Tag Archives: weather

November photo assortment

peasWell, mostly November. This picture of 2008’s second pea crop is about two months old (the weather changed and the plants became goat food)

greenhouseWith Western Oregon’s mild climate, we will be trying our hands at winter gardening. I’ve replaced the leaky, opaque roof on the greenhouse with “sun-tuff” – corrugated plastic panels – and used some of our old windows to make a cold frame (the 2′ high glassed projection on the front). We hope to grow kale and a few other greens in there, after getting them started indoors and gradually acclimating them to outdoor life.

Outside the greenhouse there’s still plenty to do. Cover crops of clover, cereal ryegrain, faba beans, and vetch have been planted in last year’s beds:
cover crops

garlicHere’s a 40′ double row of garlic, about 1/3 planted. We’ll be doing three different varieties, with different storage life and flavor attributes. In our mild climate, the garlic will (we hope) grow slowly through the winter and burst into life in the spring, with harvest coming in May and June.

goth sunflowersPerhaps inspired by Halloween festivities, these sunflowers have gone goth.

Goats, of course, don’t take a break in the winter as most of the garden does. Stand by for gratuitous cuteness:
aberdeen door

koko aberdeen door


goat gateNext year, the goats will enjoy another little pasture area. I’m putting a lot of radish seeds in there, because goats love the greens, which grow early and fast. Here’s the door from their current enclosure to the new pasture. The door is of course made from old shipping pallets.

firepit stepsIn non-farming news, visitors will be happy to see that the deadly mudslide down to our fire pit now has steps.

And finally, the Yamaha saga. I found what seemed like a good deal on a mid-size road bike, and bought it with dreams of 55mpg dancing in my head.yamahaThe wiring and tires were a mess, but I’ve fixed that and a few other things. The title was lost, but the previous owner’s widow filled out all sorts of paperwork that should have helped me get a title.

Finally the day came – I went to the DMV and all my papers were in order, but there is a lien on the bike from the 1980s, and I’m currently navigating a voicemail maze at the finance company in question to determine whether the lien is satisfied. Oh well, it’s raining all the time anyway now, but I hope to get this thing on the road for next spring. For now, it just sits there looking cool (as cool as it can with the ill-fitting Harley seat, slated for replacement with a stock one)

A spring morning walk around the yard

Here’s a slew of pretty pictures, taken during a one-hour morning walk around the yard –

The “lawn” is largely composed of flowers. Some are just pretty:

…but many are wild strawberries (the real thing is far cheerier than Copy of wildstrawberries

A baby fir-tree cone:

Apple trees are budding:

Not sure what this tree is, but it’s got pretty flowers:

Never got around to moving this extra horse poo to the compost bin, and now it’s lush with greenery and fungi:

The woods by the river have a number of Trillium, a somewhat uncommon and delicate plant; it’s illegal to pick any part of it – even taking a leaf may kill the plant, and they can take fifteen years to flower for the first time:

Also down by the river is the beautiful and malodorous skunk cabbage. The roots are actually edible (after cooking to destroy harmful compounds), and while this still doesn’t sound very appetizing, with all the food craziness going on in the world, the discovery of yet another edible plant on our property is a comforting thing.

Oregon grape – fruit is edible, but very sour…used more in jam than fresh:

There are a couple of these, which I believe are Salmonberry. They’re isolated, with just a few flowers each, which is too bad because I’ve been wanting to try it. If there are only a few berries, maybe I’ll save them for the seed.

I really want to grow some raspberries here…especially black raspberries, the sweetest, most amazing ones I know of. There’s one small patch at the edge of a clearcut near here from which I picked very lightly last year…I think I’ll try to find out how to propagate it before the $#% timber companies spray defoliant or bulldoze it.

I don’t know what this is, but Teri quite likes it, which has rendered a whole patch of our garden area off-limits to tilling and planting:

Catnip is pretty common in un-tilled bits of our garden, and here and there all over the property, but for some reason it LOVES the spot where I grew tobacco last year…maybe I’m creating the ultimate feline drug – Tobacnip!

Speaking of the garden, here’s the beginnings of this season’s planting, which will be much more extensive than last years, and which should benefit from the soil tests and classes we’ve been taking.

Walla Walla onions:

Shelling peas:

Salad mix:

If you’ve got Swede in the family tree (or shop at Ikea), you probably know what Lingonberries are. Delicious and tart, they are made into jams and sauces, and are full of anti-oxidants. Best of all, they grow well in acid soil (ie, all of Western Oregon) and propagate by rhizome as well as seed (they’ll slowly spread out without help from us, and won’t become out-of-control invasives like the Himilayan Blackberries that plague/feed us):

Chives and heirloom tomatoes (Purple Calabash and Brandywine) are under lights in the kitchen waiting for this extended frost season to finally end:

…and finally, no post these days would be complete without cute goat photos

Drama queen nosing through the nasty old chicken wire someone applied over the field fencing:

And Cocoa, with the evidence of a messy bottle feeding still on her face:

That’s it for today, but I’m sure tomorrow will bring a whole bunch of new flowers and cute animal shots

An Oregon blizzard

Yes, it’s true, we had an Oregon blizzard last night (half an inch of snow that melts by noon.) This was the scene around 8:30am today:
Snowy goatlandia

The daffodills sagged, but I’ve seen them do that before; they’ll pop right back up tomorrow:
Sagging daffys

This apple is probably getting a bit overripe now:
frozen apple on tree

…but the fir trees don’t mind the weather, they just keep on photosynthesizing all year long –
fir tree needles with snow