In Portland Oregon, the weather is very much like England. 9 months of drizzle & overcast skies, 1 and a half months each of bitter cold and hot sun. We’re classed as a “maritime” climate, which makes growing fruit very… uh… touchy. Sure, I can grow cabbage into December, but even melons are pretty much out of the question- let alone the more exotic tropical fruits. Getting eggplants and tomatoes to mature here is a bit of a stretch sometimes too, but I can start my peas in Feb. Go figure. Anyway, I have been searching for a fruit that I could grow successfully here in my small garden.

I am very pro-fruit, since it tends to be perrenial, and I like as little maintenance as possible- if I can avoid having to replant every year, I’ll take it. Recently, I heard tell about some amazing kiwi variety called “hardy kiwi” or “kiwi berry” depending on who you talk to.

Baby hardy kiwi vines! yay!

Some young “winged pea/ asaparagus pea” plants, and some baby cauliflowers
They are hardy down to well below freezing as long as it’s a gradual chill, and can tolerate pretty acidic soil (that’d be me!) – they just require a nice big trellis (how convenient! I have a needy empty trellis just begging for some vines!)
 Apparently they are slightly larger than large grapes, and much MUCH sweeter than your typical kiwi. They also have EDIBLE SKIN and can be devoured whole! They have a flavor that’s remenicent of kiwi + strawberry + bananna + etc. I can hardly wait!
I just bought a male and female- both 1 year old- at my local nursery. I am SUPER excited to get these apparently vigorous vines started.
Also, I have been closely monitoring my other plants. We’ve had nonstop rain for the past couple months, and it’s really put a damper on gardening in general, but yesterday was marvelous. about 70 degrees at the highest and sunny, temperate, and peaceful all day.
Hunter proved himself extra wonderful and cut the grass, plus he did an INSANE amount of weeding. I did as much as I was able to, and then dragged his poor exhausted (but cooperative) husk to Portland Nursery and got these vines, AND a rosebush.
A bunch of my plants have just given up in all the rain, but some have been doing really well despite all. I think the fact that I’m growing them under the fig tree provides some measure of cover, so my carrots, romanesco broccoli, strawberry spinach, chard, and herbs are all just as happy as clams.
Also, the grape vines are just delighted to be alive, and seem to be doing exceptionally well.

Happy, healthy 5 color chard

Oh, and this weekend I walked into the kitchen and saw what looked like a big ol’ rat tail sticking out from behind the recycling- as I looked closer, I realized it was in fact a baby opossum!
It was no bigger than a 12 week old kitten, and paralyzed with fear. At first I was a bit skittish about how we were going to get it outside (chase it into a box? shoo it with the broom? Ask it nicely? Scream like a little girl?) but eventually I just said “What the hell” and scruffed it like a cat.
 The little creature curled up into a fetal ball just like a kitten would, and gave me a halfhearted hiss.
It kept it’s mouth oen in a sort of “look how threatening I am” pose- which was absurd and really really cute. I put it on the porch and after a moment of stunned immobility, it took off running. My only regret was that I didn’t get a photo.
I still have no clue how it got into my house.

The grape I thought was dead, and my loverly new rosebush. If I was a bee I would want to make sweet sweet love to that rose, it smells INSANE.


More flourishing stuff. On the far left Romanesco Broccoli, next to it are Dragon Carrots- in the bucket on the right is... uh... well, I honestly don't remember and I can't seem to figure it out. I thought it was strawberry spinach but looking at the leaves I see that's totally wrong. I really don't know. If anybody can figure it out I'll give you a prize. Peeking out in the back are my runner beans. in the small pots are flowers and some random stuff. More flowers in the hanging basket.