Winter is for Planning

The Demonstration Garden finally gets a rest. The garden right off 60th avenue, which we’ve worked in for many years (2008?) has been asleep since early November, but some dedicated (foolhardy?) folks kept working in the new Annex until mid-December. Finally we’ve given it a rest as well.

Believe it or not - and probably a lot of volunteers would vote “not” - our first planning meeting for the new year is only weeks away on January 18th. If you’d like to get in on the ground floor (no basement available) of planning for the new year, come to the Woodstock Wine and Deli at noon that day. If you’re not on the planning listserv (DemoGardenPlanning), send a note to, asking to be added. Actual work at the garden will probably start at the beginning of February with the planting of seeds in the greenhouse for later transplanting when the outdoor soil warms.

Two of the beds, M & N, at the original garden will be allowed to go fallow this year. The year before last we discovered Symphylans in those beds. We attempted to grow potatoes in the beds last year, but did not have a very good crop. Our research indicated potatoes were the least affected of the vegies we usually grow, but no one is excited about trying to get a crop from those beds this year.

Have a great winter break

Today we said good night to the garden for the Winter.  This was the last scheduled work day until we start planning again in January. All the bed are covered either with mulch or cover crops and they are ready for our cooler temperatures.

We have a final wrap up meeting at the Woodstock Wine and Deli on November 16th, at 12:30. Bed designers will give an overview of what they had hoped to accomplish in their beds and whether they met their goals. 

Come join us, it is always fun and informative.  The Deli is located at 4030 SE Woodstock.

Gloria Bennett, Garden Guru, 10/06/17

Winter Prep

Hi Demo Garden followers,

Monday was a very busy day at the garden.  We had a total crew of 15 MGs and 2 guests who decided they really wanted to know what the Demo Garden was all about.  Another group of gardeners in the original garden area finished up the winterizing of beds, and continued the daunting task of putting the greenhouse and shed in order for the winter.  Do you know just how filthy a refrigerator can get over the course of a season?

Work at the Demo Garden is winding down for the year.  It’s been a very productive year with our total harvest reaching 2116 pounds of which 2036 pounds was donated to local food banks.  Master Gardeners donated 289 pounds from their own gardens to add to that total.  At least 68 MGs have volunteered over 2668 hours of their time to make this possible.  We had 133 visitors, including a wonderful class of kids from an alternative high school who had a great time learning about the garden and harvesting produce to make a yummy salsa for an afternoon treat.

Monday, November 6 will be our last day in the garden for 2017.  We’ll start up again in February and hope to see you then.

Happy gardening,
Heidi Nichols for Gloria Bennett, guru for Monday, October 30, 2017

A beautiful day in the garden

Thursday turned out to be another beautiful, sunny fall day. As the temperature rose from a bit chilly to pleasantly warm, 18 gardeners (17 MGs and one visitor) accomplished many tasks in the Demo Garden, greenhouse, and Annex. For our donation to Meals on Wheels, ripened tomatoes harvested and weighed earlier and a generous donation of parsnips supplemented our tiny one-pound harvest of figs, beets and sage.

 Gardeners continued winterizing beds with leaves and burlap and sowed more Austrian peas and Morida oats in bare spots in beds with cover crops. Most beds now are winterized. Gardeners continued cleaning and organizing the shed and locker, inventorying seeds, washing watering cans and pots, and pulling weeds.

Special note to Fred Meyer shoppers:

For those MGs who have a Fred Meyer Rewards card that is linked to Multnomah County Master Gardeners, please check to be sure the link is still in force. Some time ago, Fred Meyer cleared all its links and asked people to re-enroll. If you didn't do this, your purchases may no longer be benefitting the chapter. To check, please go to . In the section headed 'Are you a Fred Meyer Customer?' there is a link that says 'Re-enroll or link your rewards card now.'  Click on this link and follow the directions for linking your card. The number for Multnomah County Master Gardeners is 89982. If you don't currently have a FM Rewards card, please consider getting one. Linking your card to the Chapter does not in any way affect the other benefits you receive from having it. Many thanks for sharing with the Chapter.

Monday, November 6, will be our last official work day in the demo garden this year. On November 16 we will have our annual end-of-gardening-season gathering at the Deli to re-cap the season, share what we've learned, and celebrate our successes.

Come join our final work days to help the Annex take shape and put the Demo Garden to bed, Oct. 30, Nov. 2, and Nov. 6, from 9:00 until about noon, 6801 SE 60th Avenue, Portland, across from Brentwood Park.


June Davidek, garden guru for October 26, 2017


A Soggy Day


Wow!  What a gorgeous day at the garden.  After such a soggy weekend, 11 MGs came out to enjoy the sunshine.  Since we had only a tiny harvest, we saved it to deliver on Thursday.  Almost all the beds in the original Demo Garden are ready for winter.  A group of MGs got Bed L ready for sowing a cover crop by removing the top layer of soil which has had a perpetual moss cover all season, adding lime and ‘Stinky Bull’ (composted dairy manure.)  Then they sowed both Austrian peas and crimson clover and covered the bed with row cover to help keep our friendly crows from eating all the seeds.  We’re waiting for a load of leaves with which we can mulch the remaining beds.

The cane berries were pruned during a rather soggy, but very effective pruning class on Saturday, October 21.  


A very nice pair of secateurs turned up during the cane berry pruning on Saturday.    If these belong to you, please come get them.  Otherwise, we will happily add them to the collection of Demo Garden tools.


Enjoy this week of lovely weather.

Hardy Souls

So first we cancelled, then we un-cancelled.  In spite of all the confusion, 12 MGs showed up and had a productive morning at the garden.  The weather was the pits complete with thunder and lightning, but we kept ourselves busy conferring about the next steps in the Annex and beginning indoor clean-up for winter.  Not much produce was harvested, but we cleaned the glue off the metal plant labels, began an inventory of our seed stock and generally tidied things up.  We have a couple of beds in which to sow cover crops on Monday and continuing clean-up in the greenhouse.  Do join us if you have the time.  We welcome all volunteers.

A Mystery Solved

Work report for 10/16/17

Eighteen Master Gardeners worked in the garden and the Annex today.  We were taking advantage of this warm sunny weather while it lasts. Harvest is winding down and we are concentrating on clean up and getting all the beds ready for winter.  There are a variety of methods being used to winterize, including leaf mulch, burlap bags, cover crops and bark mulch. If you would like to take a look, come by, we would love to show off all our hard work.

One discovery today were two mystery pods attached to the raised bed boards under the alyssum and oregano.  I am attaching two pictures. If you have an idea of what these are, let us know.  One of our Master Gardeners will be taking it to Interest Group so we will let you know what we find out.

We have some master insect identifiers out there. Linda Trujillo, Sally Campbell, Xuan Sibell and David Oberstein all identified the mystery pods as praying mantis egg sacks.  Thank your response and your expertise. ~ Gloria

We have some master insect identifiers out there. Linda Trujillo, Sally Campbell, Xuan Sibell and David Oberstein all identified the mystery pods as praying mantis egg sacks.  Thank your response and your expertise. ~ Gloria

Cool & Cloudy

Ten Master Gardeners showed up at the Demo Garden today – it was a little cool and cloudy at 9:00 AM but the sun was out by noon! We harvested almost 120 pounds (79 pounds of that were butternut squash from Bed A!) and donated 134 pounds when Master Gardener donations were added in. Beans, chard, kale, tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers rounded out the harvest. We have also started removing plants and trellises from some beds so we can begin winterizing them (covering with leaves and burlap or sowing winter cover crops).

The total harvest from the Demo Garden from March to the present (10/2/17) is 2,032 pounds; of that, 1,956 pounds were given to charities.  When donations from BUFA (62 lbs) and MGs’ personal gardens (274 lbs) are included, our donation total is 2,292 pounds to date.

Harvesting Continues

           In the Demo Garden, 11 Master Gardeners set aside their top layers of warm clothing as it became surprisingly hot and humid in the sunshine. Harvest continued, along with removal of spent plants in some of the beds. We sowed Monida oats in Beds M and N, the next step in our fight against symphylans, the tiny “garden centipedes” that feast on root hairs and destroy crops. Almost 17 pounds of winter squash boosted our harvest totals, but tomatoes still ranked the highest at more than 18 pounds. In all, we harvested 50 pounds of produce, and, with BUFA and MG contributions, we were able to donate 106 pounds to Kelly School and Meals on Wheels.
            Come join us any Monday or Thursday from 9:00 until about noon, 6801 SE 60th Avenue, Portland, across from Brentwood Park.
Happy cider season!
June Davidek, garden guru


Sharpen your secateurs! It's time to harvest!

The race is on… and we’re behind!

The annual race to harvest the most food from the demonstration garden is on. Last year, at the end of June, we had harvested 647 pounds of food to share with Meals on Wheels and the Kelly School SUN program. This year our total is 563 pounds. We’re 84 pounds behind!

Of course, last year was our all-time record, so maybe we shouldn’t feel too bad. Reviewing our harvest charts from last year, both cucumbers and some squash were harvested in the last week of June, and those guys are heavy.

We’re not giving up the race, though. We’ve got lots of good looking squash that will be ready soon, and of course tomatoes will begin to ripen during July. Check back next month to see if we’re catching up. A new record would be fun for us gardeners, and great for the places where we donate this good food!




240 Pounds through May

The Demonstration Garden  has harvested 240 pounds of produce so far this spring, and delivered it to the Kelly School SUN program or to Meals on Wheels. The beds are all looking nice at this point, and many of them are moving on to their second crop of the year. It will be a while until the tomatoes are ready, but we've started harvesting Strawberries, and Blueberries will be ready soon. Come help us garden on Monday or Thursday mornings, 9am - noon, at 6801 SE 60th Ave. We'd love to see you!

Over 2500 pounds! A Record!

It has been a good year for gardening! The spring weather welcomed early planting, and the many hot days contributed to early maturing of many vegetables. Still, we didn't expect such a difference! 

The Demonstration Garden grew almost 2700 pounds of vegetables, and donated 2557 pounds to our local food destinations, the SUN program at Kelly Elementary, and Meals on Wheels. In addition, we have been attracting other donations that we have delivered. Over 1000 pounds came from PSU, 225 pounds from the BUFA program, and 350 pounds from other sources, mostly Master Gardeners donating from their own gardens. Our total deliveries amounted to 4144 pounds. The two programs told us we definitely make a difference. Its a good feeling.

Perhaps even more remarkable, over 100 different people came to work in the garden this year. We've had many days when we've finished our tasks early, and historically that hasn't happened often. Also, many of this year's trainees have chosen not just to visit the garden, but to return week after week. This interest is a big part of what makes the demo garden crew optimistic about our ability to open an expansion garden at the Learning Gardens site.

The new area we are requesting is on Portland Parks & Recreation land, where we can offer classes and workshops. It is approximately twice the size of our existing garden, which will allow room for ornamental gardening, native plants, pollinator patches, shade gardens and more in addition to vegetable gardening. Our chapter has many folks who are interested in more than just vegies! Watch for more information on this as our efforts proceed.

1680 Pounds!

Wow! I hadn't realized what a big month August was at the garden. Just shy of 700 pounds in one short (ok, long) month. Of course, the heavyweights - Tomatoes, Squash, Cucumbers - are ripening like crazy, and that helps run up the numbers. Our total for the year at the end of August is 1680 pounds. This is quite likely to be our best year yet!

We've had a great mix of old hands and new blood at the garden this year. On the day of our annual tomato tasting (25 different varieties!), we took time to take the picture below. We hope you'll be in the picture next year!

2015 Demonstation Garden Crew

2015 Demonstation Garden Crew

The Magic Number for June is 632 !

632 pounds of organic vegies have been donated to Loaves and Fishes, and the Kelly School SUN program so far this year! Our output has been ramping up nicely, from 115 pounds in April, to 193 pounds in May, and 324 pounds in June. Keep in mind that we haven't started harvesting Tomatoes, Squash, Cucumbers or Potatoes - the "heavy weights" of the harvest.

In case you're thinking maybe it wasn't really an early spring, we are almost 200 pounds ahead of where we were at the end of June last year. It could be a new record! We really enjoy seeing the smiles from the folks at our donation places. It makes even weeding seem worthwhile (well...)

Come join us! 6801 SE 60th in Portland, every Monday and Thursday from 9am until Noon.

Berries are in Season

Pic Pint Berries.jpg

         Homemade jam anyone? We started harvesting strawberries and blueberries this May. Spring harvest included sugar snap peas, orange cauliflower (variety "cheddar hybrid"), white and red scallions, lettuce, and berries. These spring delectables are donated to area organizations- a school and a meal service. The current donation total is 308 lbs!

     Come join the harvest! It's a great way to share garden knowledge, earn hours, and learn about new varieties of plants. Did you know? Orange cauliflower is in. Volunteer hours are Monday and Thursday from 9am to noon. The next Saturday work day is June 20th.  Multnomah County Demo Garden is at 6801 SE 60th Ave. in Portland.



115 Pounds! Not bad for the month of April

The Demonstration Garden has already delivered 115 (ok, I exaggerate. It was only 114.75 pounds) of food to Kelly SUN program and to Loaves and Fishes. We're off to a good start for the year. The beds are looking great, and we're about ready to transition several of them to summer crops (tomatoes, peppers, squash). Come visit us and get your hands dirty!

Your thinking, "It's awfully early for carrots!". You're right, these are radishes. Its a new offering from Territorial called "Dragon". They are tasty, too!

Our 1st Delivery - 3.5 pounds

The Demonstration Garden is officially in business! We made our first delivery of the year to one of the food distribution places we serve. Three and a half pounds isn't much - mostly salad greens, but we're once again helping to feed hungry folks in SE Portland.

Some of the Demo Garden beds are looking incredibly attractive! Here's a picture of "Bed A".

Come help us make beautiful gardens and healthy food! We work every Monday and Thursday from 9 am to noon, and will also be working Saturday, April 18th and Saturday, May 9th. The garden is at 6801 SE 60th Avenue in Portland.

Plants Grow on Saturdays, Too!

After a not-so-subtle nudge from the Saturday Master Gardener Training Class, the crew at the Demonstration Garden has decided to open the garden for work on some Saturdays. The first two Saturday workdays will be April 18th, and May 9th. More Saturdays will be announced soon, but we need to line up "garden gurus" - folks willing to lead the garden work for the day - and to make sure there are enough veterans available to help new volunteers learn their way around.

Last year we ran several Saturday workdays, but got very few workers to join us. Some of the crew are a little dubious, but several of this year's trainees made the point that they had already attended a long series of full day Saturday classes, and for many of them, the weekend is the only time they have available to volunteer. OK! Let's make it work!

We'll be open from 9am until noon, April 18th and May 9th, with more Saturdays coming. Come out and join us! The garden is at 6801 se 60th Ave, across from the Brentwood Park. See you there!