Cottage Grove sentinel. (Cottage Grove, Or.) 1909-current, March 11, 2015, Image 3

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Dry, warm winter continues with stellar weekend
Corps says there's still
time for lakes to fi ll up
Gardeners anxious to get
digging, but caution is urged
The Cottage Grove Sentinel
ardeners in the Willa-
mette Valley have likely
been feeling the itch to get their
hands dirty with recent warm,
dry weather portending an early
Rainfall was expected to
again descend on the valley by
Sentinel press time this week,
but all the early gardening buzz
has already meant big business
for Dorena-based Log House
Plants, according to owner Al-
ice Doyle.
“All of our accounts in Or-
egon and Washington are re-
ally feeling the excitement of
gardeners getting into their
gardens,” Doyle said. “We’re
selling lots of vegetables, sweet
peas and herbs. It seems like
we’re about three to four weeks
early this year.”
Doyle said Log House has
been selling vegetable starts
since about the second week of
February, adding that gardeners
typically wait until the fi rst few
weeks of March to begin plant-
ing veggies like broccoli and
caulifl ower. Still, Doyle added
that cool nights have meant
frosty mornings, even in south-
ern Oregon and northern Cali-
“It’s very eerie,” she said.
“It’s nice that gardeners have
been able to get in and prepare
the soil, but we have to be wor-
ried about the lack of snowpack
and how dry it’s been.”
Andrea Mull, president of
Cottage Grove’s Garden Club,
said she’s also worried about
late-season freezes and the ef-
fect they could have on local
“The trend has been early
warming, but I think the change
The Cottage Grove Sentinel
photo by Jon Stinnett
Michelle Rose and Peter Dumbleton start their battle
against grass in the soil of their Cottage Grove yard,
where they're working to convert grass to vegetables.
They say they'll likely begin planting cool-weather
crops this week.
is going to have more to do with
dryness and lack of rain,” Mull
said. “It’s going to cause things
like fruit trees to bloom early,
but with a cold snap, we could
lose that fruit.”
Mull cautioned against plant-
ing vegetables early just be-
cause they’re available on local
store shelves. She added that
Please see GARDENS, Page 8A
ecent visitors to Cottage
Grove and Dorena Res-
ervoirs south of town may have
noticed miles of dry, exposed
shoreline where a lake would
typically be, with but one chan-
nel of water snaking through the
area opposite each lake’s dam.
A much drier than normal
winter has thus far kept the res-
ervoirs very relatively low on
water, but the Corps of Engi-
neers, which manages the reser-
voirs, said it’s too early to tell if
those low levels will last.
“It probably looks worse than
it is,” said Corps spokesperson
Scott Clemans. “Right now,
Dorena is about 10 feet lower
than normal, and Cottage Grove
Reservoir is only about four
feet low. These are pretty small
reservoirs, and one or two good
rainstorms could easily catch us
Spring rainfall typically fi lls
the reservoirs in advance of
the summer recreation season,
and Clemans said there’s still
plenty of time for rain to fi ll the
lakes by the end of May, when
the Corps plans to have them
full for boaters, swimmers and
Low water levels toward the
end of winter have been the
norm at the reservoirs the last
few years, Clemans said, though
rainfall levels typically catch up
in subsequent months.
“We somehow always seem to
manage to fi nd a way,” Clemans
said of fi lling the lakes. “Even
Fern Ridge Reservoir, which
sees a lot worse weather pattern
in terms of receiving snow melt
Please see LAKES, Page 8A
From cars to quilts: Turner's love of form and function fi nds many outlets
Auto technician belies common stereotype about quilters
The Cottage Grove Sentinel
y now, Chet Turner’s little secret
is not-so-secret anymore.
Most days, Turner can be found
under a car or an SUV in the shop at
Brad’s Cottage Grove Chevrolet, where
his love of automobiles has become his
career these past 18 years. But those
who know a little more about him know
there’s more to Turner than just turning
wrenches. In fact, at times he’s been
known to trade his more customary
torque wrench and socket set for fabric
and thread, though it’s not a hobby he’s
shared with many of the guys (or even
ladies, for that matter) at Brad’s.
That is, until now, when it’s revealed
that the same love of function and
beauty that draws Turner to cars also
makes him a competent quilter, a pas-
time often believed to be the exclusive
domain of women.
Of course, Turner and others know
there’s nothing inherently feminine
about quilting, the simple art of sewing
two or more layers of material together
to create a heavier layer of fabric. And
while he watched his mom do her fair
share of sewing while making many of
her clothes and his during his child-
hood, Turner had other role models in
the fi eld as well.
“My dad’s mom was a seamstress,
so he grew up learning how to sew,”
he said. “I watched him sew a lot of
camping equipment: backpacks, fi rst-
aid kits. I grew up watching my mom
and dad sew, so to me it’s just a part of
what you do.”
Later, in his mid-20s, Turner rented
a room from the parents of a friend,
whose grandmother counted tying fl ies
for fi shing among her skills in addition
to quilting. And just like that, he was
hooked on quilting.
“I was single at the time and I thought,
‘Why not?’” he said. “I made one or
two, and most of them I gave away to
friends when they had babies.”
These days, Turner is still working
on an appliqué quilt that he’s been fi nd-
ing time to sew for a number of years,
and he says there’s really not all that
much difference between a beautiful
quilt and a beautiful car.
“Cars, guns — I’m drawn to any-
thing that’s beautiful yet utilitarian,
things you can see and appreciate the
beauty of,” he said. “Quilts are a part
of that; they can be useful but still very
Turner is also a bit of a history buff,
and as a member of the board of direc-
tors at the Cottage Grove Museum,
he’s learned a lot more lately about
the beauty and function of quilts. The
Museum has undertaken an oral history
Please see TURNER, Page 7A
300 Exhibits. Experts. Ideas. Inspiration.
Emerald Pool & Patio
The epic Broadway musical of survival and redemption
Emerald Hearth, Spa & Patio
4 days only!
Cottage Theatre presents
A new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s
Les Misérables
Quality Woodcraft
The Mattress Company
photo by Jon Stinnett
Chet Turner brought a few of his own creations to the Cottage Grove
Museum, which is currently cataloguing the history of the quilts in
its care. A presentation of the quilts is planned for August.
Directed by Alan Beck, Music Direction by Larry Kenton
It’s a Gia
New in 2015: Now on Thursdays, too!
Dig into Dirt & Projects
garden seminars
Burch’s Landscaping Service
Duckworth’s Landscaping
Sustainable Solutions Landscapes
The Country Gardener
Outdoor Living
Plant Sales
Shop! BIG
a berg production
Graham Landscape & Design
Sponsored by:
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Tickets available online, by phone, or at the door one hour before performance
Thursday−Saturday 8:00 pm; Sunday 2:30 pm. $26 Adult, $22 Youth (age 6−18) • 541-942-8001 • 700 Village Drive • Cottage Grove