Almost there… to the holiday season I mean. Thanksgiving is coming up this week and then the Christmas/holiday season follows. The other ‘almost there’ is in reference to our last show of the season. Next week we will finish our 12th season of Garden Time. It is always tough to wrap up the Garden Time show for another year, but we always look forward to starting our planning process for the upcoming season too.
Another ‘almost there’ moment is the wrapping up of the fall festivals. We talk about two of them on this week’s show. One is the Olio Nuovo festa, the Olive Oil festival at Red Ridge Farms. This is a great event that is free to the public. We also learn about the Wine Country Thanksgiving from Melissa at Stoller Family Estate. Two great events to fill these last days of fall.
This week we featured...
Jan’s November Tips
The fall season is starting to chase everyone indoors, including the plants! We met Jan McNeilan in her basement where she was busy setting up her plants for the winter. Jan doesn’t have a heated greenhouse so she is moving some of her temperature sensitive plants inside her home. She bought a cheap shop light at the hardware store and some ‘sunlight’ florescent bulbs and brought her plants indoors. She trimmed them back and will lightly water them during the winter months so they stay semi-dormant. To avoid bug problems she washed them off and took off the top 1 inch of soil from each pot. That top layer of soil is where most of the insect eggs and larvae make their home. This will help keep her plants nice and healthy during the winter months. For her outdoor plants that are hardy and her pots with spring bulbs she is placing her pots on the south side of her home and covering them with the leaves from her trees. This will give them just the right amount of warmth and protection they need to survive the cold winter ahead. The other tip she had was for the bugs that are coming into in her kitchen and pantry. She uses a pantry pest trap to catch the meal moth, the most common indoor pest at this time of year. The meal moth is a problem in the kitchen and pantry if you have grains or cereals that are not sealed. This trap will help you get rid of the adult so you don’t have a problem in the future. If you want to get more tips for your home and garden, you can always check the OSU Extension website.
Olio Nuovo – Olive Oil Festival
The taste of fresh olive oil can’t be beat. Whether it is in a salad dressing or cooking, the flavor is intoxicating. And the freshest olive oil is right here in the Willamette Valley at Red Ridge Farms. The Oregon Olive Mill at Red Ridge (503-864-2200) is in the process of harvesting and milling fresh olive oil just outside of Dundee. We paid a visit and received a personalized tour of the production facilities from one of the owners, Paul Durant. We visited one of the fields where we saw how they are growing the Arbequina variety of olives. Once they are harvested the local olives are combined with selected high quality olives from California. The olives are then milled for their oil. Most people think that the olives are pressed, but they are actually ground up whole, heated and the oil is spun off using a centrifuge. The new oil is called ‘Olio Nuovo’ and appears cloudy. After a few months the sediments settle to the bottom of the storage container and the oil is clear.
Your chance to see this process in action is happening this weekend at Red Ridge Farms (503-864-8502) during their Olio Nuovo Festa. You’ll also get a chance to sample this flavorful oil and taste the difference between it and commercial produced types of oil. This festival also features some of the great wines that Red Ridge produces as well. Stop by for a chance to step back into Italy this weekend. Check out their website for the times of all the events!
Gifts for the Gardener
For the non-gardener, buying a gift for the person with a green thumb may seem daunting! William and Judy came up with a few simple ideas they found at Al’s Garden & Home (503-726-1162) in Sherwood for gift giving this season, though you can find most of these same items at your local independent garden center. First, don’t forget garden tools! A lot of gardeners are still using the cheap tools they once bought when they first started gardening. Find them a new ‘top of the line’ tool that will last them years! Also, boots and gloves make great gifts, since they are the first to wear out for the avid gardener. Don’t forget pruners and other ‘unique’ tools. We found a really cool weeding tool from White Flower Farm though you can find other cool tools at places like Red Pig Tools. Locally produced gifts are also available. Earrings, wine, candles and clothing can be found at some of your larger garden centers. Another great gift is birding supplies. A new feeder in the garden during the winter helps the birds survive the cold conditions and when summer returns they are already patterned to return to your garden, so you will have a full year of little feathered friends to enjoy. Hummingbird feeders are always a great choice too and you can get the nectar already mixed if you don’t want the mess in the kitchen when preparing your own. If your gardener loves plants consider one that will give them a long period of color and durability like an orchid or a tough indoor plant! If your garden loving friend can’t get out into their garden, why not give them a pass to one of our great public gardens? The Lan Su Chinese Garden, the Japanese Garden and the Oregon Garden are all great places to visit and enjoy even when the weather isn’t so nice. You can also just pick up a bag of soil for the people with container gardens or a large load of mulch from Grimm’s Fuel (503-636-3623) for those with larger gardens. Grimm’s will even blow it in if they want.
You can also give the gift of Garden Time! We have Garden Time flowers (rose, iris, dahlias and tulips) on our website along with t-shirts, backpacks and hats!
Finally, why not give the gift of a lifetime? Garden Time is offering a tour to London, Paris and Belgium this coming August. This trip is a ‘bucket list’ type of trip with visits to world-renown gardens and to some of the most famous locations in the world. Check out the link here to register. Of course you can always include a stocking stuffer of a gift card to their favorite local independent garden center. For these gifts and more gardening ideas, check with your local garden center.
Stoller Fall Vines and Vintage
This past summer was a warm one and the grape harvest was a good one, but now what are the vineyards doing with their vines and what should you be doing in your garden? To find out the answer to those questions we travelled to Stoller Family Estate (503-864-3404) to chat with Jason Tosch the vineyard manager. Jason told us that right now they are doing nothing! The year was nearly perfect for the wine harvest, but now the vines are transferring all their energy to the roots for next year’s growing season. They don’t want to stop that transference of nutrients so they won’t do any cutting until after that first hard frost. For the home gardener you can actually wait until the late winter. You can even cut them back to 2 or 4 vines in mid-March if you want without damaging the harvest next fall.
We then went inside the tasting room to talk with Melissa, the Stoller winemaker, about this year’s vintage. With the quality of fruit that they harvested , they are expecting a wonderful vintage in their chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. Melissa also introduced us to their newest selections of wines, bottled under the ‘History’ label. These wines are from some of the oldest vines in the Northwest. Some planted as far back as 1935! These wines are a partnership between Melissa and the Stoller Family and are delicious!
If you would like to taste some of these great Stoller wines you can stop by anytime at their tasting room outside of Dundee. They are having a special tasting weekend during Thanksgiving as well, check out their website for all the details.
Terra Casa Holiday Lights
The Christmas season can be merry and bright! You just need to stop by Terra Casa (503-577-8242) in Damascus. We did and talked to Diana about all the great holiday lights they have to offer. She started by showing us the flame-less candles that they were using in their lanterns and candelabras. These are great because they are safe and just need new batteries every once in a while, or maybe just a recharge! What is new this year is the Flame Wave! This is a LED module that has 100 lights in it. It is rechargeable and lasts a long time before you need to recharge. It gives off a lot of light and is much brighter than the older models that just gave a tiny tinkle. Of course, for smaller displays the tiny LED’s are great. These are tiny strands of lights in white, blue, red or green and are so small that you can actually insert them into glass ornaments for a cool visual effect. They also had them intertwined in some of their iron displays, bowls and other gifts. They also have the battery operated candles that can be operated remotely and are really safe too.
You can also get ‘real’ candles and the special ‘life-time’ candle which uses a clean burning candle lamp oil. Another cool light that can take you back to a more traditional look were clip on candle lights that you can clip on to your tree, or anywhere you want. These were not only cool, they were operated by remote control. Diana also told us about the new pendant lights that look like ornaments, that you can hang just about anywhere. Finally, we saw some of the smoked/frosted glass vases and lanterns with various scenes on them. They had lights on the inside and they just seemed to glow!
These were just a few of the special lights that they had for your holiday decorating. For more decorating ideas and other great Christmas gifts, stop by Terra Casa and check out all the cool stuff for indoors or out.