Savage Farming

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Grosbeak Insurgency

There are about 8 grosbeak which have seized the front yard bird feeders. We had two new visitors to the yard recently. A cow-bird couple and a lovely oriole were both here this morning, before the insurgency. Fortunately the sparrows and finches are holding their own against the larger, slower and less maneuverable grosbeak. Of course the downy woodpecker doesn't take any grief from these migratory malcontents.

Rain, rain, rain. So fine for the 800 or so cole-crop (broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, I think) plants that dad, T.C., and I put in yesterday. Now the tilled field has turned to a clinging paste not unlike half cooked over dry oatmeal mixed with rocks and gravel. But the plants are loving it.

I'm spending a good chunk of today working on some PHP scripts for a website I'm designing. Fun to be writing code again.

Y'all relish the rain and watch for the bow.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cognitive Surplus

Read this before you turn on that sitcom.

Planting

Artichokes are in, tomorrow the cabbage, lettuce and greens operations begin. Cooler, cloudy weather will give these transplants a chance to establish well without too much stress.

Charley got the pump installed over at farm#2 (thanks to June for the insistence) so that is a big motivator to get seed put down but the same cool weather that makes for good transplanting will delay our seeding of corn, cantaloupe, watermelon, winter squash, onions and pumpkins for another week.

Everybody have a fun day Sunday!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A visit with the Pretty Proselyte

Had a couple Jehovah's Witness stop by this morning. Normally I'd just politely wait out their spiel and then throw away the tract after they leave.

But today for a change I honestly told the lady I wasn't going to read it and to keep it for someone else. It was at that moment I noticed, what a cute blond she was. Just a few streaks of gray in her hair, probably a couple years younger than me. A couple inches shorter than me and wearing a simple denim dress. She sounded disappointed when I told her I didn't want the tract. But I made up for it, apparently, when I told her I had a copy of the bible.

Sparky dashed out the door behind me and she laughed and said "Now he'll smell my little dog on me!" Sure enough. As we talked a little longer about the farm and gardening, I noticed she didn't once mention her husband or boyfriend. Hmmmmm....

Before she left, I made sure she knew we'd be opening the produce stand in late spring. Hope's eternal motion. I suppose a proficient stalker would have pretended interest in her religion to inveigle his way into her presence, but I wouldn't base any sort of friendship on such a dishonest manipulation. Better to let the universe unfold in its own good time.

Y'all have a fine spring day and don't get twitter-pated.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Cold Week

I've had a pretty bad head and chest cold since last Wednesday. Uhg! I hate this stuff. Finally starting to feel a bit better today.

It's April 21st, a full month after the equinox and guess what? It's spitting snow out there. Had almost an inch on the ground yesterday. Global warming is a big fat, fat, freakin' LIE !! And anyone who says different is either a big dumby or else they've got a political agenda AND they're a big dumby. You saw what I wrote, ya big lying "climatologists" you.

Mom and dad went to Medford to buy drip-tape today. I'm hunkering down on my first day of recovery.

Y'all take care.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Desperately seeking tomato stakes

We used to buy our tomato stakes from a mill on Redwood Highway outside of Grants Pass but their land got bought up by Albertsons and I suppose they just closed up. We were able to use the stakes we had for about 5 years but they've all finally rotted away or been broken. Plus we are doing many thousands of more tomatoes this year.

So now we've either got to build our own mill or find someone who still cuts 6 foot 1-by-2s for stakes. They've got to come from within a hundred miles or so of Grants Pass or the gas to pick them up will make them cost too much. So of course the search engines are no help at all.

So if anyone knows anyone who knows someone who cuts tomato stakes in Oregon or northern California, please hook me up!

Gotta get back to filling pony-paks. Y'all have fun.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Celebrate your weak links

I've been reading books on the science and study of networks. Not so much the technological aspect as the social, ecological and general aspects. One book called "Linked" by Albert Lazlo Barabasi and the other "Nexus" by Mark Buchanan. I'm about half way through each.

One very interesting observations I've noted is that in social networks the most functional links are also the weaker links. Put it in terms of looking for a job. Most of your friends would already know that you were looking for a job and would've already exhausted any effort they could provide in that direction. Your friends all know each other so the information would travel only a short ways. However, if you run into that classmate you haven't seen in 10 years he or she might suddenly connect you to 10s or 100s of new people who didn't already know you were looking for work.

So celebrate your weak links. Hook up with those people you haven't written in a long time, heck go out of your way to see someone you don't even particularly care for. Or just be extra nice to someone at the store or gas station. It'll make the world hook up in new and delightful ways.

A lovely spring day of growth and renewal to you all.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Earth, wind and rain

Dad disced and ripped land the last couple days while I was working in the greenhouse. Today his back was sore so I took over the tractor work while he watered plants. I dragged the bottom two fields below our grapes.

Quite a bit of blustery wind as I finished my last few turns. Rain showers came and went throughout the bottom most field. It was exhilarating. Even now the barn quivers and rattles with the gusts of wind but I notice a bright patch of sun outside my window.

Hope you're having a fine spring day.