OSU Extension Service Spring Events & Classes

March 21st, 2011

Spring nettles popping up in the yard. Mmmm.

In 2008 I took the organic version of the Master Gardener program here in Portland — the Organic Gardening Certification Program — and got so much out of it. Ever since then I’ve been on the OSU Extension Service mailing list and so from time to time get the scoop on cool classes and events. The latest newsy email has all sorts of local edible gardening and farming things in it that I’m sharing with you here. Today is the first official day of spring after all!

Straight from the source…

OSU Extension Service, in partnership with Multnomah County, is proud to announce open registration for a new educational program in 2011: The Beginning Urban Farming Apprenticeship (BUFA) program provides in-depth and comprehensive training in urban farming and sustainable farming methods. Through formal classes, hands-on training, field-trips, online learning, and supervised apprenticeships, BUFA prepares students to produce and market fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, cut flowers, and other value-added products using organic methods. Participants will also learn the knowledge and skills needed to design, install, and manage farm and landscape infrastructure in urban and peri-urban settings. BUFA program begins on April 6, 2011. For program dates, more information, and to sign up, see: www.multco.us/sustainability/bufa.

Online, for-credit HORTICULTURE 260 Organic Farming and Gardening through OSU Ecampus will be conducted summer 2011. Visit the OSU website for more info.

FREE Metro natural gardening workshops in partnership with OSU Extension Service. Natural gardening workshops on a wide-range of natural gardening topics throughout the gardening season. See www.oregonmetro.gov/garden for a schedule of workshops.

OSU Extension Service Master Gardener training: January – March 2012 in three locations in the Portland metro region for a comprehensive, introduction to horticulture class and volunteer program. www.metromastergardeners.org Registration opens October 2011.

Clackamas Community College Horticulture Department and Portland Community College Landscape Technology both offer AA degrees and a wide range of practical classes in horticultural science and more.

Urban Growth Bounty 2011 class series produced by City of Portland on a wide range of gardening topics.

OSU Extension Service will not be offering the Organic Gardening Certificate Program (OGCP) in 2011 to make best use of limited staff resources.

Oregon Tilth’s Urban Growth Bounty Classes

January 17th, 2011

One of last year's Oregon Tilth Urban Growth Bounty classes at Luscher Farm.

Spring will be here before you know it and Oregon Tilth has a great line up of spring Urban Growth Bounty classes in partnership with the City of Portland that center around organic food gardening techniques from February through April.

Registration just opened up so visit the Tilth website to enroll. Individual classes are $35, three for $90 or four for $120. Here’s some info. about the February classes below from the press release. Also, keep in mind that registration is about to open for Oregon Tilth’s March Comprehensive Organic Gardener Program. Dig in!

Visit the Oregon Tilth website for more information.

Plan your Garden
Tilth Toolshed Series: Class 1
Wednesday February 2, 2011
6-8pm

Spring is right around the corner and what will you grow, how much should you plant and what varieties will perform best? Learn practical planning techniques for selecting seeds, optimizing space, increasing harvests, and rotating crops. Maximize your bounty by applying new spacesaving strategies in your home garden. Participants receive free seeds and a “Tilth Garden Planning Packet” full of useful planning tools and worksheets that can be used at home!
Faubion School, 3039 NE Rosa Parks Way

Garden Fresh Greens Year Round
Tilth Cornucopia Series: Class 1
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
6-8pm

With a little planning and added frost protection, it’s easy to grow a variety of fresh greens all year round. Join us for this fun class and learn how to grow your own salad and stir fry mixes, and discover new varieties of tasty hardy greens. Crop timing, season extension, organic pest and disease management and soil fertility will be covered. Attend this class and take home a salad mix to get greens growing in your own garden!
Faubion School, 3039 NE Rosa Parks Way

Plan Your Garden
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
6-8pm

Spring is right around the corner and what will you grow? How much will you plant and what varieties will perform best? Attend this class to learn practical planning techniques for selecting seeds, optimizing space, increasing harvests and rotating crops. Maximize your bounty by applying new space‐saving strategies at home. Participants receive free seeds and a “Tilth Garden Planning Packet” full of useful planning tools and worksheets for home!
Luscher Farm in Lake Oswego, OR

Growing Tomatoes and other Summer Fruits from Seed
Tilth Cornucopia Series: Class 2
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
6-8pm

Do you enjoy eating homegrown tomatoes, peppers and eggplant? Attend this class to learn practical techniques for indoor seed propagation so you can grow all your favorite summer fruits from seed to harvest. Pruning and vertical gardening for vining crops will be covered. You’ll also discover methods for extending your growing season to encourage an earlier and more productive harvest for your heat‐loving crops. Participants will take home newly sown tomatoes and peppers!
Faubion School, 3039 NE Rosa Parks Way

Oregon Tilth
www.tilth.org

Oregon Tilth’s 2010 Gardening Classes

January 21st, 2010
Oregon Tilth is offering all sorts of great gardening classes in 2010.

Oregon Tilth is offering all sorts of great gardening classes in 2010.

No, this post isn’t about how my boyfriend constructed an awesome two-stage compost set-up in our backyard. I just thought it’d be a good segue into a post all about Portland gardening classes.

In 2008 I had the pleasure of taking several classes via the local Organic Gardening Certification Program with various Oregon Tilth teachers (and lots of other knowledgeable folks) and I learned so much. We all did. A couple weeks ago I got word from Kathy Dang, Oregon Tilth Organic Education Center program manager, that Oregon Tilth has doubled its classes this year and added new ones for beginning and advanced gardeners.

Classes are diverse in terms of topics covered, cost, and location. Here are some highlights from Oregon Tilth’s 2010 class program. Visit the Oregon Tilth website for more information.

Tilth Toolshed Series: Plan, Sow, Plant!

Our practical 3-class series offered in partnership with the City of Portland’s Urban Growth Bounty gardening initiative. Take each class separately or together as a series.
Read More…

Four-Season Vegetable Gardening Series

Another series offered in partnership with the City of Portland’s Urban Growth Bounty Initiative. Come find out how to encourage a bountiful harvest from your garden every season of the year!
Read More…

Tilth Toolshed Series at Luscher Farm

The Tilth Toolshed Series: Plan, Sow, Plant! is being offered at second time at our demonstration garden at Luscher Farm. Come discover simple techniques for getting your garden started and increase your urban bounty this season!
Read More…

Comprehensive Organic Gardener Program

The curriculum merges scientific and practical information, emphasizing hands-on practice. This unique and popular course introduces beginning gardeners to the dynamic world of organic gardening and gets their hands dirty in the process! March 4th – 25th!
Read More…

Organic Gardening Certificate Program
In partnership with Oregon State University, Oregon Tilth offers a program similar in size and scope to the OSU Master Gardener program, with an organic gardening focus.
Read More…

Urban Gardener Series

Offered in partnership with the City of Portland’s Urban Growth Bounty initiative, Oregon Tilth’s Urban Gardener Series equips city gardeners with the tools necessary to farm our urban landscape.
Read More…

In an Oregon Tilth class you might even learn how to plant kiwi vines that attract white fluffy dogs.

In an Oregon Tilth class you might even learn how to plant kiwi vines that attract white fluffy dogs.

Oregon Tilth
www.tilth.org

Give gardening a chance: Oregon Food Bank

March 31st, 2009
Not bad for a mid-March harvest

Not bad for a mid-March harvest

A couple week’s ago I started my volunteer practicum for the OGCP that I took this fall. I’m planning to volunteer with several different food/gardening organizations in town this year so I can learn as much as possible for the book while helping out. A couple weeks ago I volunteered at Oregon Food Bank’s Eastside Learning Garden.

Dig In! is an ongoing early spring through late fall program at Oregon Food Bank’s two Portland learning gardens for which volunteers of all ages help weed, prune, sow and harvest food for various local relief agencies. If you’ve ever been to the Northeast Portland DEQ you were just a stone’s throw from Oregon Food Bank headquarters and its next door 17,000-square-foot Eastside Learning Garden.

For my morning shift — on a Thursday 9am to noon — we met up in the barn, introduced ourselves (nine or ten of us), discussed what needed to be done and then did just that. I started off by pruning a young but sprawling grape vine with a seasoned OFB volunteer and then for the remainder of my shift harvested several rows of big and healthy collard greens planted late last summer in between the chicken coop and the berry brambles. We composted the critter munched and slug slimed lower leaves and left plenty on the stalks for a staggered harvest.

There were mothers and daughters planting peas, others pruning raspberries, and folks removing over-wintered cold frames from raised beds until everyone came together a bit before noon to rinse and box the morning collard and beet harvest. When all was said and done several buckets full of fresh collards and beets were hand-carted just a few steps away to Oregon Food Bank headquarters where they’d soon be repacked and distributed to various local relief agencies.

Although I won’t be back for awhile now due to a significantly sliced and bandaged right ring finger (apparently my kitchen mandoline doesn’t differentiate between radishes, apples, carrots and fingers) once I’m shovel-in-the-soil ready again I’ll be back to lend a hand. There’s a lot to be done in the OFB gardens this spring and it’s not a huge time commitment.

Another way that local green thumbs can help out with OFB is the Plant a Row for the hungry program. I’m thinking about doing that too…

Eastside Learning Garden
7900 NE 33rd Drive

Westside Learning Garden

21485 NW Mauzey Road

Harvesting collards

Harvesting collards

It’s happening: spring gardening

February 20th, 2009
One of the first signs...spring fennel

One of the first signs...spring fennel

1Sorrel in the sun

1Sorrel in the sun

This week there have been a group of seagulls hanging out in the neighborhood. What do you call a group of seagulls? Probably just a flock. There are usually seagulls here and there in the Overlook neighborhood since we’re so close to the river but there have been more than usual this week and they were sunning on our neighbor’s roof for an hour or so yesterday morning. The gulls coupled with all the purple and yellow crocuses popping out in our yard and around the neighborhood and the sunny 50s weather mean one amazing thing…

It’s time to till. I signed up yesterday to volunteer at the Oregon Food Bank’s Eastside Learning Garden for a few hours in a couple weeks. They need volunteers year-round to help sow, weed, water, and harvest fruits and vegetables for hunger-relief agencies around Portland. There’s also an OFB Learning Garden in Hillsboro.

This fall I took the first-of-its-kind, 10-week-long Organic Gardening Certification Program — a partnership between OSU Extension Service, Oregon Tilth, Metro, PSU and East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District. During the 10 week organic equivalent of the Master Gardening Program we learned all about plant biology, taxonomy, vermiculture, cover cropping, and more. As a part of the course you agree to a 30-hour volunteer practicum. I’m participating in Dig In! to kick that off. I’m also planning to volunteer with Portland Fruit Tree Project and Growing Gardens.

But I want to start my garden volunteering early this season because there’s going to be a lot happening in my own garden this summer. I did a lot of sheet mulching this winter and now have more space than ever for annual vegetables. The mound below isn’t a burial site it’s the front yard parking strip sheet mulch patch where I plan to grow tomatoes this summer. I covered it with burlap sacks from a local coffee roaster. A month or so ago one of the burlap sacks was taken — hopefully it’s a rough pillow now…

1Hard and softneck garlic getting taller

1Hard and softneck garlic getting taller

Dirt lasagna

Dirt lasagna