Loving Oregon!

Oregon springs may feel slow when waiting to plant veggies, but they sure are good at growing cover crops & pastures! Check out these lush oats and vetch!

Meet this week’s vegetables:

  • Salad mix
  • Stinging nettles — Be sure you read the info in the previous blog post about nettles before handling them! They really do sting! (And, they are delicious and nutritious too!)
  • Purple sprouting broccoli
  • Cabbage/Brussels sprout rapini
  • Kale rapini
  • Celery root
  • Parsnips
  • Fingerling potatoes
  • Green onions

This last Saturday was a bit of an Oregon love fest for us. The most obvious reason was the spring sun, which I think is perhaps the most powerful tonic known in the Pacific Northwest.

But I also had the opportunity to attend the 3rd annual Terroir Writing Festival here in Mac. This is my second time attending, and there is so much to love about the event — the location is of course incredibly convenient for a mom and farmer who can’t get away much, but I also love the focus on writing from a sense of place. And of course for the Oregon authors invited to speak, that place is Oregon.

I got to attend a presentation by Matt Love, who writes nonfiction about real Oregon events, places and people. He is also a high school writing teacher in Newport, and Love shared his experience of how his students flourish when they write about things they know well: especially rain and the ocean.

As part of his presentation, Love led us adults in several quick writing exercises using Oregon as our prompt, for example: “What is quintessential Oregon?” “Write a blackberry horror or pleasure story.” “What’s your best rain story?”

Having only lived in Oregon myself for six years now, most of my Oregon experiences center around the farm and a few peripheral favorite places (Casey’s parents’ place in Lincoln City, favorite hikes). My “quintessential Oregon” was the Willamette River — a defining geographic feature, but also perhaps a metaphor for the people who live here too. It seems that Oregonians are a gentle bunch, easy going for the most part but with the potential for great power when it matters (I am always amazed when our flat sleepy river turns into a raging flood mid-winter!).

Later that evening, Casey, Rusty and I all headed back into town again to attend another annual community event: the La Casa Verde dinner in Dominio IV cellars’s barrel room. We attended because Oakhill Organics was being honored (much to our surprise!) with the Food Green Achievement Aware for 2012! We had a wonderful evening of enjoying great food (Community Plate catered) and even better company.

We “get out” less than we did before we had Rusty, so it is always a special treat. But even with our somewhat contracted social life, we still seem to be connected to so many people in the greater community! It was so inspiring to see a room full of familiar faces — in some ways, I have gotten used to this phenomenon of living in a smallish community of involved friendly people. But that evening, both Casey and I were moved by seeing so many of our farm’s supporters in one place.

Afterward Casey commented that he would have loved to have time to single out the many, many people in the room who have helped our farm in one way or another — because really the award we received belongs to the whole community that makes the farm possible day-after-day. Just one of the many reasons that I have come to love Oregon, and this community in particular.

Anyhow, we’re back to rain this Monday morning. I’m sure that the sunny weekends have been a blessing for those of you who spend the workweek inside, but we’re itching to get more done in the fields. I suppose that this is just another facet of Oregon — springs that are consistently surprising in some way or another (and very often wetter and cooler than we expect or hope).

I’ve been trying not to look at the calendar too much, because mid-April seems like a long way into spring. The fields are our real calendar, and even though we haven’t been able to do large scale planting yet, the same weather is keeping the over-wintered greens in a happy productive state. So, it’s rapini season!

Enjoy this week’s vegetables!

Your farmers, Katie & Casey Kulla
… and the rest of the farm crew*

* including Emily, who returned to the farm from her river rafting trip! It’s so great to have both Jesse and Emily in the fields — we are ready for anything now!

Next week’s vegetables (probably!):

Radishes • Mustard greens • Rapini • Parsley • Walnuts • Potatoes • Celery root • Leeks

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