Category Archives: Oh..oh….

Hiring frogs, fish and herons!

FloodZone 020817

Rain, rain, and more rain, followed by a little snow, then more rain, has kept the flood zone fluctuating, but definitely always a swamp. I keep waiting for some frogs to take up residence in our yard.  The swamp area is a little too shallow to be a fish pond, but it seems like it has potential!  It wouldn’t surprise me to see a great blue heron standing there one morning, but not likely.

As our latent winter, pseudo-spring has raised our temperatures into the milder zones, the ground is ultra soggy, and every shovel of soil weighs close to 3 bricks.  It is not a time for planting anything in our yard yet; instead it has been a time of digging up old, neglected, and sprawling shrubs; weeding, and pruning plants to enourage their new looks.  A time to clear the old and make space for new.

Cycles of equilibrium: the balancing of energetic elements; over-abundant rain to counter balance 2-3 years of uncanny drought.

While April plays its games of freaky weather, we wait and dream for gentler, warmer days in May, to dry us out a bit, and give us momentum to actually plant.

Kitties are taking more outings, too, weather permitting.  Juni definitely has spring fever, and likes to take her time scouting around the neighborhood, sometimes causing her mom some anxiety.  Aspen is reliable in hanging around the premises, preferring to keep an eye on his human’s activities.

Spring has sprung in our part of the world! Time to admire the exquisite colors emerging all around us!

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wakey-wakey…WAKE UP! Monsanto is at it…again…

While the community garden is about to wake from its slumber very soon, all the rest of us need to BE AWAKE to the insane shenanigans that Monsanto continues to try to slip by us.  Please read the info below and go to the link at the bottom to sign the petition.  Thanks to all!


Posted: 12 April  2013

It’s unbelievable, but Monsanto and Co. are at it again. These profit-hungry biotech companies have found a way to gain exclusive control over the seeds of life – the source of our food. They’re trying to patent away varieties of our everyday vegetables and fruits like cucumber, broccoli and melons, forcing growers to pay them for seed and risk being sued if they don’t.

But we can stop them from buying up Mother Earth. Companies like Monsanto have found loopholes in European law to have exclusive rights over conventional seeds, so we just need to close them shut before they set a dangerous global precedent.And to do that, we need key countries like Germany, France and the Netherlands — where opposition is already growing — to call for a vote to stop Monsanto’s greedy plans. The Avaaz community has shifted governments before, and we can do it again.

Many farmers and politicians are already against this — we just need to bring in people power to pressure these countries to keep Monsanto’s hands off our food. Sign now and share with everyone to help build the biggest food defense call ever.

Avaaz.com – Monsanto vs. Mother Earth

New Timelines

Sometimes there are better reasons than others not to engage in spring gardening too soon, be they weather, or Divine intervention….
Primary excuses here:

Equinox! Spring?!

Tripping out of a timeline....to concrete...
The director's way of getting out of work?

Actually, I did the hand trick earlier in the day we were intending to gather together for the annual planning tea party!  Since then we’ve experienced 3 weeks of the wettest March on record, including all 4 seasons in single days.

We have heard the hopeful news that in early April, we will see some warm sunny days, and then it will be a rush to weed and turn soil, and clean up.

My hand (with a hairline fracture in the base of the left index finger), has been healing rapidly over 3 weeks, but has more time ahead to heal the ligaments and then re-strengthen.  It will be quite awhile before I can torque it with a shovel, or do 2-handed weeding.   Aargh.  Everything takes longer.  I will have to get used to the idea of being a director in a real manner…;-)

We are in amazing times of planetary evolution, much of which is not even fathomed by the limited perspective of the scientific community.  Since I work in the field, I can speak this.  Quantum physicists know it, though they are often ridiculed, yet Einstein had glimpses.  Astronomers know it, even if the don’t broadcast it.

There is no more “normal”, if one is aware and awake, be it the weather, occupation, health….life.  Time IS accelerated.  Gene Rodenberry was bringing forth real information through his StarTrek missions, as was Carl Sagan in writing “Contact.”  We are not alone in the Cosmos!

But enough of this…it simply has me reflecting from late last year, that in my own life I do not have the desire to keep up with “media” aspect of blogs (which are largely outlets for ego-broadcasts of their lives).  Another reason this site intentionally has been kept focused as an information outlet above all else.  It feels like there will be fewer entries than in previous seasons, partly because the CG is well-established, partly because my life-service is needed in other areas.  Words mean less to me, and are increasingly more difficult to process, as I move less in the mental world and more into the invisible world of feeling and Nature.  Which means…there may be postings of pictures….and wordless.

This community garden has always been a focus of infused cosmic energy, assisted by the natural Beings who support the plant and soil life, and will continue to be such a portal.  Live in the Light!  And Light is Love!

Happy 1st birthday CG!

Why is it that the best weather of a 3-day weekend arrives after 4:30 pm on the final day?  Nevertheless it was an excellent weekend to move ahead with garden tasks, dodging drizzles and rain.  Although we don’t have the exceptionally fine weather that blessed our initial project one year ago, we celebrated by seeding the first phase of summer veggies.  As various CG members filtered into town from their various journeys, different tasks were done, depending on who showed up and when.

With the air and soil temperatures being nearly equal at 70°F we seeded various squash, melon, and cucumber cultivars, corn, and basil.  (Check out our 2010 planting list here.) One minute it was threatening rain, the next a few light rays of sun peaking through the clouds to make one want to don shorts; but wait 5 minutes, and the sun is gone.  Do I need another shirt again? Yes.  Wait, now I’m too warm.  It came down to rolling up the jeans and a t-shirt.

Taking a stroll through the house yard to check on tomato seedlings keeping warm in their little greenhouse, my mouth dropped as I spied a group of deer pellets on some grass.  Never in my residency here has one come this far into the yard!  We decided to grab netting and place it over the cool weather crops immediately.  He hadn’t managed to sample anything yet.  (I think it’s the same young male who visited solo last year.)  While tying out cloth strips soaked in Irish Spring soap solution on various young fruit trees and roses, I did notice some rose tips “nipped in the bud”.

Here is an update to the final harvest tally of our 2009 plantings, contributed to by our overwintering kale and leeks, which were removed in May for more garden prep:

  • Kale: 10 (pounds)
  • Leeks: 3.25

Bringing our 2009 grand total to……592 pounds!

As we celebrate our first birthday we have a new 2010 tally, from harvesting the thinnings of early spring plantings during April and May:

  • Beet greens: 1.5 pounds
  • Kale: 2.5
  • Lettuce blends: 7.5
  • Spinach: 2

Total: 12.75 pounds            Off to a great start!

Something in the way it froze last December

Rewind: an unusually hard, but short freeze around December 2, 2009, after a long, relatively warm fall.  Very little in the way of freezing temperatures for the rest of the month; much of January and February were very warm.

Fast forward: April had several frosty mornings, colder and wetter than average temperatures.

Results: more weeds than I’ve ever had in the yard, including big crops of maple seedlings.  Several “hardy” perennials appear to be dead, though they’ve survived harsher winters; I’m still holding out hope for some of the late-to-wakers.  Tender perennials, like some of the sages, I’d expect to lose, even with mulching.  Alas, my young apricot tree is diseased with bacterial canker (causal organism: Pseudomonas syringae), probably induced by weather-related stresses.  Double rats!

It’s always a puzzler when plants survive typical winter periods of cold temperatures just fine, then die after a winter of milder temperatures.  But, that one cold snap came so early in December, with little chilling preparation ahead of it, and some plants physiologically weren’t ready to cope.  Sigh….

An arctic wave to end the season

The full moon on December 2nd heralded a phase of turbulence that has only eased itself with a slow return to more seasonal, wet weather.

The day was busy enough as it was, coming home from work to prepare a meal for friend Jack, just out of knee surgery.  Old Cedar-cat had been having a very difficult week since Thanksgiving, and there was always a good amount of ritual cleanup to do.  Meanwhile, we were warned of an imminent plunge of night temps, having already had a couple of frosty nights.  The lettuce and chard needed to come out, but I needed more time.  Neighbor Patty to the rescue, as if she read my mind!  With her help we plucked the lettuce and chard well after dark, leaving the leeks and kale to weather whatever might come.

The arctic wave extended well beyond its original few days, leaving us cold and dry (thank goodness, no ice) with night temperatures into the single digits.  It became too cold for frost, quite a rarity in these parts.  It will be interesting come spring to see what doesn’t make it through.  Though I kept them fairly sheltered, I hope the new pineapple guava seedlings in their containers make it!

But, all those positive ions that build up with continued high pressure get trapped down in the dense cold layer, and start making many people agitated, impatient, crabby, and extremely tired.  Where was our seasonal rain?

Relief was on the way as of December 11th, with a noticeable pressure shift and cloud cover moving in. The tricky part in western Oregon is maneuvering through the “transition zone” since freezing rain is frequently a visitor.  There was a quagmire of accidents once the ice formed during that night into the next day, but it passed quickly.  My skin in finally relaxing and feeling less dehydrated!

Juniper-kitty thought it would be fun to jump out the door per her normal routine, but didn’t bargain for the immediate skating she had to try out.  At first perplexed, she then thought it a bit fun, making tiny runs on the concrete to see if she slid.  However, that quickly became old as she became more intent on walking through the yard, where she had more traction on the soil.

Wouldn’t you know?  My camera decided to go on the fritz while trying to take some pictures.

A good time to list the bit of November’s bounty, and call it the final tally for 2009:

  • Lettuce:    6.5 (pounds)
  • Kale:         1
  • Chard:      3.5
  • Leeks:      0.75

Month’s Total: 11.25

Total season bounty:  579 pounds (rounded)  Well done!

Emergency evacuation: pests out of control!

In a fast move to save the lettuce seedlings being savagely eaten in an outbreak of both aphids and Cabbage White Looper caterpillars migrating from the neighboring chard and kale, an emergency evacuation took place.  Thanking the plants for their extremely productive service, all kale and chard was removed, salvaging what little was decently usable as food, but discarding most directly into the waste debris containers.  This is what we get for “slacking off” in observation given our really busy schedules last week, while there was a burgeoning plague.  I had noticed a few tell-tale signs of building aphid populations on the kale, as well as white flies, but nothing had seemed in imminent danger. Then the Swiss chard seemed to become inundated with aphids almost overnight.  Evidently, behind that were lurking newly hatched Cabbage loopers, always unseen until they wreak havoc, stripping plants to their ribs in only 1 or 2 nights.  Even with eradicating the plant host-sources, and spraying Thuricide* on the lettuce, we could still lose the whole row, but hopefully not.  We’ll know in a day or two.

It was also good incentive to tidy up other areas in the garden looking a bit more distressed, removing the cucumbers and ‘delicata’ squash plants, and trimming back the sprawling cherry tomatoes.

"Looking good" yet hunry pests lurk in the chard and kale.  So, now you see us.....

"Looking good" yet hunry pests lurk in the chard and kale. So, now you see us.....

Free of aphids and ...........

.........Now you don't! And the lettuce seedlings are much happier.

*Thuricide is a liquid comprised of millions of spores of the bacterium Bacillis thuringiensis, which reproduce inside the gut of specific types of caterpillars, becoming fatally toxic in a very short time.  This is a naturally occurring bacterium that evolved into its specific function.