Monday, December 13, 2010


I ran into a farmer's wife the other day. She was grocery shopping, two young kids in tow. Delightful woman, Delia is. All three were quite soaked by the downpour outside.

It has become apparent over the last few years that DW and I were part of a second wave of people with the idea they could make a go of it market gardening on a small parcel of land in Oregon. The first phase happened in the late 70s and early 80s. These established farmers act as mentors for newcomers like DW and I, and Delia and her husband, Fred.

Delia and Fred arrived a couple years after us, and with a farm about five times larger than ours, no hired help and two very young children, they have found the farm more than they bargained for, or so Delia shared while selecting heads of broccoli.

"Fred's depressed, except he's the last one to know it."

The growing season has been unkind the last couple of years.

"Still, it's more than the work and being poor. It's this blasted rain."

Well, the rain is part of the problem, it and cool weather, that has made the crops rot on the vine before they can ripen. But I knew what she meant, because Fred isn't the first person I've heard about who is suffering, or has suffered the depression that can set in after the first two cloudy and damp months out of seven. In fact, much to my surprise when we first came to Oregon, people talk openly about the effects the weather has on their mood. And now I know why.

"Tell Fred to call me."

"He won't."

"Well then, I suppose I'll call him, invite him over for a scotch."

I can show him my clean barn, the video I'm editing, and the wood I'm getting ready to sculpt. Everything except this post about the rain.

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