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."