It took a bit of research, and the initial expenses and cultural adjustments weren't insignificant, but the Harrsch family was able to establishing a homestead on the Oregon high desert in 1978.
LEFT: Sagebrush growth indicates the better soil in Oregon's high desert. CENTER: Oregon's desert is a "hot bed" of geothermal activity. Here, steam billows from a hot spring near Crane. RIGHT: Towering lodge pole pines loom in Oregon's national forests.
PHOTO: MARRY LOU HARRSCH
TOP LEFT: A wheel line irrigation system carries precious water to a fresh-mown field. TOP RIGHT: Grain harvests offer seasonal work for homesteaders. BOTTOM LEFT: High country children attend tiny schools . . . such as this one with only five students. BOTTOM RIGHT: The "law of the range" requires homesteaders to coexist with ranchers' cattle.
MARRY LOU HARRSCH
Rugged farmers have managed to carve out arable land amid the sage-encrusted desert plateaus.