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Albany  OR 97321

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  • Jon

April 30, 2017

Updated: Jul 9, 2019

Everyone's existence is deeply tied to that of others: life is not time merely passing by, life is about interactions.




End of the month greetings,         

Thanks to those of you who have sent me their seed requests for the coming season. It is much appreciated. Getting your orders as the season begins is a huge help to me and the reason for another JNS email so soon after the last one, is to encourage more of you to send me your orders. With orders in from all my customers who regularly order; willow, cottonwood and Indian plum (osoberrry) seed, it appears I don't need to be going after as large a quantity of those species as I have in recent years. If you might also be wanting seed of those species this year let me know right away. I won't be collecting much extra of these particular species to have on hand for late orders. Getting your orders in not only helps make sure you get the seed you might want. It also helps me let my helpers know how much they will, or won't be needed, so we can all plan accordingly.


Today I will be cleaning the Salix scouleriana (Scouler's willow) catkins I harvested a week and a half ago. With a couple of 80°+ days in the forecast for this week it won't be long until I will be harvesting Salix hookeriana (Hooker willow) and then the other willow species and cottonwood. The Oemleria cerasiformis (oso berry) will also soon be ripe and without more orders for it I will leave a larger share to the birds and mice this year than I have in quite a while.


Next week I plan to harvest grass widow, fawn lilies and fritillaries along the Columbia River Gorge and along the Klamath River in northern California. Here's hoping I have the timing right for the seed pods to be at the proper maturity. I'm sure the ticks are looking forward to me coming. Those are long drives if the seed pods are not quite ripe or if I'm too late and the seedpods have opened and the seed has fallen to the ground. Spread sheet records help me have a general idea on the right timing but with the weather varying every year it isn't like going and picking items off a shelf.


The species I collect tend to be most often ordered by those involved in growing plants for restoration and habitat enhancement projects. I get satisfaction being part of those efforts. But JNS supplies seed for other things as well. Last week I came across an article on the NPR website about poison gardens. A few years ago I sent seed of Toxidendron diversilobum (poison oak), radicans (eastern poison ivy) and rydbergii (western poison ivy) to one of these gardens in Denmark. They were so happy to get the seed and sent photos of it germinating. Reading the article gave me better understanding of why they wanted the seed.


I also send seed to arboretums in Belgium and Germany and have sent it for research projects throughout the U.S. and in Lebanon, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. I even send weed seeds to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. They don't grow plants from the seed but they need samples of specific weed seeds to compare to contaminants found in imported products. And JNS is one of the  seeds sources to nurseries like Pitcairn Alpines in the U.K. who supply customers with bulbs of beautiful flowers from around the world.


speaking of all around the world. If you have time for some inspirational reading here is a link to the transcript of a TED Talk Pope Francis gave last week. He introduces his talk saying,


"...life is made of encounters, because life flows through our relations with others. Quite a few years of life have strengthened my conviction that each and everyone's existence is deeply tied to that of others: life is not time merely passing by, life is about interactions."


He sums up the talk saying,

"But the future is, most of all, in the hands of those people who recognize the other as a "you" and themselves as part of an "us." We all need each other."


It is a good talk. I recommend reading his words and striving to put them into practice. An example of them in practice was seeing Kathy at Brooks Tree Farm mopping the office floor when I stopped there to take her up on her generous offer to check out her stand of Scouler's willow for catkins a week and a half ago. Leadership in service and a willingness to share with others. Another example is reading the e-newletter Mark Leichty from Little Prince of Oregon sends out weekly. He gets the we are all connected part. (And Mark often makes mention of a song that fits his story of the week. Here is what I was listening to as I worked on this letter.)


We can all make a difference using our God-given gifts to make today special for someone. To the "us" revolution,

Jon


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