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The Garden Beet

Rah, rah, red shiso, boom, bah

By | The Garden Beet | No Comments

Gardening Gourmet
By Sydney Jordan Brown MG 2000

No, not a typo. But more a gardener’s “Oh!” if it’s the first time you’ve heard about Perilla frutescens var. crispa, more commonly known as shiso. It’s also referred to as beefsteak plant — this author finds it difficult to visualize how this lovely herb resembles a piece of meat. But there you have it.

Even though this perennial herb (belonging to the mint family Lamiaciae) has been highly esteemed in Japanese cuisines and medicinal usages for thousands of years, it’s not so well known in our Western gardens.

Often cultivated as an annual, shiso leafs out with saw-toothed-edged leaves in luminous-lime color. It boasts as well of its other boisterous cultivar in brilliant burgundy. As with most richly purplish-red pigmented plants, this shiso provides nutrients aplenty.

Although green shiso has many benefits, its crimson-shaded cousin contains a potent dose of anthocyanin (antioxidant), Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, calcium, potassium, and iron, as well as vitamins A, B2 and C. It also has a spicy zest with a hint-of-cinnamon taste somewhat like basil or coriander that’s sure to tweak any bland recipe.

Aside from its invaluable vitamin and mineral offerings, the entire plant may be consumed. How good is that! This includes leaves and stems, as well as its most beneficial seeds. Did you know these seeds are also made into an edible oil or ground for seasoning, as well as being used to color umeboshi and flavor the delightfully tangy-spicy pickled ginger?

Shiso is so extremely versatile in recipes, it’s a wonder it’s neither so well known nor used in our country. Not only does it add spice to the main meal but also spiffs up sultry soups, somber salads, routine rice, and tepid tempura, just to name a few.

If that weren’t enough, it also complements meats, seafood, and meatless dishes as well as desserts. Just imagine some icy shiso and berry sorbet sliding smoothly down during those sweltering summer days of being stuck on the home front.

Whether green or red, shiso is relatively easy and content to grow started indoors in early spring or direct sown in open beds or pots.

It’s a perfect plant for all who’ve recently partaken of planting gardens. Whether you’ve only a patio, porch, deck, or puny-sized plot, it will thrive in a pot.

Given a good mix of finely composted bark, morning sun with late afternoon filtered shade and regular watering, you should have plants O’plenty for the picking.

Usually shiso should be mature enough to start leaf harvesting by midsummer. Growing similarly as basil, regular clipping will produce bushier plants with even more leaves to indulge.

During late summer, flowering stalks result in seeds that may be consumed or saved for sowing your own next season.

What more could one want?

Gotta get, get, get,

get out and go do it!

Sow some shiso

and make it a hit!

 

Seed Sources:

Pinetree garden seeds

www.superseeds.com

Red shiso

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

www.rareseeds.com

Both red and green as well variegated with both colors

Johnny’s Selected Seeds

www.johnnyseeds.com

Both red and green varieties

 

Recipe:

Red shiso and raspberry sorbet

1/2 to 2/3 cup organic sugar, honey or agave

1 1/2 cups organic apple juice

1 good sized knob of fresh ginger, washed and grated

1 cup red shiso leaves, washed

2 cups fresh organic/home-grown raspberries (frozen also work) or black or boysenberries

Juice and zest of one organic lime

1/2 cup port wine (or frozen raspberry juice)

pinch of sea salt

Two 5.3 oz containers of raspberry Greek yogurt

To make syrup: In a medium saucepan, mix together sweetener of choice, apple juice, and ginger root. Bring just to a boil then add shiso leaves. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for an hour.

Place raspberries in a food processor or blender and add about 1/2 cup or more syrup, as needed, so they’ll puree. Strain puree through a fine sieve pressing out juices with a wooden spoon. Discard seeds, leaves and ginger fibers.

Add port wine (or raspberry juice) juice and zest from the lime and yogurt to syrup. Stir to mix well. Refrigerate until well chilled and freeze in an ice cream freezer following manufacturer’s directions.

 

The Garden Checklist for July

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By Janine Salvatti 

Master Gardener 2019

 

Well, summer is now in full swing. I don’t know about you, but despite knowing it’s coming, it always surprises me to see it barrel in loud and rambunctious. And while dealing with all this rambunctiousness, we need to remember that we have roughly 100 days until the first frost for any crops we are planting.

From the Garden Guide for the Rogue Valley:

Direct seed: Amaranth, beans, beets, carrots, collard, dill endive, escarole, Florence fennel, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, peas, rutabaga, scallions, Swiss chard.

Sow for transplanting: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage pak choi, radicchio.

Adjust watering: Blackberries require 1” of water per week. Blueberries need constant moisture, especially during fruiting. Peppers – spray with a solution of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) mixed 4 TBSP per gallon of water to make them crisper and sweeter. Reduce water to potatoes when vines start to die back.

Fertilize established asparagus beds and check / control asparagus beetles. After cane berries have finished production, prune vines that bore fruit to the ground. Do not compost, instead burn or trash.

General for ornamentals:

Pest and disease control measures should be in high gear now. The honeymoon of early spring when our gardens were nearly pristine is over. It’s hard to keep up with the various wildlife, bugs, and bacteria/viruses out to get our prize veggies and ornamentals.

If you don’t have one already, try one of the bug ID apps for your phone or computer.

Potted and hanging plants need a regular watering schedule and a weekly fertilizer program throughout the season to keep the flower show going.

Regular deadheading is required for most flowering plants to encourage vigor and a long bloom season. Carefully deadhead rhodies and azaleas so as not to damage the flower buds for next year. They are ready for a good organic feed right after blooming.

Prune out dead, diseased, crossing branches on your shrubs and trees any time of year.

It’s not too late to mulch to conserve soil moisture and moderate soil temps.

Play time ideas for gardeners: Invite a friend over for a yard visit (with social distancing or masks!) to enjoy your garden, write in your garden journal, draw or paint your garden, photograph your flowers, bring your ukulele out and serenade your garden, eat breakfast outside, phone a gardening friend, or swap gardening magazines or books with friends to inspire your creative juices! Just enjoy your garden!

Resources:

www.extension.oregonstate.edu

Garden Guide for the Rogue Valley

Cora Lee sends thanks for Haydn’s remembrance

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Editor’s note: Cora Lee wrote this note to thank Ronnie and the Master Gardeners for the obituary in the May issue of The Beet about the passing of her husband, Haydn.

——

Dear Master Gardeners,

What a lovely thing to do – thanks for the memories. Our long association with the Master Gardeners were some of the best times in our lives. As volunteers you think you are doing something for someone – your community. Giving back. Yes we did spend a lot of time at Extension. And we had a good time, made friends, gained more knowledge and experience, and had the satisfaction of seeing accomplishment. It was far more than we gave.

I am sad to lose Haydn. He was my best friend. We have had a good life. A family of 4 children who are now as old as we were when we joined MG in ‘94. We’ve lived and traveled all over the US. We have lived out most of our dreams. The last 9 months we finally lived in Hawaii as many of you remember it was our hope to someday do that.

Now I am in Vancouver, WA, near part of our family. I have a small house and a yard where I can continue to garden. It is my solace. I have a new journey to make. And I have great memories.

Love,

Cora Lee

May 11, 2020

Extension, Demo Gardens resume modified activity

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By Erika Szonntag

OSU Program Advisor 

 

Dear Master Gardeners,

Happy July! Summer is in full swing, and I hope this finds you and your families healthy and stable. I will highlight some key points about SOREC’s phased reopening, in addition to the new OSU Master Gardener Program vision and mission statements.

As of June 24, 2020, OSU Extension/SOREC moved into Phase II/Modified Operations. The front office is open to the public on a very limited basis, and faculty have been invited back to work, but only on a limited, necessary basis. Once again, OSU Extension operates under Executive Order 20-28, specific to institutions of higher education. This Executive Order is different from that under which county governments operate (Executive Order 20-27). You can read more about OSU Extension’s Resumption plan here.

Face-to-face volunteer activities within the Master Gardener program are still restricted. The Master Gardener Coordinator community, however, has received permission from OSU administration to resume work in demonstration and community gardens on a limited basis. Work days at the SOREC Demonstration Gardens are limited to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon, and to 20 people maximum per day. For now, GEMs and students have been invited to return. Depending on the number of people who sign up ahead of time to come, we may be able to open work days to other perennial Master Gardeners. Work in the gardens is limited to maintenance and is not open to the public or for educational instruction or events. Volunteers must register ahead of time to come work in the gardens, in addition to completing readings and a mandatory OSU COVID-19 training that Erika will provide if necessary.

OSU Extension regional directors and program leaders are developing an authorization process to conduct in-person programs, activities, meetings, and events over the coming weeks and months. Details are forthcoming, and any in-person Extension programming (including volunteer led) needs approval in order to be conducted.

We are still holding Plant Clinic virtually, and no in-person Master Gardener activities have been approved aside from limited work in the SOREC Demonstration Gardens.

The OSU Extension Master Gardener program has also updated its mission and vision statements as of June 11, 2020. This work began back in the summer of 2019 among all volunteer coordinators and Gail Langellotto. The advent of the current racial and social movement and the call to truly embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion have made this the perfect time to finalize our mission and vision to reflect how we want to move forward in serving those who need our services most, and how we can create the most inclusive culture possible within the Master Gardener program.

Our Mission: Cultivating resilient and healthy communities throughout Oregon through sustainable horticulture education and gardening projects that are rooted in science and that are supported by OSU Extension volunteers.

Our Vision: We provide accessible and equitable education programs that nurture life-long learners and volunteers who can expand the reach and impact of science-based sustainable gardening practices to benefit all Oregonians.

As always, stay tuned for more updates regarding reopening status, and please do not hesitate to contact me at erika.szonntag@oregonstate.edu with any questions you may have. Stay safe and healthy!

– Erika

Gardening Gourmet | Rah, rah, red shiso, boom, bah

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By Sydney Jordan Brown | Master Gardener 2000

Garden Beet July ‘20

Get out for the pick-off,

Every gardener go shout

Decide on your shiso,

Then plant some out.

No, not a typo. But more a gardener’s “Oh!” if it’s the first time you’ve heard about Perilla frutescens var. crispa, more commonly known as shiso. It’s also referred to as beefsteak plant — this author finds it difficult to visualize how this lovely herb resembles a piece of meat. But there you have it.

Even though this perennial herb (belonging to the mint family Lamiaciae) has been highly esteemed in Japanese cuisines and medicinal usages for thousands of years, it’s not so well known in our Western gardens.

Often cultivated as an annual, shiso leafs out with saw-toothed-edged leaves in luminous-lime color. It boasts as well of its other boisterous cultivar in brilliant burgundy. As with most richly purplish-red pigmented plants, this shiso provides nutrients aplenty.

Although green shiso has many benefits, its crimson-shaded cousin contains a potent dose of anthocyanin (antioxidant), Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, calcium, potassium, and iron, as well as vitamins A, B2 and C. It also has a spicy zest with a hint-of-cinnamon taste somewhat like basil or coriander that’s sure to tweak any bland recipe.

Aside from its invaluable vitamin and mineral offerings, the entire plant may be consumed. How good is that! This includes leaves and stems, as well as its most beneficial seeds. Did you know these seeds are also made into an edible oil or ground for seasoning, as well as being used to color umeboshi and flavor the delightfully tangy-spicy pickled ginger?

Shiso is so extremely versatile in recipes, it’s a wonder it’s neither so well known nor used in our country. Not only does it add spice to the main meal but also spiffs up sultry soups, somber salads, routine rice, and tepid tempura, just to name a few.

If that weren’t enough, it also complements meats, seafood, and meatless dishes as well as desserts. Just imagine some icy shiso and berry sorbet sliding smoothly down during those sweltering summer days of being stuck on the home front.

Whether green or red, shiso is relatively easy and content to grow started indoors in early spring or direct sown in open beds or pots.

It’s a perfect plant for all who’ve recently partaken of planting gardens. Whether you’ve only a patio, porch, deck, or puny-sized plot, it will thrive in a pot.

Given a good mix of finely composted bark, morning sun with late afternoon filtered shade and regular watering, you should have plants O’plenty for the picking.

Usually shiso should be mature enough to start leaf harvesting by midsummer. Growing similarly as basil, regular clipping will produce bushier plants with even more leaves to indulge.

During late summer, flowering stalks result in seeds that may be consumed or saved for sowing your own next season.

What more could one want?

Gotta get, get, get,

get out and go do it!

Sow some shiso

and make it a hit!

 

Seed Sources:

Pinetree garden seeds

www.superseeds.com

Red shiso

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

www.rareseeds.com

Both red and green as well variegated with both colors

Johnny’s Selected Seeds

www.johnnyseeds.com

Both red and green varieties

 

Recipe:

Red shiso and raspberry sorbet

1/2 to 2/3 cup organic sugar, honey or agave

1 1/2 cups organic apple juice

1 good sized knob of fresh ginger, washed and grated

1 cup red shiso leaves, washed

2 cups fresh organic/home-grown raspberries (frozen also work) or black or boysenberries

Juice and zest of one organic lime

1/2 cup port wine (or frozen raspberry juice)

pinch of sea salt

Two 5.3 oz containers of raspberry Greek yogurt

To make syrup: In a medium saucepan, mix together sweetener of choice, apple juice, and ginger root. Bring just to a boil then add shiso leaves. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for an hour.

Place raspberries in a food processor or blender and add about 1/2 cup or more syrup, as needed, so they’ll puree. Strain puree through a fine sieve pressing out juices with a wooden spoon. Discard seeds, leaves and ginger fibers.

Add port wine (or raspberry juice) juice and zest from the lime and yogurt to syrup. Stir to mix well. Refrigerate until well chilled and freeze in an ice cream freezer following manufacturer’s directions.

 

Working Groups Look at Ways to Rebuild Lost Income 

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By Ronnie Budge

 Master Gardener 2011

JCMGA President

 

The frustration was palpable. When businesses reopened in Oregon and we could, if we chose, again visit museums, art galleries, and other places of interest – keeping six feet from others and/or wearing masks – still no one could be on the Extension campus. It seems that the Governor’s directive for education institutions like OSU has a different timeline than other organizations. But at last there’s some light: volunteers will now be permitted to work in the Demonstration Gardens, under strict guidelines. Because of the essential nature of the work we do, helping with food security, exceptions have been made for volunteers to be on campus. The numbers allowed at any one time will be limited, so work in the gardens will be spread out over multiple days instead of being concentrated on Wednesday mornings. This is for our own safety, but I know we’ll miss the congeniality of coffee and donut breaks. Master Gardener Coordinator Erika Szonntag and the garden coordinators will share the details.

At our regular June Board of Directors meeting (held via Zoom, naturally) each of JCMGA’s working groups gave an update on their plans for the coming months. The Fundraising Working Group and the Communications Working Group will together do even more promotion of the efforts already underway to raise money through the sale of our Garden Guides, bottle and can returns, etc.

My personal favorite of these is requesting that my purchases at the Grange Co-op be credited to JCMGA. Of all the local stores I used to patronize, the one I’ve continued to visit during the pandemic is the Grange Co-op, to buy fertilizer and other supplies for my vegetable garden. (I go during the first hour of the morning when the store is open only to seniors.) Each time I check out, even if I’ve bought only a package of seeds, when the clerk asks if I’m a member I say “No, but please credit the Jackson County Master Gardener Association.” It takes a few minutes for the clerk to locate JCMGA in the computer, but s/he always does find it. The amounts of these purchases add up, and at the end of the year JCMGA gets a percentage credit that can be used to buy supplies for the Practicum or Demonstration Gardens. The credit isn’t huge, only about $300 each year, but if we all remembered to do this I believe it could be much larger.

It looks as though “pop-up sales” of the natives and other plants raised by the Practicum, and which are still held on campus or being fostered by members at their homes, will not be possible until at least September. However, one of our Board members volunteered her large property for a “community garage sale” in August, with an emphasis on garden supplies and equipment. Several of us will pitch in as private citizens to help and to donate items to sell. This would not be under the auspices of JCMGA, but it is expected that proceeds will be donated to our organization after the event.

You may remember that last year there was a Holiday Gala in Greenhouse 2 where winter-blooming bulbs, wreaths, and other decorations were sold. Depending on the circumstances, we want to have a similar socially-distanced activity on campus, or a virtual Holiday Gala instead.

Our traditional Winter Dreams/Summer Gardens education event, normally held the first Saturday in November, is of course cancelled. There are many professionally produced webinars and YouTube videos available to learn about gardening, and we see no need to try and compete with these as an alternative to Winter Dreams. However, the Community Outreach Working Group would like to develop locally-focused virtual gardening lessons and demonstrations, but lacks equipment and expertise. If you have either or both to offer, please contact Jim Buck or Bill Gabriel.

Looking to 2021, what we do depends on COVID-19 and guidelines from the state and OSU. The Spring Garden Fair Working Group is starting to plan with two alternatives in mind: Holding it at the county fairgrounds as usual, or having a virtual event, with links to vendors (including JCMGA) who could take orders online and sell from their own locations. So, as they say, stay tuned.

 

Jackson County Master Gardener Association: Board Meeting (by Zoom)

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Jackson County Master Gardener Association

Board Meeting (by Zoom)

6/12/20

Announcements

  1. Jane Moyer announced that Practicum mentors who took seedlings home were able to get containers from the Practicum supply at the Extension on Thursday 6/11 for transplanting.
  2. Ronnie Budge presented a thank you card from Cora Lee in regards to The Garden Beet article on the life and contributions of her husband Haydn Lee. The entire card will be reprinted in the July Garden Beet.
  3. More blue bags are needed for recycling redeemable cans and bottles. Jane Sawall volunteered to pick them up and to work with Kate Hassen to develop a system for distributing them.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Annette Carter reported June income of $1100 from plant sale donations, Garden Guides, and recycling redeemable cans and bottles and $75 refund from the Pear Blossom Parade.

Expenses included $1300 for insurance, and $157 for the agriculture license. The treasurer’s report was accepted as submitted.

Update on Master Gardener Program and Related

  1. Erika Szonntag reported that an agreement with OSU under the Oregon Phase 2 guidelines for reopening is forthcoming for Master Gardeners to be able to be on the Extension grounds for plant  maintenance (i.e. the Master Gardeners will soon be able to return to the Demonstration Gardens to maintain the existing plants). Volunteers will be required to complete the online COVID-19 training, wear masks when in the building or within 6′ of another person, and bring their own tools or use and sterilize tools from the MG tool shed. It is predicted that volunteers will be limited to three days per week, 20 MG’s per day, and 2 per garden using an online sign-up system. Only one person will be allowed in a restroom at a time and hand washing stations will be available in the gardens.
  2. Group meetings at the Extension can resume on September 1 or later depending on COVID-19 conditions.
  3. An Outreach Coordinator has been hired by OSU to work with the Extensions.
  4. Erika shared a document from Gail Langellotto on Racial Justice in the Gardens (See attachment #1) which will lead to revised vision and mission statements (See attachment #2).
  5. The 2021 class format is still to be determined. Priority will be given to 2020 students.
  6. Practicum format is also still to be determined.
  7. Pop up sales will resume in the fall at the earliest.

Update/Proposals from WDSG Working Group

Sue Koury, one of the three WDSG co-chairs, reported they recommend there be no WDSG this year. Having a virtual WDSG was discussed but the co-chairs feel they don’t have the knowledge or the expertise to pull together this kind of an online event.

Update/Proposals from Fundraising Working Group

Jane Moyer reported for Chair Sandy Hammond. Recommendations include:

  1. Increase advertising for the fundraising efforts already developed through MailChimp, the JCMGA Facebook page, the JCMGA website, PSA’s, Jefferson Exchange, etc. along with an explanation of what we support with the funds. (The efforts we already have going include the sale of the Garden Guides, Grange refund, bottle and can returns, CARS, Amazon Smile, and direct donations.)
  2. Coordinate pop-up sales through the Fundraising Working Group so each sale can include more than native plants and advertising can be coordinated through all the same avenues mentioned in #1.
  3. Depending on the circumstances, have either a social distancing appropriate Holiday Gala or a  virtual Holiday Gala advertised through all the same avenues mentioned in attachment #1.
  4. Include bulb sales and Garden Guide sales in the virtual WDSG and advertise through all the same avenues mentioned in #1.

Update/Proposals from Communications Working Group

Kate Hassen reminded the Board of Directors that any new projects need to be assigned to one of the working groups. At this point, the Communications Working Group doesn’t have the equipment or the expertise to create virtual events but is glad to advertise/distribute the information.

Kate Hassen moved JCMGA purchase and maintain a Zoom account. Sandy Hansen seconded. Motion passed with 18 in favor and 2 opposed.

Update/Proposals from Community Outreach Working Group

Bill Gabriel/Jim Buck would like to start a collection of virtual lessons, but also don’t have the equipment or the expertise to create them. Suggestions were made to look at the Practicum lessons taught by Zoom or OSU webinars coordinated by Brooke Edmunds. Sherri Morgan is developing a virtual tour of native plant gardens for next spring. This project was assigned to the Community Outreach Working Group. Jim Buck will contact Sherri to offer the working group’s help with coordination. 

Update/Proposals from Gardens Working Group

Janine Salvatti referred the board to the report from Erika Szonntag.

Update/Proposals from Spring Garden Fair Working Group

Jane Moyer reported the SGF Working Group co-chairs have agreed to start planning for the 2021 SGF with two plans:

Plan A: Spring Garden Fair at the fairgrounds as usual.

       Plan B: A virtual Spring Garden Fair. “Booths” would be a link to a page set up by each vendor to show their products and take orders. Customers would arrange to pick up their purchases from the vendor. JCMGA booths would also have a link. The plan to be used will depend on the state and OSU guidelines in effect after the first of the year.

Update/Proposals from Member Services Working Group

Keltie Nelson had no updates or proposals to report.

OMGA Report

Barbara Davidson reported on the Oregon Master Gardener Association.

  1. An Executive Committee meeting was held June 5.
  2. Erika Szonntag and Gail Langellotto have been working hard to obtain OSU permission to reopen the gardens.
  3. Lee Ann Locher has been hired as an outreach coordinator for the Extensions. We are hoping to use her expertise to assist with our outreach to the community, fundraising, and advertising.
  4. Mini-college is scheduled for July 17-18, 2021, in Corvallis. This will be a 45-year celebration of the annual gardening conference. The organizers are looking for a black binder holding information and documents from the past. They are also asking chapters to present a timeline of local activities.

Pam Hillers will compile this as soon as she can be admitted into the Extension building to access the archives. Names of 20/30/40-year members are needed so they can be honored. Patrice Kaska will send them to Barbara Davidson.

  1. A Karl Carlson Grant for $250 has been awarded to JCMGA towards the purchase of vent screens for Greenhouse #2 to help prevent insects from entering.
  2. OMGA needs a news editor. Let Barbara Davidson know if you are interested.

Proposed Policy on Conflict of Interest: Kathy Apple moved the board adopt the proposed policy titled “Conflict of Interest.” (See attachments #3 and #4.) Lynn Kunstman seconded. Unanimous approval.

Proposed Policy on Operating Reserve Fund: Kathy Apple moved the board adopt the “Operating Reserve Fund” policy in the new policy format. (See attachment #5.) Lynn Kunstman seconded. Nineteen board members voted in favor, one opposed.

Proposed Policy on Acceptance of Gifts: Kathy Apple moved the board adopt the proposed policy titled “Acceptance of Gifts.” (See attachment #6.) Kate Hassen seconded. Unanimous approval. A list of acceptable non-monetary items will be developed by Kathy Apple.

Proposed Policy on School Garden Grants: Kathy Apple moved the board adopt the “School Garden Grants” policy in the new policy format. Barbara Davidson asked item 2.2 be amended to show the grants are posted in August, due in October, and awarded in November so the process occurs in the same school year the funds are used. (See attachment #7.) Barbara Davidson seconded the motion as amended. Unanimous approval.

Proposed Policy on JCMGA Event & Master Gardener Program Grants: Kathy Apple moved the board adopt the proposed policy on “JCMGA Event & Master Gardener Program Grants”. (See attachment #8.) Barbara Davidson seconded. Unanimous approval. 

July Board Meeting: 9:30–11:30, Friday July 10, 2020 by Zoom.

Submitted by Jane Moyer, Recording Secretary

Mosquito-Proofing your Backyard

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Taking a few minutes to remove mosquito breeding habitat around your property can reduce your risk of mosquitoes spoiling your barbecues, or worse, spreading diseases such as West Nile Virus.

After each rain take a few minutes and inspect your yard and dump out water from any household containers, such as buckets, flowerpots, and old tires that may breed mosquitoes. 

Don’t forget to check for clogged rain gutters, or tarps over wood piles, and boats that may also be holding water.

If you are collecting rainwater for later use, be sure that barrels or cisterns are covered with fine mesh screen to keep mosquitoes from using them as a home. 

Ornamental ponds and stock troughs should be stocked with mosquito fish to keep mosquitoes at bay. 

Dog dishes and bird baths should be cleaned weekly. Remember anything that holds water for 7 days can produce mosquitoes.

Jackson County Vector Control District

 

How to contact

Jackson County Vector Control District

555 Mosquito Lane

Central Point, OR 97502

(541) 826-2199

Rose Lovers, Watch for Trouble in Paradise

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By Janine Salvatti

Master Gardener 2019

Rose lovers, are you aware of Rose Rosette Disease, RRD? There is no cure for this deforming and highly contagious virus transmitted by wind-blown mites half the length of a grain of salt.

Until yesterday, I had never heard of this disease and I have not heard rose enthusiasts talking about it, probably because it is not yet known to be active in Oregon. However, the nearest occurrence is in Northern California, a little too close to ignore.

The disease reports map shows active RRD outbreaks and the distribution map shows the plant carrier, not the disease itself, as it progressed across the country. The carrier plant is Rosa multiflora. It was heavily planted east of the Cascades as a livestock barrier but found to be a vicious thug.

The virus was cultivated to eradicate the plant and thought to be a threat to only the Rosa multiflora plant. But this biocontrol was worse than the original problem. RRD attacks ANY rose. The virus infects the mites as they chew on the foliage. The wind blows the mites to neighboring rose stock and the infected mites transmit the disease to the roses where they land as well as their offspring. There is no cure.

Expert advice recommends putting a plastic bag over the entire bush and cutting the bush close to ground level. The bag hopefully prevents mites from being disturbed and spread to other roses. The root can then be dug out more easily. Such bushes should never be composted. Trying to address a single cane is not favored due to ease of transmission.

The only bright spot in this is that the virus does not live in the soil. A new rose may be planted immediately.

The virus manifests at the growing tips of the rose plant. Leaves are deformed and are intensely red, sometimes purple. The growth is expressed as a witch’s broom and the canes become very thorny. The flowers have a smashed appearance if they open at all.

Researchers are trialing a number of roses that show some resistance to RRD and successful varieties will become available after multi-year tests.

RRD may not be in Oregon yet and hopefully it never gets here, but it is close by. We need to stay vigilant and be prepared to act quickly.

References:

Roserosette.org: Rosette distribution map, disease reports map 

PNW Disease Management Handbook

The Missouri Botanical Garden – Pests and Problems

Podcast: “A Way to Garden” by Margaret Roach. Date: June 6, 2018 

The Seattle Times, “Deadly plant disease threatens nation’s $250M rose business” Sept. 19, 2018

Learning to Love Weeds: Beyond the War on Invasive Species

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By John Yuker

Master Gardener 2019

Dandelions. Bull thistle. Kudzu. Japanese knotweed.
Himalayan blackberry.

From front lawns to woodlands, these are among the most despised of plant species. Species that, we are told, are hell-bent on taking over every square inch of soil, crowding out native species, ruining ecosystems, and giving gardeners ulcers.

But what if everything we know about weeds is wrong? What if the invasive species we have grown to hate, have spent millions of dollars on fighting, are not so awful after all? What if they have something important to tell us about our soil, our ecosystems? What if these species have something to offer these ecosystems, something restorative, even beneficial? 

Beyond the War on Invasive Species: A Permaculture Approach to Ecosystem Restoration” by Tao Orion will open your eyes to the plants we have long viewed as weeds and inspire a permaculture-based approach to gardening.

Tao Orion opens the book on her experiences in wetlands restoration outside Eugene, Oregon and the invasive species they battled, sometimes with chemicals, in an effort to restore native species. In doing so, they learned that invasive species thrived where reintroduced native species struggled. She came to realize that these invasive species were there for a reason, and they were serving important purposes: “The bees didn’t appear to mind that the nectar they sipped came from a flower that originated in Europe nor did the frogs seem to care that the low-growing thatch of rattail fescue hailed from the same region.” 

She took a step back and began to take a “big picture” look at restoration, at the history of the land, disturbances, changes in climate, introduced chemicals. All of these factors play a role in which species thrive in an area and which do not. Labeling a plant “invasive” creates an unhealthy dynamic of viewing plants in good and evil terms. She writes: “The presence of invasive species is not necessarily a problem to be solved, but rather an invitation to delve deeply into understanding the complex ecosystem dynamics to which they are intrinsically related.” In other words, before reaching for the Roundup, take a moment to study your own ecosystem. Better yet, skip the chemicals entirely. 

Orion challenges the notion that invasive species have made other species extinct. While invasives can be quite aggressive, there is little evidence that they alone destroy other species. There are a host of reasons why native species may be in decline; invasive species are more often correlative than causative.

I appreciate how Orion places our experiences with nature in historical terms, focusing on the Natives who tended to the land long before Europeans arrived. In a section titled “The Myth of Wilderness,” she writes: “America’s most celebrated wilderness areas were once peoples’ homes, and many of the most prized native plants are remnants from gardens and orchards.” In other words, humans have been gardening from the very beginning and our ancestors did a far better job of it than we are today. 

“Beyond the War on Invasive Species” By Tao Orion, Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, VT, 2015