Everything by the minutes

Everything by the minutes

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.

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Tomato scars

Tomato scars

I still feel like a mad scientist, and I'm still in awe of how the only evidence of being severed in half ends up a dainty scar, soon to be nearly invisible near the soil level.  I suppose tomatoes aren't the only organism that shows such resilience.  I wonder if, like an ache from a bone broken in childhood or the deep quaking of long-ago heartbreak, these tomatoes will remember the day I cut them in two and made them whole again.

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Full house

The propagation house is full.  It happened so fast.  Not even three weeks ago, there were a couple snow scrapers and brooms, and onion peels still floating around from curing last year, and the house hadn't held baby plants since early summer.  (Back when we had to take all the sides off to let air flow, and it was nonetheless too hot in there for life.)

Now it's the only place life will tolerate.

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Twenty one degrees

Twenty one degrees

The tomatoes have sprouted.  The greenhouses are full of tender leafy greens.  Eggplants and peppers are trying to germinate over specially heated mats. And the forecast is calling for a low of 21 degrees Fahrenheit tonight.

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