Thursday, February 28, 2013

Complete Organic Gardening Course!


The COMPLETE ORGANIC GARDENING COURSE offered by Edible Corvallis Initiative in collaboration with OSU Extension and Oregon Tilth will take place throughout the month of April.  Learn how to grow your own food using organic methods by participating in hands-on garden activities, in-depth discussions and engaging educational exercises.  There will be a lead instructor with visits by specialist guest instructors from all three organizations.  In April, we'll meet every Wednesday evening from 5:30 - 7:30pm for interactive discussions with our hands-on gardening days being every Saturday from 9am - 1pm. 

You can register HERE 
or email me for more details!  
sage@corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org





Friday, February 22, 2013

Dandelion Heralds Spring

First dandelion flower of the season, spring is on its way!
Being blessed with our climate, this time of the year still allows us an opportunity to grow a lot of food. I've covered some of the purposeful plants we're growing, but what about all the goodies we're growing but not necessarily meaning to grow?  This includes things frequently termed "weeds."  Now technically a weed is just a plant that is growing somewhere you don't want it to grow, but many plants are known as rather notorious "weeds."  Dandelions, for example, inspire a lot of people to head out into their yard with death and destruction on their minds, but dandelions are stellar little plants with a change of perspective.  For one, they're quite tasty in a variety of ways.  For those of you who know me, you know I love most things (especially wild things) that are edible.  Well with dandelions, you can eat the root, shoot and flowers.  Dry and roast the roots for a tasty tea.  Eat the young leaves in salad or stir fry (a great bitter, excellent for digestion).  Dandelion flower fritters or flower petal jelly or wine anyone?  Ok, so most people know dandelions are edible, but did you know that nice long taproot is great at pulling up minerals from the soil depths?  Chopping the green tops off your dandelions and letting them decompose in place helps release those nutrients back into your soil, right at the surface where most garden annuals (being short rooted) need it.

Two weeks ago I saw my first dandelion flower out at the garden.  Lovely. It was a great reminder that spring is coming and the full on garden season is on its way.  Until that point though, there are plenty of "volunteer" edibles growing at the garden right now.  You just need a little change of perspective to see many of those "weeds" as wonderful food and free labor in your garden.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Winter Disbelief

People wandering by SAGE this time of year are always curious, "what are you doing?"  Despite having my boots on, harvesting tool in hand and a big tub filling with greens, people seem to want verbal confirmation that I'm doing what they're observations suggest; harvesting.  I can have rows and rows of kale around me and still people say "kale can last in the winter?"  Yes, it does and it is so easy to grow, you can do it too!

I've been pondering this phenomenon (because it happens to me multiple times a week) and I think, perhaps, people need verbal confirmation of my actions because it is winter and they don't associate that season with gardening.  Yes, we can grow food year round here and I consider us Willamette Valley folks pretty lucky for that.  If you need to see it with your own eyes though, here's some recent photos of the bounty (some, but not all the goodies) we're growing right now.  If still you'd like to see this in person, head on out to SAGE and wander around, you're more than welcome.