The Powell women love to cook, eat, entertain and garden. We got the cooking and eating from Mom’s grandmother and the gardening from Dad’s mother and grandmother. I have many fond memories that revolve around one or more of these activities. Many memories surround the yearly vegetable garden we planted as a family Space was never an issue, so we had a huge garden. Corn, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant (not a favorite of mine as a kid), and lots more. Dad would mark the location of the rows with string between stakes. Mom would hoe a straight row for the seeds. I remember planting a lot of those seeds and then covering them with the soil. There were mounds for the corn and squash. Dad put down black plastic where the tomatoes and peppers grew and cut holes in the plastic, folding it back to allow an area for the plant to grow and receive water. Regularly we would go out and pull weeds or hoe them out. Surprisingly, weeding was and is one of my favorite chores. I must like to see immediate success. Besides vegetables, Dad grew blueberries, currants, raspberries, strawberries, marionberries, apples, pears and figs. Mom canned and froze a lot of the harvest. She taught me to can. Somehow I have not made time for that activity lately. It is hot and tedious. Since my husband and I are trying to practically eliminate sugar and too much salt, I may have to get my canner and jars out this year and can tomatoes and pickles. We’ll see if that actually happens.
We’ve all been trying to eat healthier, cutting out processed foods. My sister, Erica even has chickens. If you visit the nursery you can take a look at them. They have a coop and run on the outside of her fence in the parking lot by the highway. She shares the eggs quite often. She is going to add 2 new ones to the mix. She’s getting lots of advice from staff members that have their own chickens about how to add new ones to the group.
When Erica and I planned out the nursery events for this year, Erica especially wanted to have a day to celebrate and educate about gardening, cooking and eating. Out of this idea came our Everything Edible day, which is happening this Sunday, May 5th. (Check out the list of activities on our website.) Like everything, Everything Edible took on a life of its own. Our own Karen will be sharing about growing fruits. Kate is going to speak about growing vegetables and about the Drunken Botanist collection of plants and how to use them to make cocktails. We have several guests as well. Mia Sonatina winery will be here selling wine by the glass and having a class on growing grapes and making wine. Oregon Trail Brewery, the oldest brewery in the mid-Willamette valley will have his beer truck here. He’s going to talk about growing hops and brewing beer. Ryan from Soul2Grow will educate on growing mushrooms. Vivacity Spirits will be tasting their locally distilled gin and vodka.
Erica and I both love to shop at the First Alternative Co-op. When we began planning Everything Edible, Erica approached them about being a food vendor for the event. So we are very pleased that First Alternative will be at the nursery from 11-3, selling food. Yum. I can’t wait.
The nursery has been so busy this past week with people planting their gardens. We have loaded up on vegetable starts, herbs and fruiting plants. There should be nearly 70 varieties of tomatoes. We even have grafted tomatoes and grafted eggplant. The weather is beautiful (and warm on Sunday). So, I hope you can make it out to Garland Nursery. I can’t wait to plant my garden. I hope there’s something left.