Are you looking to do some landscaping? Check out this amazing resource!
The Arbor Day Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization that is dedicated to helping people conserve trees. Their mission statement: Founded in 1972, the centennial of the first Arbor Day observance in the 19th century, the Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with over one million members, supporters, and valued partners.
I have a running list of trees that are great for pollinators, all of which I would like to eventually add to Blossomwood Farmstead. The Arbor Day Foundation had quite a few of them available for purchase — for such reasonable prices! Plus, with a $5 membership I was able to get their membership prices (a few dollars off each tree.) They also added a free Red Maple and two free forsynthias.
This is the list of trees I ordered: Northern Catalpa (2), Sourwood, Washington Hawthorne, Tulip Poplar, Little Leaf Linden, Witchhazel, Black Tupelo, Sugar Maple, and Western Redbud. My total? $76.61. I’m a fan!
We all hear the same advice: eat your fruits and veggies. However, many people don’t realize is that there is a huge variety in the amount of nutrition you get from your food depending on the specific varietal, storage, and way it is prepared. This book is an amazing resource to learn how to maximize the nutritional value of your produce.
Robinson talks about how to choose produce in the store, how to best store it, and how to prepare it to maximize benefits. It is full of little hints that can make a big difference. Some veggies are better consumed raw, some cooked. In general the more intense color a veggie has, the more benefit it will convey.
The history of where our food comes from is endlessly fascinating. For each type of produce, Robinson talks about what it was like when it was wild and how it was changed by humans. Corn, for example, came from a plant called Teosinte which bears little resemblance to the super sweet varieties many people enjoy today. Part of corn’s history involves mutations caused by nuclear reactions. I encourage you to read the whole story.
As a gardener, I quite appreciate that this book lists specific varieties of different plants and which have the highest nutrient content. If we are going to spend time nurturing and growing food plants, why not choose the ones that will give the most back?
Some of my favorite tidbits include: carrots retain more nutrients if you cook them whole and then cut them up to serve after. Potatoes are better for you if you eat them one day after cooking. Red lettuce has more health benefits than green.
All in all, I wanted to share this with you all because I found it very interesting and helpful. I hope you enjoy too!
The Home Orchard Society has an annual Propagation Fair at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds. For just $5 (members) or $7 (general) attendees are treated to an amazing collection of cuttings and scions!
I got there right after 10am and there was a line down the block. Entry went pretty quickly once the doors opened. The event was packed! Everywhere you looked people were crowding in to grab the cuttings they wanted. I saw some people with huge bundle-loads that had to have been a foot wide!
Next time I have to remember to bring labels and a permanent marker. Luckily someone nearby was kind enough to share his.
I gathered a small collection, then set them up to start this afternoon. Here’s to hoping they root!
Some of the things I chose:
three varieties hardy kiwi, including red princess
I teach a class called Gardening for Pollinators. It includes information about honey bees, native bees, butterflies, habitat creation, best plants for forage, and emphasizes organic practices. Please let me know if you would like me to teach it for your organization.
This class relies on a Powerpoint presentation, so we will need to arrange a digital projector.
Please email me at larenleland (at) gmail (dot) com to schedule!
Here are some great resources that I’ve collected to share on the topic.
I’ve been quite busy with property management lately, the reason being…? My family bought a farm!
It’s a beautiful 42 acre property in Yachats, Or. (That is between Florence and Newport on the coast.) It includes a small 1916 farmhouse, which was one of the original homesteads in the area. In addition, it has a 2004 guest house, barn, cabin, and wood shed. There are 1,400 feet of river frontage, a pond, a bog, 12 acres of pasture, and 30 acres of forest. The land backs onto the Siuslaw National Forest.
It’s about 7 miles in from the ocean and south-facing, so is perfect for gardening. It’s been keeping me busy with quite a number of projects! (More details to come.)
Refinishing the upstairs floors.
Fixing quite a bit of deferred maintenance.
Figuring out all the systems.
Getting to know the land.
Furnishing both houses.
My short-term goal is to set up both houses as Airbnb rentals. (Keep an eye out for when it is ready if you would like to visit!) Long term goals include creating a bee sanctuary and a permaculture garden.
I’ve learned so much already just in the first three months of being a steward to this land. I absolutely love it and feel very grateful! I can’t wait to get to know it better as the seasons progress.
It’s time to register for 2016’s OSU Extension Tree School!
If you haven’t attended in the past, let me tell you about it. This is an annual one day event chock full of classes. Topics include: business management, forestry, fruit trees, pest management, marketing, water resources, dealing with weeds, wildlife, etc!
The first year I went to mostly honeybee classes. Last year I did quite a number of truffle classes, plus one about plant propagation. This year I’m gravitating toward native plants and forest management. I can’t wait! Hope to see you there!
I went by the Oregon Mushroom Show today. This is a yearly event organized by the Oregon Mycological Society. It was a great source of information for mushroom classification, propagation, and much more.
Did you know that you can dye fabric using mushrooms? Or use mycology inoculations as a way to remediate a brownscape? (Brownscapes are abandoned or underutilized sites, often associated with industry, that contain some degree of real or perceived contamination.)
I got to smell and touch some local mushroom varieties that had been found just today. It was great to see them first hand and get to ask questions of the volunteers, all of whom seemed quite well informed. Comparing edible mushrooms with lookalikes that are poisonous was quite instructive. They were also demonstrating how to do a spore print, which is an excellent technique for identification.
Hey everyone! I took a break from blogging this summer, but now I’m back!
Let’s kick off with this great event called the “All About Fruit Show.” It happened today at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds.
If you ever wondered what a particular variety of apple tastes like, this show is your place to find out. They had over 600 different types to sample! It was overwhelming, but I did come away with a list of 10 that I loved.
Beyond apples, I also got to try my first pawpaw. Did you know they are native to North America? There was also seaberry juice, a whole table of hardy kiwi varieties, quince, pears, and more!
I highly recommend attending! Keep an eye out around this time of year in 2016 for your chance.
Here’s the hardy kiwi table.
And the grapes! I loved a dark purple variety called “Jupiter.” It tasted like a Concord, but it was seedless!
We caught our second swarm today! This one was resting on a potted plant at a house boat. Here’s what it looked like when we arrived. (That’s water behind the plant.) Btw, just click on the photos to see them larger.