Sunday, September 6, 2009


Every year in August I stand in the pastures and wonder if it will EVER be green again.    Here in the southern end of the Willamette valley we have a 'mediterranean' climate.   Cool wet winters and warm dry summers.  The climatologists certainly have the 'dry' part down in spades!
The crispness of late summer is one of sounds; crunchy grass underfoot and cranky critters complaining to the management that their food is overcooked.
The September rains came right on time this year.  There was a deep sigh from the entire farm as the first drops began to fall.  I always fancy I can here the cracks in the earth "snap!" shut and the grass begin squeakily pushing out new growth.

The sheep visibly relax with the first rain.  Their demeanor here is probably the same as the sheep in colder climes welcoming the first taste of spring.   The hard days of summer or winter are about to change for the better. 

We have water issues on the farm.  A low producing well requires strict conservation measures in the depth of summer.   Trees are coaxed to be optimistic and stay alive til the rain starts.  The garden is watered with the bare minimum to keep things going.  

Fussy plants don't last long here-they get voted out of the raised garden beds at the first hint of wimpiness.   As a result of this 'tough love' method and the head gardener's penchant for letting survivors procreate by reseeding themselves we have some interesting combinations of plants. 

The snapdragons are multicolored, tall and prolific.  Dahlias which I believe are supposed to be fussbudgets do just fine here with minimal supervision.  Lavender, parsley, tarragon, thyme, chives, the occasional potato and black eyed Susans share a bed with wild abandon.

The head gardener works on the basis that Mother Nature hates a vacuum.  So if a bare spot shows up she ( the H.G.) will drop a seed head from somewhere else or poke a tiny potato into the dirt.  Its like a treasure hunt at never know when you will find a nest of potatos when foraging for dinner.

The bounty that comes with the close of summer will soon be overwhelming.  The little pear tree has once more out done itself and produced three bushels of pears.  Dried pears, Ginger Pear Jam, Vanilla Pear Jam and maybe this year some Pear butter waits in the kitchen for processing.

The apple trees are drowning in fruit much to the delight of neighbors and the critters.   One cannot pick up the mail or walk down the driveway without a ram chorus begging for a few more windfalls.  The chickens are fat and sassy as they cruise under the trees munching fruit with a bug chaser. is your 'point to ponder' for the day.   When the sheep eat apples do their cuds taste like applesauce?  or hard cider?     No wonder they are so happy this time of year!


  1. I don't know what took you so long to start a blog; your writing is lovely and of course you have LOTS of beautiful things around you to photograph and share!

    I hadn't heard of our climate being called Mediterranean, but I'll keep that in mind. Followers of my blog who live in other parts of the country act dumbfounded by our brownness in the summer; they think of Oregon as "evergreen"!

  2. I love seeing you here too, MB!

    And just think...your water situation could be could still be in Sedona!!! LOL!