Re: [gardeners] Wednesday

Jane Burdekin (
Thu, 10 Sep 1998 11:49:03 -0600

Hi Margaret,
It sounds like you and your friend had a great day.  Also sounds a little
like my mom and I driving around southern Calif over labor day weekend.
She doesn't read maps or drive, so I had to look at the map before we left
and write down the directions for her to read off.  We did have a great
trip even with a few U-turns.  I'm still waiting for the box of plants I
shipped back from my Aunt's house.  New orchids, kolancho, plumeria, and a
few other goodies.  I'm just sure it will arrive today.    Sure wish I
could bring home some of that blooming jasmine and plumeria.  The smell is


>A gardening friend and I took our annual trip westward yesterday to buy a
>winter's supply of onions.  Sweet spanish onions are a major crop for
>eastern Oregon and southwestern Idaho, and they are of outstanding quality.
> The good news is bad news for farmers: the price is lower than usual.  We
>bought 50 lbs. of jumbo onions for $6, and 50 lbs. of mediums for $4.  In
>previous years the prices of each were $1 more than those prices.  If it
>doesn't stop raining here soon, the prices will jump.  Onions have been
>pulled and are lying in the muddy fields.  If they rot, prices will rise
>quickly. The first packing house we went to, the one we usually buy onions
>from, didn't have any onions, even unsorted ones in  a bin.  They won't
>resume operations until the fields dry out.  But the owner of that plant
>told us how to get to another plant that he said was still rolling.  As we
>usually do, we stopped in Notus to visit the general store there.  It
>caters to Mexican farm workers and carries everything from boots to blades,
>and every Spanish-named herb known to humans.  The candy case held the
>white coconut candies with bright pink ends, and a few other candies, but
>they didn't have my favorite, Dulce de Leche.  While my friend discussed
>the merits of vermicides (!) with the sales clerk, I continued browsing,
>and found packaged dulce de leche.  Okay, so it's colored differently.
>Just won't be the same in a sanitary wrapper as it was being pawed over by
>everyone who opened the candy door.
>It had been raining that morning, and an awesome bank of tattered clouds
>stretched south to north, from horizon to horizon.  By the time we got our
>onions in the back of the little pickup it was almost noon, so we decided
>to go to Oregon for lunch.  Nyssa, Ore., was just ten miles distant.
>Crossed into Pacific time zone, I think, and into a state without sales
>tax.  Not a bad lunch, but you don't see someone grilling chicken breasts
>on a gas barbecue on  Main street  every day.  Or see a restaurant that's
>also a quilt shop and gift store.  Neither of us had been out that highway,
>so it was interesting.  My friend didn't have her reading glasses with her,
>so she was busy misreading a road map.  I said "I think we're traveling
>north.  I don't want to go north."  I finally pulled off the road and
>looked at the map, then turned around and traveled south.
>The only thing we didn't do this time is visit a remote greenhouse from
>which we've purchased a lot of plants at reasonable prices.  My friend is
>just going out of the nursery business, and I have a ton of plants that
>have never been put in the ground.  We didn't need to go there, GA or not.
>Anyway, I've got some darned good-looking winter onions.  My only concern
>is that the skins are thin, and I'm expecting a hard La Nina winter.  Don't
>onion skins toughen and thicken just before a hard winter?  Margaret, in