Sunday, October 24, 2010
It is officially Fall this weekend.
The big rainstorm that everyone has been talking about for a week hit Saturday afternoon around 4:30—large raindrops, piled high clouds, seriously muddy paths. The cats glared out the windows. It rained all night and I could feel the unharvested figs—the ones that were still too green to eat as well as the very ripe but bird-munched ones high in the branches—swelling, transforming from fruit to the dreaded Fig Bombs. Mark harvested the last ripe ones yesterday morning and I made fig jam and dried a stack of six trays in the afternoon. Then, I put the trays and canner away for the winter. Unless some unexpected load of produce hits our front steps, I am done with canning and drying for the year.
We also brought in winter grain supplies yesterday. Sunbow Farms, with Ten Rivers Food Web, organized a farmers market of beans (there weren’t many), grains, honey, onions, garlic, potatoes—all of the crops that keep. Everyone pre-ordered, then gathered at one farm to pick it all up. The lines were long, but people were cheerful. Corvallis is a fairly small community, so you always run into people you know and chat while waiting in line. Everyone has these “line friends,” people you know but don’t spend time with, except while waiting. We bought our wheat, oatmeal, onions, and garlic for the winter, as well as some flax seed and pinto beans. It was good to haul it all home, pour it into big tin cans and glass jars, and organize it all on the shelves next to the canned goods. I swept the whole basement, crushed some boxes, hauled out Mark’s old backpack that I need to take to Community Outreach, and spent a good ten minutes gloating over the tidy stores and our stack of dried firewood.
Out in the garden, the beds are slowly clearing out and the bones of the space are reappearing. The green beans are finshed for the year and the trellis moved back to the last bed. The zuchinni is pulled out, except for the most amazing Trombochino, an Italian climber, that is still producing long, pale green fruits. Tomatoes are almost done and this rain will probably finish them off. The fall greens are lush and tall with the cold frame resting on the bed, waiting for the windows to keep out the rains. I may put them on today. After Halloween, I’ll take down the front garden and start collecting leaves for winter mulch. Planting, watering, and tending are done and we are about to enter the dark, inward turning time of the year—but we are ready.