The cost of food keeps climbing. One in five people faces hunger in Oregon. And the pandemic showed us the fragility of our supply system. Growing our own food—for us, for our families, for our neighbors—is an action gardeners can take to strengthen food security in our local communities. This year’s Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up series is aimed at helping gardeners take a bite out of hunger.
Nine free closed-captioned webinars will be broadcast via Zoom and streamed via our Facebook page on the second Tuesday of the month, at noon, February through October 2024. Experts in their field, from OSU and beyond, present on topics such as how to get the most yield from cool season veggies to growing produce to donate to food banks to how to grow culinary mushrooms.
This series is open to the public, for the experienced gardener and OSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers receive 1 Continuing Education Credit for each class. You can take one, or take all. This webinar is being recorded and will be available to view on our website within two weeks of airdate. Register today!
Here’s a bonus: if you can’t wait to attend these live events, we’ve pulled a collection of eleven past webinars devoted to growing food in this series and made them available on our website. That’s eleven hours of free education to get started with right now! We’re predicting a bumper crop of successful gardeners growing plants for food all across Oregon this year: see you online and in the garden!
Gardeners in Oregon saw what climate change looks like last summer: widespread leaf scorch and leaf drop from trees, bees at risk from heat stress, and plants succumbing to a record-breaking “heat dome”. Dr. Vivek Shandas saw it too, and on the hottest day of the year he set out with his son to measure air and ground temperatures in some of Portland’s most vulnerable communities. His research on climate adaptation and climate justice shows that how people fare during extreme heatwaves is in large part dictated by where they live. Halfway around the globe, Anita Chitaya lives with climate change in Malawai, as a farmer and community activist. She traveled to America to speak with farmers, growers, community organizers, and politicians about climate change and how we can work together to reduce its rapid trajectory.
Movie and Discussion: The Ants and the Grasshopper, and a climate change discussion for gardeners with Vivek Shandas
Join us for the 40th anniversary of OSU’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, when we will gather virtually to reflect upon environmental justice as a component to achieving social justice. We will watch the documentary that chronicles Anita Chitaya’s story, “The Ants and the Grasshopper”. Afterward, stay for a live discussion with Dr. Vivek Shandas about climate change effects on vulnerable communities, the intersection of climate change and social justice, and what role gardeners can play to promote healthier living environments for all.
About the movie, The Ants and the Grasshopper : How do you change someone’s mind about the most important thing in the world? Anita Chitaya has a gift: she can change farmers’ minds about what to grow, she can change what people love to eat, and she can even persuade men to fight for gender equality. Now, to save her home in Malawi from extreme weather, she faces her greatest challenge: persuading Americans that climate change is real.
About Dr. Vivek Shandas: Vivek Shandas is a Professor in the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University. His work focuses on developing strategies for addressing the implications of climate change on cities. His teaching and research examine the intersection of exposure to climate-induced events, governance processes, and planning mechanisms. As the Founder and Director of the Sustaining Urban Places Research (SUPR) laboratory at PSU, he brings a policy-relevant approach to research, including the evaluation of environmental stressors on human health, developing of indicators and tools to improve decision making, and the construction of frameworks to guide the growth of urban regions. Over the past several years, research from the SUPR Lab has appeared in the Smithsonian Magazine, National Public Radio, Washington Post, Minnesota Public Broadcasting, NY Times, Qatar Times, and several other national and international media.
About this event: The OSU Extension Master Gardener program is sponsoring this event as one small part of OSU’s 40th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration. This event is open to all gardeners, including Master Gardener volunteers, and is intended to provide an opportunity to reflect on Dr. King’s legacy, and our programmatic commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as climate change.
How to access this event: Tickets are free but require registration. Once you register at Kinema you’ll be provided sign-in information from Kinema. You must view the movie and discussion through Kinema at the time this event is scheduled.
While this event is in the evening, Master Gardeners are encouraged to use their day of service.
Here are some ideas:
Make your commitments for the year to teach and reach gardeners who are underserved by our services
Make seed tape or mason bee houses to donate to your local community garden or school garden
If your Master Gardener Association hosts an annual plant sale, include plant donations to your local community garden or school garden in your propagation plans
For Master Gardener coordinators and local association leadership, connect to your local SNAP-Ed educator in your Extension office and ask “What can we do?”
Commit to supporting your local SNAP-Ed educator in every county, as a support to our joint Food Hero and Grow This! program.
Commit to planning a workshop that broadens community outreach. Plan for an event with childcare in conjunction with a community partner whose work you want to support.
Make plans and commitments for 2022 to explore the connection of gardeners to combat climate change as a form of environmental justice. Explore the intersection of those most vulnerable to climate change and climate change, and what gardeners can do to better connect these.
What are your ideas as gardeners for being of service to community on MLK Day? We’d love to hear them.
The OSU Extension website is constantly being updated with new and current articles to support the public’s need for timely and relevant information. OSU Extension Master Gardeners refer to much of this content when advising and answering questions to the general public. A new garden content team, made up of OSU home horticulture faculty, has been strategically identifying and publishing new articles to support this need.
Recent articles Master Gardeners may find helpful:
Dealing with Ticks. This article was developed specifically to help support volunteers and staff receiving inquiries about ticks in the garden.
Wondering what’s the latest in new articles by the garden content team? Visit Get your gardening questions answered on the Master Gardener website and see “Recent gardening articles” at the bottom of the page. Also, this page is a helpful resource to point to the different ways the public can get help:
Ask a question online;
Connect with their local Master Gardeners;
Access OSU Extension research and articles
In addition, new publications to OSU Extension’s vast catalog are constantly being updated and published. Some recent materials that may be relevant to Master Gardeners:
Wondering what’s the latest being released in the OSU Extension Catalog? You can find the new publications here.
Keep your Master Gardener coordinators informed of trending questions or needs from the public, and check for new publications periodically. We’re working hard to ensure our mission and to support the great work of Master Gardener volunteers.
Oregon State University Extension wants to support you getting the kind of information you want and need for growing plants in a home, community garden and landscape setting. Help us craft our future offerings: take a moment to participate in our survey. https://oregonstate.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1RH4CHIopoHN9XM
Consider sharing this survey with your gardening friends and neighbors. Our goal is to hear from at least 5,000 Oregon gardeners.