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 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!