We will shift our attention this month from the furry (and toothy) denizens of the farm, to the rapid growth and flowering of plant life in late winter here in the Cascade foothills. Our feature photo for the end of February is of our south-facing front garden where the daffodils are currently in full swing. A slightly nippy but playful breeze was tossing these golden trumpets about while the sun darted in and out of the passing herd of galloping pendulous dark grey to stark white clouds. A perfect late winter day to see what is happening overhead and underfoot, the two theaters from which all life and the coming seasons spring.
News from the farm
February has mostly been a slow and easier month for us here on our little farm in the Cascade foothills. We took a short vacation back east to visit friends and family, many of whom we had not seen since pulling up roots and moving west. The eastern woodlands and stone wall encompassed countryside has its own unique beauty which will forever reside in our hearts, but coming home to Oregon’s emerald green, late winter grass underfoot and snow-capped mountains far above, I was reminded of why we planted ourselves here. It is always good to review where one is from, as well as assess where one is going. As much as we love old New England, we call Oregon home, and have set deep roots.
Rick is still diligently working away at pruning the vineyards, and I have trellis wire repairs to make in my own test block of pinot noir. The pocket gophers are happily tunneling away again, and I take the freshly pulverized soil from the top of their mounds to fill plant pots to start new cuttings. As much as possible, we work with or around the various wild creatures that inhabit this farm with us, using exclusion methods where possible if a conflict is noted.
Our visiting nutria youngsters were encouraged to vacate the tool shed, and I have barricaded it against future re-colonization efforts. The shed looks as if the youngsters hosted a fraternity party in there during their brief stay, and I have quite the cleanup job ahead this spring.
News from the Cats of Salmon Brook Farms
We have a guest feline correspondent this month. The Cats of Salmon Brook Farms contacted Northeast Regional Correspondent Otis for his report on the weather in New England this winter.
Otis would like our readers to know that Connecticut is having a milder winter this year, but it is still cold enough that he prefers his padded basket bed by the wood stove, venturing out only to do business as necessary.
Otis and his companion the lovely Izzie were in general pleased with our visit, and ordered up some mood snow (as his human office assistant described it) on our last day there, just so we could enjoy viewing their woods quietly settling in under a fresh, white blanket at dusk, and reflect upon earlier times.
Music news (schedule posted on the Performance Schedule page)
I am feeling more rested now, and will soon start turning my attention towards my own music again, along with this season’s plant starts for the garden. I am still on hiatus, so in the meantime, please do check out the following musician:
Donna Martin – for those of you on the east coast, Donna is one of my favorites. She will be performing on March 20, 2016 from 4-6pm at the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio & Gallery, One Spring Street, Chester CT, http://www.Nilssonstudio.com Please visit Donna’s site at http://donnamartin.com Her CD Big Country is available at cdbaby.com, Amazon.com or at http://www.donnamartin.com
For those of you more interested in reading, please consider purchasing a copy of our friend and fellow musician Lorraine Anderson’s latest book, Earth & Eros: A Celebration in Words and Photographs
In the meantime, in your area, wherever you may be, please do all you can to help keep your own 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