Monday, August 25, 2014

August Abundance

August is a magical month in the garden.  For the most part everything is growing well and there is a small (very small) sense of a plateau in the work needing to be done right NOW.  I decided to take a step back and enjoy "now," the present, and not worry about what needs to be done or what didn't get done.  I wanted to share with you a few of the August abundance "presents" out at SAGE.

Sunflower forests for goldfinches galore.  Many people ask me why I plant so many sunflowers and I reply, "I don't.  The birds do."  Right now there are so many happy blossoms, it makes most folks smile and good, real smiles are something I don't think we can have in excess.  

Bicycle trailer for delivering bountiful produce.  Without an abundant amount of support from our wonderful community, we wouldn't be able to accomplish all we do.  Thanks CH2MHill for the new bicycle trailer donation and for the abundance of volunteers who help us grow, harvest and deliver all that food.

Harvests totaling hundreds of pounds. August is always a bit mind-boggling in the staggering amount of organically-raised vegetables our acre of land is growing.

Massive zucchini appearing seemingly overnight. Honesty, what kind of garden post about abundance would this be without a big shout out to the amazing growing abilities of summer squash.  Even if we thoroughly harvest multiple times a week, we still find behemoths lurking among the squash vines, hidden deep in shadow.  While I find it a bit delightful to discover such wonders, it can be a bit more of a challenge to convince everyone else of their greatness.  So in addition to the vast quantity of summer squash produced in August, we find there also needs to be an abundant dose of creativity, and maybe some courage, to keep tackling and utilizing these food items throughout August!  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Transition Time...We're Hiring a Garden Manager

I love SAGE.  I love its beauty (sometimes orderly, more often times a bit wild).  The people who volunteer at SAGE help fill me with laughter, appreciation and motivation to keep doing the work I do.  Then there's all the gorgeous organically-grown produce...yum....I do love my veggies.  I could go on and on and on about all the things I love about SAGE, the folks I work with and my job overall.....

As some of you have noticed though, we're currently hiring a new garden manager.  Yep, that's right, that's my current job.  The one I was just describing above as something I "love" and have had the privilege of doing for three seasons now.

Fall clean up my first season
I've been given a great offer to go to graduate school and I'd be silly to pass up the opportunity.  I'll still be in Corvallis and still working a bit for the CEC, just not as the garden manager anymore.   Right now we're searching for someone to take over in September who has both garden/farm production experience along with experience teaching and working with volunteers.  If you, or someone you know, has this experience and is interested in applying, please visit HERE for the position description and application.    

Many of you have already noticed the job posting and have shared kind words with me and asked questions.  Thank you so much, it really means a lot.  It's transition time for me though so I'm not going to dwell too much, I'm just going to keep lovin' what I'm doing while I have the opportunity to be doing it.

Hope to see you all around SAGE soon!

Deanna Lloyd
SAGE Garden Manager

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer Groovin' at the Garden

Summertime at SAGE....
Giant zucchini that seem to grow overnight....
Sunflowers making me smile!
Reds, purples, greens and yellows overflowing harvest bins....
Weeds, weeds and more weeds....
Music in the amphitheater.  Dancing on the lawn.  Picnic blankets spread.  

This season brings many garden delights (and lots of work!), but it also heralds the start of the SAGE Summer Concert Series (hence the music, dancing and picnic blankets)! This family friendly musical event showcases local musicians, is supported by local businesses and benefits SAGE.

There are different studies that have been done trying to observe if plants react to different types of music.  The vegetables and fruits at SAGE (along with you!) will have an opportunity to listen to a diverse musical selection including folk, country, bluegrass, rock and jam.  Given the number of variables, I don't think we can do a scientific study on the music's effects on SAGE, but I bet the garden will be benefit from feeling the positive vibes put off by a bunch of folks enjoying a summer evening in the park!

Join us on the following Thursdays from 6 - 9pm at Peffer Amphitheater in Bruce Starker Arts Park:
July 10th
July 24th
August 7th
August 21st  

Admission is free with a suggested donation of $10/family (as mentioned, all proceeds benefit SAGE!).  Food, beverage and alcohol vendors will be present, but biking on over with a picnic dinner is also a great experience!

Another amazing piece of this event is the positive response we've received from local businesses!  We wouldn't be able to offer such a large, family fun event for the Corvallis community without their support!  This year our title sponsors include:
Other sponsors of this years series include Robnetts Hardware, Body of Health and Wellness, Nectar Creek Honeywine, Shonnard's Nursery, Coffee Culture, Second Glance, Bombs Away Cafe, Schmidt's Nursery, Stash, Stone & Cobble.  A HUGE thank you to all these local businesses!

More info on the Facebook page:

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

8 Things to Love About Spring at SAGE

HP Employees Showing Off Their Radishes!
Spring is a busy time of year.  Work parties steadily increase, the weeds are growing strong and crops are getting planted and harvested.  It can be a tough time to keep up with "inside" work as so much time needs to be spent outside.  So rather than highlight all the amazing things in individual posts, this one will highlight 8 of the best things (in no particular order) about SAGE in the spring!  Enjoy!

1) Work Parties: Yes, we do these year-round, but in the spring the Tuesday night work parties start for the season and the group work parties start ramping up in number.  It's so much fun having folks out working together in the garden AND a HUGE help!  Already this spring we've had over 20 different groups visit the garden and volunteer their time.  Plus we have a great cohort of Tuesday night volunteers who keep helping out, Tuesday after Tuesday, season after season. Thanks!

2) New Crops to Harvest: Greens are great and we love that here in the Valley we can harvest them year-round, but after a long winter, it sure is nice to start harvesting vibrant spring crops.  Already this spring season we've enjoyed harvesting and delivering peas, spinach, lettuce, radishes, rhubarb and strawberries.

It's the simple things in life...
3) Our "Own" Port-a-Potty: I know this sounds ridiculous, but it's really nice to have a clean, very accessible restroom out at the garden during the growing season.  Just sayin'.....

4) Workshops: With nice weather, comes nice folks who are willing to share their expertise with our community.  This spring and summer we've had/will have some great workshops that highlight topics such as cultivating medicinal herbs, backyard chicken health and growing mushrooms!  Click here for full schedule of SAGE workshops.  

Freshly Picked Radishes
5) Bigger Deliveries: Our deliveries are ramping up in both size and frequency and that makes a big difference in our community.  Last week we sent Stone Soup 40lbs of greens (yes, 40lbs of light, leafy greens) and heard feedback that it was all readily consumed in one meal and much appreciated.  We're looking forward to continuing to up our deliveries and start spreading out to some of our other distribution sites as the crops come on stronger. 

6) Donated Starts and Seeds: Our project really thrives because of community support in the form of donated time, money and goods.  A huge in-kind donation we receive in the spring is in the form of beautiful vegetable starts.  Thanks to Gathering Together Farm, Persephone Farm, Monroe Sharing Gardens and Peoria Gardens for providing gorgeous starts that we help feed our community!

7) Compost from Republic Services: Being an organic growing space, it's important to care for our soil and replenish nutrients in a responsible manner. We apply a generous helping of compost to the soil every spring when we're getting the majority of our crops planted.  We're so appreciative that Republic Services continues to donate gorgeous compost to help SAGE grow nutritious food for our community!

Farm Field Trippers Enjoying Fresh Picked Strawberries!
8) Farm Field Trips: It's so much fun having youthful energy out at SAGE and we've had a great batch of farm field trips this spring already.  During these visits, local students are able to get hands-on experience in the garden that links to their school curriculum while also having the opportunity to taste new things.  Thanks to Clara, our Food Corps Service Member, for helping organize and lead the farm field trips!

There are many more amazingly wonderful things about spring at SAGE. You're invited to come visit the garden and see what other spring things inspire!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Tuesday is the day! April 1st starts the work party season!

Work party season has officially started!  April 1st until the end of October, every Tuesday night you can find SAGE volunteers out at the garden helping make our community a more beautiful and nourished place!

This time of year we'll be mulching, prepping soil for planting, weeding, planting, harvesting and more!   We're out there rain or shine.

Everyone is welcome to join us regardless of age or ability.  We provide provide all instruction, tools and gloves.  The work party runs from 4 - 6ish in the evening.  Feel free to show up when you can and leave when you need to!

Looking forward to seeing you on a Tuesday evening!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Registration Deadline Approaching for Comprehensive Course on Organic Food Production!

Learn to grow your own food!!!!

This is our second year of offering the Complete Organic Gardening course in collaboration with OSU Extension and Oregon Tilth and this is the last week to register for this class!  During this in-depth course we'll have hands-on garden activities, in-depth discussions and engaging educational activities that will provide participants with a well-rounded understanding of how to grow their own food using organic
COG participants learning to graft their own
apple trees!

There will be a lead instructor with visits by specialist guest instructors from all three organizations.  In April, we'll meet for interactive discussions on the first four Wednesday evenings from 5:30 - 7:30pm (April 2, 9, 16, 23).  The hands-on gardening days will be every Saturday from 9am - 1pm (April 5, 12, 19, 26).

Register HERE or email us for more details!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Welcome Spring!

Rhubarb getting ready for the season
Spring has sprung.  The pussywillows are out in full force, daffodils bob happy in the sunshine, there are magically diverse shades of green lighting the landscape and the rivers are flowing full.

Tri Delt sorority sisters
planting peas
This last weekend we took a chance during a work party and planted a few rows of peas at SAGE.  I say "took a chance" because we have quite a collection of slugs out there that enjoy lush spring greenery.   The soil is still rather saturated (especially down low where we have our very own duck pond), but higher up it is somewhat dry. We'll be glad to work the soil soon as the weeds definitely got notice that it is spring and are doing their best to grow strong.

The thistles have awoke!
As the garden starts coming alive after this rough winter, our programming starts to perk up as well.  April 1st will be our first Tuesday night work party from 4 - 6ish in the evening.  From that day on through the end of October, every Tuesday night we'll be hosting a work party where anyone is welcome to pop in when they can and leave when they need to.  We'll be doing all manner of garden tasks as we get the garden ready for spring.

Also starting up is our Complete Organic Gardening Course that occurs throughout April.  If you have not yet signed up, there is still time!  This month-long course teaches you all you need to know to grow your own organic produce.  We'll cover vegetable production, perennials & pruning, edible weeds, integrated pest management, soil health, grafting, seed saving and more!  For more details and to register visit:

Happy Spring!
~ The SAGE Crew


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Dine Out at McMenamins! Monday, January 13th! Help Support the CEC!

Have a lunch meeting next Monday, January 13th?  Or maybe not interested in cooking after working a Monday?  Or perhaps you're interested in enjoying some Happy Hour drink specials?  If you head over to the McMenamins on Monroe Avenue on Monday, January 13th, your eating and drinking with help support the Corvallis Environmental Center!  That's right, McMenamins is being generous enough to donate 50% of the proceeds from all sales Monday to the CEC.  

Cajun tots?  Burger?  (They have gluten-free buns...yippee!) A special spirit?  No matter what you order, you'll be helping the Corvallis Environmental Center so thank you!