Monday, August 30, 2010

Learning Garden Harvest Party

Through a day camp my kids attended this summer, they were invited to participate in a Harvest Party (and pizza party!) at the Learning Garden.  For those of you who aren't familiar, Portland State University sponsors the Learning Garden Laboratory, which is "a 12-acre garden education site located in Southeast Portland that provides K-12, university students and community members hands-on and place-based education in sustainable gardening, healthy nutrition, and permaculture." (from PSU's Web site) The Learning Garden is a partnership between Portland State University, Portland Public Schools, Portland Parks and Recreation, and Oregon State University Extension Service.

The garden itself is beautiful, with a healthy multitude of organic vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers growing in lovely rows as far as the eye can see. When we arrived, someone explained how the harvest party was going to work.  We would help harvest some veggies, herbs or fruit, then bring it over to be weighed/recorded.  After that, everything would go on one of two large tables, so that everyone could take some of the bounty home at the end.  We were put right to work harvesting green beans and yellow wax beans from 6-foot-tall stalks.  My brother-in-law and nephews joined us, and we had a wonderful time picking the beans - the adults taking the high ones and the kids the ones closer to the ground.  We must have harvested about 7 pounds between all of us!

 After that, we took a break and enjoyed some fresh homemade mini pizzas (topped with Learning Garden veggies and basil and grilled right outdoors)!  And to think, after all the fun we'd had all morning long (not to mention the free and delicious lunch) we STILL got to take home as many fresh, organic goodies as we wanted........what a bargain!  I did find out that the Learning Garden harvests at least twice a week (including Saturdays) and welcomes volunteers to help with that process.  In return, helpers get to take some goodies home.  Yeah, we'll be back.

What we took home:

  • Spaghetti squash
  • Green beans
  • Yellow wax beans
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Red onion
  • Sweet basil
  • Thai basil
  • Purple ruffle basil
  • Garlic
  • Lavender
  • Dahlias

1 comment:

  1. I like the layout because you can click on the title of the thing you're most interested in finding out about. Thumbs up! PS. Just realizing I forgot to respond to your text about the kids. Joel and I have a meeting at 10 and then I have a Doctor's appt for Jonny in the afternoon. =( Sorry, would love to see the kiddos. Stop by and say hi to the Davies sometime.