Back home from the 2019 edition of Camp Estrogen, held this year at Julie’s Black Butte digs, okay, I’m tired. Six women, five of whom no longer contain any of the eponymous estrogen (one who says they’ll have to pry her precious pills from her fists when she goes to her eternal rest) havin’ fun away from real life for a couple of days.

Among other adventures, we had lunch at Rain Shadow Organic Farms, and when asked if we might buy some eggs, were told that chickens don’t lay at this time of year. It seems, the nice lady told us, that they sense the oncoming cold weather of fall, and egg production stops. Very interesting. No one told my chickens, who continue to lay apace. Maybe this is a regional pattern. We were, after all, across the mountains where it does, indeed, get cold in winter.

Interesting note: Corvallis is a word derived from Latin, meaning Heart of the Valley. Somehow this knowledge improves my appreciation of our town’s name.

Let’s take a break for a couple of photos, artistically arranged:

Larry’s garden has run amuck! So now what? Note, by the way, the basket of farm-fresh eggs. Ha! This is what happens when you run off with your girlfriends, and I’ve been chopping and blanching and freezing for days. In fact, we find that we have to buy an additional freezer for the garage to house the bounty.

I’m not sure how to winter over the delicatas, and the huge cucumbers lurking behind the eggs have taken their place in the great wheel of compost, but the broccoli, zucchini, and cauliflower have been tucked into freezer containers to await, well, something. I’ll figure it out.

And I came back to notice that our herd of cows/calves has expanded. Five white baby calves, very cute, and what seemed to be lots more mommas. Seems Ryan felt the grass of the three pastures where they’ve been hanging out was rich enough to support more animals. About 24 more. Bringing us up to 50 or so. They’re such fun to watch, but what about our water? Remember? Our wells run dry sometimes? We’ve turned off the sprinklers to our lawn and it’s getting appropriately “golden” (it’s a look), but we would like to guarantee our household supply.

So Ryan says that his guy will talk to Green Belt Landtrust about a solar powered system they use to pull water from Muddy Creek. We farmers are allowed to sip from the creek for ag purposes, and if true, could fill a couple of tanks down in the riparian area. I tend to freak about the water situation, so hope that this system can be put in place before we have to call the tanker as per 2 years ago. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Tomorrow I’m going to U-pick blueberries with neighbor Terri, departing at 8 in the morning. At least they’re easy to freeze! So, got my tin bucket, my jeans and boots and yeah, it sure feels like summer.

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