“Living without expectations is hard but, when you can do it, good. Living without hope is harder, and that is bad. You have got to have hope, and you must’nt shirk it. Love, after all, hopeth all things. But maybe you must learn, and it is hard learning, not to hope out loud, especially for other people. You must not let your hope turn into expectation.”
– Wendell Berry

Hello friends & farm-ily!

We hope everyone had an excellent 4th of July weekend and that you’ve been keeping out of the hot sun and drinking plenty of water. We are doing our best to stay sane in this hot and dry spring and summer and we feel like we are in survivor mode. We’ve been getting up before the sun to balance out the extreme mind melting heat come the 2-6pm hour range.  It’s a hard balance to find with lots of Fall transplants needing to go in the ground in the next few weeks but we’re finding the time to do it to minimize stress on those little plants (and your farmers).  Things just seem to take twice as long when the heat is oppressive like this.  It’s got us wondering what August will bring…. we’re thinking lots of tomatoes!

Thanks to social media and to local farmer friends it sure does help to commiserate with our peers in the Pacific NW and also with farmers across the country. Fellow Farmers in the Midwest and up and down the east coast have been getting record amounts of rain making it hard to work the soil or plant and harvest because the plants are in standing water. And here we are in the midst of a drought with record high temps!  One of the farms we follow in instagram said this to us (and we couldn’t’ agree more),

“A wet year will send you to the poor house and a dry year will send you to the crazy house.”


Finding balance.  It’s days like these (or, it’s that time of the season) where it’s a blessing to get a chance to sit down and reflect on the long days… and even better when you have someone right there with you to love and commiserate with.  With each season we grow to love and trust one another even more than the season before.  As the seasons pass we grow stronger together as a team and better within ourselves.  We love farming and we love farming together.

Although some crops really thrive in hot and dry weather, it also comes with many challenges: 1. Working in the heat (mainly 100* +) days really takes it out of you. There is no respite from the sun when it feels as though it is beating down on you. We’ve been taking lots of water and shade breaks but usually by 2 or 3pm we have no other choice but to focus on other tasks in the shade. 3.We’ve been burning through the calories and the water in order to tackle the ol’ to do list. We are SO looking forward to a promise of 85 in the 10 day… 3 weeks of 90+ days is starting to get to us mentally and physically. 3. Not all plants do well in the heat and they all need a lot of water! 4. Same for animals… if you’re hot they probably are too and since piggies don’t sweat you can be sure we refill their wallows at least twice a day. 5. Pests galore… the pest population in the garden is insane this year. Flea beetles and cucumber beetles galore. We have been using agribon row cover on most things that are ultra tender but due to the heat we are unable to cover some crops. Some tender greens have fallen prey to the flea beetles (little pinholes or burned brown edges from nibbling) and it’s hard to keep up with the population when the warm weather is promoting more gestation cycles!   6. Weeds are growing at a rapid rate and it’s been hard to keep up with all those buggers. We swear they grow an inch a day!


We did manage to harvest all of our garlic a few weekends ago. Our crop of garlic was hit with the awful Rust fungus. While we are doing our best to salvage what is left we are beginning to give out uncured garlic incase it does not store well into the season. According to the Cattle Press (http://www.capitalpress.com/Oregon/20150617/leaf-rust-found-in-willamette-valley) Oregon in particular seemed to be hit with the leaf rust fungus this year in cereal crops. The fungus then gets carried by air (wind) and thrives in cool/wet conditions. We haven’t seen ay rust on the onions or leeks so here’s hoping! Preventative measures will include rotating our garlic crop (not planting alliums there for 3-4 years) and buying all new garlic seed since ours didn’t size up enough/we’re not sure if it will keep for a fall planting. Last year was the first season we grew all our own garlic seed (didn’t have to purchase any garlic seed) but we will need to bite the bullet this year and replace all our seed. 80lbs of garlic seed x $19/lb adds up quick but we are hopeful that next year will be better!  So much to learn all the time especially with the changes in weather and seasons.


All that to say, despite the struggles of working outside during the hottest summer ever there are many things that are thriving and growing well in the garden. We have a lot of fun crops in store for the summer and fall and are hoping the flea beetle pressure goes down a bit before we start planting our brassicas in the coming weeks.

We are doing the best we can and appreciate all your encouragement. The break in the weather (never thought we’d be excited about 85*) in the 10-day will give us a chance to reset and get a few things checked off the list.

For now, we welcome the quiet mornings and evening summer skies and the chance to check in with each other, to be still and to listen.  We’ll remember these crazy summer days fondly in the dead of winter when all the canned goodies are lined up on the shelf once again….. We hope that you all have been feelin’ the love (22+lb boxes last week!) and have been braving those kitchens and eating well since we saw you last.  Keep those recipe suggestions coming in the Member Group.  We love hearing what some of your favorite varietals have been so far this season… never cease to be inspired or to share the love with your farmers!


“Somedays the farm farms you.” – said eloquently by our friends at Even Pull (picture above is from last year’s epic fall planting day)

We hope everyone is doing well and we’ll see you soon!  With our hearts full of love and our minds on motivation…. it’s back to the mind melting heat we go…

With kindest regards,

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts