Those sages of our time… the Eurythmics… at least had the forecast right for the Willamette Valley yesterday and today. Here Comes the Rain Again indeed.The winter rain has returned in earnest and I’m not really sad about it – normally I would be complaining something fierce. Whining about wet feet, wet clothes… wet head; but in fact, I’m very thankful.
For those of you that aren’t from the Willamette Valley and aren’t aware of the current conditions around here – we’ve been under drought conditions for the past several months – We had a pretty dry summer, and an extremely dry fall – thus far the winter is shaping up to be the same. In fact, we have a couple of really rare winter wildfires burning in parts of the state! All of those should be quantifiable indicators but the TRUE indicator that it’s really dry… is that the Californians that have come to Oregon for our incredible summers.. ARE STAYING!! No… seriously… they didn’t all move back at the beginning of October when the rain starts… like they normally do! They’re overwintering!
All joking aside – we have had a total precipitation in the month of January of 1.47 inches of rain. Ordinarily – we average around 6.5 inches… December, November, October, and September… all the same story… We have next to no snow pack currently, and the reservoirs are already the lowest I can remember seeing them in a very long time…
All of this adds up to the potential for a very dry summer.
… BUT – if there’s one thing Oregon can do – it’s surprise you. A few years back – we experienced Juneuary… where it snowed at the valley floor on the 6th of June. We’ve had other June’s where it has just POURED rain for most of the month… but the ordinary deal we have with the weather around here is that it gets to pour buckets of rain for like 9 months out of the year – and what we get in return is 3 good months of awesome weather. Year after year – we gladly make the trade…
However, this year – the weather didn’t get the memo.
It has really reinforced my need to get our water collection system up and running on the coop – get the gutter hung, piped to the barrels – and put that roof to work. Turns out It’s more difficult to to garden if you’re on water restrictions – it’s bad enough at this point, it might just impact what and how we plant this year if it doesn’t start shaping up in the next month or so… so somewhat new territory for us here at the Little House on 17th Street.
If there’s one thing gardeners and homesteaders for that matter are good at doing – it’s rolling with the punches.
Interestingly – all of the almanacs seemed to point to a horrific winter up here in the Northwest – so far, it seems as though all of that has headed southeast of us. Realistically, it’s not worth worrying over, but worth keeping an eye on for planning purposes… because garden planning season and the time to start seeds is right around the corner…
What are your favorite dry weather crops?
Which crops do you plant that don’t require heavy watering during the summer months?