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.

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) for the months of May and June 2016. Visit this page to see a calendar of upcoming meetings.

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

Spring Workshops are here!

honey bee on red-flowering currant

Our free workshops teach simple gardening practices that will help you create beautiful landscape features that conserve water, reduce pollution and create habitat for birds and pollinators. Learn how to create your own attractive, low-maintenance landscape, how to build your own rain garden and how to handle aggressive urban weeds! We have four topics to choose from this spring:

  • Naturescaping Basics
  • Rain Gardens 101
  • Native Plants Workshop
  • Urban Weeds

We are also offering some special workshops this spring, such as a new Creating Wildlife Habitat Trees workshop!

Space is limited and registration is required – sign up for a free workshop today!
Register today for a Free Workshop!

 

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

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