super drought resistant. I am sure they planted them along the washes and as the water went down, the bean roots would follow. I have my small crop sitting in the traditional basket of the Huhukum's more recent relatives, the Tohona O'Odham,. We watch a member of this group making baslets at Oracle State Park last March on my serendipitous visit there. We also went to the ruins of a HOhokum village, one of the many vast dwelling of hundreds of thousands of relatives that slowly disappeared as did many of the Southwest residents.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Diary 9/23/14

So, this was supposed to be the last dry day for the next while. Wandered around closing windows, putting chair cushions away, picking grapes and tomatoes, and in general imagining fall's arrival and the end of the longest, dry summer I have ever experienced. Here comes the mud!
"5 and a button" Timber Rattler
The cat tracked this guy under the truck and kept it there until help came. She was rearded with a dish of milk. I suspect it will be the last snake incident for this year as they will find a rock to hide under with the cold rain due to arrive tonight.

Monday, September 22, 2014


The rain dance is finally going to pay off with a good soaker due this Wednesday. For now, it is still dry and oppressively hot.
 It was a record breaking 100 in Medford yesterday and pretty hot this afternoon. Hard to imagine only 70 degrees for Friday. Wet will be good! Meanwhile canned the last of the pears I traded plums for, and made a little jar of peaches from our white peach tree. Steaming plums, and there are still lots more to pick. I will let the rain thin the really ripe ones off and see what is left, plenty I am sure.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Diary 9/20/14

Lucky to go on another river float the other day. The cloud cover made for more wildlife out and about, including this tree of vultures who were waiting for more salmon carcasses to wash up on the bars, and this bald eagle who was  up and down the river fishing and

offering us a photo op.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Diary 9/17/14

The amazing work of the bald hornet who over the course of the summer months builds balls of this grey
paper in which to hatch their babies. Not a big fan of their sting, but admire their home building skills.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Diary 9/16/14

coring and peeling and setting in water with ascorbic acid to prevent browning

the finished product~a winter treat
Harvest is gearing up as it usually does this time of year. Fruits and vegetables are coming in wanting attention. Today it was the pears who called out as they ripen to soft yellow sweetness from hard green inedibles. So sweet...

P.S. Dress rehearsal for rain dance tonight...

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Diary 9/14/14

Pictures of pretty clouds at sunset? No. Pictures of smoke billowing out of the Rogue Valley, on the right from the new fire by Grants Pass, and on the right from the continuously stubborn Happy Camp fire which gains thousands of burned acres everyday. It is so dry that even banging two rocks together is dangerous. There is a slight chance of rain toward the end of the week and everyone here has their fingers crossed.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Diary 9/13/14

Which came first? The chicken or the egg? In this case, the chickens. They have been here for a few weeks, and today was a breakthrough day with 5 of 6 pullets giving us an egg~

Friday, September 12, 2014

Diary 9/12/14

No time to blog. Busy working on choreography for rain dance.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Diary 9/10/14

I have looked at the sign "Rogue River Gorge Viewpoint" fifty times and never went there until today. It will be part of an Upper Rogue visit from now on. My friend, Cheryl, and I surmised it might be more impressive this level of water; low enough to see the empty lava tubes and the rock walls that contain it. In high winter flows, all its impressive bulk would hide the features that made it look so powerful today. Glad we went . Visited Takelma Gorge on the river also. It is a favorite place and well worth the 1 1/2 mile trek along the river over lava rock. The maples were starting to change color. In another few weeks it will be spectacular!

Diary 9/10/14

Fishing for trout dinner on the Rogue~

spawning salmon

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Diary 9/9/14

Have been blessed with a visit from a 2006 wwoofer who worked on the farm for the full season that year. She has gone on to do some amazing garden related activities including a 7 day market made up of produce from 40 farms in the New Orleans area. She also ran a composting business using restaurant debris. Amazing! I want to take some credit for introducing her to farming, but I have a feeling that might be overstepping any credit due! Now she is off to SE Asia, hoping to end up at an avocado farm. Great to see her and catch up after 8 years...

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Diary 9/6/14

These potato bugs are creepy. This one was actually at the end of the potato bed. Some people call them "children of the earth" I think because of there little eyes and faces. I received a bite from one before, so I am not a big fan, but the chickens were...

Friday, September 5, 2014

Diary 9/5/14

Corn eating devils
Hot weather is keeping things from being as happy as they might be at this time of year. It is sooo dry and that is hard on the raspberries and my little lettuce starts. It is great for late summer bugs, my nemesis. That and the turkeys and deer are closing in for the food that is in my greenhouses and around the edges. I am gonna do a rain dance. Will it work, who knows, but good exercise!

Keep your Basil from blooming...

If you want your basil to look like this late in the summer:
you need to give them a watering of nitrogen, the first number in the three number system for fertilizer: N_P-K, N being nitrogen. Fish fertilizer works, but don't get it on any leaves you plan to pick. Compost tea will work also, giving the plants the choice of food. If you are fighting blossoms, keep them pruned off for more leaf production. Take all the flower stems off and feed with high nitrogen fertilizer and voila, you have beautiful basil leaves again.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

How can you tell when your melons are ripe?

With cantaloupes and most muskmelons, watch for a crack to form around the stem where it is attached to the fruit. When a light tap of your thumb removes the melon, it is ripe. This is called "slipping its stem". Not all melons do this, especially honeydews. I watch for a yellow patch to show on their otherwise creamy-lime skin. It is an obvious color blemish. With watermelons, I count tendrils. Find where the melon is attached to the vine and see if the curlycue tendril there is dry. Then go along the stem two more tendrils and if they are all dry, then nothing is feeding that melon anymore and hopefully it is delicious!
See the separation where the stem meets the melon?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Diary 9/3/14

So, after seeing this family in our garden several times and thinking how glad I am not farming commercially at this point, I noticed that the white corn was shredded on the stalks. No raccoon damage here. The cobs were left intact, just cornless. I picked the rest after chasing these guys off. Hoping they don't see the bicolor corn at the end of the garden on the other side. I will be keeping a better watch. Hope they like plums because there are too many for me to pick, give away and process!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Raspberry picking awaits...Diary 9/1/14

September already!!! Guess what I need to get out there doing? Yep, raspberry picking! They are not as throney as most berries, but I still wear long sleeves because they lightly scratch you. After a hour, your skin is pretty annoyed and raw. The trick is to lift the branch of berries away from the rest and then pick, avoiding contact with the thorns of the other canes. The prize of ripe red raspberries is worth the sacrifice!