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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Spring begins

Spring begins

This was the first day I got to spend a big chunk of time in the trees with the core crew, and it was so lovely.  Pruning continues to be one of my favorite activities-- not just farming activities, but all-around all-time activities-- because it starts as a big jumbled mess, lets you climb trees and think three-dimensionally and move your body in unexpected ways, and ends with a much tidier framework for the tree to grow into the season. 

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Pricking out, filling up

Pricking out, filling up

I was yelling and still not quite making myself clear.  No, I wasn't mad, or even agitated.  I was just trying to give instructions under a greenhouse being pummeled by raindrops.  I've said it before and I'll say it again: the rain on plastic is deafening.  I spent the morning with the interns thinning and filling in plant sale trays of brassicas and lettuces.  It's refreshing and fun for me to help develop new skills with these enthused people.  They pick things up quickly, and so far I just check in every now and again to give pointers on efficiency, another eye to completion, and reassurance that they're doing a great job.

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What the trees think of us

I like to wonder what the trees think of us.  They stand through frosts and heat waves, catching the first light of morning and the last reflected rays of evening, day after day after day.  Many of them were planted when I was still a kid, oblivious to their existence and instead picking little Italian plums from my front yard in the summer.  Even the youngest trees in the orchard have known the farm longer than I have.  They came from various nurseries, grafted by nimble hands to make whole two disjointed halves.  Since they were planted, they have known only one spot on this planet.  They've watched the world go by.

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