Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Curious: Two Egg Joints

I cannot get enough of a good breakfast. There is nothing more luxurious than strolling into a sunny breakfast spot, getting snuggled into a warm seat, relaxing while a friendly waiter brings me a cup of strong and mellow joe and then devouring some savory eggs. It gets truly divine if you add a buttery, crumbly biscuit. Currently, my absolute breakfast hero is the Bakery Bar on Glisan. If you haven't had their cracked pepper biscuit, then you haven't really lived. Plus, they source their eggs from their same neighborhood - using eggs only from the most eco-pampered layers.

That said, I just read some reviews that made me interested and curious in trying two new joints:

Tasty n Sons
3808 North Williams Avenue (in the Hub Building)
Portland, OR 97227
(503) 621-1400

Little Red Bike Cafe
4823 North Lombard St. (between Fiske and Jordan)
Portland, Oregon 97203

I hope Bakery Bar won't feel like I'm cheating, but I do think these two joints may be a delicious treat as well.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Collards: Green Around the Collar

Note to self: when you harvest your scrumptious collard plants from the seeds you started in mid-April [Morris Heading Collards, seeds from Nichols Garden Nursery], please remember this delicious post by Good Stuff NW regarding some new and jazzy ways to enjoy Collards. The collard-changing post is titled Eat Your Greens.

Bring on the sassy greens!

New Adventures Scheduled, Thanks Lelo!

I just stumbled upon the blog Lelo in Nopo. Being a fellow NoPo gardener, I was really Jazzed. Thanks to Lelo, I now have the following dates on my calendar. The events below are pulled from her suggested garden adventure list in a post titled Portland Gardeners Mark Your Calendars Now.

Bauman’s Greenhouse Gallery
Saturday-Sunday, April 24-25, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., 12989 Howell Prairie Rd., Gervais, free admission, baumanfarms.com

Spring Garden Fair
Saturday, May 1, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, May 2, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Clackamas County Event Center Fairgrounds, 694 NE 4th Ave., Canby, $3, clackamascountymastergardeners.org

Behind the Scenes Garden Tour
Features some NoPo and NEPo gardens.
Saturday, July 10, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., tickets will be available online, anld.com

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sharing Crops Seed Starts

Jacklyn and I headed out to John's farm to take advantage of his very generous offer to "babysit" our seed starts in his heated green house. We had a blast carefully filling and charting our starts for SEVEN (yes, you read that correctly SEVEN) flats of seed starts. The tomato flat had 36 large start pellets, but the other flats were the standard Jiffy variety that house 72 little seed babies. You do the math... I couldn't have made it without my fearless team member. The wind really picked up as the morning progressed. Notice we added some layers before all was said and done. I cannot wait to go back and check on my babies in 10 days. I will be even more excited when we plant the starts in the our new community garden in St. Johns!

Me with the tomato flat and Jacklyn with a "regular" flat, also filled with tomato seeds:

I was using the fork to fluff dirt, however, this does not explain my very weird pose in this picture. We had to put rocks on the lids to hold them down against the mighty winds.

Some of my baby tomatoes:

All of the flats, COUNT THEM! We put the babies under newspaper so as not to sun shock them while we worked. I cannot think of a better use of my beloved Wall Street Journal:

Friday, April 9, 2010

St. Johns Community Garden Flyer

I am loving this flyer! This just in from the amazing St. John's volunteers. Props to Kathleen for cooking this up!


To say that Rachel and I bought a lot of seeds today would be an understatement. We are both zanny gardeners with big imaginations, and even bigger dreams for the St. Johns Community Garden @ Red Sea. We purchased seed starting flats from Home Depot and most of our seeds from Garden Fever. Surprisingly, the prices were better at adorable Garden Fever. We tried to buy as many seeds as possible from Nichols Garden Nursery located in Albany, Oregon. Our next choice focused on seeds from Botanical Interests or Seed Savers Exchange. Where neither brand had what we wanted, we went for the cheep stuff, but don't get your garden gloves in a bunch, we did our best to stay organic, local and heirloom (we want to teach others how to save seeds). Here's what we bought (remember seeds last more than one season!):

Bloomsdale Spinach [Botanical Interests]
Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Morris Heading Collards [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Garden Rocket Arugula [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Yugoslavian Red Lettuce [Seed Savers Exchange]
Nichols Mesclun Mix [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Red Giant Mustard [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Neon Color Mix Swiss Chard [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Sea Kale [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Redventure Celery [Nichols Garden Nursery]

Dill [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Thyme [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Cilantro [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Curled Chervil [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Bronze Fennel [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Genovese Basil [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Nichols Spicy Basil Mix (including Anise Basil, Cinnamon Basil, Clove Basil, and Thai Licorice Basil) [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Dolce Vita Blend Basil (including Cinnamon, Genovese, Tall Lemon, Lime, Mammoth, and Purple Petra Basils) [Botanical Interests]
Common Chives [Botanical Interests]
Rosemary [Nichols Garden Nursery]
True Greek Oregano [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Blood Veined Sorrel [Nichols Garden Nursery]

Green Zebra [Botanical Interests]
Brandywine [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Oregon Spring [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Stupice [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Willamette [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Jelly Bean Red & Yellow Grape Tomato [Botanical Interests]
Windowbox Roma Tomato [Nichols Garden Nursery]

Early Jalapeno Chile Pepper [Botanical Interests]
Fast and Sassy Sweet Pepper [Nichols Garden Nursery]

Luscious Sweet Corn [Nichols Garden Nursery]

80 Yellow Onion Bulbs (from Home Depot - does not include any other details as to what type of yellow onions)
80 Yellow Rock Onion Bulbs [Irish Eyes]
Walla Walla Sweet Onion Seeds [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Evergreen Hardy White Bunching Onion [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Scarlet Nantes Carrots [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Carnival Blend Carrots [Botanical Interests]
Four Color Mix Beets [Nichols Garden Nursery]

Early Yellow Crookneck Summer Squash [Botanical Interests]
Black Beauty Zucchini [Botanical Interests]
Yard Long Armenian Cucumber [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Small Sugar Pumpkin [Nichols Garden Nursery]
Moon and Stars Watermelon [Seed Savers Exchange]
Table King Bush Acorn Winter Squash [Botanical Interests]
Waltham Butternut Winter Squash [Botanical Interests]
Sugar Snap Peas [Botanical Interests]
Snow Pea / Sugar Pod Two [Seeds of Change]
Purple Podded Pole Bean [Seed Savers Exchange]

Nasturtium (Jewel, Mixed Colors) [Ferry-Morse]
Wildflowers: Hummingbird & Butterfly Mixture (includes Alyssum, Arroyo Lupine, Bachelor Button, Black-Eyed Susan, Coreopsis, Indian Blanket, Mission Red Monkeyflower, Painted Daisy, Purple Coneflower, Scarlet Bugler, Wallflower, White Yarrow) [Stover]
Blue Flax [Ferry-Morse]
Calendula [Nichols Garden Nursery]

Mammoth Sunflower Seeds [Stover]
Autumn Beauty Sunflower Seeds [Stover]

Now to figure out what my starts will be... The seed starting crew is meeting early Saturday morning!

Sharing Crops - Fresh Pot - More Seed Starts

Good morning, I'm blogging from one of my favorite coffee shops: Fresh Pot on Mississippi. I'm here with my Wall Street Journal, decaf latte, and paper to plan out my seed starting project tomorrow.

I am really excited about a community movement I've recently joined. Currently, we call our cobbled group of gardeners and community activists SHARING CROPS. We meet two weeks ago under the common mantle of bringing the best, freshest, organic produce to those in the lowest income bracket. Often, when the budget gets tight, fresh produce is the first to go. Please see Food Inc. if you've not thought about the challenges of being on a tight budget and trying to eat "fresh." Sharing Crops elected me their fearless organizer and so far, I have been totally jazzed by the eager community support and enthusiastic volunteers.

Here's how the North Portland community has gotten involved: (1) A church in the St. Johns area of North Portland (Red Sea Community Church) has given our motley crew permission to farm a vacant lot they own across the street from their church. I think the sight is about one half acre of gritty rocks and weeds. (2) One of the local coffee shops, Anna Bannanas, has agreed to supply us with mega coffee grounds.

We have a vision to infect St. Johns with fresh produce. We are going to harness our collective gardening and leadership skills to help the community grow enough produce so that all of the immediate neighbors will be able to sample the divine fruits and veggies. We have our first big community work day on site April 24. This brings me to why I am at fresh pot this morning.

A guy who heard about our vision has offered his green house for us to nurture our seed starts. Are we late in the season for starting seeds? You bet. But, we are undaunted and hopeful to grow something this year. More importantly, we want to prep the property for an abundant harvest next year. We hope to blend planter boxes, a mini orchard, and open field, high yield farming to introduce the neighborhood to backyard garden delights.

I have thus transitioned from roof top loft gardening in Los Angeles to full on field gardening in Portland. Despite the differences, I am up for the challenge. I feel like I've read about one hundred gardening books since last season. Thus, I feel confident standing on the shoulders of how-to book and blog giants to serve the neighborhood of St. Johns. Here's hoping for success and more donated plots in the Portland area! Now to figure out when tomato plants should be placed in the garden here in Portland... feel free to chime in!