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

Meet our Summer Interns!

We have an fantastic group of interns working on a variety of projects with the Edible Corvallis Initiative this summer. You'll likely see a few of them out at the garden at any given time weeding, planting, working with volunteers, watering, organizing events, leading summer camp activities and even making documentaries! Here are some quick bios to introduce you to our crew:

Amelia Yeager
Summer Camp / Sustainable Agriculture Intern
Amelia is working with the S.A.G.E summer camps and in the garden this summer.  She's gaining experience in her field through this internship - she's an Environmental Science major (Env. Policy & French minor) studying at Western Washington University.  Amelia is  a native Corvallian, home to roost at S.A.G.E for the summer.


Emily Olivo
Community Engagement / Summer Camp Intern
Emily comes to Corvallis from Raleigh, where she a student at N. Carolina State University.  She is majoring in Wildlife Biology and loves working with kids.  She is helping plan and deliver our S.A.G.E Summer Camps and is putting her creative energy to good use with us this summer.

Kelly Holcomb
Community Engagement Intern
Kelly is working on event planning and outreach through our Community Engagement Internship position. You can also find her at the Philomath Library, and hopefully at OSU next year working on a MFA! She's an avid beginning gardener and her enthusiasm for growing is contagious!



Keith Fortenbach
Sustainable Agriculture Intern
Keith is out in the garden this summer working on his green thumb! He's an engineering student at OSU and was in the Navy for 5 years. Keith is enthusiastic about learning more about gardening and is interested in water resources issues as they relate to sustainable farming.

marinna
Marinna Guzy

Sustainable Agriculture Intern
Marinna is an Environmental Studies major at Vassar College, but grew up in Corvallis.  She's excited about increasing community access to fresh food and is also excited to use her filmmaking skills to create a mini-documentary about S.A.G.E!


melissa
Melissa Sloan
Sustainable Agriculture Intern
Melissa is an OSU student studying Environmental Science and Geography. She's an avid rower and is giving her strength to S.A.G.E this summer! She's looking forward to learning more about how the garden works and getting her hands into the dirt.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Vermiculture Workshop

Join us for the first of the S.A.G.E garden workshop series tomorrow afternoon!

Vermiculture for Beginners
Saturday, June 18
2 pm – 3 pm
Location: Starker Arts Garden for Education (S.A.G.E at 45th Place and Country Club Drive)
Instructor: Cynthia Dort of Dort Worm Farm
Price: free!

Join us as we learn about those wriggly little soil-smiths! Vermiculture is a method of worm composting that can be done from small to large scale, and allows you to create amazing soil and amendments from household scraps.

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

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Stories from the Field: Stone Soup & Buy Local First Breakfast


Hello everyone! Welcome to the first blog post from Blue Six, 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 first service story comes from Brendon Esquibel, originally from Maine, who is one of seven members on the team and is also the team leader. Thanks for checking out the project - come by the garden to meet the team when you have a chance!


A Different Kind of Service

In AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), we pride ourselves on “getting things done!”  These “things” tend to vary widely, whether its tutoring elementary school students in California, felling trees and blazing trail in Wyoming, or gardening in Oregon. In official AmeriCorps terminology, these tasks fall into five distinct categories: urban and rural development, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation, infrastructure improvement, and disaster relief. While these terms may sound nice in corporate offices and on official government paperwork, they do little to describe the unique and often intimate experiences our team has shared throughout the last ten months. So instead of telling you that our current project is addressing “urban and rural development” needs in Corvallis and leaving it at that, I hope to provide a little more insight into our experience by describing one of the more impactful project days we've had thus far. 

Last Saturday (June 4) our team was split between two Corvallis service sites: 1) the Buy Local First Breakfast event hosted at Oddfellows Hall and 2) Stone Soup soup kitchen offered at First Christian Church. While close in proximity (only 4 city blocks separate these concurrent events), these two project sites address very different community needs. At Buy Local First Breakfast, an event that encourages individuals to support local farmers and businesses through the purchase of local ingredients and produce, we helped prepare and serve food made from all-local ingredients to members of the community. However, only 4 blocks across town, another vital community need was being met as team members and volunteers helped prepare and serve food at the Stone Soup soup kitchen. While local groups and organizations also donate many of the ingredients for these meals, the efforts at this project site served to alleviate a very different community need: poverty and hunger.


Although seemingly disconnected in both purpose and location, our dual presence at both these sites goes to show that these two events are not so different after all. Both provide an essential service to meet a community need, and both work with partner organizations like the Corvallis Environmental Center. Perhaps most importantly, both events allow for a different kind of service, yet the same kind of joy.



I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. - Rabindranath Tagore

Monday, June 6, 2011

AmeriCorps NCCC in Corvallis

SAGE is very lucky to have a fantastic group of AmeriCorps volunteers working with us this summer on the Corvallis Environmental Center's Food Access Project.

This team of 7 volunteers has come to Corvallis from all over the country to work on improving access to fresh, healthy food for Benton County residents, and to help strengthen our local food security. They are tackling these issues with our partner organizations: Linn Benton Food Share, Dunawi Creek Community Garden, Stone Soup, Westside Community Garden, Lincoln Elementary School Garden, Creciendo en Salud, Neighbor 2 Neighbor Community Garden, South Corvallis Food Bank, Peanut Park Community Garden, Ten Rivers Food Web, and Philomath Community Garden.


The team is planting gardens, cooking meals at the soup kitchen, building fences and raised beds, assisting with gleans, landscaping, providing cooking demos at the food banks, and helping at community events that promote fresh food for all. Look forward to future posts from team members about some of the projects they are working on this summer!

If you see one of our fabulous volunteers around town (they can be spotted by their grey and dark green AmeriCorps hoodies and tees!) please give them a big smile and a high five.


This particular NCCC team (Blue 6) is full of energy and spunk, and we are so happy that they are here!

Summer Camps

We’re gearing up for summer camps! At the SAGE Garden, our summer camps are week long learning adventures where kids will learn about their local ecosystems, where food comes from, and how to grow their own food!
Click HERE for a printable registration form, or  To register online click HERE.
SAGE Youth Summer Camp Schedule, 9am-3pm
Cost: $36/day
  • June 27-July 1: Discovering Dinner
    Ages 8-11
    Travel to nearby farms on a journey to discover where your food comes from.  We’ll explore fields and pastures, markets and orchards, soup kitchens and food banks in search of all Corvallis grows!  Bring your bike.
  • July 25-July 29: What’s for Lunch?
    Ages 8-11
    Grow locally and cook globally in this food-filled camp.  Learn how to plant, nurture, and harvest fresh vegetables and then prepare garden feasts! Bring your bike.
  • August 1- August 5: The Buzz about Bees
    Ages 9-11
    Garden life depends on these busy, buzzing pollinators. Suit up and explore bee hives at the garden, build a bee box, harvest honey, and make beeswax candles.
    *Possible field trip fee.
  • August 22- August 26: Edible Chemistry
    Ages 7-10
    Explore the intersection between gardening, cooking, and science!  Spend time learning about the garden in the morning and then take food that you’ve helped grow and harvest to the kitchen to cook it up using science! Bring your bike.
SAGE Kid’s Camp Schedule (Ages 5-7) 9am-12pm or 9am-2pm
Cost: $32/day or $18/half-day
  • July 11-July 15: Critters, Veggies, and Dirt Search for bugs, get your hands in the dirt, and taste garden veggies in this exploratory camp.
  • August 29-September 2: Roots, Shoots & FlowersNibble and grow!  Taste test different plant parts as they ripen and bloom.
Call (541) 753-9211 for more information.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saturday Mornings at SAGE

Good morning!

SAGE is open for volunteers to come out to the garden on Saturday mornings this year. We know that our Tuesday afternoon time doesn't work for everyone, so we have added open hours on Saturdays from 9 am - noon. We'll often be working with groups at the garden, but feel free to join in!



This morning we'll be out there planting veggies and tilling compost and manure into our soil. Swing by to chat, learn about soil fertility, or to plant some peppers. All ages and of all levels of farming ability are welcome to come! Hope to see you there.