Green tomatoes? But I want them to be ripe!

So many green tomatoes.

This year has been cold and wet, and boy, did the garden notice. I’ve got a raised bed full of not-so-cherry tomatoes — in fact, I’d say they are simply green tomatoes. As fall winds down, Extension has heard “Can I ripen green tomatoes?” more than once.

An OSU Extension article (here) says the answer is yes. (more…)

10/19/2011 at 3:17 pm 3 comments

Quick advice from Extension poultry expert helps save backyard chicken

Viola, now on the road to recovery. Photo by Theresa Hogue.

By guest blogger Theresa Hogue

There’s nothing worse than coming home and finding one of your pets or family members has fallen ill. Since our two backyard chickens are an extension of our indoor fur family, it was upsetting to get home from work last week to find Viola, the largest of our black sex-linked hens, huddled out of the rain looking downright exhausted and listless.

Since her sister, Betita, was marching about in the yard and seemed fine, Viola’s sickness was even more evident. After picking her up and carefully examining her, I was surprised when she expelled clear liquid from her beak, looking at me almost mournfully as she did so. This was one sick chicken. (more…)

10/11/2011 at 4:33 pm 2 comments

Nothing to fear from hobo spiders

This time of year, hobo spiders might wander into your home, but precautions can reduce encounters. Photo by Amy Dreves.

Hobo spiders come out of hiding this time of year, and for many people like me, it’s comforting to know that although the male spiders leave their webs in search of mates, after mating, the males die. (more…)

10/10/2011 at 11:17 am 2 comments

Making the seal: Tale of a novice canner

I was one of those lucky kids who had a grandmother who canned. Peaches. Salsa. Beets. Raspberry jam. There were always jars of stuff in our attic, or my grandmother’s fruit cellar.

But I’d never canned anything myself. So this summer, it came down to this: I wanted pickled green beans (aka dill beans), and the only way to get them was to make them myself, more or less, which meant that I called my mom and begged her to drive three hours one-way and help me.

Armed with OSU’s Pickling Vegetables guide and the number for OSU’s food preservation/safety hotline, I started by inspecting the beans – the 60 pounds of beans my parents picked up – and by peeling an enormous amount of garlic. (more…)

10/03/2011 at 12:07 pm Leave a comment

Orange Tour: Marion-Polk Food Share Photo Post

OSU Extension's Derek Godwin (left) and Phil McCorkle talk outside the Marion-Polk Food Share's building in Salem.

Gardens throughout Marion and Polk county provide fresh produce for emergency food boxes.


06/30/2011 at 10:51 pm Leave a comment

Orange Tour: Wheatacres Ranch Photo Post

Extension Staff Chair Sandy MacNab presents Wheatacres Ranch owners Chris, Larry and Sherry Kaseberg with their Community Impact award in front of the original ranch barn built in 1904.

Larry Kaseberg is a lifelong innovator, leader and supporter of agriculture, and agricultural research and outreach.

Several generations of Kasebergs live at Wheatacres Ranch. The newest barn and tack room support Chris's daughters' equestrian passions.


06/28/2011 at 5:22 pm Leave a comment

Orange Tour: Five things We’ve Learned at the Midway Point

1) We’re glad we don’t live in Texas. Or California. Our state is big enough to have wide open spaces and happy cities, and small enough to let us connect with people in every region. It also allows OSU to be truly a University of the state. The Orange and Black is everywhere, and not just in bumper stickers. Faculty, alumni, and students are in every county of the state doing work that matters to their communities, their families and the state as a whole.

2) People are kind. The enthusiasm we’ve met across the state has been overwhelming. We’ve been met with smiles, waves, offers for dinner and direction, and an enthusiasm for the tour that we’ve found sometimes surprising but always welcome.

3) People are proud. Proud to be Beavers and proud to be Oregonians.


06/28/2011 at 7:02 am 2 comments

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