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

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.

Kathy Shearin interview on XRAY.fm’s “Grow PDX” show

Kathy Shearin in the EMSWCD 'Conservation Corner' yard

Kathy Shearin, our Urban Lands Program Supervisor, was interviewed last week on XRAY.FM! Her interview took place on a segment called Grow PDX, a show that focuses on horticulture, urban gardening, community food systems and agriculture. Learn about Naturescaping, rain gardens and the benefits of native plants, and pick up some simple tips for your yard or landscape!

Listen to the full show here.

Be sure also to check out our free workshops to learn more about these topics!

Welcome to our new Conservation Program Supervisor, Andrew Brown!

Conservation Program Supervisor Andrew Brown

On behalf of EMSWCD board members and staff, we are very pleased to welcome our new Conservation Program Supervisor, Andrew Brown!

Andrew oversees the Conservation Legacy Program, which includes the Grants, Land Legacy and Farm Incubator programs, and serves as the District-wide planner. Andrew’s conservation and planning experience stems from his public, non-profit and private work in South Africa. During that time he worked in the Park Planning and Development Department of South African National Parks where he coordinated a regional landscape conservation initiative, and he also managed various conservation planning, land consolidation, stewardship and restoration projects.

Andrew came to the EMSWCD most recently from the Multnomah County Drainage District where he served as a Management Analyst. He holds an M.S. in Conservation Biology from the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology at the University of Kent in the UK, and a B.S. in Botany and Environmental and Geographical Science from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Please join us in welcoming Andrew to our organization!

From our farmers: Finding community at Headwaters

Emily Cooper of Full Cellar Farm

This is the fourth in our “From our farmers” series, and was contributed by Emily Cooper of Full Cellar Farm, one of the farmers enrolled in our Farm Incubator Program.

There’s a buzz around Headwaters Farm this year, and it isn’t just the bees. With 13 farms leasing land at the incubator (up from 8 last year), the activity here is more evident than ever before. And along with the sounds of the rototillers, irrigation headers, and tractors, there’s another sound that’s harder to hear, but more persistent than any other. It’s the sound of community, and it starts with “Good morning!”

I love farming at Headwaters, and the biggest reason is the community. With so many people here, it’s guaranteed you’re going to bump into someone as you go about your work. Maybe you share the wash station and get to see what variety of radish someone else is growing – or what pests are eating their carrots. Maybe you see a new tool someone is using, and stop to ask how they like it. Maybe you pause in the barn to bemoan your overabundance of tomatillos, and someone else magically has a customer who wants them. Or maybe you just say hi as you pass at the port-a-potty. (I’m lucky enough to host this hub of activity next to my field.) Read more

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