McKenzie River Reflections

Ross PenhallegonRoss Penhallegon will share his over 40 years of gardening experience and expertise at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Blue River on Saturday, May 4th, at 10 a.m. Everyone is welcome to attend this free event.

Compost pileBy Denise Ruttan
Compost organic matter such as animal manure to feed your garden. Photo courtesy Tufts University

Don't get rid of the manure that chickens, horses or llamas leave behind.
Animal manure is rich in nutrients that make it a great organic fertilizer for your garden, said Melissa Fery, an instructor with the Oregon State University Extension Service's small farms program.
"Manure is a low-cost fertilizer and a wonderful way to utilize nutrients instead of creating a pile that is not getting used and could be harmful to water quality," she said.

GreenwashingDear EarthTalk: I hear the term “greenwashing” a lot these days but am still not sure exactly what it means. Can you enlighten?

-- Ruth Markell, Indianapolis, IN

By Denise Ruttan

ClochePhoto by Sam Anigma
A cloche can be built to protect raised beds in winter.

Afraid gardening and your soil are not compatible? Raised beds can come to the rescue.
"By building raised beds, you instantaneously can have good garden loam," said Ross Penhallegon, a horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service. "Raised beds answer the question of how we garden in inhospitable areas that are too sandy, too wet or have too much clay."

Willamalane climbing wallA climbing open house is set for May 4, at the Willamalane Center, 250 S. 32nd St. in Springfield. The free event - for all ages - runs from 1 to 4 p.m. Participants will learn tips, tricks and see demos from climbing experts.

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McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.