The fall is officially here when the annual Mt. Angel Oktoberfest rolls around. This fall event is the sign that the seasons are changing. There are cooler nights, freshly harvested hops in the beer and the large harvest monument in the middle of Mt. Angel. In this week’s show we talk about those fresh hops when we pay a visit to Benedictine Brewery run by the monks at Mount Angel Monastery. We also visit a few other fall events like the autumn Moon Festival.
This week we featured...
Fall Hydrangea Care
Hydrangeas are a wonderful plant. Most gardeners find them to be a terrific plant that delivers great color to the garden without a lot of care. Unfortunately the summer heat has made your hydrangeas a little crispy. It might mean that you need to make some cuts to control the damage and get your hydrangeas ready for winter. We traveled to Hydrangeas Plus (866-433-7896) to get some tips on making those hard cuts to your hydrangeas. This time of year you will start to see the buds for next year’s growth and fall is an excellent time to prune your plants to shape too. Don’t worry about making those hard cuts; you can take off as much as a third of your old wood if you want. Kristin VanHoose showed us where to make those important cuts, but if you still are worried you can give them a call (or drop them a line) anytime.
Jan’s Sept Tips
For the tips of the month we are all about the harvest in the garden! We met Jan, once again, in her vegetable garden. This year was a good year for most veggies. The heat wasn’t too bad and the pleasant conditions were perfect for growth, but it was also good for diseases too. Jan reminded us that when you are removing your diseased portions of your plant that you should throw them away and not compost them in your garden. Most of us can’t get the required amount of heat in our compost piles to kill off the spores and other disease problems. That means we end up redistributing the bad bugs and spores back into our garden. This is also the time of year in the kitchen that we find pantry moths (Indian meal moth) flying around. A lot of times we are bringing these pests indoors with nuts, grains and produce that we grow or buy. They then find bird, cat, or dog food, among other things, and just make a mess. There are a number of pheromone traps you can use to get them, so you just need to plant them out and then try to find where they are breeding in your pantry and clean that area up. The third tip from Jan was about watering. Don’t let your plants go into winter all stressed out. You may think that the recent rains are enough to keep them healthy, but you should make sure that your plants are well watered, even those under your eaves. The final two tips were about tomatoes and potatoes. First, your tomatoes may seem to have tougher or thicker skins this year. That is a natural response to the sun and heat they encounter. It helps the fruit resist getting burned and damaged. It is nothing to worry about. Then we ended with Jan inviting the neighborhood boys over to help harvest potatoes. The potato plants have all died back and now is the perfect time to dig those spuds! Make sure that you get all the potatoes harvested and don’t leave any pieces. Those small parts will come back as plants next year. Of course you can leave those small bits and get a jump start on your potato garden for next year.
There is a new fall fair in town! The Oregon State Federation of Garden Clubs and the Oregon Garden (503-874-8100) in Silverton have paired up to present the Fall Garden Fair. This 2nd annual event will take place on September 14th and 15th at the Oregon Garden. We met with Phyllis and Gaye to learn more about this great event. They told us that there will be a judged flower show, horticulture and floral displays, workshops and presentations. There is so much more; a live beehive, and children’s crafts and activities too! If you are a plant lover you can find plant vendors and a garden book exchange. If you come at 11am on Saturday you can join in on the dedication of a ‘Blue Star’ memorial placed in the garden, honoring veterans. It really is a family event, plus you get to enjoy the entire Oregon Garden too. If you would like to go you can get discounted tickets by going to the Oregon Garden website! Spend a day in Silverton and help out this new garden event!
Oktoberfest Benedictine Beer
The Oktoberfest has returned to Mt. Angel and that means a whole lot of family fun this weekend. You can enjoy games, crafts, authentic German food, music and beer. One of the featured beers this year didn’t have to travel far to make an appearance. The monastery at Mount Angel has started brewing beer. We stopped by the St. Michael Taproom in the Benedictine Brewery and chatted with Fr. Martin Grassel, the head brew master there. Fr. Martin mentioned that the brewing tradition for Benedictine monks goes back centuries. St. Benedict established the first orders of monks in the Catholic church. In establishing the order he had rules for work, behavior and order. That rule was basically ‘pray and work to imperatives’. The brothers would live a life of prayer and work, glorifying God in everything they did. That included education, health and hospitality. The hospitality part is where the beer comes in. Sometimes, in the middle ages, water was not safe to drink, so the monks brewed beer which made the water safe. This, and providing safe places for travelers, led to a tradition that exists today. The Benedictines are also very committed to using the resources of the land. The monks at Mount Angel own a lot of the land around the mount and that is where they get the ingredients for their beer. Fr. Martin currently makes 9 beers, including the very delicious ‘Black Habit’, though he has a few more recipes in his head to try out later!
You can try out these delicious beers this weekend at the Oktoberfest in Mt. Angel. The Benedictine Brewery will be one of the beers in the Hopfengarten. The Hopfengarten is a beer hall that is focusing on the locally brewed craft beers. If you can’t make it to the Oktoberfest, you can always stop by the St. Michael Taproom at the base of Mount Angel. This taproom is open to family and kids during normal business hours, Wednesday through Sunday. Check out their website for their hours of business.
Help celebrate this long tradition of brewing by stopping by the Oktoberfest this weekend and enjoying a delicious brew.
Lan Su Autumn Moon Plants
The fall season at Lan Su Chinese Garden (503-228-8131) is a magical time. The plants are changing colors and some are still blooming, plus the fall calendar is full of great events too! To see and hear what’s happening we stopped by and met with a couple of the staff at the garden. The first person we met was the new curator of horticulture, Justin Blackwell, and he was excited to show us around to see what was looking great in the garden. We started in the courtyard of tranquility and we saw a huge planting of the hardy Begonia grandis ‘evansiana’. This little bloomer was popping out from every little crack in the stonework. They have just started to bloom and will continue to bloom through November. Another great bloomer in this garden was the Kleim's hardy gardenia. This one is a favorite in the local gardens because of its great bloom season and the fragrance. This garden is no different with a few large plants enchanting visitors as they arrived. Across the patio from these plants was a pot that gets lots of attention right now. It has a small pomegranate in it that is covered in fruit. Pomegranates are fairly hardy in our climate, but not a lot of gardeners use it in the garden. This plant is popular in Chinese culture because of the many seeds in each pod. These symbolize abundance, especially with fertility or wealth.
We then moved to another part of the garden to check out the Heptacodium miconioides or ‘Seven Son Flower’. This was a medium sized tree with wonderful pealing bark, but the real show was the prolific blooms on its branches. Each cluster of flowers has 7 tiny blooms on it, thus the name. When these white blossoms fall off they reveal a red calyx (the protective layer on the outside of the bloom). The fall color is great too, with orange leaves covering the tree. The final plant was the Belamcanda chinensis or Blackberry Lily. This plant has wonderful orange colored flowers that, when they die away, reveal a seed pod that looks like blackberries! It is a very unique plant in the garden!
This Saturday, the 14th, you can see these plants and more during their Autumn Moon Festival. Scott told Judy about the events that are filling the day! The garden has extended their hours from 10am to 9pm to fit in all the events that are happening. There are Chinese calligraphy and Chinese folk art demonstrations, a Mooncake sale, and family craft activities. The evening activities are ticketed, but you can enjoy a lion dance and lantern viewing. Check with the garden because the evening event sells out fast! Even if you don’t get into the evening festivities, there is still plenty to see and do! Stop by and get a taste of the Autumn Moon!