We're in a free-fall at the moment. It's been a steady slide all spring, some bumps and dips. We even caught some air here and there along the way. As the fields continue to need preparing and planting, beds need weeding and tending, and irrigation becomes a full-time concern, we are now also harvesting every day of the week. All of which, in all its glory and beauty, means a complete free-fall into summer. If all goes right, we'll land on a bed of pillowy kale, shake off and try to remember what clouds look like, and just keep rolling.Read More
8:30 am. University of Oregon Duck Store. I'm buying two cases of Listo grease pencils for marking flags with planting dates and varieties at the farm. We've tried "permanent" markers (they fade), China pencils (they break), and yellow crayon-like grease markers (they don't show up). Now we have a seemingly endless supply that do the trick.
9:20 am. Strawberry patch. I'm poking around the plants while Michael weed whacks the end of the bed so we can hook up irrigation lines. All three patches have been swallowed up on either side by tall cover crop, and I'd almost forgotten about them. To my delight, they're ripe! I pick one deep red one and pop it into my mouth, stem and all. I almost forget to taste it while I search through the beds, looking to see how many are ready. But then I do, and stand there for a minute, letting that ultra sweet summer flavor sink in. This sensation will keep coming until fall sets in.Read More
They planted onions all day. Patterson and Talon: yellow storage onions. Michael, Phil, and Sophie, with Hao, Mo, and Huiyang helping until three o'clock. Four beds that we'd prepped a couple weeks ago, covered with black plastic, and waited for the weeds to sprout and die off under the darkness. Plants six inches apart, four rows in each bed: almost 5,000 onions. Mo's mother is visiting from China for the next month, and she explored the fields to take photos while everyone tucked in all those plugs, one by one and two by two.Read More