This time of year, full-on spring here in Western Oregon, we’re staring down piles of freshly washed chicken eggs and rows of recently dormant kale plants that have reawakened rather vigorously. Longer days and warmer temperatures have kicked everything into high gear. Daphne, daffodils, and red flowering currants are blooming. Indian plum has tender little […]


Due to a warm spring and a mild fall, our Satsuma mandarins are ripe and ready for sale a little early this year. Here’s the scoop: Satsuma mandarins are alternate bearing, meaning they produce a lot of fruit only every other year. This is an off year, but somehow we ended up with about the […]


As much as I love the rhythms and routines of canning and making jam, there’s something about the slow, quiet act of cracking and picking apart nuts that speaks to me. Once again, my parents’ towering English walnut tree let loose a bumper crop of nice nuts, and a few weeks ago, I got a […]


Henry and I made what’s becoming an annual visit to the USDA Clonal Germplasm Repository in Corvallis about a week ago. (You can see/read about last year’s visit here.) Our neighbor Joseph Postman, a plant pathologist, works there and offered to tour us around. I was itching to harvest some quince, but Henry wanted to check out some […]


Harvesting Fennel Seed

October 30, 2013 · 13 comments

Fennel seed is not something that falls within my regular repertoire. I like but don’t exactly love fresh fennel, but though I’m not a huge licorice/anise person, I find the taste of fennel seed to be surprisingly sweet and refreshing. We’ve had this one bronze fennel plant growing on the hill above the house for […]


Autumnal Scenes

October 10, 2013 · 2 comments

Well, fall is here for realz. We’ve mostly gotten over mourning the loss of summer and are now embracing all things autumnal. Delicata squash, leeks, and kale are back in our regular meal rotations. I tried to hold off on those three because I know that’s mostly what I’ll be eating for the next six […]


savoy cabbage Looking back at the photos of my parents’ garden, (Oven & Earth Farm) from just six weeks ago is so strange. The place is barely recognizable. Everything has grown like crazy since then, and that landscape of bare dirt with itty bitty plant starts has turned into an edible eden of green on […]


Potato Flowers

July 9, 2013 · 2 comments

The potato plants at “The Other Place” of Oven and Earth Farm (my parents’ operation) are just wrapping up their summer bloomin’. Actually a few of the varieties were past prime already when I took these photos last week. I just think potato flowers are so darn pretty, and a whole field of them is breathtaking, […]


The garlic harvest is on at my parents’ farm. This first batch is a little greener than ideal, but it was planted next to crops that still need irrigating, so without the option of drying it out a little further, it had to come out. It was at least 90° today, so after pulling the […]


Well, my mom and I put about 40 pounds of raspberries in the freezer today. We each brought another few pounds into our kitchens to enjoy fresh. I always say I’m going to bake something fancy after a big U-picking day, but generally, the extra bucket just seems to disappear before I can work up […]