Saturday, October 4, 2008


It's hard to believe we are just coming up on our one year anniversary here at Morningside. All the fears and anxieties of moving away from familiar and comfortable, replaced by farm life. Today Zach and I sat outside in the warm sun watching our chickens chase crickets, dogs close behind. Sid and Nica love the chickens. They learned quickly what an egg was, and occasionally the hens lay outside of the coop to the dog's delight. The air in the house has suffered, but their coats are beautiful and shiny.

As time flies past, we catch rare moments to rest. Appreciating that even now in October, we still have hummingbirds. I counted 4 today, 2 grey, 1 green and 1 green bird with a shiny red head. They are so spirited. One of my favorite birds, so small, so quick, flying back and forth across the yard humming loudly. Today I heard a new song, one I had never heard before. It was rockin. I couldn't help but imagine recording it and mixing it up on my mac book. But that will have to wait for another day... I am still waiting for that 8th day of the week when I do only fun stuff for me, until then I will continue to add it to the list.

Sitting outside, filtering our well water, I caught site of a new nest. A beautiful hanging basket, that I now recognize as the home to the regal bright orange bird, called the Oriole. They grace us in the fall. Even though they fight us for food, I forgive them because it's what brings them here on their migration. They just decimated our fall planting of spinach and yet, I can't help but smile when I see them in the trees.

Fall has also brought the deer back.. They are everywhere, also competing for our food. Bedding down next to the barn and helping themselves to the chinese dates that grow there. A big 4 point buck has been hanging out in our lower field with 5 does. Such graceful animals, Zach said he saw them jump our 5 foot fence from a stand still coming across them in the yard yesterday.
This week the mountain came out with her winter coat of snow. She looks so much grander dressed in white, like an exclamation or a celebration. We have been finding more time to watch the sunsets as the growing season winds to a close. The weather has been perfect. Sunny and cool, what we have been missing all summer. But every silver lining is on a dark cloud. Just as everything in the garden is at peak production, the freezes are here. Yesterday, Zach and I trudged down to the garden, coats, and gloves, on a mission to protect our plants. Tomatoes, peppers, melons, all received a blanket of straw. We are just too stubborn to let nature take it's course. Selfishly intervening for a few more weeks of peacevine tomatoes and purple bell peppers. Frantically, we can, freeze, dry, our summer harvest. Thanks mom for coming down to help.
It has been a while since I have reflected on things here on the farm, and what better time than fall to think back. What a wonderful summer. Lots of work, friends, and family, here at Morningside. Thank you to everyone who made our first year a success. The Hanis family spent a week here.

Adrienne beautiful, strong, smart little girl. Thanks sis for bringing her into the world. Zach and I had so much fun getting to know her. 2 years of energy and spunk, waking up each day running to the garden to water or pick vegetables. Not fearful of our chickens, she let them eat out of her hand. She was so content here, she would just sit on the ground and play in the dirt. Running down the road each sunset to burn off steam. She was a beautiful reminder of how simple joy can be.
Zach turned 30 this year and we celebrated with a hoe down. Under the canopy of stars we danced the night away.

Just 2 weeks ago we had some friends from Bend to visit.

Let the good times roll..... Peace and love during these troubled times, and please please please vote for Obama!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

summer harvest

Finally all our hard work is rewarded. Tomatoes, tomatillos, sugar snap peas, bush beans, and basil.... yum

greens and carrotts, chard, collards, brussel sprouts, kale...

Can you believe how big our chicks got?

we have more summer squash than we know what to do with and zuchini, melons, cucumber...

delicious eggplant..

I don't know why I look so unhappy in this pic, I think it's more exhaustion.... maybe all the weeding, but regardless of the long face, look how tall our corn is....

Finally, the fruit trees are starting to bear fruit... these are plums, and we have pear, apple, cherry, apricots, peaches, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, figs, mulberries and bushes of currants, blueberries, gooseberries, it's starting to become more work keeping up with the harvesting, so that things don't die on the plant...

kayaking with the girls

Amy, Stacia, and I spent last Sunday on the Klamath River. It was a blast, and the river was probably around 70 degrees. So, warm.

I brought my waterproof camera thinking I'd get beautiful dramatic shots along the way, but once we got started, I forgot

We saw a lot of blue herons along the river and just generally had a blast.

Castle Lake

we have been having so much fun in our new mountain paradise.

This is Castle lake. In the winter this is a popular ski spot, but in the summer it is a beautiful mountain lake for swimming.

This day was so relaxing.

crazy diving dogs

just kickin around


Monday, June 30, 2008

for mom

I painted a sign for our driveway, and my mom asked me to post a picture of it.... here it is

Wedding with bikes

Last weekend we went to our friend's wedding in Bend. We had so much fun. Zach took the photos, and we wanted to post a few to share. I started with Benham because he's family and so cute. This is at the preception dinner.

The thoughtful bride and groom are thinking about the big day. Paul's happy

Erica's pensive

In typical Paul and Erica style, the guests arrived on bikes.

Beautiful Corey

Beautiful Erica

Happy bride and groom

skylar danced a beautiful hula

and their off for a life together on bikes

we all joined in the celebration

great party thanks Paul and Erica

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Spring planting

shadow scarecrow.
Welcome summer growing season!!! We are making the most of our new farm and loving it. We have been spending far too much time bent over the garden these days. We started a class through the local community college, organic gardening and orcharding, and we couldn't be more excited. We have identified so many mystery plants in our garden as herbs, and our teacher is a wealth of information. We have at least 6 bugs in a jar for identification for our next class, and 3 soil samples; the veggie garden, the fruit orchard, and the pistachio orchard.
greens garden
sid and nica have never been happier, tics and all
self portrait
we are growing red dragon carrots
sugar snap peas
a neighbor
self portrait with Z's creative photo light, for any photo geeks out there, this was shot into the sun in the same light conditions as previous images

News Flash: We had our first visitors from Bend!!!
John and Sarah Stafford came to stay with us this last weekend. Sarah is starting the Physician Assistant program at OHSU in a couple weeks and we were stoked to have a last hurrah with her before the big move. We were having so much fun, we forgot to take pictures, as usual. We had a blast and hope they come visit again soon. Great friends, fresh food, lots of laughs. Good times.
Other than the garden we are well. I went climbing outside of the Rock gym this last week with some friends. A beautiful place just outside of Shasta on the Sacramento River. Nica did her typical disappearing act for a while, but thankfully showed up right as we were about to leave. It was really fun.
We have started riding our bikes again. Mt. Shasta has great biking. We miss all friends and can't wait to see you all soon. Congratulations Thad and Jess!!! We are so stoked for you!! Lots of love.
Love R and Z