Upcoming EMSWCD Board and Committee Meetings

The East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD), serving all of Multnomah County East of the Willamette River, has scheduled Board and Committee meetings at the District Office (5211 N. Williams Ave, Portland, OR 97217) and at the Colwood Golf Center (7313 NE Columbia Blvd, Portland, OR 97218) for the months of June, July and August 2016. Visit this page to see a calendar of upcoming meetings.

The 2016 Naturescaped Yard Tour was a success!

Yard Tour 2016

Thanks to everybody who attended our Naturescaped Yard Tour! The event took place on Saturday, May 14th. Six residential yards and two school yards were featured in the tour, each showcasing unique and creative ways of integrating naturescaping and stormwater management. In spite of a little rainy weather, over 400 people attended the tour! Stay tuned; we will post more information and photos from the event soon.

Getting rid of invasive garlic mustard!

patch of invasive garlic mustard, flowering

Garlic mustard is a very invasive, fast-spreading weed, and Multnomah County has the worst infestation of it in Oregon. The roots produce a chemical that is toxic to other plants, and it can grow in most soil types. It can also grow in full sun or full shade, making it a threat to a wide variety of our native plants and habitats. You can help get rid of it, though – read on for some important tips about pulling up and getting rid of garlic mustard.

Many other plants are often mistaken for garlic mustard, especially before the flowers come up. Control is easiest when garlic mustard plants are in bloom (usually beginning in April), unless you can easily identify the rosettes (leaves) of the plant. Hand removal can be a successful technique in small patches that can be visited often and re-pulled frequently. Learn how to pull up garlic mustard and see more photos after the break! Read more

From our farmers: On the challenges of farming and family

John and Heather's Family - Springtail Farm

This is the fifth in our “From our farmers” series, which was contributed by John Felsner of Springtail Farm, one of the farmers enrolled in our Farm Incubator Program.

The challenges of producing food are innumerable: prices for land, materials, inputs, fuel, and insurance always seem to be rising; the uncertainties and rapid transformation of climate and weather patterns; eking out a living in a fickle market, and the list goes on. When my partner Heather and I made a decision to start a small family of our own, we were familiar with the difficulties of market gardening, as well as the satisfaction and promise it provided. What we were entirely unfamiliar with were children. What we’ve discovered since having one—and what has been both rewarding and unfathomably challenging—is that the hardest part of raising a healthy child while producing food is learning to manage relationships. Because, like good, honest food production, a child demands a full, healthy community in order to thrive and meet his or her full potential.

The highest hurdle for us with raising a child and farming is making time for everything that needs to be done day in-and-day-out. An off-farm source of income has always been the mainstay of our farming work, but this presents additional challenges. Read more

Our 2016 Native Plant Sale

2016 native plant sale - Indian plum

Thank you for supporting our 2016 Native Plant Sale! The plant sale pickup day went very well: a nice break in the recent rainy weather, and more than 10,000 native plants were sent on their way to new homes in and around the District, which will help restore native habitat, lower outdoor water usage and support beneficial wildlife. We also want to thank our amazing volunteers for helping us put together customer orders and distribute them on Saturday! Our Plant Sale would not have been possible without your efforts.

If you are looking for more native plants, or were not able to order all the plants you wanted, please see our Local Sources of Native Plants page. There are many great retail locations that offer native plants, and several other nearby native plant sales coming soon!

If you were not able to pick up your plants on Saturday or did not receive some of the plants you ordered, we will process a refund or partial refund for your order this week. You can email Alex Woolery, our Marketing and Media Manager, or call him at (503) 935-5367, if you have any questions about your order.

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