Sow Your Seeds and Jump Back

At a certain point when I was a young'un growing up on the high, dusty desert of Central Oregon, my grandmother moved from L.A. to be closer to our family in Bend. I remember her talking about the soil and the weather in coastal Southern California, saying something like, "you just toss some seed at the ground and jump back." A foreign concept to me, a child of some of the most un-farmable land west of the Great Divide; a point driven home to me a few years later when, as a teenager, I attempted to cultivate sunflowers in our south facing side yard and was rewarded with a few stunted starts and a whole lot of volcanic sand.

Here in Portland, I've invoked those words from my grandmother many times. It's almost alarming how quickly things grow here. It's the rain. The damned, damned rain. It's what keeps the lush and the green here year 'round.

It's the rain that's made me feel ok that the garden is going in a little late this year. We're about halfway there. We're building raised beds this year in addition to our bit of dug up yard, and it's ok that our greens could have gone in the ground a month ago, because it's still raining. Some time in June, or maybe July, the sun will come out, and maybe sometime in August my sunflowers will tower over my head and remind me that I live in a pretty amazing place.