Music and Farm

Rick and Lavinia Ross Farm and Music Newsletter for September 2013

News from the farm:
The days are rapidly transitioning from summer into early autumn.    The meandering winds give water-stressed trees voice.   Rustling, dry leaves slip away with the daylight hours, and tell of a long summer of relentless sun, and little to no rain.   Grasses, golden brown and withered, crackle underfoot, patiently riding out the annual summer drought until the rains will signal them to break dormancy once again.  The larger farms have already harvested grain, seed and straw.   Once cleared, the hard packed soil is broken up, then pulverized into a dusty flatness by impressively large machines.    Dust Devils, those carefree vortices of warm, sunny days and open spaces, carry the finer soil skyward, and a tan haze can be seen all around the valley.  In combination with drifting smoke from forest fires, the sun sometimes sports an unusual orange glow at mid-day, and I feel as if I am standing on an alien world.

Working in the garden, I can’t resist tasting fresh produce hanging invitingly on vine and tree.   I’ve heard it said that the best way to eat a tomato is out in the field with the seeds running down one’s face.   Many a tomato or tender green bean has not made it back to the house, not to mention plums, apples and raspberries at this time of year.    I did pluck a large, luscious-looking raspberry from the patch one evening and nonchalantly pop it in, only to find there was a distinctly non-raspberry texture and flavor clinging to it.   I quickly spit it out before I bit down.   A Green Stink Bug, a bit confused but seemingly no worse for the experience, crawled off into the leaf litter.   I will be more careful next time.

The moonless sky here last night was quite dark, and full of stars.   Earlier in August, I watched the growing moon during the evening rounds.    As daylight faded and night deepened, Moon changed her appearance from that of sea-polished quartz to pale gold.   She is quite beautiful in this “between time” of sun just below the horizon, and the rising dark blue veil of night to the east.   My mother used to call quartz that had been tumbled by the sea “moonstones”, and I think of her on these evenings as I wander through the garden.  Echoes of the past, voices we will never hear again, still speak through flames of memories sparked by something seen or heard.   They travel on starlight, the wind, and the moon’s soft, ghostly glow.

Music news (schedule below):
The Sweet Home Trails Organization will be celebrating National Public Lands Day from 9 AM to 1 PM on September 28th, followed by a Wine Tasting and Walk at Mark’s Ridge Winery in Sweet Home from 3 PM to 6 PM.  A benefit concert for Sweet Home Trails Organizations will take place from 4 PM to 6 PM.
For more information see:

In your area, wherever you may be, please do all you can to help keep local music alive. Go out and see someone you don’t know, host a house concert, download songs or buy CDs. Or even just stop for a minute to hear someone at a Farmers’ Market. Live, local musicians provide a wealth of talent most people will never hear about in this age of iPods, Internet and TV.

Bookings and home-grown produce:
Lavinia and Rick Ross
Salmon Brook Records / Salmon Brook Farms
Sweet Home, OR


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