Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fundraising Assistant Internship

Are you interested in learning more about the world of nonprofit fundraising?


Join us at the Edible Corvallis Initiative, a project of the Corvallis Environmental Center, January through March in 2012, as a Fundraising Intern. Earn OSU or LBCC intern/service learning credit! (Check with your advisor to see if your degree program accepts internship credits.)


Work directly with the Director of the Edible Corvallis Initiative in fundraising development. Research models of effective and successful small and large donor campaigns. Collect detailed information about funding opportunities locally and nationally. Draft donation request letters and other documents for fundraising purposes.


Download an application to print and complete HERE.

Contact Jena at jena@corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org if you have questions about the application process. Contact Jen Brown at jen@corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org if you have questions about the Fundraising Assistant Internship.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Volunteer Appreciation Fun!

On Saturday, October 15th, we had a lovely gathering at SAGE of staff and volunteers from the Farm to School and SAGE garden programs. Hula hoops were made and hula-ed. Donated bagels, snacks, and coffee were enjoyed. Conversations and smiles were shared.





THANK YOU to Dutch Bros coffee, Noah's bagels, and Trader Joe's


for their generous support of donated items!


Volunteers "grow" our community programs focused on nutrition education, gardening, and feeding the hungry. Thank you so much!!!! You are all so vital.

Look for another opportunity to join us and other volunteers for a Volunteer Appreciation Gathering in 2012!

Happy eating...and hula-ing,


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

YOUNG FARMER MIXER

Love the intro-to-farming you got this summer at SAGE? Been dying to break into the vibrant young-farmer-social-scene in Corvallis? Having trouble getting your farming act together? Check out the Young Farmer & Food Artisan Mixer:
 

The Greenhorns Oregon Premier at
the Mary's River Grange Hall in Philomath, Oregon on
Thursday, October 20. 6:00pm

Young Farmer and Food Artisan Mixer
Sponsored by OSU Small Farms Program
Supported by The Greenhorns

This is your big chance to get together and connect with Farmer and Food types from around our region. Us farmers can talk each others' ears off all night long, but this time we're inviting all the young chefs and cheesmongers, bakers and brewers so we can have a big time! Chat apples with the cider folks. Make connections to source and sell your produce. Talk land rent. Slow money. Swap stories from the barn to the kitchen. Eat a big 'ol bowl of fall harvest soup and plop a Burnheimer sausage in it. Mop up the juice with a hunk of bread from the Breadboard and fat pad of Lisa's butter. Music by the Brutal Bridges Back Porch Band, Alegria Musical from the GTF crew, and you later, if you bring your instrument. Does it get any better?!?

There will be several informal showcase tables organized by category. So far we have meats, cheese and dairy, vegetables, breads and grains, seeds. If you have samples, brochures, or just business cards, bring some to share! No selling things, donations only!! We're trying to evade the agro-industrial economy here for the evening.

Questions? Contact Hank at hank.keogh@gmail.com <tel:541-760-9812>

So, let's get down to brass tacks and schedules:

Thursday, October 20

6pm to 8pm: Mingle to music by the Brutal Bridges Back Porch Band, business over beer, food.

8pm to 9pm:
Greenhorns movie screening

9pm 'till late: Music by Alegria Musical and dancing, Mexican style!
                     If you're up for adventure, bring your sleeping bag and stay the night...

Mary's River Grange Hall

24707 Grange Hall Road
Philomath, Oregon
www.marysrivergrange.org

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

We love SAGE volunteers!


Please join us at the Starker Arts Garden for Education for a morning to celebrate YOU! Directions here!
Get to know other Edible Corvallis Initiative volunteers and celebrate a season of growth of the SAGE garden and the Corvallis Farm to School program!

RSVP to SAGE@corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org or by calling (541) 753-9211 so that we can estimate how much food & hoops to have available! Hope you can make it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bee All You Can Bee: A Pollinator Primer

As part of the Living with Nature Lecture Series, Greenbelt Land Trust presents:

“Bee All You Can Bee: A Pollinator Primer ”
Bruce Newhouse, Ecologist and Principal, Salix Assoc
Wednesday, October 12th @ 7 pm
Corvallis Downtown Public Library, Main Meeting Room

In this presentation, learn about pollination and its importance, pollination biology, some of our fascinating pollinators, and how you can "bee" helpful in keeping our local pollinators thriving.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

SAGE Documentary


A big thank you to Sustainable Agriculture intern Marinna Guzy for putting together this documentary about the Starker Arts Garden for Education this summer! She really captured the heart of the garden's mission and connected wonderfully with our community volunteers.

To Grow Box - the inside scoop!

For three years SAGE has been offering a 6-week garden-education workshop for low-income individuals and families called "To Grow Box." Participants in the class come out to the garden once a week to learn all the ins-and-outs of growing fresh food and cooking from the garden. Childcare is provided, though many of the kids help with the harvesting and some of the cooking! All of the families and individuals take home a box or bag of fresh veggies to use during the week. On of the participants submitted her inspiring To Grow Box story for us to share with you:

"If you are interested in feeding fresh and nutritious produce to yourself and your family, the 'To Grow Box' program at SAGE is for you.

Every Wednesday evening for six weeks, I learned some kind of skill that would help me garden at home. I worked in the SAGE garden, ate a meal with produce picked that evening, and harvested food for myself.

The first week, I took home less than three pounds of food—mainly because I wasn’t sure about what I would eat, how much I would eat, and whether I would be interested in cooking this stuff for myself. By the last class, five weeks later, I was taking home triple the amount of food and was cooking more meals at home. Opening a can of tuna was replaced by potato and kale soup, and tortilla chips from the bag were replaced by kale chips that I made for myself.

I’ve eaten fresh lettuce, kale, cucumbers, tomatoes, and garlic, and been amazed at the taste—what a difference from store-stale produce! I learned to garden in containers, even sampled some edible weeds, and made new friends.

Thank you, Rachel and Pam, for including me in the program and for increasing my passion for gardening and for eating local, fresh, tasty produce!"

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Day of Caring at SAGE/September 23, 2011

We had a wonderful day at SAGE today as volunteers from OSU and HP arrived in the early morning fog and worked hard till nearly noon, finishing the garden chores in the hot sun. I am sending a big Thank You! shout out to all of these volunteers who gave us their time and hard work to harvest veggies, redo the paths with chips before the wet weather comes, to weed and dig and haul everything over to Mt. Weedmore for composting!

Your generous gift of labor sent nearly 200 pounds of fresh organic veggies to the South Corvallis Food Bank and to our neighbors, the Old Mill Center. And...after all that work - you all told me and intern Izzy and volunteer Karen how much fun you had and how much you enjoyed the garden!! Your rock my garden world....thanks again, Pam

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Harvest time

Greetings, SAGE fans!

SAGE is full to the brim with fresh ripe veggies - heirloom tomatoes, brightly colored peppers, hearty greens, sturdy squash and more!

If you have a free hour, drop by SAGE this Friday or on Monday (September 19th) between 9 am and 11 am to help out with the harvest!

The harvest is truly one of the most enjoyable times at SAGE - try some tastes of the garden's bounty and marvel at the amount of the healthy foods that we are providing for emergency food agencies in Corvallis! All of the veggies will be delivered to the South Corvallis Food Bank and Stone Soup.

See you at SAGE!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Supper at SAGE

Join us for a benefit for the Starker Arts Garden for Education (SAGE) and the Corvallis Farm to School Program
 
WHEN:
Saturday, October 1, 2011
4:30 - 8:30 pm

WHERE:
SAGE at the Bruce Starker Arts Park 
SW 45th Place and Country Club Drive


Tour the SAGE garden, create your own appetizer pizza with fresh veggies, enjoy hors d'oeuvres created by Intaba of Fireworks Restaurant and sample a delightful selection of Tyee wines. Enjoy a four-course dinner prepared by JC Mersmann of Gathering Together Farm. Enjoy a demonstration Tasting Table with fresh apples and hard cider samples from 2 Towns Ciderhouse! Top off the evening with a selection of locally crafted artisan desserts from Le Patissier and Rocket Queen Cupcakes.

Support the Edible Corvallis Initiative's programs and the promotion of sustainable agriculture, feeding the hungry, and bringing healthy local foods into our homes and schools.


Event tickets are $55
Tickets are available here or by phone at 541 753 9211 

Visit our website for more information!




Supper at SAGE is proudly sponsored by:
Keystone: Slow Food Corvallis & Stahlbush Island Farms
Champion: Korvis Automation, Tyee Wine Cellars, Afton Field Farm, South Corvallis Food Bank, and Gathering Together Farm
Advocate: Good Samaritan, Special Occasions, Fireworks Restaurant, Rocket Queen Cupcakes, and Denison Farms
Supporter: Oregon Tilth, First Alternative Co-op, and Organic Valley
Friend: Laughing Planet, Corvallis-Albany Farmers' Market and Ten Rivers Food Web

Interested in becoming a supporting sponsor of Supper at SAGE? Please contact Rachel for more info.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Welcome, Amoreena!

Welcome to the latest addition to the Edible Corvallis Initiative, Amoreena TreffThe Corvallis Environmental Center is excited be to hosting one of the first FoodCorps members serving in Oregon.  She will be splitting her time between the Corvallis Farm to School program and the School Garden Project in Eugene, tackling a wide variety of food issues and helping make farm-to-fork connections with thousands of youth in the Willamette Valley. 
In Corvallis, Amoreena will be helping to establish a farm-fresh cooking club, reinvigorate a farm field trip program, and will also help promote the Tasting Table program in all 9 Corvallis elementary schools. During the summer she will assist with the delivery of Edible Summer Camp programming at the Starker Arts Garden for Education. Amoreena will also be working in Eugene, where she will be assisting in several school gardens while providing hands-on garden-based education classes. Amoreena’s background in youth education, emerging food business programs, and her experience with community gardening will serve her well in this position. We're excited to have her on board!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Garden's looking very green...

Here are some photos from a recent afternoon at SAGE:
 corn & calendula grow side by side
 sunflowers over 6 feet tall
 Melissa emerges from the bean & cherry tomato tunnel
 zinnias & sweet peas in bloom
 these green tomatoes are looking for some sun

 our scarecrow keeps watch over the water garden

Come and see the beautiful growth at SAGE firsthand on Tuesdays between 4 and 7 pm. Hope you all have a great holiday weekend!

Fall Internship Opportunities

Know someone looking to gain work experience in the environmental non-profit sector? We have 3 to 4 internship openings this fall! Interns at the Edible Corvallis Initiative take on meaningful work and gain the opportunity to learn more about the local food system, sustainable agriculture, food justice, and outreach work. Over the last year we have had the opportunity to work with some amazing interns at the SAGE garden and with the Farm to School program.

This fall we are seeking candidates who are interested in learning more about small scale farming and working with volunteers for our Sustainable Agriculture Internship. We are also looking for a creative candidate who is excited about designing outreach materials for our Farm to School program and SAGE for the Edible Corvallis Design Internship. We are currently accepting fall internship applications for the following positions:

Edible Corvallis Design Intern
Sustainable Agriculture Intern

The application window for fall internships with the Edible Corvallis Initiative ends on Friday, September 16th. Fall internships begin in September and run through late November. If you have questions about the internship positions, please check out the Guidelines & Information page, or contact Rachel at (541) 753-9211 or Rachel@corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Community Garden Celebration for Everyone!

Thursday, September 1st 3-7PM  at the SAGE Garden in Starker Arts Park
(Just off of Country Club Road and 45th St  Click here for directions)

Enjoy tours of the Dunawi Creek Community Garden and the SAGE educational garden; informational tables and fresh food from the garden.  Learn about community gardens and the work that is being done to bring about more community gardens in Corvallis.

This is a program of the Community Garden Master Plan project called "Fresh Food For Your Family."  A team of committed individuals has been working with Corvallis Parks and Rec to develop a Master Plan to be used for developing more community gardens in Corvallis.  

This event is for you if:
 - you want to learn more about community gardens and what they are; or
 - you are an avid supporter of community gardens
 - you would like to learn how to get more fresh food for your family or neighbors.

Come for a little or awhile.   If you can't attend please be sure to get your name added to the email list for updates on the Community Garden Master Plan.

If you have questions contact:
Megan M. Patton-Lopez, EdM., RD  Benton County Health Department

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Job Opening: ECI Outreach Coordinator

The Corvallis Environmental Center is hiring a part-time Outreach Coordinator for the Edible Corvallis Initiative. The Edible Corvallis Initiative is working to support a sustainable food system in Corvallis. Our key programs are the Corvallis Farm to School Program, the Starker Arts Garden for Education (SAGE) and two community gardens.

The Outreach Coordinator will work closely with the ECI Director and program managers/coordinators to promote and generate community-based support for our programs.

Click here to read the full position description!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Botanical Illustration Workshop

Update: Botanical Illustration is now full. Thank you for your interest!


Botanical Illustration

Instructor: Rebecca Waterhouse
Saturday, August 27
2 pm – 4 pm
Price: $7 – $14 (sliding scale donation)

Rebecca will be leading a painting workshop with SAGE’s garden bounty as the subject!  Basic plant anatomy will be covered to give a better understanding to inform illustrations. She will be leading discussion of botanical illustration and will be instructing and advising during the painting portion of the class.

Rebecca will be teaching in watercolor during the painting portion – colored pencils will also be available for participants interested in drawing. This class is open to both children and adult participants!  Registration limited to 12 and the workshop is currently at capacity. We hope you'll join us next year!



Square Foot Gardening

Marinna Guzy is one of the 7 interns working with the Edible Corvallis Initiative this summer. She one of our fabulous Sustainable Agriculture interns, and is learning more about cultivating veggies and community while simultaneously working on a documentary about SAGE! Marinna has also been working in the demonstration garden, focusing in on the Square Foot Gardens that Chloe got started this spring. Here's what she's had to say about her time working with the Square Foot Garden:


"Each Sustainable Agriculture Intern is required to undertake a growing project. Basically, all an intern is required to do is grow something. When faced with this very open-ended project, I decided to take over an existing project leftover from the previous term: two square foot garden plots. Little did I know that this would prove to be as informative and bountiful (in terms of veggies and knowledge) as it has been. As part of this experience I was required to read a definitive account of the techniques of square foot gardening by Mel Bartholomew. I finished the book and learned how productive only a square foot of garden space can be. While book learning is all well and good, it always seems like a concept doesn’t hit home nearly as hard until you actually go out and experience that concept in action. Lucky for me, I had my two adopted square foot garden plots to observe and experiment with
 
In the beginning, I was harvesting a few lettuce leaves here and there, and while this was still great, Mr. Bartholomew’s assertion of incredibly productive harvests from a single square foot was not totally apparent. Once mid-July rolled around though… I began to see his point, and since then, my family and I have enjoyed plenty of delicious salads, peas, onions, and even some volunteer sunflowers and poppies!"

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

community and SAGE

Keith Fortenbach is one of the 7 interns working with the Edible Corvallis Initiative this summer. He spends most of his time out at the Starker Arts Garden for Education, getting involved in our volunteer program and learning more about small-scale farming and gardening as one of three Sustainable Agriculture Interns. He's an engineering student at OSU and was in the Navy for 5 years! We asked him to share a bit about his experience so far, and he chose to share the sense of community that he has come to know while working out at SAGE.

"Community. It is amazing the sense of community I get from being involved with SAGE. I meet volunteers who are excited to work here. People who are just curious about the garden walk up and I get to tell them a little bit about SAGE and show them what we grow and have them try a sweet pea. I get to meet people who are incredibly knowledgeable and experienced and passionate about gardening, which makes me feel like what I am doing is worthwhile. I get to offer my labor and see a positive impact by not only  helping to provide food for others but help create and be a part of a community.

One thing that I've been able to do since working at SAGE this summer is grow my own vegetables at an OSU student garden. I harvested and cooked those vegetables, and in turn can share them with others at SAGE."


Keith has been an enormous help to the SAGE garden this summer and is willing to help with anything we throw his way! He's shown us amazing flexibility and dedication to SAGE with everything from leading volunteers to building potato bins. He shared his secret family recipe of garden-fresh chili at our last To Grow Box class - it was a big hit!

Composting Workshop - sign up today!

It's high time to turn your attention to that sad, unloved compost pile you've had stewing in your backyard.

Should you want to compost your chicken manure before you heap it on your garden? Is it your browns or greens that are lacking? Why hasn't that cornstalk broken down yet? How are you keeping vermin away from your pile? Get these questions answered and learn more about the art and science of composting with Linda Brewer, a resident expert on soil nutrient recycling, on August 13th. Register now as the class may fill!
 

Composting 101

Instructor: Linda Brewer of the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University
Saturday, August 13
9 am – 11:30 am
Price: free ($5 – $10 suggested donation)
Linda is a certified professional soil scientist who has taught composting and domestic organic waste management throughout the Willamette Valley since 1991. Come learn the art and science of backyard composting! This workshop will be focused on food waste, yard debris, and garden waste for the home and community  gardener. Bring your favorite garden pruning shears! Space is in this workshop is limited – please register here.

SAGE honey takes top prize!

Congratulations to the SAGE bees - their honey won the top award at the Benton County Fair last weekend! The SAGE honey has a beautiful light amber hue, with an awesome balance of floral and citrus flavor. It tastes great in mint tea!

Thank you Karessa for all of your initiative and your busy buzzing work with the SAGE hives! Benton County Fair judges and the bees clearly agree - you are the beekeeper of our dreams. To learn more about Karessa's world of beekeeping and to snag her secrets for award-winning honey, check out her great blog, Apicurious!

The crimson clover that covered the SAGE beds this spring provided lots of the raw material to the bees for this delicious honey! Karessa also believes that the "nectar sources grown pesticide- and herbicide-free at SAGE are to thank for both the quality of the honey and the robust health of the bees there."


Friday, July 29, 2011

Workshop: Gardening on a Budget

Gardening on a Budget
Saturday, July 30
2 pm – 3 pm
Instructor: Rachel Karasick of the Edible Corvallis Initiative
Price: free ($5-$10 suggested donation)
Want to grow your own veggies, but worried about the impact it will have on your wallet? Join us as we learn about low-cost ways to start seeds, inexpensive gardening resources, and building container gardens out of reused materials. Every participant will take home newspaper pots seeded with herbs! Be ready to swap ideas on free or low-cost gardening resources in Corvallis.

Food Action Team potluck at SAGE


Have you ever wanted to learn more about the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition's Food Action Team? Join us for a potluck picnic at SAGE on August 15th!

Celebrate local food and our collective efforts toward “60% local by 2020!
Guests should bring:
- a blanket to sit on
- a local dish to share (main dish, salad, or dessert)
- reusable plate/utensils/napkin/water bottle

We’ll provide:
- cups and beverages

Monday, August 15th, 6-8pmStarker Arts Garden for Education, SAGE
The SAGE Garden is located at 45th Place and Country Club Drive in the Starker City Park. Directions here.

A Corvallis Sustainability Coalition Food Action Team Event

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pepper planting today!

The summer may finally be here... celebrate its long-awaited arrival by getting started with our weekly volunteer work parties at S.A.G.E! Our work parties are open to all - whether you were born with a trowel in your hand or if you've never planted a seed, we welcome you to come out and get involved. Our work parties are from 4 pm to 7 on Tuesday afternoons, and from 9 am to noon on Saturday mornings.
Come on over this afternoon after 4! We'll be planting peppers, pulling pigweed, and making thistle-tea-fertilizer!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Beekeeping Workshop

Beekeeping Basics
Saturday, July 23
9 am – noon
Instructor: Karessa Torgerson of Apicurious
Price: $20 – $30 (sliding scale donation)

Buzzing to learn more about beekeeping? In this workshop, Karessa will be covering the beekeeping basics: equipment, biology, environment, and an introduction to pests and diseases  – which is vital to understand the current issues about bee health. There will be hands on work with the SAGE hives, and all workshop attendees will gain support and information to get started with beekeeping, including information on local resources, groups, and programs.

Class size is limited to 8 participants. Registration is required for this workshop – sign up here!

Stories from the Field: Veggie Fest

Here's the latest update from the AmeriCorps NCCC team currently serving at SAGE. Through this series of blog posts (each written by a different member of the team) we hope to provide you with an inside look at AmeriCorps NCCC and the service experiences the team is encountering at SAGE, the Corvallis Environmental Center, and with our 11 partner organizations in Benton County. Our third service story comes from Christine Beste, originally from Delware, who is one of seven members on the team and also serves as the Project Outreach Liaison on the team:


"My Russian Teacher always told me I belonged in Oregon. After spending about two months here, I am not ready to leave. The community has been so welcoming and supportive of everything the team has done while in Corvallis. When Blue Six was presented with our fourth round and last AmeriCorps project I remember how excited everyone was for Oregon, variation in our daily projects, working outside, and getting to hang out with kids. That initial passion and enthusiasm has continued to show and grow in every team member throughout our stay.

In preparation for a new community and project, teams do research and set goals they want to fulfill during their stay. My personal goal was to put together a community day this round. I approached Rachel with the idea and thus Veggie Fest was created. The build up to the day was tough but so much fun. I want to thank Rachel for sticking it out with me and listening to my caffeinated rants about every little detail each chance I got to talk to her. There were a lot of firsts that came with this community day for me, such as: approaching businesses for donations, making posters and flyers, talking to strangers about how great the festival was going to be, and trying to track down every single piece involved in the day and putting them neatly together. Sometimes it felt like my head was about to explode just thinking about my ‘to do list’. However, every time I felt overwhelmed my teammates were there for me and kept me going.

After however many long days of plotting and planning, Veggie Fest has now come and gone. It was exhilarating picking up all the donations, setting up the S.A.G.E garden, and waiting for those first arrivals. My stomach was in knots in the beginning. As the day continued I did not stop smiling. There was face painting, veggie stamps, tons of food, an epic band, a water fight, a giant carrot, and ghost stories. The garden was alive with every walk of life. Even though no work was actually done in the garden, the day could not have gone any better. I hope people took with them an appreciation for the S.A.G.E garden and how much Pam, the interns, the CEC, weekly volunteers, and so many others put into the garden every single day."

Thank you to Blue 6 for all of your accomplishments in Corvallis this spring and summer! You built up the soil, weeded (and weeded, and weeded), planted veggies, moved the Food Bank, turned the compost piles, helped install irrigation systems, painted signs, harvested greens, cooked meals at Stone Soup, and you made a big difference for our community. On top of all that good work, you were fun group of individuals to have around. We will miss you!




Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Winter Gardening Workshop

Hoping to harvest fresh winter squash and hearty greens all winter long? Need tips on growing through the winter? Join us for a winter garden seed starting workshop at S.A.G.E this Saturday!
 
 
Winter Gardening – Seed Starting
Saturday, July 16
1 – 3 pm
Instructor: Pam DeWolfe of Starker Arts Garden for Education
Price: $5 – $10 (sliding scale donation)

Learn the seed starting ABC’s for fall and winter veggies. Get your hands dirty in the garden and take home some winter veggie starts. Join us to seed winter veggies into cell packs - participants will be taking the packs home to grow on.  We will provide cell packs, soil, and seed, and labels. Registration for this workshop is optional. 

Stories from the Field: Linn Benton Food Share & Gleaners

Here's the latest update from the AmeriCorps NCCC team currently serving at SAGE. Through this series of blog posts (each written by a different member of the team) we hope to provide you with an inside look at AmeriCorps NCCC and the service experiences the team is encountering at SAGE, the Corvallis Environmental Center, and with our 11 partner organizations in Benton County. Our third service story comes from Danielle Jettoo, originally from New York, who is one of seven members on the team and also serves as a Corps Ambassador on the team:
 

"I want to say that this was the best week ever, but then I would be lying. This is because every week is the best week ever. This week, however, was especially amazing because we worked with the Gleaners at the Linn Benton Food Share! Pre-Corvallis, I had no idea what a Food Share was, let alone Gleaners. Come to find out, Gleaners are individuals that pick up excess food from farmers and grocery stores and distribute it to needy individuals in the community. On two Wednesdays each month, the Gleaners are able to divide the food that was collected amongst themselves at the Linn Benton Food Share warehouse. This past Wednesday, frozen vegetables was the food item up for distribution. Between the volunteers and our AmeriCorps team, 9,000 pounds of vegetables were bagged and shipped out!

I find it hard to explain why this experience was especially meaningful to me. Maybe it was the conversation that I had with the man who continues to volunteer to glean after 20 years and who told me about how gleaning dates back 4,000 years. Maybe it was the two adopted children I spoke to who told me that they have been gleaning their whole lives to have food to eat. Maybe it was the sense of family that seemed to overwhelm the Food Share warehouse. Maybe it was the massive bin of broccoli that volunteers had to literally stand in in order to scoop out the veggies. Maybe it was the fact that there were so many older people working together so efficiently for an important cause: to feed themselves and others. Maybe it was the woman who brought me bags before I had a chance to scream for more. Whatever it was, it touched me."

Friday, July 8, 2011

Veggie Fest is tomorrow!

Just a reminder that that Veggie Fest is happening tomorrow afternoon at SAGE! See you there!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Thank you Hewlett-Packard!

We have been very lucky to have the opportunity to work with some amazing volunteers from Hewlett-Packard this spring!  HP has a unique program for its employees - they are each given 4 hours per month to give back to the Corvallis community by volunteering with local organizations, and many have been spending those hours at the S.A.G.E garden during group volunteer days. The volunteers who have been coming out have been a lot of fun to work with and they get so much gardening done! Thank you for being ready  rototill, create high piles of compost to cook in the sun, to plant onions, to harvest rainbow chard, and to amend the soil!

The progress in the garden has been astounding.  From the first day in April:



to our most recent work day last Friday:



The S.A.G.E garden grows thanks to the dedication of community volunteers, like those from Hewlett-Packard. Thank you for your work at the garden, and for your dedication to growing fresh food for community members who need it most!

If your group, service organization, or business is interested in coming out to S.A.G.E for a volunteer day, please contact SAGE@corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org or call (541) 753-9211! You can also find resources about our group volunteer days here.


S.A.G.E Kittens up for Adoption


Guess what we found in the berry patch yesterday afternoon?

Yep, you guessed it - two adorable & motherless balls of fuzz.

One is black with sage green eyes, and the other is light gray with beautiful blue peepers.  The black kitten is very calm and the gray one is very playful. Both loooove to eat kitten formula!  They look to be about 3-4 weeks old and they are happy to be handled and cuddled.


Update 7/12: these kittens found a good home. Thank you for your interest! 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Veggie Fest 2011


Join us for an afternoon of live music, local food, planting in the garden, kid-friendly activities, face painting, gardening demos, and so much more!!!

Saturday, July 9th from 1 pm - 5 pm at the Starker Arts Garden for Education (S.A.G.E)

Admission is free, though we suggest bringing a canned food donation to support Linn Benton Food Share through our Veggie Fest Food Drive! Come on out and get your hands dirty in the garden for a beautiful Saturday afternoon of gardening festivities!

This fun, family-friendly community event is brought to you by the AmeriCorps NCCC team that is working on increasing healthy food access in Benton County this summer. Come out and show your support!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Stories from the Field: Lincoln Elementary, S.A.G.E & Stone Soup

Here's the latest update from the AmeriCorps NCCC team currently serving at SAGE. Through this series of blog posts (each written by a different member of the team) we hope to provide you with an inside look at AmeriCorps NCCC and the service experiences the team is encountering at SAGE, the Corvallis Environmental Center, and with our 11 partner organizations in Benton County. Our third service story comes from Corrie "Carrot" Alsleben, originally from Wisconsin, who is one of seven members on the team and is also serves as the Project Outreach Liaison on the team:


"I can't choose a favorite work site, I have many that I really like. S.A.G.E has been AWESOME to work at. You can really see the progress since we've been here. Cleaning the chicken coop is not as bad as I thought it was going to be, and the bee class we had at the S.A.G.E hives was so cool. Coloring little wooden pictures for the Lincoln School Garden was so much fun as well! I got to just sit down with the kids and laugh while we were all coloring. Even though it's a lot of work to prepare the meal, working at the Stone Soup soup kitchen is really fun, too. It may seem like work work work and busy busy busy, but it's all worth it in the end when people have a nice hot meal to eat.

For me this project is very rewarding. I am learning many different things every single day, and all of our site supervisors are great!"

The team has been doing great things in Corvallis this summer!  Check out the Gazette Times article about them from Saturday's edition!

New SAGE YouTube Channel!


The Starker Arts Garden for Education now has its very own YouTube channel! This first video is a quick short describing SAGE and shows how wonderful it is to get kids gardening! Thanks to Roots and Shoots (a local homeschool group) for their work in the garden and the great interview.

Major thanks to Amber Thacker from the Blue 6 AmeriCorps NCCC team for her work shooting and editing the short and also to Danielle Jetto for her guidance on creating a YouTube channel!

Finally, thank you Youth Serve America for the Flip Cam and for selecting our project from the work day we did in April with PeaceJam on Global Youth Service Day!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tool Maintenance Workshop

Please join us at S.A.G.E this Saturday for the next workshop in our summer workshop series:

Tool Maintenance

Saturday, June 25
2 pm – 3 pm
Instructor: Pam DeWolfe of the Starker Arts Garden for Education
Price: free ($5-$10 suggested donation)
Keep your garden tools longer by taking good care of them! Learn how to keep your tools sharp and maintain your rototiller, hand tools and lawn mower. Workshop includes a tool sharpener to bring home.

Check out all of the summer workshops coming up at S.A.G.E!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Stories from the Field: S.A.G.E

Here's the latest update from the AmeriCorps NCCC team currently serving at SAGE. Through this series of blog posts (each written by a different member of the team) we hope to provide you with an inside look at AmeriCorps NCCC and the service experiences the team is encountering at SAGE, the Corvallis Environmental Center, and with our 11 partner organizations in Benton County. Our second service story comes from Amber Thacker, originally from Florida, who is one of seven members on the team and is also serves as the Service Learning Coordinator and Peer Helper on the team:

Laughter & Life in the Garden
For the past three weeks, the team has spent many hours serving at the SAGE; tilling the land, planting starts, and weeding.  While seeing the land transform has been wonderful, it has been more than just sprouting spinach that has awakened the garden. As the sun starts shining more frequently, visitors are bringing life and laughter into the garden. The children in particular have filled SAGE with a spirit of discovery and wonderment.


Last Tuesday, the garden had many young visitors and it was so fun to watch them quiz Pam (the garden manager) about everything from worms in the soil to the roots of the plants. They wanted to participate hands-on in the garden; watering plants, feeding the birds, and assisting with starting the earth-oven. Watching these young volunteers explore the garden, with their eagerness to learn and help, has resonated with me. It can be so easy as a "grown-up" to get caught up in checking off the day-to-day tasks involved with maintaining the garden and forget to stop and take in the experience. I think it is so important to have children in the garden, not only to help them learn and grown, but also to remind the adults how to play! It is the simple art of play that makes working in the garden an experience full of joy.

We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing. -Benjamin Franklin