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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Another Farm Store

This morning started off as rainy and windy as predicted, but also cleared a little in the morning, and I was able to get out and plant the two roses that came yesterday.  I was a little more careful with these than the fruit trees, about which I am still nervous. I don't think I'll breathe a sigh of relief about those trees until they survive until mid-summer.  For the roses I dug huge holes, dumped in almost a foot of river rock at the bottom of the hole, and then put in the amended soil mixture I'm using which is lots of compost mixed with native clay.  Some of the clay I can't use because it's not clay soil, it's clay.   The roses were not bare root, as I expected, but were tiny little first year roses on their own roots. So we'll see.  If I can keep Steve and his string trimmer away from them, they may actually have a chance.

The other event of the day was after driving into the city of Portland for my haircut, I stopped at Naomi's Organic Farm Supply on the way home.  I didn't have my camera with me, which in one sense was a shame, but in another sense, didn't matter, because they aren't set up the same way the other outfit I just reviewed is, so there wasn't as much to photograph.  Naomi's has a much smaller retail space, which was largely filled with small bags of various organic soil amendments, and books- boy, did they have books.  They also had chicks off in one corner, several of which appeared to be pasting up.  Through a door off to one side, I could see a large space where the fifty-pound sacks of various things were kept.  Out front they had a fenced yard with a haphazard stack of concrete blocks and the de rigueur straw all over the place, and three hens happily scratching about in the light rain. Behind them was the hen house. Or so I thought it was the hen house until I saw the goats.  And then the concrete blocks made sense.  The goats were not coming out in the rain for love or money.  Maybe for something wonderful to eat, but I don't know what that is to goats and I sure didn't have any on me.

The folks there were very friendly and helpful, and in that small space it was really crowded with customers and the help- there were at least four employees that I could see.  But the weather was really nasty- at one point I wanted to leave but the heavens had opened up, and I am not too crazy about driving in really heavy rain ever since hydroplaning off the freeway in a downpour in Florida in '92.

I think Naomi's deserves a second look, however, and I'll probably be back- I probably missed a lot.  I can at least call and compare the price of bone meal and rock phosphate, and Naomi's isn't quite the drive into town that the other place is.  I'm beginning to understand what a farm store needs to look like and have on hand, however.  And I know just the place in my town where one could go, but I couldn't compete with Coastal Farm and Ranch, which is too close.  But it's fun to think about it.

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