is happy to spend time in the garden, where she grows kale, cucumbers and tomatoes in addition to basil in her small raised-bed plot. “It’s been therapeutic for me,” she says of spending hours each week at the garden. “It’s much more than just a garden for me. It’s my main outdoor experience.”
The Sabin Community Garden is among a number of community assets featured on Sabin Community Association’s website. This time of year, most of the Sabin Community Garden’s 50-or-so well-tended plots are lush with plants and ripe produce ready for harvest. Willwerth, a professional landscaper, admits his day job has gotten in the way of faithfully tending the 20-by-20- foot community garden space he’s rented for a number of years.
"I hope to do better next season,” Willwerth says as he picks a handful of almost 100 garlic plants. Earlier this summer, he harvested rhubarb and asparagus, and soon his ‘Russian banana’ fingerling potatoes will be ready. “In general, I like to grow things in the community garden that don’t require a lot of hands-on work.” He also grows a variety of herbs and tomatoes in a vegetable garden at his Sabin home. “But this garden is such a wonderful community resource,” he adds.
The Sabin Community Garden opened in 1995 and was expanded in 2008. All plots were rented for this year, but anyone interested can sign up for next year’s season, which runs from March through October. Because demand for community garden plots is high within inner Northeast Portland, there often is a waiting list.
Plots rent for $21 a year for a 100-square-foot space, $42 for a 200-square-foot space and $85 for a 400-square-foot space. Rental fees pay for land and water. Gardeners provide their own tools, plants, seeds, soil amendments and other supplies. Gardeners are required to use organic growing methods, and each gardener must volunteer 6 hours a season on general community garden upkeep.
For more information about the Sabin Community Garden or to sign up for a plot for next season, call 503-823-1612 or go to www.portlandoregon.gov/parks and type in “community gardens” in the search field.
— Susan Goracke
What's a Carrotmob and how can it help save bees? A Carrotmob is about voting with your dollars. It's a fun, easy way to support a business that's doing the right thing. Garden Fever is a neighborhood garden shop that's doing the right thing by taking all neonicotinoid pesticides off their shelves. Neonics are highly
toxic to bees because they are absorbed by the plant and they accumulate in the pollen and nectar. When bees come to collect the pollen or nectar, they are poisoned. This is what happened in Wilsonville recently. Despite the dangers, some nurseries continue to sell these toxic products because they are profitable.
Garden Fever has agreed to stop selling neonics, so let's show our appreciation. Come by the store on Sunday, October 6 and shop for plants, seeds, garden tools, books and more. This is also a great
opportunity to do your holiday shopping.
Come and explore a variety of garden styles while learning how to create pollinator habitat in your own yard. To see photos and descriptions of all 13 gardens, check out the Backyard Tour Guide, then print a map. Or, pick up a map at Whole Foods at NE 15th and Fremont or the Backyard Bird Shop on NE 14th and Fremont. Other options: email tour coordinator Diane Benson at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by 3926 NE 11th and take a map from the poetry box in front of the house.
The Bee Jamboree is an opportunity for people to learn about how to create bee-friendly habitat in their own yards. This years event, held in front of Whole Foods on June 29, drew several hundred people who stopped on their way into or out of the store. Some visitors had questions about the recent bumblebee die off and others wanted to know what kinds of flowers to plant. The kids enjoyed looking at bee specimens with a magnifying glass, and coloring pictures of bees and flowers. It was a great way to spend a Saturday morning in June!
Bring the kids to meet bee experts Tim Wessels and Mace Vaughn at Whole Foods (NE 15th and Fremont) on Saturday, June 29 from 10:00 to 2:00. Tim will bring his bee-keeping equipment and Mace will bring his cases of bee specimens - dozens of bees of all types, from very tiny native bees to giant bumble bees. We'll also have samples of some of the best bee-friendly flowers for urban gardens. Hope to see you there!
This year, we're adding 13 new gardens to the front yard tour - here's a sneak preview. Remember, the tour is self-guided and it's free. Just print a map from the Garden Tour Map tab and take the tour any time - spring, summer or fall. To see previews and descriptions of the participating gardens, click here. To learn more about native bees, honey bees and how to create bee habitat, come to the Bee Jamboree in front of Whole Foods on NE 15th and Fremont, from 10:00 to 2:00 on Saturday, June 29.
About 50 people attended the April 21 event at Sabin Community Orchard, learning about honey bees from Tim Wessels and native bees from Mace Vaughn. We also planted 83 bee-friendly perennials and fruit-bearing shrubs and trees.
With permission from the Urban Forestry Commission, volunteers from Farm School have taken 10 cuttings from the oldest apple tree in the Pacific Northwest and grafted them to root stock, creating 10 descendants which will be planted at various locations in Portland and Vancouver, including Sabin Community Orchard. Read more about it in the Oregonian.
The American Academy of Pediatrics released a policy statement in November 2012 warning that exposure to pesticides can result in cancer, decreased cognitive function and behavioral problems in children. They recommend that families learn about integrated pest management, which means seeking out the least toxic methods of dealing with pest problems in the home and garden.
The Oregonian's recent article on this topic provides specific tips for pesticide-free gardening, such as spraying plants with water to remove aphids, or picking slugs off plants by hand.
If you'd like to learn more about natural gardening techniques, come to the Sabin Bee-Friendly Garden Tour on Sunday, July 14 from 11:00 to 3:00. The tour is free and includes 15 bee-friendly backyards in the inner NE Portland neighborhood of Sabin. We'll have natural gardening experts on hand, to chat with you about non-toxic methods of pest control. We'll also have several experts on honey bees, native bees and other pollinators, to answer your questions about these critters and explain how to create healthy bee habitat in your garden. For more information, please see the Garden Tour tab on the Sabin Community Association website: sabinpdx.org