The last pic really should have in it the woman crawling across the field from Andrew Wyeth’s painting “Christina’s World.” On the day I was there, however, I was the only human element in the landscape. I suppose I could have done something using the timer on the camera, but my frock just wasn’t the right thing for the shot, so I let it go. 🙂
Well, let’s take stock. We have three boxes of peaches (where we only meant to have two … oops) and two gallons of blackberries and a gallon and a half of blueberries, shy of two gallons because I ditched the patch and started taking pictures. In other words, I flipped Mother Superior the finger and bolted. My mother and my sister were left to finish the job, but the afternoon sun made two full gallons seem not so good an idea as it did before we hit the patch. It’s already at the point where it’ll be time to start dinner once we get home, so now the agenda is pile into the car and stop by the Farm Store before heading back north to Hicksville.
The Farm Store has developed over the years into quite an institution and has all manner of events during the summer. A mini-carnival, as it were. If you say “Greenbluff” to most people in the urban area it borders, the Store is what will come to their minds. The number of people pitched on U-Pick is actually not that great, to be honest, because folk these days don’t have the know-how or the desire to do canning or preserving — unless you’re bohunks like us (we’re just one holler over from Ma and Pa Kettle 🙂 ). There’s a cafe in the Store and an outside seating area, the plantings this past year were fantastic, somebody with a green thumb and a love of flowers went to town and did it up right. My favorite thing about the Store is the view of the nearby cottonwoods. The species in question is black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa), but don’t ask me why it’s called black. There’s nothing black about it, so it’s another of those botanical brain farts one comes across so often among the common names for our plant friends. There’s a fine stand of them near the store and they form my primary object of contemplation whenever I visit. On sunny summer days if there’s a breeze the leaves flash their silver undersides so that the trees seem to sparkle. It’s a lovely sight, the very essence of summer for the eyes.
You’d think something called the Farm Store would be as rustic as all get out, but this is a hard-core commercial venture within a twenty minute drive of a city of 215,000 people, so forget about hay bales used as benches and people wandering around in Stetsons and cowboy boots, this is SUBURBIA babes, and it’s all about MARKETING. Oh yes it is. The entire place has been fashioned by the hand of the middle-class Inland Empire female who has things to do, likes things to be cutesy and puts up with no nonsense, thank you very much. It’s a Mom Shop. Farm Mom, ostensibly, although she’s not back in the kitchen making raspberry jam, she’s out front hocking her wares and they’re going like hotcakes. There are Mom’s cinnamon rolls in the pastry case, big enough to put half a pound on each hip, Mom’s sandwiches on the grill — and by the way she’s gone upmarket these days and even does things like panini OMG shut UP she does NOT. Oh yes, she does. It’s all about the M word, kids. Gotta pull in those highfalutin city slickers from down the way now, don’t we. Yes siree. And of course there are tractor rides for the kids and a hay bale maze and on the weekends it’s hard to find a parking place because it’s so busy. Quite the going concern. I contented myself with a view from a distance and hung out where I could see the cottonwoods. Some pics: