Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rainy Days

Ask any farmer what they come home to after a vacation and they will tell you "utter chaos".

Mind you, we had a fine crew at the helm while we were away from the homestead and in general things were fine, but growing up on a farm has prepared me for the myriad of events that only take place if the farmer is away.

The pipes burst
your favorite _____ dies
the dogs decide to kill the chickens
the dogs get sprayed by a skunk
the chickens get into the garden
the horses get into the feed and trash the barn
the roof starts to leak
a tree blows down on the fence and the livestock eat the neighbors shrubs
Oh, I could go on and on....

What I'm really getting at, is this entrenched sense of dread I felt as I approached the homestead.

"What will be dead, busted, broken or otherwise undone?"

I had an inkling of what was to come when I saw the giant water ruts in the driveway.

I'm relieved to report only the very mildest of contrary happenings: Due to torrential rains and cool weather, we had an upside down garden year.

In Oregon every day of sun counts and this summer we had few. All our hopes were pinned on the sun showing up at the last minute. Well it didn't.

Our farmhand didn't choose to pick the one and only Patty Pan squash before it became giant (I think he was being thoughtful and hoping we would get home soon enough to pick it ourselves)

The incredible rain caused the 4 tomatoes that did ripen to split

and get Blossom Rot.

We have only one tiny watermelon, which brings a whole new meaning to "personal melon".

The deer decided to do some raspberry pruning.

Our baby raspberry plants nibbled by the deer.

and all the hens have decided to go broody at the same time.

Oh well, nothing we can't sort out. Luckily I put away gallons of tomatoes last year.

For now and for our sanity's sake lets go instead to that happy place of remembering last years garden...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Other People's Homesteads

Buck, June and I went on a little walkabout to California this summer to see friends and celebrate Buck's aunt's 70th birthday. We had a lot of fun. Here are a few photos from our trip.

The Hacienda Homestead: Happy Birthday!

The Glen Ellen Homestead: Making a space for life.

Hurst Castle Homestead: Want to know how to fritter away millions of dollars?

LA Homestead: Palm Trees, Art and Love

San Francisco Homestead: So many things to see and do.

Trivia Homestead: What Hitchcock movie did this school appear in?

"The Birds"
A nice family restored it to it's original luster and now lives in it. They put up with thousands of people like us coming to Bodega Bay, parking at their front gate and taking pictures.