Friday, June 12, 2020

Fruit Production 101

CCMGA IS PROUD TO PRESENT TO MEMBERS AND THE PUBLIC:
A Zoom presentation of Lecturer - Dr. Clive Kaiser - Interim Director of the Hermiston Agricultural Research & Extension Center.
Password: 890704
Phone Dial-In Information
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
+1 971 247 1195 US (Portland)
Meeting ID: 973 9374 0753
Password: 890704
Please invite friends to join us in viewing this free lecture. Let’s learn all we can about growing and caring for our fruit trees in the PNW.
Clive Kaiser, a native of South Africa, began his Horticultural Science and Botany educational experiences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and 2019 has achieved full Professorship. Clive’s research has focused on producing food grade edible plant coatings that reduce fruit cracking, prevent insects from laying eggs, and prevention of leaf and fruit moisture loss. His pursuit of Horticulture and Botany has taken him to Australia and New Zealand - working with Organic Certification. And now, Oregon has been fortunate to have attracted Clive: his focus has been one of orchard fruit production and he has co-authored 3 registered patents with OSU.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

2020 CCMGA Scholarship

Three exceptional students applied for the 2020 CCMGA Scholarship.  The Scholarship Committee has completed their evaluations and the results are as follows:

Baylee McSwain - Astoria High School
Awarded $1000.00

Leo Matthews - Astoria High School
Awarded $500.00

Abigail Albright - Astoria High School
Awarded $500.00

CONGRATULATIONS BAYLEE, LEO AND ABIGAIL!!

Monday, May 11, 2020

FOOD SECURITY | PLANT POTATOES AND PARSNIPS

As a substitute for in-person programming, we’re offering a series of posts on starting a vegetable garden. This science-based information comes from the Seed to Supper program, developed by the Oregon Food Bank.

Along Oregon's North Coast, this week is a good time to plant potatoes and parsnips. Parsnips are best planted from seed; for potatoes, use seed potatoes purchased from farm or gardening stores. Potatoes make good companion plantings for beans, corn, marigolds, horseradish, and members of the brassica (cabbage) family.

"Suitable companions provide benefits such as nitrogen fixation, production of invigorating exudates, repelling or trapping of insect and other pests, and weed suppression, among other benefits," says Leonard Githinji, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Sustainable and Urban Agriculture, Virginia State University.

Like carrots, parsnips are short plants. They have a 3" x 3" footprint and can handle some shade. They're best planted in April and May and will be ready for harvest 110 - 120 days later. Parsnips are good succession plantings - plant more every week or two to spread out the harvest. Tender when small or medium-sized, parsnips become woody if they grow too large. Parsnips are sweetest after exposure to 40 degrees F or below.

To harvest parsnips, loosen soil, grasp at base of leaves, and gently pull. To store, dust off, cut tops, and store for two to six months in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Potatoes are medium-high plants that comes in many varieties. Mature plants need a 12" x 12" footprint. Some shade is okay. Potatoes can be planted through June. They're generally planted in hills (groups), not rows. To prevent disease, cut seed potatoes, one or two "eyes" to a piece, then leave out overnight before planting eye-side up.

As potato plants grow, you can hill up dirt around the stem and leaves closest to the soil to encourage more growth. When plants flower, you can harvest new potatoes by loosening the soil around a plant with a digging fork. For full-sized potatoes, wait until above-ground parts of the plant die back and harvest the entire bed. Green potatoes have been exposed to too much sun and could cause digestive problems

To store potatoes, wipe off dirt, cure in a cool place for 10 days, then store for six to eight months in a cool, dark place. Don't store in the refrigerator; at temperatures that cold, potatoes lose flavor.

To cook parsnips, try this Food Hero recipe for roasted parsnips and carrots. Potatoes can be roasted, too, following similar directions; because they're softer, they'll take less time. 


Monday, May 4, 2020

FOOD SECURITY | PLANT KALE AND LEEKS

As a substitute for in-person programming, we’re offering a series of posts on starting a vegetable garden. This science-based information comes from the Seed to Supper program, developed by the Oregon Food Bank.

Along Oregon's North Coast, this week is a good time to plant kale and leeks. These vegetables can be planted from seed or as transplants. A member of the brassica (cabbage) family, kale makes a good companion planting for celery, beets, chard, and the allium (onion) family, including leeks. In addition to kale, leeks make good companions for carrots, lettuce, and beets.

"Suitable companions provide benefits such as nitrogen fixation, production of invigorating exudates, repelling or trapping of insect and other pests, and weed suppression, among other benefits," says Leonard Githinji, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Sustainable and Urban Agriculture, Virginia State University.

Leeks are relatively short. They have a 4" x 4" footprint and can handle some shade. For tender white stems, mound soil around the base when the plants are thick as pencils. Plan on harvesting leeks from August through November, or within 120 days of planting. Harvest when leeks are one to two inches wide. Loosen soil with a garden tool, then gently wiggle the leek loose.

To store leeks, wipe off soil, then trim roots and all but 1”-2” of green leaves. Store for one to three months in a bag in the fridge.

Kale is a medium-high plant that comes in many varieties; leaves can be smooth, bumpy, lacey, green, purple, or silvery. Mature plants need a 12" x 12" footprint. Some shade is okay. Kale can be planted through July; it matures within 60- 70 days of planting.

A cut-and-come-again plant, kale can be harvested year-round. Cut or twist leaves off the outer stems close to the stalk. Kale stores 10-14 days in a bag in the fridge. Strip out tough stem before using. If you're concerned that kale will taste bitter, massage the leaves by scrunching them in your hands for a minute or two, then rinse in running water.

Kale chips make a delicious, nutritious snack. To add variety to this Food Hero recipe, consider adding nutritional yeast, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and a pinch of cayenne to taste.






Monday, April 27, 2020

FOOD SECURITY | LETTUCE AND CHARD

As a substitute for in-person programming, we’re offering a series of posts on starting a vegetable garden. This science-based information comes from the Seed to Supper program, developed by the Oregon Food Bank.

Along Oregon's North Coast, this week is a good time to plant lettuce and chard. These vegetables can be planted from seed or as transplants. Lettuce makes a good companion plant for carrots, radish, celery, and cucumber. Chard is a good companion for plants in the brassica (cabbage) family.

"Suitable companions provide benefits such as nitrogen fixation, production of invigorating exudates, repelling or trapping of insect and other pests, and weed suppression, among other benefits," says Leonard Githinji, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Sustainable and Urban Agriculture, Virginia State University.

Of medium height, chard has a 12" x 12" footprint. It can handle some shade. Plan on harvesting chard within 50 - 60 days of harvest. Chard is edible at any size - you can eat chard thinnings as “baby chard.” When mature, chard is a “cut-and-come-again” crop: Harvest the outer leaves, and more will grow!

Chard stores two to three days in a bag in the fridge. Chard greens cook faster than stems, so chop the stems and braise in a bit of liquid, then add the greens. 

Lettuce is a short plant that comes in many varieties. It can be transplanted but is easily grown from seed; in either case, mature plants need a 6" x 6" footprint. Depending on the variety, lettuce matures within 65 - 80 days of planting. Some shade is okay. Lettuce is great for succession planting - plant a row every week or two, and you'll have lettuce all summer long.

Like chard, "leaf” lettuce (easier to grow than head lettuce) is ready for harvest at any size, and it's an excellent cut-and-come-again crop. Head lettuce is ready when it forms a tight, compact head
clip head at soil level. Lettuce will “bolt” in hot weather, growing tall from the middle. Bolted lettuce is edible, but it tastes bitter

Store lettuce for two to three weeks in a bag in the fridge.

Click here for a Food Hero pasta recipe that features chard.


Monday, April 20, 2020

FOOD SECURITY | RADISHES AND CABBAGE

As a substitute for in-person programming, we’re offering a series of posts on starting a vegetable garden. This science-based information comes from the Seed to Supper program, developed by the Oregon Food Bank.

Along Oregon's North Coast, this week is a good time to plant radishes and cabbage. Radishes are best planted from seeds; cabbage can be planted from seed or as transplants. Cabbage makes a good companion plant for celery, onion, beets, spinach, and chard. Radish is a good companion for lettuce and cucumber. 

"Suitable companions provide benefits such as nitrogen fixation, production of invigorating exudates, repelling or trapping of insect and other pests, and weed suppression among other benefits," says Leonard Githinji, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Sustainable and Urban Agriculture, Virginia State University. 

Planted now, cabbage can be harvested July-November. If planted in summer, it can be harvested from November through April. Slugs and snails love cabbage, so make sure to use control methods for these pests. You can set out a board where they'll congregate and then flush them into salt water, or you can use a product like Sluggo.  

Harvest cabbage when the heads are compact and firm, before they begin to open. The
size and shape can vary. Cut the stem close to the head. After cutting, edible "cabbage sprouts” may grow from the stump.

Wrapped in plastic, cabbage can be stored in the fridge three to six weeks. Cabbage can be sauteed, eaten raw in coleslaws, and fermented into sauerkraut.

Radishes grow quickly and do best in cool weather. They work well in succession plantings, meaning that you can plant a row every week or two in order to extend the harvest. The harvest season for spring plantings is April through June; for late summer plantings, harvest September through November. 

Available in a variety of shapes and colors, radishes are ready within about a month of planting. Harvest when the roots are about ½”-1” wide. Hold greens at soil level and gently wiggle loose. Remove tops and store five to six days in a bag in the fridge. Radishes can be sliced into salads or sauteed in butter.

Here, a Food Hero recipe for Cabbage Stir Fry.






Monday, April 13, 2020

PLANT THIS WEEK | PEAS AND CARROTS


As a substitute for in-person programming, we’re offering a series of posts on starting a vegetable garden. This science-based information comes from the Seed to Supper program, developed by the Oregon Food Bank.

Along Oregon's North Coast, this week is a good time to plant peas and carrots. Both are planted from seeds, not transplants. Besides tasting good when eaten together, peas and carrots make good companion plants. 

"Suitable companions provide benefits
such as nitrogen fixation, production of invigorating exudates, repelling or trapping of
insect and other pests, and weed suppression among other benefits," says Leonard Githinji, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Sustainable and Urban Agriculture, Virginia State University. 

In our region, carrots can be planted from January through June, and again in late summer for fall and winter harvests (in cool temperatures, carrots get sweeter as they grow). Peas can be planted from January to August. 

Both are good candidates for succession planting. With succession planting, you plant a row or two every week or two in order. Succession planting provides for harvesting throughout the growing season so you aren't overwhelmed with too much of the same kind of vegetable all at once. 

The harvest season for carrots planted in the spring is July through November. Harvest when carrots are at least one-half inch wise. You can brush dirt from the top of the carrot to check its width. Carrots become bitter and woody if they get too large; they may also split. To harvest carrots, hold leaves close to the root (the edible part) and wiggle. Loosen soil first to avoid breaking the root. If you use a trowel, work the soil away from the carrot to avoid slicing the root.

To store carrots, cut off the tops and store in a bag in the fridge for four to six months. Sliced in sticks, carrots make tasty, healthy snacks. Shredded, they make a nice addition to salads and baked goods such as carrot cake. Carrots can also be steamed, sauteed, and roasted.

Peas are harvested from May through July. You'll get the most mileage out of snap and sugar peas, which both have edible pods. Harvest snap peas when the pods begin to fill out. Harvest snow peas when the peas are just barely visible through the skin. In the height of the growing season, harvest every day or two so that the pods don't get woody and the peas too large. To harvest, hold the vine with one hand and gently pull the pod off the vine with the other. 

In a bag in the fridge, peas will keep one to three weeks in the fridge. Peas with edible pods make great snacks. They also make a nice addition to stir fry dishes or seasoned and sauteed.

Here, a Food Hero recipe for Glazed Peas and Carrots.