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Seed to Supper


Seed to Supper is a comprehensive beginning gardening course series that gives novice, adult gardeners the tools they need to successfully grow a portion of their own food on a limited budget.

Developed by Oregon Food Bank in cooperation with the Oregon State University Extension Service, Seed to Supper is offered throughout the state of Oregon in collaboration with community-based Host Agencies and Satellite Partners. Clatsop County Master Gardeners Association (CCMGA) is a Satellite Partner.

If you would like to join our email list to receive information about volunteering, host agency arrangements, or enrolling in an upcoming Seed to Supper class series, please complete this form.

For more information email debvanasse@gmail.com.

This curriculum is designed for adults gardening on a budget. While there are no specific income guidelines for participants, we prioritize partnerships with Host Agencies that serve community members living on low incomes.

Classes will cover the following topics: garden site preparation and soil health, garden planning, planting, maintenance, and harvest.

Classes are taught by trained volunteer Garden Educators, typically in teams of two.

Each course series includes approximately 12 hours of class time, typically divided into six two-hour sessions held at the same time each week for 6 consecutive weeks.

Each course has 8-15 participants who commit to attending all classes in the series.

Interactive, classroom-based lessons are designed to be taught indoors during the rainy season in order to prepare participants for spring gardening. The program includes built-in flexibility to incorporate hands-on activities, but Host Agencies are not required to have on-site gardens in order to offer this course.

Class participation, course booklets, certificates of completion and gardening supplies are provided to class participants at no charge.

COVID-19 Pandemic Update 

Due to the social distancing currently in place, OSU has proved the Seed to Supper class in an online form:

Seed to Supper ONLINE

All 2020 and 2021 Clatop County in person Seed to Supper classes are cancelled.  Please read our FOOD SECURITY Blog below for more information on growing food on a budget. 

2019 Seed to Supper Class


Food Security Blog

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  • June 12, 2020 1:44 PM | Ryan Ewing

    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, early spring 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. 

  • June 12, 2020 1:43 PM | Ryan Ewing

    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, kale and leeks grow well and can be planted in late summer and early fall for winter harvest or in early spring. Both tolerate the cold well. 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.

  • June 12, 2020 1:42 PM | Ryan Ewing

    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, lettuce and chard can be grown almost year round, plant in late summer or early fall, or in the early spring. 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.

  • June 12, 2020 1:42 PM | Ryan Ewing

    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.

  • June 12, 2020 1:40 PM | Ryan Ewing

    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, early spring 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.

  • June 12, 2020 1:40 PM | Ryan Ewing

    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. During these difficult times, the Oregon Food Bank welcomes your donations.

    OSU is also offering its 
    vegetable gardening class online.

    When planted at an optimum time, some vegetables will be ready to harvest in short order. Radishes and some leafy greens, such as arugula, are fast growing. Fast-growing plants can be replanted after harvest, a practice called succession planting. Other plants, such as carrots and kale, can be planted in the spring for a summer harvest and then planted again in late summer for winter and spring harvesting. Garlic is planted in the fall for harvesting in June.

    Harvesting guidelines for basil, beans, and beets:

    Basil is harvested July-September. Harvest when leaves are 3-6”, and deep green or purple. Harvest a few leaves at a time to encourage growth, and pinch off flowers. Basil can be stored seven days in a cup of water, like cut flowers, or in an airtight bag in the fridge, or blended with veggie oil and frozen in ziploc bag.

    Snap beans (green beans) can be harvested July-September. Spread out the harvest season by planting rows two weeks apart. Harvest when thick as a pencil, but before pods fill out. Hold the plant and pull bean off with other hand. Harvest encourages growth. Be sure to look underneath leaves. If you miss some pods and they fill out, let them dry on the plant, then save and replant next year. Store fresh beans for seven to ten days in a plastic bag in the fridge.

    Beets can be harvested June-March. Watch for “shoulders” where the tops of the beet protrude a bit above the soil line. Beets are edible at any size; smaller is more tender. To harvest, wiggle or loosen soil with a trowel. Beet greens are edible; cook as you would any greens. Don’t wash beets before storing. With greens, store one to two weeks in a bag in the fridge. Without greens, they’ll keep three to five months.

    Next up: Harvest broccoli, cabbage, and carrots

  • June 12, 2020 1:39 PM | Ryan Ewing

    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. During these difficult times, the Oregon Food Bank welcomes your donations.

    OSU is also offering its 
    vegetable gardening class online .

    When is the best time to deal with disease and other plant problems? Before you put anything in the ground!

    Start with healthy soil and healthy plants. Healthy plants have fewer problems. Protect your plants by giving them what they need: sunlight, water, air, and nutrients.

    Choose disease-resistant plant varieties. Check seed catalogs and seed packets to see which varieties are resistant.

    When problems do arise, don’t automatically blame pests and disease. Most problems are caused by human error, such as planting in the wrong spot, overwatering, or not using enough fertilizer. Even something as simple as a cat running through the garden or pesticide drifting from a neighbor’s yard can also cause problems that you might think are being caused by an insect or disease.

    You’ll enjoy gardening more if you set a tolerance level by deciding how much damage you can live with. A few holes in the leaves don’t mean the whole plant is going to die. You might come to see a few holes as a sign of your garden’s healthy ecosystem.

    To assess whether your plants are diseased, consult the online PNW Plant Disease Handbook. If you suspect a fungal disease, neem oil is an effective, safe and environmentally friendly fungicide. It’s minimally toxic and safe to use on food gardens. Neem oil is good for managing fungus on tomatoes and melons, and smothering soft-bodied insects like aphids, mites and white flies.

    Next up: Succession planting

  • June 12, 2020 1:38 PM | Ryan Ewing

    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. During these difficult times, the Oregon Food Bank welcomes your donations.

    OSU is also offering its 
    vegetable gardening class online.

    Weeds are just plants growing in the wrong place, but they compete with your crops for sunlight, water, nutrients, and space. This can be a big problem, especially when crops are still young and small.

    Weeds can also bring pests and diseases into your garden. Controlling weeds gives your plants a better chance to succeed. Weed seeds can stay alive for years and will come to the surface when you begin to work the soil. Removing weeds before they make seeds will save you time and work in the years to come.

    The easiest way to control weeds is to stop them from getting started in the garden in the first place. Start with a well-prepared seedbed, which means getting rid of all weeds before you plant. 

    Organic mulches help control weeds and add compost to the soil as they break down.  Materials like shredded leaves, straw, compost, and weighted-down cardboard or newspaper all work as mulch. (A few types of leaves, like walnuts, oaks and cottonwoods, can stunt the growth of crop plants. Avoid these in the garden.) Mulch keeps the soil loose, so weeds that do come up will be easier to pull.  Add 2 to 3 inches of mulch to smother weeds.

    When plants are as close together as they can be, their outer leaves touch and form an umbrella that shades out weeds. On the other hand, close spacing can make it harder to find weeds that do grow.  When plants are spaced closely, you need to pull weeds by hand because hoeing could damage your crop.

    Just like crops, weeds need water to germinate and grow. How you water can mean more weeds or fewer weeds.  Drip irrigation, soaker hoses, and careful hand watering all put water close to your plants and leave unplanted soil dry. That means fewer weeds will grow.

    Also, keep grass cut and get rid of any weeds growing near your vegetable garden.  You do not want grasses to make seeds, which could drift into the garden. In addition, crop rotation can reduce weed problems. Group crops by family and rotate them into new sections of your garden every year.

    Despite your best efforts, weeds are sometimes unavoidable. The best approach is to weed early and weed often. Young, tender weeds are easy to hoe, hand pull, or till in. Remove them during the heat of the day between watering. Don’t weed when the soil is wet, because working wet soil can damage the soil structure.  And don’t leave weeds to grow, because bigger weeds are harder to get rid of.

    If weeds have overtaken your garden, or if you do not have much time, focus on weeding in order of importance. First, dig up any weeds that are going to seed. Next, remove all grasses and invasive weeds, such as bindweed (morning glory). And finally, when you have the time, remove the other, less–invasive weeds.

    Hand weeding and hoeing are the best choices for weeding in the home garden, because they allow you to weed close to base of veggies without damaging the roots. Small hand tools like the Korean hand plow are good for weeding small areas and between closely-spaced plants.

    Another useful tool is the dandelion digger (also known as a weeder, cultivator, or asparagus knife). It works well for digging weeds with long taproots. If you don’t have a dandelion digger, use a screwdriver.

    There are several different types of garden hoes. The lightweight War­ren-type of hoe has a pointy tip and is useful for weeding between plants. The hula or action hoe is a lightweight scuffle hoe. You use it by pushing and pulling it just under the soil surface. It pulls up small weeds, but doesn’t work as well against bigger, older weeds.

    Keep a rag where you store your hand tools so you can wipe off soil and moisture after using them.

    Next up: Pest control

  • June 12, 2020 1:37 PM | Ryan Ewing

    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. During these difficult times, the Oregon Food Bank welcomes your donations.

    OSU is also offering its 
    vegetable gardening class online.

    Extra care during the first few weeks of a newly planted garden pays off big later in the season.

    For the first few days after transplanting, protect young plants from wind and sun. You can use newspaper or cardboard to shield the south side of transplants, where the sun is strongest. You can use plastic bottles with the bottoms cut off to protect tender young plants from the cold and from bird and insect damage.

    You can also install row covers over new transplants and young plants grown from seed. Row covers keep out birds, cats, and insects, but they’re permeable, so sun and water can get through. Drape row cloth over low tunnels or lay it directly on the soil, loosely tucked in with dirt or rocks so that plants have room to grow. Check underneath your row cover occasionally in case pests were trapped inside. Slugs and snails especially like protected spaces.

    Remove or loosen to increase airflow if temperatures underneath get too hot. When fruit-bearing plants like squash begin to flower, remove row covers so pollinating insects can reach the blossoms.

    Deer and elk will eat most vegetables. If they frequent your yard, well-secured row covers may help. As your plants mature, you’ll need some sort of fencing to discourage these garden visitors. You can fashion low-cost fencing out of poles and chicken wire.

    While hungry deer will eat even plants that are “deer-resistant”, here’s a PDF showing which vegetables are most and least appealing to deer.

  • June 12, 2020 1:36 PM | Ryan Ewing

    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. During these difficult times, the Oregon Food Bank welcomes your donations.

    OSU is also offering its vegetable gardening class online.

    Even in the rainy Northwest, we get little rainfall during the peak growing season, so gardeners need to be prepared to water their vegetables. Many water too often and not deep enough. Watering should be deep and infrequent. In general, watering 2-3 times per week is enough.

    Sandy, clay and loamy soil types accept water differently. Water moves through sandy soil about twice as fast as it moves through clay soil, so it takes longer to water clay soils to the depth your plants require. Loamy soil lies between these two extremes—it both retains water AND drains well, making it the best soil type for growing plants.

    Not sure if you need to water? Use your hands to feel for moisture below the first inch or two of soil. It should feel moist, like a wrung-out sponge. If feels dry, it’s time to water.You can also spot-check your work by filling a jar or yogurt container with soil and placing it in your garden when you water. If the soil at the bottom of the container is still dry, you might need to water more deeply so that the water reaches the roots of your plants.

    Remember that seedbeds and new transplants will need water daily until they are established. Use a gentle spray so you don’t wash them away. When you water, always aim for the roots of plants instead of the leaves. Try to water only where your plants are growing, and not the surrounding soil. This helps to prevent weeds from growing in between your plants.

    You can water by hand with a hose or a watering can. Though this method takes time, it delivers water directly to roots, reducing waste. When you water by hand, do so GENTLY, like the rain. Use a gentle nozzle setting or angle your hose upward to avoid blasting the soil.

    For leaf lettuce and other greens that are grown close together, it is okay to get water on the leaves. For all other crops, especially cucumbers and tomatoes, keep the leaves dry when you water.

    Water until the soil remains “shiny” for 10 to 15 seconds after watering.  Switch back and forth between sections as water soaks in. If your plants begin to wilt, you’ve waited too long to water.

    Alternatives to hand watering include using a sprinkler or an irrigation system. Sprinklers and irrigation systems tend to waste water and encourage weeds by watering everywhere, not just the roots of the vegetables you’re growing. By wetting leaves that should remain dry, these methods also encourage fungal diseases to set in. Of mechanized options, drip irrigation is best because it delivers water directly to the roots of each plant. This online resource gives details on drip irrigation in a home garden.

    Water at least 6 inches deep and then let the top inch or two of soil dry out completely before watering again. Shallow-rooted crops, like lettuce, onions and cabbage draw water from the top foot or less of soil. Deeper-rooted plants, like tomatoes, parsnips and winter squash, have root systems that allow them to draw water from the top 2 feet of soil.

    Frequent, shallow watering makes plants develop roots close to the surface of the soil. Plants with shallow roots are vulnerable to stress. Overwatering also causes soil pores to fill up with water, leaving no oxygen for plant roots. In addition, too much water leaches away nutrients. Overwatering some plants, such as tomatoes, produces watery vegetables.

    Remember that containers dry out faster than soil. Check the containers every day. When the soil is dry, add water until it runs out the bottom of the pot.

    Next up: Protecting young plants

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With the vision of enhancing our environment for generations, CCMGA endeavors to be the best source for quality gardening knowledge on the north coast.

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