Thursday, October 20, 2016
Late October in Oregon means Fall color, low, golden-yellow light, acorns scattered on the ground, and spiderwebs everywhere. We have had record rainfall this month, and everything is dewy and wet. As I went on a walk down to the Big Garden, I passed a mowed meadow. With the morning sunlight hitting it at just the right angle, I could see dozens of small, detailed spiderwebs covered in the morning's dew. Each one was no larger than a few inches but they were everywhere in the grass. Such tiny, perfect pieces of art, woven between the blades of grass.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
One of the signs of Fall here in my part of the world, is ripening apples in the trees. While my two domesticated apple trees are years away from producing any fruit, our forest is home to many, many wild apple trees. There are two large trees in the hedgerow that surrounds the Big Garden. One of them produces solid green apples. The other produces classic red apples, as pictured here. There's nothing as pretty as a ripened red apple caught in a shaft of Fall sunshine.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
It should come as no surprise to see mushrooms sprouting up all around. We have had so much rain the last 5 days! It began with Thursday's record breaking 1.45". That was quickly followed up by Sunday's record breaking 1.25" and then Monday's record breaking 1.38"! So far, month to date, we have received 6.4" of rain. It is actually a wonderful thing, as we have been below our average rainfall month after month for years now. While it is pretty much putting a temporary stop to my mowing projects, the sweet earth is drinking it all up and the mushroom are returning in droves.
Thursday, October 6, 2016
As I was walking up and down our long drive this past weekend, flecks of color caught my eye. It was a nice patch of rose hips in the hedgerow along the road. In a year where drought has once again limited the fall color in our trees, it was so nice to see this splash of autumnal beauty.
Monday, October 3, 2016
Not a large harvest this past week, but still one that I am very excited about. The beans are in! Well not all of the beans, but the majority of them. We received out first significant rain on Sunday morning. It was predicted so I harvested most of the pods from my bush "Titus" cannellini beans earlier in the week. I would say 4/5 of the pods had fully ripened. They were brown and dry, but did not spit open and shatter- just as the catalog promised. My total harvest to this point is 9.1 oz, or 1 1/3 cups. Not a huge amount but I think a descent harvest from just 20 plants. Now I get to play around with these in a few recipes and see how they taste. If they make the cut I would like to double or triple my grow out of them next year.
I also enjoyed a good "second flush" harvest on the "Lemon" cucumber plants. I know that I was complaining earlier in the season that they weren't a very prolific producer but I need to rescind that remark a bit. I harvested another 9 cukes this week, weighing in at 2 lbs. 3.4 oz. So that puts my total year to date harvest at 21 cukes from the 5 plants. Not a huge amount, but not too bad either from plants growing in a location that received only half-day sun.
Sunday, October 2, 2016
The rains arrived, as predicted around 2:00 AM this morning and continued until sometime around 8:00 AM. Since this was to be our first significant rain this Fall, I headed down to the big garden yesterday to tidy up and prepare the dahlias. Before I left, I cut 5 big blooms on my "Lexa" plants. Up at the house I stuck them in a simple glass vase and voila - a lovely arrangement. This is only the second flush on the "Lexa" plants, so the blooms are still a good size and the color is great with the diminished Fall sunshine. There probably isn't enough growing season left for a third flush, so I am enjoying these blooms even more knowing these are the last I will see until next year's garden.
Saturday, October 1, 2016
And suddenly, October arrives. The days are cooler now and the nights have a chill to them. Across the road from the Big Garden, is this wonderful old building, covered in trailing vines. For most of the year it doesn't draw your attention. But come October, the vines turn scarlet and the whole scene is picture perfect.