Achingly gorgeous moment in the year, the arch of the back of the season, where we slip from the fullness of late summer into fall. The faintest whiff of mildew and fire in the dawn, the tired air refreshed by rain, the thirsty ground and the changing waves, spiders hanging big in their webs, big shelves of chicken-of-the-woods, overripe tomatoes, piles of juicy peppers, sweet taut winter squash curing and waiting in the wings, and still an abundance of melons. It’s hard not to be in love with you, Oregon, when you provide us with so many delicious yeses.
I’ve been so surprised lately by people who would rather eat piles of subpar grocery store fruit than a single, musky, almost obscene ripe melon just hours off the vine. To me, it’s not worth all the change in China to give up that pleasure.
Images of fields are Open Oak Farm/Adaptive Seeds; other images taken at the Lane County Farmers Market — chicken-of-the-woods mushrooms are The Gourd Patch; all heirloom melon shots except one are McKenzie River Farm; the Collective Farm Woman melons are Turnip the Beet Farm, new tiny farm specializing in rare varieties.