Month: February 2015

grow your own shiitake mushrooms!

Hey guys. I want to share how easy it is to grow your own delicious shiitake mushrooms at home. I bought a loaf-like mound from a local shop called the Urban Farm Store, which is in SE Portland on Powell.

The kind I got there is grown on a mound of sawdust. It comes with instructions, but basically you soak it (in non-chlorinated water) and then mist it twice a day. You put a plastic bag over it (held up by chopsticks) to keep the air around it humid. Then, one day (a few weeks for me)… voila!

The following images show how big they are when they are full-grown. They are so fresh, delicious, and have many health benefits. Plus, organic shiitake’s sell for around $11.99 a pound! (I think the mound was around $25, so it hasn’t paid for itself yet… but I think it will and then some.)

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A more aesthetically pleasing way to go about it is to buy a mushroom infused log. I bought this as well, but just started it so we haven’t seen any mushrooms yet. Here’s a local source. It’s pricier at $50 per log, but they say it will continue to produce for five years.

 

Rimsky-Korsakoffee House

When I really want to give visitors a taste of that special Portland weirdness, I take them over to Rimsky’s for dessert and/or coffee. It’s not just a coffeehouse, it’s an experience not to be missed. Speaking of experiences, make sure to sneak upstairs to use the restroom at some point in your time there — it’s worth it!

Situated in an old Portland home, it feels like you’re sitting in the living room of a very extravagant neighbor. The interior is decorated with hanging photos, collages under glass tabletops, and very loud wallpaper.

Important to note is that it is a cash only establishment. The service can sometimes be a bit off, but sometimes it’s been great. There is often live-music performances, which are compensated solely by tip, so bring a little extra.

Also, most importantly — I should mention — the dessert is fantastic!

Here’s some historical information about it on Wikipedia.

Address:
707 Southeast 12th Avenue
Portland, OR 97214

Check out some photos…

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Master Gardener training day 1

I am very excited to be embarking on this program! If you aren’t already aware, Master Gardener is half training and half volunteer hours, organized and supported by Oregon State University extension. On every Saturday for the next three months I will be in training. Volunteer hours start during this time and extend after for months.

Today we mostly had orientation, but we also had three hours of instruction about soil and fertilizer. I learned so much!

I’d love to share the resources we were given, most of which are Portland or Northwest specific.

XRAY.fm has a weekly radio show called Grow PDX. The website explains that it focuses on “horticulture, urban gardening, community food systems and agriculture.”

OSU has compiled a list of recommended varieties that do the best in our climate.

The Natural Resources Conservation Survey has web soil survey information available online. You can find out the composition of soil in different places throughout the nation.

A gardening blog with an emphasis on scientific research, Garden Professors.

And possibly the coolest information? Portland residents can get exotic “Zoo doo” from the Portland Zoo for free! (i.e. manure — which begs the question: why haven’t I seen this on Portlandia?)

Books…

Elements of the Nature and Properties of Soil — large, pricey, but worth the read.

Maritime Northwest Gardening Guide — comes highly recommended since it specifically relates to our area.

For information about using gravel mixed in with your soil, check out the book Gravel Garden.

Soil Biology Primer from Soil and Water Conservation Society.

Earth Advantage Certified Broker

I’m proud to announce that I am now an Earth Advantage Certified Broker!

Earth Advantage is a Portland nonprofit organization that helps further earth-friendly building. I really enjoyed attending the classes and learning more about green home design.

From their website:

Earth Advantage is a Portland-based nonprofit whose mission is to accelerate the creation of better buildings. We provide knowledge to building professionals and information to consumers through certification, research, education, and product development to move the building industry towards more sustainable practices.

house tour Feb 3, 2015

If you have ever wanted to move to Alameda Ridge in Portland, you have your pick of houses now. Quite a few are for sale at the moment. Our office went to check out homes there, and a few other places also in NE Portland today. Check out some highlights below. Click the addresses for more info.

1912 NE Couch St offered at $620,000

This was a lovely little house situated between two multi-unit complexes. Loved the attic. The whole house was cute.

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3445 NE Davis St offered at $765,000

Very nicely finished. I love the sun-burst detail over the front door.

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4455 NE Alameda St offered at $949,000

We don’t see houses painted black every day. Beautiful. I appreciated that there were bookcases built in to nearly every room.

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3630 NE 32nd Pl offered at $985,000

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3930 NE 26th Ave offered at $1,175,000

Very cool double lot.

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3727 NE 10th Ave offered at $299,000.

And last, a sweet little house. Very nicely finished inside, but too many brokers to get photos in there!

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