COVID-19 AWARENESS: Please note that we are taking all necessary precautions to keep our on-air personalities, interviewees and crew safe during this challenging time. However, we do run repeat stories and segments that were shot earlier this year, before social distancing practices were recommended by health officials. If you see our hosts standing close to someone, please be assured that the segment was shot before March of 2020. We thank you for your concern and your interest in Garden Time.
What happened? This year has been a crazy one and it just seems to continue to throw curveballs at us. The latest issue is the smoke and ash in our area. We are just emerging from a weekís worth of smoke as fire crews are finally getting a hold on the fires in our area.
We hope that people are safe and that those who have been directly affected by the fires are on the road to recovery.
For those who are concerned about the ash and smoke on their vegetables. Check out our tips of the month with Jan and the recommendations from OSU Extension in our story below.
Janís Sept Tips
The smoke from the recent fires has cast a shadow on people and on the garden. We are all frustrated as the smoke and ash has kept us indoors for the last week, but it has also brought up questions about any detrimental effects to the vegetables in our gardens. We started this week in the garden and we were able to talk with Jan about that concern. She gave us a simple answer to this complex question, Ďjust wash themí. The ash and smoke is only a short term concern and it will not have effected your produce in a harmful way. We were talking about it and it is the same concern with your vegetables during a regular harvest. Your vegetables are exposed to dust, dirt, animal droppings and other environmental detritus. You need to clean your vegetables and fruit every time you harvest. If you are concerned and still need more direction, you can check out this handout from OSU Extension Service.
Since we were in the garden Jan brought a couple other items to our attention. Mildew is in the garden again and growing. We saw the example of Lungwort and how it can manifest itself in the same plant differently. One was heavily hit with mildew and the other was not. If one plant was more resistant, Jan recommended that you take divisions of the healthier plant and remove the diseased one. It is also recommended that you throw the diseased plant in your commercial compost container and not your home compost. Your home compost will not get hot enough to kill the spores. We then turned to see the mildew on the tomatoes and the zucchini plants as well. Your plants will still produce fruits, but it may not look healthy while doing it. This is normal for a lot of plants at this time of year. Simply pick off the leaves if they bother you and continue to harvest the produce.
We also went over and checked in on Janís raspberries. They had been trimmed back. The brown/dead canes were removed and the healthy green canes were left for next yearís crop. Jan had also trained the canes at the top using wires to keep them from running all over the place. We also took a look at the top of the neighboring arborvitae hedge. At the very top were the unmistakable spent blooms of the invasive clematis. A lot of people see these seed heads and think they have a beautiful wildflower in their garden, but this is a weed and needs to be removed from your garden.
I love mint! Being in the Pacific Northwest, and specifically in Oregon, Iím in the middle of it. Ryan Seely, our wonderful co-host, found a place where I could literally roll in mint! He found Seely Mint (503-369-4350) in Clatskanie. This company is run by relatives of his, Mike and Candy Seely with their kids, the 4th generation, starting to work on the farm too. Mike took us out to the fields to show us how they harvest this healthful and fragrant product. They grow 2 different kinds of mint on the farm. They grow a single-cut, premium-quality heirloom Black Mitcham Peppermint and a native Spearmint. The spearmint gets harvested twice each season and we were able to watch the last harvest before the fall rains returned to the area. The spearmint is cut 2 different ways. One way is to cut it and leave it to dry in the field. This will be used for tea leaves. The second way is to cut it and then load it in an enclosed trailer/bin. When the trailer is full it is taken to a processing area where steam is pumped through the trailer from the bottom. The steam rises and takes the mint oil with it. This extraction of the oil through steam is relatively quick and pulls the highest quality of oil out of the plant. The oil can be sold to other processors for use in products. It is a powerfully strong essential oil! One pint of oil can flavor 55,000 sticks of gum or about 2,500 pounds of chocolate. That is strong stuff!! What you find in a lot of other products is a synthetic mint product that doesnít have the same flavor as Seely Mint.
For the home gardener, you canít grow enough mint to draw off any significant oil, but you can still enjoy it in your kitchen. You can dry it for tea. You do this by cutting and hanging the stem upside down for a week or so to dry the leaves. You can use the leaves in salads and other dishes. Did you know that Pepto-Bismol used mint to settle stomachs? You can still use it for that too. The stems can also be used in your pets bedding to ward off ticks. There are lots of uses, but just remember to grow it in a container to keep it under control in your garden, because it will run through your flower beds!
The best way to enjoy Seely Mint is to enjoy one of their candy treats! They make a mint patty that will knock your socks off! They also do mint melts, peppermint bark, candy canes and even a ribbon candy that are all flavored with real Seely Mint oil. You can find these products all over the country and at many stores in our area. You can find out a few of the locations on their website and even get a little more history of this great product and family. You can also order mint products from their site if you donít want to leave your home! I donít know about you, but Iíve found another reason to love the Seely family!!
Bauman's Fall Festival & Grilling Corn
The fall is nearly here and it is the perfect time to do some grilling. We will soon be done with the warmer days and all the fresh produce, so why not get outside as much as we can. One of the best vegetables of the summer is corn on the cob. We stopped by Baumanís Farm and Garden (503-792-3524) to see how Brian Bauman is grilling his corn on the cob for a wonderful late summer taste treat. Baumanís tries to have corn on the cob by the 4th of July every year. That requires planting it in the greenhouse to start the plants and then transferring the plants to the field early in the spring! They keep on planting that corn so they can have it fresh in the store until frost.
To start, he grabs an ear of corn to feel if it is full all the way to the tip, a trick we all can do when shopping. Then he peels back the top and removes the silk fibers so they donít burn on the grill. Then he pulls the husk back up again and puts the whole ear in a cooler full of water. Then he soaks them for an hour or two. Then he gets the grill up to around 350 degrees and puts the corn, wrapped in the husk, on the grill and lets it cook for about 15 minutes. He turns it about every 5 minutes so all the sides get a chance to cook. He pulls it from the grill and using the husk as a handle, rolls it in butter and has a feast. Yummy!
While he was grilling, we had a chance to talk about the changes to this yearís Harvest Festival. This year they are ĎGoing back to their Rootsí between October 1st and the 31st. A lot of the activities that people have come to enjoy over the years will not be open this season due to the Covid-19 crisis. Because of that, they will scale back to a simpler group of activities, but no less fun. Brian said they will have a pumpkin patch and a corn maze for people to enjoy. You can still socially distance in the broad fields and get those family pictures of the kids having fun. You can also still visit the store where you can find fall themed gifts and treats from the bakery. There is fresh Apple Cider for the kids and some Baumanís cider for the adults. Giant pumpkins will be on display and there is fresh fall produce to take home. So stop by, pick up some corn to grill and then come back for a visit in October for a little fun in the country
Legacy and Covid Health
This year has been a tough one. The Corona Virus has people stressed out and on edge. Many have found the garden a welcome place to work at home and to relieve some of that stress. For those who donít have a home garden you can still experience the joy and relaxation of a garden. The Legacy Health System has hospitals all around our area and nearly all of them have public gardens/spaces where people can go to take a break and spend some time with nature. We met with a couple of the staff in the Stenzel Healing Garden at Legacy Good Samaritan.
First we chatted with Dr. Minot Cleveland who is the medical director of employee health at Good Sam. He told us about the stress and burnout among staff before Covid-19 and now it has amplified now with the additional work and safety measures. He mentioned the first thing they talk about is taking breaks. Not just taking breaks, but taking breaks outside in one of the 12 hospital gardens in their system. Just a few minutes in a garden has been proven to reduce blood pressure, heart rate, fatigue and stress levels. They also have a program called ĎCheck on you, check on twoí. This is a reminder to not only check to make sure that you are doing well, but also to check on 2 others to make sure that we support each other and to make sure our mental health remains good during this trying time. Physical exercise is important too, so get out and do a little something every day!
We then moved over to talk to Teresia Hazen about how the gardens are used in the physical therapy of patients at the various hospitals. The gardens provide the staff an opportunity to get their patients out and working in real life situations. This allows the patients to work on physical strength and balance that helps them heal faster and gets them home sooner. As we mentioned, these gardens are not only here for the patients and staff, but for the whole community to use. Good health for everyone is a part of the Legacy Heath mission! To find the Legacy Health gardens in your area you can check out their website at https://www.legacyhealth.org/gardens.