Entering Oregon

Funny thing happened on the way to the Permaculture Design course…

I arrived late into Eugene and checked in at the hostel as planned, night before the course started.  Not quite like every other hostel I’d ever stayed at, but similar.  People seemed to be renting sleeping space in the tv room, where they get to sleep when everyone else clears out (?).

I was getting shown around in the usual way, and the guided tour ended in my room.  The dorm was full of other girls already, with only one bed empty.  I noticed the girl in the bunk above mine, and I recognized her.  I really recognized her.  I got all excited and burst out, “I know you!  You’re from Canada!”  I practically pounced on her.  The desk girl saw her cue to leave and took off.

The girl sat up in bed, her hair was wrapped in a towel, and she peered at me.  I was immediately embarrassed.  She was familiar, but I realized I didn’t actually know her; she reminded me of someone, or something like that…the feeling of certainty I’d had just ebbed away.  I felt all confused, especially because my recognition had been so strong and striking, but I was wrong.  I mumbled something apologetically, and she was really nice about it.

A few minutes later, we were making the “so what brings you here” small talk, and I said “Oh, I’m going to this permaculture design course tomorrow.”

“The Common Circle course?  Me too!” she said.  She smiled and laughed and said, “so you will know me.”

P.S.  She turned out to be my “best friend” from the course, and there had been at least four of us staying at that hostel that night.

On way to Oregon

I found such a great place to spend the night.  When I was totally bored of all my music I knew I was flagging and pulled over at some random place where the shoulder looked wide enough to park.  It turned out there was an overgrown disused driveway down a riverbank, so I got to park below the headlights and noise of the highway, tucked into some trees.  Awesome.  Just a few km from the Columbia and very close to houses and lots of action, I found a pocket of darkness.

In the morning I woke up and drove into a wind farm.  I think windmills must be the most beautiful thing invented by man.  As far as machines go, they compare to trees for beauty.

All hail the mulch

Have I raved enough about mulch yet?  After not setting foot in my garden for four weeks (ahem), I can walk a lap around it and pull every blade of grass in about 15 minutes.  Which is lucky because that’s about how long you can survive the mosquitoes.

Can almost keep your feet moving. Hands up non mulchers who can weed any 4-week neglected garden that fast.  Even the weeds grow in the controlled rows.  I think they’re trying to hide.  (Grass):  “I’m an onion!  No, really!”

The garden is interesting.  In a complete inversion of last year, almost everything that thrived last year is failing this year and vice versa.  Continue reading All hail the mulch

Jungle gym for chickens

Rearranged the henhouse interior and made some big high perches for them.  They all (except for the smallest one, who’s gonna get called Teensy, and remains hilariously all legs, like a plover) look like real chickens now, plush with feathers and their final colours.  They’ve been roosting together like hens on the edge of the boards and more surprisingly, flopped out on the grass, so perhaps they’ll move up a level now.

I wish they liked me more; they flee enthusiastically every time I rattle the door, but then, I tell myself they’re extra twitchy because of the bear.  Twice, a bear has gone in the coop (opened the door) and stolen a bag of food.  No chicks killed.  Twice.  Twice is a bit embarrassing, and the second theft was in the middle of the afternoon.  I was very surprised at that.

Needless to say, reinforcements to the door did not aesthetically improve the chicken coop. Continue reading Jungle gym for chickens