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March 3, 2018

Drying racks and a lost wallet returned

Flip unloading drying trays at the Rebuilding Center



April greetings,  


No big seed news. Yesterday I checked on Salix scouleriana (Scouler's willow) at the site I harvest it in Oregon City. As I suspected it isn't ready to harvest and it won't be before I leave early next Monday morning, April 9th, to drive to Thermal, CA for the 3 long hikes I have been training for. I expect to be back home by the 22nd. My spread sheet says I harvested at that spot on April 21st last year and notes that was perfect timing on some trees and a week or so early for others. We had frost this morning and the weather forecast looks to be cool and moist for next several weeks so it looks hopeful I won't miss the harvest while I'm gone.


So far I only have one order for .25 ounces of the seed. I usually have additional orders for this species so if you are one of those who hasn't gotten your order in yet, please let me know if you'll be wanting some again this year. And if anyone has seed needs right now, let me know in the next couple days so I can get the order together before I head off. My current list is attached.


For those of you in the area, a reminder I will be doing a talk on seed collection, cleaning and storage; tips and techniques to the McMinnville NPSO chapter. That talk will be on Thursday, April 26th from 7 to 8:45 pm in the Carnegie Room of the McMinnville Public Library, 225 NW Adams St., McMinnville. Come if you can.


I do have a good story that is slightly connected to seeds. The seed connection is some weeks ago my oldest daughter, Apricot, sent a mention the ReBuilding Center in Portland had a bunch of old drying racks for sale she thought might be of interest to me. I was interested because I often collect large quantities of the whole plant (or stems) of some herbaceous species like Claytonia perfoliata (miners lettuce) and sibirica (candyflower), Hydrophyllum tenuipes (Pacific waterleaf) and Tellmia grandiflora (fringecup) and other species. In barn space I have sheets of plywood set up as tables on sawhorses and 50 gallon drums. To have some air flow I set the drying racks on top of empty quart yogurt containers and let the harvested plants slowly dry so the seeds use the moisture in the plants to finish maturing before I clean the seed.


On with the story. We had a freezer at our place that needed to be delivered to our youngest daughter, Rose in Beaverton and Rose had an old sofa in her house that needed to be delivered to our middle daughter in Portland. When a clear day on our calendar coincided with a clear day in the weather forecast I called the Rebuilding Center and was told they still had a bunch of the racks I could get that afternoon. Flip and I stopped to put gas in the pick up about 10 miles from our place. It is one of those stations where you have to pay inside before they pump the gas. While Flip went to pay I was checking to make sure the rope was secure on the freezer. When Flip came out she noticed a piece of paper taped onto the back of the freezer that would probably blow off so she worked on getting it pulled off.


We get to Beaverton and unload the freezer into the garage. Flip had a couple of minutes with grandson Lucian showing her his train tracks while Rose's husband, Andrew, and I haul the sofa down from upstairs and load it onto the truck. Flip and I stop to get a Subway sandwich a few miles away. While Flip gets the sandwich I retie the sofa cushions to make sure they don't blow out on the trip to Portland. Flip comes out of the Subway store and says, "Jon, I need some money. My wallet got stolen out of my purse!" (She left the purse in the unlocked truck during the few minutes we were getting the sofa.)


We drive back to Rose and Andrew's. There is a creek that runs behind Rose and Andrew's townhouse and Flip goes along the road towards the creek to look for her purse. In the bushes, alongside the road, she finds 3 rifled purses that have been there for some time. We call the police and make a report and show Andrew where the old purses in the bushes are in case the cops come to check them out.


As we drive to Meadow's Flip cancels her credit card. We drop off the sofa and head to the Rebuilding Center. The drying racks are on the back of a big truck, having been just been brought over from a storage tent. I find a guy to help us but he is busy and says we will have to wait because their rules don't allow customers to unload their trucks. Flip says, "What if you got a phone call and had to leave us." He responds, "I hear the phone ringing now." and disappears. We unload the racks into our truck and I go pay for them.


We get home just before dark and I stay outside to untie the load while Flip goes into the house from the back to unlock the front door. All of a sudden she yells, "Jon! My wallet is here, stuck between the door and the screen door!" Apparently Flip left her wallet on top of the truck when she came back from paying for the gas that morning and worked on getting the piece of paper off the freezer. (There are scratches on the metal edge of the wallet that looks like it may have fallen and hit asphalt.) Some good person found the wallet, looked inside for our address and drove it out to our place and stuck it in the door. Everything was still in the wallet. There was no note from the kind person.


Hang onto hope. In spite of all the bad news and fake news there are good people out there. Look for your opportunity to do a good deed. If you'll need native herbaceous seed this year for a revegetation project let me know. I have a big stack of drying racks ready to be used.


Take care,

Jon


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29632 Harvest Dr SW

Albany  OR 97321

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Email: Jonnygms@gmail.com