Multnomah Speaker Series
Tuesday, November 14, 7pm • Tabor Space, 5441 SE Belmont St. Portland


Heavy Metals in Garden Soils

In 2016, the subject of heavy metals, especially in the Portland metro area, was an area of concern for many home owners. The words “heavy metals”, as they relate to health, always cause a lot of anxiety, especially for parents with young children. Should we be concerned? What is a heavy metal? Is it possible there could be some benefits from ingesting some types of heavy metals? These are questions to which many people seek answers. Please join us as Sam Angima, Oregon State University, talks about heavy metals in our gardening and landscape spaces.

Come and learn about arsenic, cadmium, iron, lead, chromium, copper, zinc, nickel, and mercury as they relate to your gardening and health expectations. We will discuss the major things you need to know about heavy metals, how to test your soils for heavy metals and whether all heavy metals in our soils are dangerous. 

Sam Angima, Oregon State University


Dr. Angima is an agronomist by profession and understands crop production processes and issues that hinder plant growth and health. His current role at Oregon State University as the Asst. Dean for Agricultural Extension is to work with all faculty and staff as well as community groups and businesses to ensure that the needs of communities are met as they relate to education. Dr. Angima’s history of strong and positive leadership is the mainstay of his administrative work along with his willingness to listen and discuss creative ideas that strengthen the OSU-community partnerships across Oregon.

Our Community Demonstration Garden

The Demo Garden is winding down for the year.  It’s been a very productive season, 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.  Sixty-eight MGs volunteered at least 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.

We’ve started work on the new Annex with building a shed, marking paths and beds and beginning to dig out the paths and mulch beds.  There is lots of work to be done in the Annex, so watch for notices of a work day when weather permits.  Donations of cardboard for lasagna mulching would be most appreciated.  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.

evergreen bough.jpg

Coming Up Next Month...
Winter Greens Gathering
Tuesday, December 12

TaborSpace, 5441 SE Belmont
6:30pm (note early start)

Spend an evening with fellow Master Gardeners. Enjoy sweet treats, lovely music and warm beverages, while Chapter gurus and friends offer guidance in making your wreath, swag, centerpiece or other creative decorations. 

We are excited that fellow Master Gardeners flutist, Lynda Hess and violinist, Sally Campbell will serenade our Greens Gathering with both familiar holiday tunes along with short Baroque-era classical duets.  Making for a truly special event.

Note: crafting is optional.  This is also a great evening just to come, listen to beautiful music and socialize. 

The Chapter will supply some greens, but we’d love to have cuttings from your garden to share, too:

  • Evergreen boughs,
  • incense cedar (a favorite!)
  • rosemary (15” stems work well in wreaths)
  • anything with berries (beauty berry, juniper, or nandina)
  • interesting cones or seedpods, attractive textures, variegation, or bark.

You’ll need decorating supplies – wreath rings, baskets, vases, or other items that can be used to create a beautiful winter arrangement/wreath or swag. Please bring items for yourself or extras that you would like to share.

The Chapter will have wire, oasis, and some ribbon.

Bring your own pruners, wire cutters, gloves, containers for arrangements and ribbon.

Multnomah County Master Gardeners - Contact us at:

Grapevine Editor—Lorna Schilling 503-334-5162,