Category: Portland information

Information about our awesome city.

Montavilla

Montavilla is a Portland neighborhood that I’ve been hearing about quite a bit lately! Just on the East side of Mt. Tabor, it is still more affordable than inner Portland.

Fun fact: historically, the name, “Montavilla,” came about in the late 1800s from condensing “Mt. Tabor Villa.”

There are quite a number of restaurants and cafes in Montavilla, including Bui Natural Tofu, Bipartisan Cafe, Tanuki, The Observatory, Hungry Heart Bakery, Monti’s cafe, Wong’s King Chinese Restaurant, The Country Cat, Stark Street Pizza, Macau Chinese Seafood, Karma Cafe, Mojo Crepes, My Brother’s Crawfish, and Fillmore. Watch for posts that go into more depth about some of these!

Parks include Harrison Park, Berrydale Park, Montavilla City Park, and Rosemont Bluff Natural Area. Plus, it’s right next to Mt. Tabor, which is one of the best parks in Portland.

Here are some links if you’d like to learn more.

Berrydale Community Garden

Montavilla Community Center

Montavilla Farmer’s Market

Montavilla Neighborhood Association I recommend reading the history tab.

Montavilla Jazz Festival Look for this to happen in August.

Montavilla demographics provided by the City of Portland.

lenders!

It just struck me that I have never posted about my preferred lenders!

Many buyers don’t realize how important your choice of lender is. At the most basic level, you definitely want to make sure you get along well with your lender. Keep in mind that you will be relying on them to support you throughout the entire financial side of your transaction.

Two vital questions to ask when you are interviewing lenders is: when are you available? Are you quick with communication? When we’ve found a house you want to offer on, it is very important that your lender can get us a pre-approval letter that is updated to reflect the amount we are offering. (We don’t want to show all our cards with the full amount you qualify for if we are offering less!) If it’s the weekend or in the evening, is your lender going to be there for you? Chances are that if you are working with someone that is just one the clock 9-5, the answer will be no.

If you give the lenders below a call, please let them know I sent you. (I don’t get any kickbacks for recommending them, I just know we make a great team– and that’s good for everyone!) In no particular order, (two on the East side and two on the West, but please note, they can do most things virtually.)

 

Guild Mortgage Company
cell: 503-528-9800email: sbaeschlin@guildmortgage.net
NMLS ID # 112876
825 NE Multnomah St, Suite 950
Portland, OR 97232
***
Jonelle Knipe
Academy Mortgage
cell: 503-475-7195
email: Jonelle.knipe@academymortgage.com
NMLS #: 94123
3 Centerpointe Drive, Suite 290
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
***
Mortgage Loans Northwest
cell: 503-504-2979
office: 503-233-6569
NMLS Individual ID 85417
5015 SE Hawthorne Blvd Ste A
Portland OR 97215
***
Prime Lending
cell: 503.515.8542
fax: 886.425.0604
email: andreac@primelending.com
web site: andreaclarkloans.com
NMLS: 173601
4380 SW Macadam Ave Suite 260
Portland, Or 97239

 

Tree School 2016 registration

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!

For more information and to register, please check out the web site.

So many trees!

Do you ever catch yourself referring to a tree with needles generally as a “pine tree?” If so, substitute that with, “evergreen.” Unlike “pine,” which refers to a specific family of trees, “evergreen” is safe to use since it covers all trees that do not lose their foliage over winter.

For more great tips and info on identifying evergreens in the Northwest, check out this website!

Oregon Mushroom Show

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.

If you want to find out more information about mushrooms in the area, try joining the Facebook groups: Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest and Pacific Northwest Mushroom Identification and Information Forum.

Here are some images from the show today!

IMG_1958 IMG_1966 IMG_1965 IMG_1963  IMG_1957

Know Thy Food co-op and Azure Standard

I attended an event this morning at Know Thy Food (KTF) co-op in SE Portland. I’d never been to the space before; it was small, cute, and welcoming.

You don’t have to be a member of KTF to enjoy shopping in the physical store space, but joining gives you access to their extensive online catalog. You can make orders ahead of time and pick them up once a week at the store. It takes a little more planning, perhaps, but in return you can shop from your own home and just stop by to pick things up that already gathered for you.

I was there today to learn more about Azure Standard, a food distribution company that has monthly drops at the co-op. They heavily focus on organic and health food. I’ve been curious about this sort of shopping for quite a while. Buying food in bulk from suppliers has cost benefits and more directly supports local economy and farmers.

I signed up to join both the KTF co-op and Azure Standard. I’m excited to start on this new adventure!

Example of product listings inside Azure Standard’s huge catalog:

catalog

 

Oregon Orchid Show and Sale 2015

I went by the 26th annual Oregon Orchid Show and Sale yesterday. So many gorgeous flowers! I’m posting about it today because you still have time to see the show for yourself. If you go — make sure to use this coupon for $3 off admission. (I just showed it on my phone.)

I bought two orchids at the sale, both of which are now hanging over one of my aquariums.

IMG_0250

Here are some of the gorgeous blooms I snapped. Truly worth seeing!

IMG_0233 IMG_0234 IMG_0236 IMG_0238 IMG_0239 IMG_0243 IMG_0244

2015 Community Summit

This past weekend I attended Portland’s 2015 Community Summit. This was a free event, and the first time it was held for 10 years. If you missed it — make sure to write to our city council to tell them to bring it back every year!

I attended panels called Effective Advocacy, Living Cully: an Eco-District, a conversation with Mayor Hales, and Volunteer-Based Grant Writing.

It was quite inspirational, in terms of learning how to become more civically involved. I also really enjoyed witnessing the Mayor speak about his vision for the future of Portland. I also met some really great fellow citizens. It’s awesome to talk with people who are so tuned in and engaged.

I’d like to share the resources for volunteer-based grants:

East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District

Environmental Protection Agency

Gray Family Foundation Enviornmental Education Program

Metro

Myer Memorial Trust

Neighbors West-Northwest

Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Studies

Portland’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement

Oregon Community Foundation

Oregon Humanities

Regional Arts and Culture Council

Social Justice Fund

SOLVE

West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District

IMG_9812 IMG_9816

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.)

IMG_9494(1) IMG_9495

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.

 

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.