Spiders are a great vehicle for studying biodiversity. They are among the most conspicuous and abundant terrestrial arthropods, yet much about them remains to be discovered. They spend time eating insects, decorate our world with gorgeous webs, and males dance to court females (seriously!). As if that’s not enough, they make silk fibers with remarkable material properties, and venoms rich in peptides and proteins that are not found anywhere else. Very few spiders have venoms that can hurt people, and even fewer are aggressive to humans. Join us as Greta Binford, Lewis and Clark College, will help us better understand these animals and their venoms, and the many unseen ways these animals contribute to our world.
Providing information on a range of gardening topics
Our speakers are horticultural experts speaking on a range of gardening and environmental topics. The events are free and all are welcome.
The Speaker Series is presented on the second Tuesday of the month, January through November.
January through June, and September through November the presentations take place at TaborSpace, 5441 SE Belmont Street, Portland.
July 2019 we move our Speaker Series to the Oregon Public House’s Village Ballroom, 704 NE Dekum Street, Portland.
All presentations begin at 7PM.
Marietta and Ernie O’Byrne’s book A Tapestry Garden – The Art of Weaving Plants and Place tells the story of creating their amazing private garden. It is considered to be one of America’s most outstanding private gardens. Filled with an incredible array of plants from around the world, the garden is renowned for its stunning patchwork of combinations and variety of habitats. Join us as Marietta and Ernie speak about creating the garden and take us on a pictorial tour of the exuberant 1½ acre wonderland that has everything: a shade garden, perennial borders, a chaparral garden, a kitchen garden and a collection of rare plants. Marietta and Ernie’s book will be for sale at this lecture (cash or check only).
The O’Byrnes, both have bachelor’s degrees in biology and are self-proclaimed “plant nerds”. Marietta’s love of gardening began when she was a young girl growing up in Germany. She also completed a two-year landscaping program at Lane Community College in the mid-‘70s. Ernie was raised in Colorado and California. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara and then worked at Manning Park in Montecito, where his tasks included planting and raising greenery as well as lots of pruning and raking. Marietta and Ernie met in the ‘70s after she (along with her two young children) settled in at the farm on Central Road. They quickly discovered their mutual interest in gardening and decided to join forces, both professionally and personally, and began developing their Northwest Garden.
After carefully tending your veggie plot all season, you are finally reaping the rewards with an abundant harvest. Now you need inspiration to bring your harvest to the table. Join Jim Dixon, a self-proclaimed “recovering” food writer, cook, and owner of Real Good Food. Jim says “Real good food isn’t magic. It takes time, practice, and the right ingredients.”
Come for an evening of inspiration as Jim guides us in using simple techniques to bring out the goodness of our harvests. Jim Dixon grew up eating anything and everything the Northwest offered, from Chinook salmon caught in the Pacific at the mouth of the Umpqua River to pie made from blackberries picked in the cut-over stump land around Roseburg. He wrote about food and reviewed restaurants for almost 20 years. His very first published article described how to use a propane torch to roast peppers. Jim’s written about home cooking, oysters, microbreweries, wild mushrooms, fresh pasta, cheap wine, barbecue, James Beard, sweetbreads, and almost anything else even remotely connected to eating and drinking. These days he calls himself a recovering food writer and accidental olive oil vendor. Jim believes that everybody should eat real good food. You don’t have to spend a fortune or most of your waking hours in the kitchen, but there are a few things to know that make it easier. You’ll find some of them on his website www.realgoodfood.com.
Our Speaker Series moves to a special location for July!
Where: Oregon Public House’s Village Ballroom
704 NE Dekum Street, Portland, OR
When: 6:00 PM Gather to share food and drink (no host menu and bar)
7:00 PM Speaker’s presentation
Shaun Townsend, Assistant Professor (Senior Research), Hop Breeding and Genetics, OSU
Come enjoy this special evening as Shaun Townsend, an Oregon State University hop breeder, will describe techniques for producing both ornamental and brewing hops for the home gardener. He will highlight site selection, trellising ideas, potential pest and pathogen problems, and the timing of harvest for home brewers. He will also share information on his Aroma Hop Breeding Program at OSU, which is developing new hop cultivars that are adapted to Oregon growing conditions, with a focus on essential oil quantity and quality. Ultimately, new aroma hop cultivars that appeal to the craft beer industry will be available for Oregon hop growers.
Shaun Townsend is an Assistant Professor (Senior Research) in the Hop Breeding and Genetics program at OSU. He has been with OSU since 1999. He works closely with the Food Science and Technology Department to characterize the chemical profile of breeding selections, evaluate new techniques for assessing the brewing potential of experimental genotypes and explore the role agronomic management might play in essential oil quantity and quality. Shaun also works closely with hop geneticists to identify and adapt new molecular biology technologies to hop breeding.
NOTE: Due to the historic nature of the building and the ballroom being on the second story, the entrance is not directly ADA accessible. The entrance to the ballroom has a couple of stairs, a walkway, and then more stairs. Once in the ballroom, all doorways are wide enough for ADA accessibility.
*MG Education Credit
Mace Vaughan, Xerces Society Pollinator Conservation Program Co-Director and Partner Biologist and Pollinator Conservation Specialist, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Pollinators are an indispensable part of a healthy environment and a secure food supply. One in three mouthfuls of food and beverages requires the presence of a pollinator. Despite their recognized importance, some pollinators are in decline. Join us as Mace Vaughan, of Xerces Society's Pollinator Conservation Program presents options for attracting native pollinators, with an overview of common native pollinators in the Portland area. Xerces Society materials will be available for purchase as well as copies of some of Mace's publications.
Mace Vaughan serves as The Xerces Society’s Pollinator Conservation Program Co-Director and also as a partner biologist and Pollinator Conservation Specialist with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Portland, Oregon. Mace has led Xerces’ Pollinator Conservation Program since 2003. During his tenure at the Xerces Society, the pollinator program has grown from a small pilot project on California farms to a national program, implementing pollinator and beneficial insect conservation projects across the U.S. Helping to oversee a team of twenty-four pollinator conservation specialists and several consultants, Mace helps to manage the largest pollinator conservation team in the country.
Mace has written numerous articles on the conservation of beneficial insects, and is co-author of several books, including Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies and Farming with Native Beneficial Insects. He was a lecturer on honey bee biology and beekeeping at Cornell University, from which he holds Degrees in Entomology, Natural Resource Management, and Teaching.
*Designated for 1 hr continuing garden education credit
Learn the facts regarding the pesticide glyphosate as Kaci Buhl, Oregon State Extension gives a detailed description of glyphosate, including its history, mode of action, and physical properties. Kaci will move into greater detail about its potential to cause cancer, reviewing several epidemiological studies, examining the odds ratios, and stepping into the risk-assessor’s shoes. In addition, Kaci will discuss recent news articles about glyphosate, and answer questions.
The monarch butterfly lays its eggs exclusively on the milkweed plant (Asclepias spp.), and the monarch larvae only feed on milkweed. With land development and shifting management practices, we have lost much of the milkweed from the landscape. Monarch “waystations” are being created - small areas of pollinator habitat that monarchs can visit for nectar, larval food, and egg-laying during their spring and summer breeding periods. Tom Landis, a retired forester and nursery specialist, will describe his efforts over the past 5 years in the Rogue Valley to create monarch waystations, sharing both successes and failures. Through his efforts with three milkweeds native to western Oregon and many other nectar plants, he has learned which are most effective in attracting monarchs and other pollinators. He will highlight both the native plants that can be the backbone of pollinator gardens and selected non-natives and cultivars that can be valuable additions.
Gather at 6:30pm presentation at 7:00pm
Willi will sell and sign copies of her book “Grow. Cook. Eat.” before and after the presentation.
Homegrown food tastes best, especially when you follow some simple strategies for maximizing the flavor of your garden’s fruit and vegetables. Join us as Willi Galloway, the author of Grow Cook Eat: A Food Lovers’ Guide to Vegetable Gardening, will talk about the science behind flavor and share simple cultivation, harvest and storage techniques for improving the taste of your vegetables. Plus, she will offer tips on harvesting vegetables at different stages, discuss unusual edibles, and share her thoughts on the best tasting varieties for Portland vegetable gardens.
How I Grow 40 fruit trees, raspberries, marionberries, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, and currants on my 60- by 100-foot city lot
With Glen Andresen, urban gardening expert and educator
One doesn’t need a lot of space-or time- to grow fruit in the city, and this presentation offers proof! By using appropriate rootstock, espaliered apples and pears, summer pruning, efficient trellising, an innovative homemade irrigations system, compost, and remarkably pampered soil, Glen Andresen has managed to cram a lot of garden into his garden (and freezer). His presentation will concentrate on the labor-saving gardening principles and techniques he has pioneered and embraced so he doesn’t burn out as a gardener.
Since 1994, Glen Andresen has been Metro’s lead natural gardening educator. His program offers presentations and information on how to have healthy yards and gardens without the use of synthetic pesticides. Glen took the Master Gardener training in 1991. Glen is an avid beekeeper who has approximately 60 colonies of bees; last year his city bees produced more than 3,500 pounds of honey. He teaches backyard organic beekeeping classes through Portland Community College and in 2013, Glen co-founded Bridgetown Bees, a project whose goal is to selectively breed and raise honey bee queens in the city of Portland that can survive our winters without needing treatment for Varroa mites. He also is the host of the long-running one-hour edible gardening show, The Dirtbag, heard the second Wednesday of each month at 11 a.m. on community radio station KBOO, at 90.7 FM in Portland. Glen is a fifth generation Oregonian. He has degrees in economics and music, but still would rather play in the dirt.
Though gardening is part art and part science, we shouldn’t take artistic license with the science part and defy the kind of sound information that can help us succeed. Linda Chalker-Scott has been scouring the scientific literature, testing horticultural products under controlled, scientific conditions to support or disprove marketing claims, and challenging and disproving garden myths for years.
Linda Chalker-Scott is currently Extension Urban Horticulturist at Puyallup Research and Extension center of Washington State University (WSU). She is an ISA certified arborist, an ASCA consulting arborist, and an award-winning author. In addition to her role at WSU, she also teaches at the University of Washington. Linda has published extensively in the scientific literature and in popular magazines including American Nurseryman, Organic Gardening, and Fine Gardening. Her books include The Informed Gardener, (2008) and the 2010 sequel, The Informed Gardener Blooms Again (2010), Sustainable Landscapes And Gardens: Good Science - Practical Applications (2009), and How Plants Work: The Science Behind The Amazing Things Plants Do (2015). She is one of the coordinators of the popular blog, The Garden Professors.
*Presentation counts as 1-hour Master Gardener continuing education credit
What’s a dedicated gardener to do as winter approaches and the gardening pace slows down? Attend the Multnomah Chapter’s first annual Garden Book Bash to discover new books to expand your garden knowledge and garner inspiration to fuel your passion!
Prepare to be inspired as Tom Fischer, acquisitions editor at Timber Press, shares his keen, discerning reviews of recently published gardening books. Browse through a selection of some of the best gardening books of the year. Purchase the gems you find as gifts for yourself or for family and friends. All books will be offered at a special Garden Book Bash discounted price! Learn more…
Unlocking the Secrets in Your Soil - an introduction to Soil Health*
Tuesday September 11th, 2018 at 7pm
With Cory Owens, Natural Resources Conservation Service, State Soil Scientist and Soil Health Coordinator
Soil is a living and life-giving natural resource. Protecting this valuable resource is of vital importance, and, as gardeners, we each can do our part. Join us, as Cory Owens with the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), gives us a better understanding of the soil food web and practical approaches to implementing the principles of Soil Health. Read more…
Free event. All welcome!
* Presentation counts as 1-hour continuing education/recertification credit for Master Gardeners.
With Katherine Deumling
Regularly cooking from scratch is often seen as time consuming, complicated and just plain unrealistic for our busy lives. Katherine Deumling (Cook With What You Have) sees it as a way to simplify and beautify your life--a creative, delicious and even meditative part of daily life. Cooking with our extraordinary local fruits and vegetables is a treat for the senses and our health and a real connection to our soil, climate and place. Join us as Katherine demonstrates and shares techniques and recipes to make delicious meals with ease.
Katherine owns the local business Cook With What You Have to share her joy of cooking vegetable-centered meals with fresh, seasonal produce. Her recent year of breast cancer treatment made it even more apparent that we all need tools to nourish ourselves, our loved ones and those in need.
Preparing delicious, creative meals with fresh vegetables and pantry staples can be simple, fun and rewarding. Take control of your kitchen, health and budget and cook with what you have! Cook with What You Have’s Seasonal Recipe Collection offers simple, flexible recipes, templates and tips to make the most of seasonal produce and combine them with basic pantry staples for every day meals.
Katherine studied food and culture in Italy and Mexico (on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship) and grew up in Germany. She has worked in restaurants; however, her primary experience comes from feeding groups of people on the fly in many settings with whatever was available. These experiences have broadened her notion of what constitutes a meal and her repertoire of dinner ideas beyond the classic meat, potatoes, vegetable trio.
She is an emeritus board member of Slow Food USA and was the leader of Slow Food Portland from 2003 to 2008. She is an ambassador for Oxfam’s Sisters on the Planet Initiative. Locally she is part of the Culinary Breeding Network and a board member of Zena Forest Products, a family forest and sawmill operation. She is an avid (and very mediocre) gardener, cook and food activist, living in Portland (Oregon) with her husband and 11-year old son.
Paul Sanford, Natural Gardening Education Specialist, Metro
The August speaker series will be held at the Demonstration Garden, 6801 SE 60th Avenue, gather at 6:30pm, presentation at 7pm. After the presentation, please plan on taking time to visit the Annex to see the impressive progress made so far this year.
Do you have little ones in your life that you would like to introduce to gardening? Join us as Paul Sanford, Metro, suggests ideas for designing kid friendly sections of your garden, ways that you can foster their curiosity for plants and garden critters, and methods for making gardening fun.
Paul Sanford has been an educator for Metro since 2004 and is also a lifelong local gardener. He has designed and led natural gardening education programs for families at numerous outreach events and at Metro’s demonstration gardens at Blue Lake Park and the Oregon Zoo. Metro’s natural gardening programs teach people of all ages safe and healthy methods of gardening that avoid the use of toxic gardening products.
Food security requires that all people at all times have the ability to access enough safe, nutritious food for an active, healthy life, and that they can do so in personally and socially acceptable ways. Learn how Providence Milwaukie’s Community Teaching Kitchen and Oregon Food Bank’s Seed to Supper program have teamed up to create healthier communities together. We will demonstrate how much can be accomplished by creative partnerships, an engaged medical community and garden education program, and passionate volunteers to address a community need.
Join our Speaker Series on Tuesday, July 10th, as Heidi Davis, Community Teaching Kitchen, Providence Milwaukie Hospital and Devin Dinihanian, Statewide Seed to Supper Coordinator for the Oregon Food Bank - share how the two organizations are partnering for a healthier community.
In a rapidly urbanizing world, gardens will play an increasingly important role in community food security, climate moderation, and biodiversity conservation. In cities, gardens provide important opportunities to interact with the natural world and to experience new foods.
Join Gail Langellotto, Oregon State Univeristy, as she present the latest research on ecosystem services provided by gardens, and tips that you can use to make your garden a lean, mean ecosystem-service machine.
There is so much more to a garden than flowers. Foliage colors and textures are just as critical to a beautiful garden as flower colors. In a 'show and tell' format, Carol Westergreen, owner of Out in the Garden Nursery, will bring, show, and talk about some wonderful plants that have fantastic foliage, many that are the Drama Queens of the Garden. Carol will introduce you to some of her favorite bold plants like Ligularia, Rodgersia, Aralia, and Edgeworthia and convince you that you need some of these beauties for your gardens!
Did you know Oregon has 500 species of bees, including four species that are actively managed in ingenious ways for crop pollination? Come and learn who these bees are and some of the weird and wonderful features of their lives (you will leave knowing five very cool bees that are frequent visitors in our gardens and backyards). The talk will also provide an overview of a state-wide strategy to keep Oregon bee-friendly, a strategy that leverages the patchwork of gardens, pollinator-friendly crops and adjacent natural areas in order to build on our state’s rich endowment of bee biodiversity.
Up to a 50% reduction in summer water availability is predicted in Oregon within 50 years. It will be critical for the viability of farms in our region and the security of our food system to increase knowledge and awareness of methods of crop production that require little or no irrigation. To initiate this project, a Dry Farming Demonstration was established in Corvallis, Oregon in 2015. This demonstration expanded to three OSU sites in 2016 and more than 10 farms in Western Oregon hosted dry farming trials via the Dry Farming Collaborative.
“A Food Forest is a human-designed, edible forest ecosystem. Imagine wandering through a flourishing forest where almost every plant is edible...” say Melissa and Teague Cullen, the organic farmers behind the Winslow Food Forest, located here in Portland.
Food Forestry is the practice of growing and maintaining intentionally designed ecosystems focusing on perennial food-producing plants and their companions. Join us as Teague Cullen, highlights some of the methods and practicalities of installing and working with these systems to fit the growers’ needs.
A gardener’s plant choices and garden style are inextricably linked to the place they call home. To grow a flourishing garden, every gardener must know the specifics of their region’s climate, soil, and geography. Join us as Paul Bonine, co-author of the new Timber Press book, “Gardening in the Pacific Northwest” shares his extensive experience and insight into successful gardening in the Pacific Northwest. Paul will bring books for sale.
Paul is a garden writer, lecturer, and co-owner of the wholesale and retail specialty plant nursery Xera Plants, in Portland, Oregon. A lifelong plantsman, Paul has worked in the nursery industry for nearly twenty years and has consulted for NPR, the Sunset Western Garden Book, and The Oregonian.
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.
The autumn equinox passes and the heat and parched landscapes of summer make way for fall rain and the glory of autumn color in the well-planned garden. Join us as Norm Jacobs, co-owner of Arbutus Garden Arts highlights the potential for a glorious fall landscape. Find inspiration as Norm shares his beautiful images of Japanese maples, dwarf conifers, enkianthus, cornus, hamamelis, and more plants that shine as the days grow shorter.
Traditionally our September Speaker Series is a presentation that highlights and inspires gardeners to utilize our harvest and bring it to the table in tasty ways. This year we are in for a special treat as Paul Moss, chef and Higgins Restaurant, and our very own Jordis Yost, OSU Extension Service Master Gardener Program Coordinator present "Cooking Up the Harvest".
Come for some culinary inspiration!
Contrary to its reputation as the land of perpetual rainfall, our western Oregon climate is really temperate Mediterranean, with a warm, dry summer. Many popular landscape plants require regular summer irrigation for best performance, and, as any homeowner knows, irrigation systems and water are quite expensive. In addition, there are homeowners in rural areas that depend on water-limited wells and may not be able to water extensively. Fortunately, no gardener needs to forgo a lush, year-round landscape just because they can’t water, they simply need to choose plants adapted to summer drought. Northwest Plant Evaluations was started in 2000 to identify a palette of shrubs suitable for low-input, un-irrigated landscapes in the Willamette Valley. Plants in these evaluations are not watered, sprayed or pruned for the duration. In collaboration with Heather Stoven, evaluations have been completed on Ceanothus, Cistus, Halimium, and Grevillea. Join us, on June 11th as Neil Bell, OSU Extension Service, shares insight from the NW Plant Evaluations, including the evaluation of 75 selections of Arctostaphylos (manzanitas) at the OSU North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora.
*This presentation counts for 1 hour garden education/recertification credit.
Every gardener knows that, despite our best efforts, eventually something will go wrong in the garden. The trick is, first, to accurately diagnose the problem and, second, to find a safe solution that protects the gardener as well as the garden. An accurate diagnosis is important. A gardener needs to know whether he or she is dealing with spider mites or aphids, powdery mildew or bacterial blight, insufficient water or root rot. Knowing what kind of pest, disease, or disorder is affecting the garden is important to find a safe and effective solution.
*Presentation counts as 1 hour garden education/recertification credit.
Lilla and John Leach, both pioneer descendants, were a remarkable couple by any measure. Lilla was a passionate amateur botanical explorer, who, with John and their two burros as companions, ventured deep into the mountain ranges of the Pacific NW, discovering five plants new to science. Beginning in the 1930s, their lives focused on their estate and gardens at ‘Sleepy Hollow’, where they lived happily until the 1970s. John was a successful pharmacist, civic leader, metal worker and story teller. In 1981 their estate became a Portland Park facility and has served the community ever since with beautiful plantings, trails and unexpected discoveries. Run by the non-profit Leach Garden Friends, classes, lectures, tours and events take place year round at the Garden. In 2018, PP&R and the Friends intend to complete new facilities, plant collections, and experiences for the public, more than doubling the Garden’s developed acreage. Porter takes his audience from the early Leach love story through the evolution and development of the Garden’s public existence, with a closing preview of the coming improvements.
As the days get longer and the rain becomes a bit gentler, edible gardeners want to get growing. Even in March, you can get a lot of your edible garden started! Join us as, guest speaker and author, Bill Thorness shows us how! Learn about preparing the beds, planning your planting succession, using simple season extension techniques to start and protect your tender spring crops, and what will sprout and grow in our early-season climate.
Backyard ponds help create a network of green space that provides refuge and connectivity between habitat patches in urban landscapes. Urban ponds can be quality habitat for many aquatic insects, including dragonflies, damselflies, beetles, and bugs, whose presence, in turn, creates a food-rich oasis for birds and amphibians.
Join us on February 14th as Celeste A. Searles Mazzacano, Ph.D., owner of CASM Environmental LLC., shares how pond restoration and creation increases dragonfly and damselfly diversity and abundance, provides refuges for both common and locally rare species, and helps local populations thrive in an urban setting. You will also learn about all the different elements needed to create a pond that will make dragonflies and damselflies eager to call your own back yard "home".
With Carol Adelman, owner, Adelman Peony Nursery
Luscious, large peony blooms glisten in the spring sunshine, bringing color to the garden and pushing away the gray of winter. Grandma loved them for their few demands and long life. Brides pick them for their beauty, size and colors. Join us as Carol Adelman, owner of Adelman Peony Nursery, presents a photo-filled talk covering where and how to plant, disease control, and how to grow the largest blooms. The four types of peonies will be reviewed, along with introduction to landscape-friendly peonies that don’t tip in the rain.
Sometimes we get a little lost in our planning and decision making in the garden. What is the best way to lay out a design, prepare the soil, manage garden waste, solve pest problems, or provide appropriate watering, or ...the questions are endless, and they can beoverwhelming. "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry". To help us keep a clear view, Doug Spiro, Spiro Landscapes, will present An Eight-Fold Path of Sustainable Landscaping. It is a systematic approach to creating and managing beautiful, healthy landscapes that conserve water, reduce waste and pollution, and provide many other benefits. We will learn general principles that give us an overview and specific practices that show us steps to take on the path toward more sustainable landscaping.
Growing your own apples and pears at home in an urban environment can be a rewarding and delicious experience - if you know what you're doing! Join us as Monica Maggio of Core Home Fruit covers how to select the best site, choose the best trees, and deliver the best care for a beautiful and abundant harvest of apples and pears! Depending upon availability, some of Monica's favorite Willamette Valley apple and pear varieties will be featured for tasting following the lecture.