The Birds & the Bees

Free Class At Cornell Farm: Naturally Attract Your Favorite Wildlife

Transform your yard into a thriving habitat, full of birds, butterflies, bees, and other wildlife!

We will be joined by Nikkie West, Backyard Habitat Program coordinator for the Audubon Society, who will show just how simply adding the right plants can turn anything from your balcony to backyard into a natural sanctuary for your favorite birds and other wildlife.

Backyard Bees

This is a free class!

Free Registration in-store or by phone (503-292-9895) 
[before 6pm Friday April 11th]

 

Saturday April 12, 2014
2:00 -3:00 pm

Cornell Farm 8212 SW Barnes Rd Portland OR 97225

 

 

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Learn How You Can Help the Bees

Last year, in Wilsonville Oregon there was an incident where thousands of bees were found dead in a local parking lot. They were falling from the trees and found dead on the ground. There is currently an active investigation being performed with cooperation from The Oregon Department of Agriculture, City of Wilsonville, City of Sherwood and the Xerces Society. It is believed that this incident is a direct result of pesticide use. This is unfortunately not an isolated incident and has been an ongoing problem for several years now nation wide. Our agriculture, ecosystem and food supply are reliant on the bees and the dwindling bee population is having a huge impact. It is our responsibility to be educated about this topic. Click on the image below to download the guide “How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides” provided on the Oregon State Beekeepers Association’s website.

Reduce Bee Poisoning, A Resource from Farm Garden and Beyond

Cover Image from Pacific Northwest Extension Publication PNW 591

Or Click Here to Learn More: http://www.orsba.org/htdocs/home.php

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NW Area Farmer’s Markets

Vancouver & Portland Area Farmers’ Markets

It is getting to be that time of year…soon the rain will lift and you can stroll down to your local market for a delighful array of fresh fruits, vegitables and local vendors. Here are some of the area markets, click on the link to go to their website.

Old Town Market                        Battle Ground, WA (Saturday)
Camas Farmers’ Market             Camas, WA (Wednesday)
Ridgefield Farmers’ Market         Ridgefield, WA (Saturday)
Vancouver Farmers’ Market       Vancouver, WA (Saturday & Sunday)

Garden Veggies

Beaverton Farmers’ Market        Beaverton, OR (Wednesdays & Saturday)
Canby Farmers’ Market              Canby, OR (Saturday)
Cedar Mill Farmers’ Market         Beaverton, OR (Saturday)
Cully Farmers Market                  Portland, OR (Sunday)
Estacada Farmer’s Market          Estacada, OR (Saturday)
Forest Grove Farmers’ Market    Forest Grove, OR (Wednesday)
Gladstone Summer Market         Gladstone, OR (Saturday)
Gresham Farmers Market           Gresham, OR (Saturday)
Hollywood Farmers Market         Portland, OR (Saturday)

tomatoes

Hillsboro Farmers’ Market           Hillsboro, OR (Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday)
Irvington Farmers Market            Portland, OR (Sunday)
Lloyd Farmers Market                 Portland, OR (Saturday)
Milwaukie Farmers Market          Milwaukie, OR (Sunday)
Moreland Farmers Market           Portland, OR (Wednesday)
North Plains Farmers’ Market     North Plains, OR (Saturday)
Oregon City Farmers Market      Oregon City, OR (Saturday)

Peaches
Parkrose Farmers Market           Portland, OR (Saturday)
Peoples Coop                                 Portland, OR (Wednesday)
Portland Farmers’ Market           Portland, OR (Saturday)
Scappoose Farmers’ Market       Scappoose, OR (Saturday)
Windance Farms and Art            Portland, OR (Thursdays)
Woodstock Farmers Market       Portland, OR (Sunday)

 

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Feed the Birds

If you go into the feed or pet store, you will find a variety of options for your bird feeders…but which one do you choose? Well that highly depends on the type of birds you would like to attract, the area you live in and the time of year. Below is a list of feed items you can find fairly easily at any feed store and some grocery stores that have bulk are even carrying them. A big key to success is to try a small amount, wait and watch. Once you find what works for your area, you will be set. Like all of us, those feathered friends do like variety so don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit.

Do take note. Plan where you have your feeders please. Seed will fall and in the wet months (which is when the birds need it the most) they will likely sprout.

Mealworms

This is a nice option to provide for insect eaters in the winter months when the food supply is low, they will even feed them to their babies. You can opt for the freeze dried or live. Both can be found at most pet stores.

When Best to Provide:
Winter & Spring

Birds It will Most Likely Attract:
Mockingbirds, Robins, Bluebirds

Black Oil or Striped Sunflower

These are popular in most seed mixes. The black oil sunflower seeds are smaller and higher in fat. Birds tend to like these best. Striped seeds are larger, have a harder shell and do not attract as many birds.

When Best to Provide:
Any time

Birds It will Most Likely Attract:
House Finches, Nuthatches, Cardinals, Grosbeaks, Jays, Goldfinches

Black Sunflower Seeds

Black Sunflower Seeds

Fresh Fruit

Fresh apples, grapes or oranges are a great treat for birds.

When Best to Provide:
Summer & Fall, when fruit can be found fresh and in season

Birds It will Most Likely Attract:
Tangers, Orioles, Woodpeckers, Waxwings, Robins

Fruit for the Birds

Fruit for the Birds

Nectar

This can be easily made at home. You can find several sources for a recipe online or here is one from the Domino Sugar website. Skip the food coloring, it is unnecessary and is harmful to the birds. This is not just for humming birds, there are several nectar lovers.

When Best to Provide:
Any time of year

Birds It will Most Likely Attract:
Humming Birds, Orioles, Woodpeckers

Millet

This seed is small round seed and there are several different types; Red, golden and white. The red and golden are not as popular with most birds. The white is the main ingredient in most mixed bird seed blends.

When Best to Provide:
Any time of year

Birds It will Most Likely Attract:
Sparrows, Juncos, Cardinals, Bobwhites, Quail, Doves, Buntings

Millet

Millet

Safflower

It looks similar to the sunflower seed but has a white coating. It is an alternative seed if you want to discourage Starlings or House Sparrows.

When Best to Provide:
Any time of year

Birds It will Most Likely Attract:
Chickadees, Nuthatches, House Finches, Jays , Goldfinches, Grosbeaks, Cardinals

Suet

This can be homemade or store bought. Suet can be simply just animal fat or a mixture of seeds, animal fat, berries and nut butter. It is a great source os fat and is highly important during the winter months to help keep those feathered friend warm. 

When Best to Provide:
Fall & Winter

Birds It will Most Likely Attract:
Chestnut-Backed Chickadee, Red-Breasted Nuthatch, Thrushes, Orioles, Grosbeaks, American Robin

Nuts

Unsalted peanuts are best if you are going to offer them whole, as they are less expensive and easier to shell. If you opt for shelled variety, just make certain they are raw if possible and unsalted . They are a good source of protein and fat for the colder months. The warmer months they spoil faster.

When Best to Provide:
Fall & Winter

Birds It will Most Likely Attract:
Jays, Nuthatches, Mockingbirds, Woodpeckers, Chickadees, House Sparrows, Cardinals, House Finches

Nuts for Birds

Nuts for Birds

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Tip for The Home & Garden: The Dreaded Weeds

Every home owner or renter for the most part can relate to the problem with keeping up on the weeds around the house. Even if you do not have a large yard to look after, those sneaky weeds pop through any crack they can find and of couse have amazing roots to keep them there. We have take a two prong approach to treating weeds around the house and garden.

First we use some chemicals on areas that we know the pets and kids will not be around and also on areas that we know will not have a lot of run off into ground water or road. Making the choice on which one to use can be tricky, but finding something that will be effective and not have to be applied over and over again so that you are using a little as possible. Also the method of application is key, using a sprayer with the applicator on the smallest stream possible so you can keep is low and avoid over spray. The type we have found to work best is Ground Clear by Ortho

Secondly we use a natural weed killer and have found a great mixture that really does do the trick, here is the recipe:

1 Gal of White Vinegar

1 C. Table Salt

1 Tbsp of liquid Dawn Dish Soap

Mix in Sprayer and Apply

Kill those dreaded weeds

This works best to apply first to kill the weeds that are there. When the weeds have died back, pull them and apply again. This solution does have to be re-applied regularly, but it is safe around kids, pets and wildlife. It does not work on really stubborn weeds such as blackberries or bulb based plants, but it keeps many other weeds away.

The dreaded weeds will always be there to plague you, but if you have the ability to consistently get out there and take some action, you will appreciate the benefit in the long run.

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Grow a Tea Garden

Make Your Own Herbal Tea

Nothing is as delightful as clipping fresh herbs from your garden and brewing a fresh pot of tea. Fresh, relaxing and refreshing ingredients gives tea drinking a whole different experience. The flavor will be different from dried store bought teas, plus it is a money saver if you grow your own.

You will only need to purchase a few items to help make the experience easier. Start with finding a sturdy pair of kitchen shears. These are a set you want to keep clean and in the kitchen. Another helpful item is a colander or mesh basket. You can harvest your herbs and  take them straight to the sink to be rinsed. The last two item that are helpful are a sturdy tea jar and a small fine mesh bag that you can place your herbs in for steeping.

Image

Choosing Tea Herbs to Grow

As you are putting in your garden consider planting some of your favorites, as well as try some more exotic herbs to try. Here is a great list to start with: Peppermint, Spearmint, Lemon Balm, Chamomile and Rose-Hips. Some additional herbs to try are the variety of mints: Orange Mint, Chocolate Mint and Pineapple Mint.

Brewing a Perfect Cup of Herbal Sun-Tea

The first step is to properly wash your herbs. Fill a large pot and add a cap-full of lemon juice and a tsp of baking soda. Swirl the herbs around and then rinse well. It is best to use the herbs as soon as possible for the best flavor. Place the herbs in the mesh bag or you can tie them in a bundle and place in your tea jar. Run your tap water as hot as you can get it and fill the jar. You can use bottled water if you like. Place the jar in the sun and allow to steep. The longer it steeps, the stronger the flavor. Remove the herbs when you are ready and place in the fridge.

Now sit back and enjoy…what a treat to know that you grew something so wholesome and tasty!

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Pineapple Honey Sorbet

This recipe is so simple and fresh. Why purchase sorbet from the store, when you can know what goes into your food.

Ingredients
4 Cups Fresh or Canned Pineapple Chunks

1/4-1/2 Cup Honey

1/2 Cup Coconut Water (you can use plain water is you like)

Splash of Lime Juice

 Pineapple

Place the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth. Place mixture into the ice cream machine tin or bowl and chill for 45-60 min. Follow ice cream maker instructions. It will take about 30-40 min to freeze, serve soft or place in freezer til firmer.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can place this in a pan and place in the freezer, it will be more like ice than sorbet, but is still delicious.

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