Some Initial Thoughts on My New Job

I started a part time job as a laborer at a tree and plant nursery in rural Clackamas County. I sought it out because I needed a regular and dramatic change of pace from my Portland life. I also wanted to perform so manual labor and learn some skills that might come in handy if I ever start a homestead.

It’s a 25-mile drive to the nursery but a reverse commute out of the city so the traffic isn’t too bad. I typically drive without any music playing.

My first day I pulled leaves off potted fig and persimmon trees preparing them for dormancy. Apparently there is a resurgent market for persimmon trees and that struck my as interesting. I have never tasted a persimmon. My only association with the tree is that it was once used to make drivers and fairway woods for golf. In fact, my dad played with a 4-wood made from persimmon.

I was working inside to large greenhouses and it rained most of the time raising a wonderful racket on the roof.

I get to use some of my very rusty Spanish with some of the workers. A very nice crew probably wondering what a guy like me is doing there. I’m not.

This job differs considerably from my construction job in that you are largely working alone and have to primarily talk to yourself. So I did, for roughly eight hours as I moved up and down the rows of trees.

I like the smell of persimmon trees.

The owner of the tree nursery has two large dogs and one of them visited me in the greenhouse. He was soaking wet and happy.

One morning, a frog croaked in one of the greenhouses and kept moving closer and closer to me. I looked for him, but nothing. Then the pleasant sound stopped.

While laboring, I think a lot about past relationship. I wonder where many people are. I also think about a couple of stories I want to write. I even conjured an idea to help homeless people that seems absurd, but maybe isn’t. There is a previous version of this idea that assisted in the production of nursery stock and other agricultural commodities in Oregon. More on this later.

I have no idea what wage I’m making an hour. I don’t care.

I need rain paints and some boots.

It feels so freeing to walk around the nursery and admire the plants and trees. I like being around trees and plants a lot more than most people.

I was sore after one hour of labor.

The production manager of the nursery has worked there for 27 years! I had a fascinating conversation with him about the nursery planting new stock of trees that normally wouldn’t fare very well in the Willamette Valley. It’s called climate change and he knew all about it because he was on the ground and seeing the changes. Oregon may very well be growing a lot more citrus fruits and olives and not just for ornamental landscaping. An Oregon olive tree! I want to see that sight! I can’t wait for the martini!