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Extension Cord: Take the pressure out of pressure canning

The start of the food preservation season can bring mixed emotions for me. On the one hand, I am thrilled by the plethora of fresh, local fruits and vegetables and the opportunities we have here in the gorge to put up just about any kind of fruit, vegetable, or protein through canning, drying, freezing, or fermenting.

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Creativity by the yard: thinking beyond grass

Grass isn’t always the best groundcovers for a yard: It’s thirsty at a time when water is becoming scarce; it attracts fewer pollinators; it requires expensive chemicals to maintain, and it must be disposed of if you bag as you mow.

Conservation Corner: The darker side of weeds

It is said that a weed is any plant growing someplace you don’t want it. For the most part this is true — for your average everyday plants like dandelions and runaway spearmint. As you will learn there are weeds and then there are WEEDS.

Hood River Garden Tour set for June 29

Bees, Blossoms and Scarecrows is the theme of this year’s garden tour Saturday, June 29, in Hood River from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Protect rhododendrons, azaleas from scale

Every year in the late spring or early summer, the leaves and stems of many ornamental shrubs are attacked by small insects called scales.

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Nurture beneficial insects with pollinator-friendly landscape

The first step in solving a problem is awareness that there is a problem. In the case of declining pollinator species the awareness phase is not only upon us but has moved into the 'definitely a problem' phase.

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Create indoor style in outdoor spaces

The smallest yard or porch can be unique Design magazines and home decorating catalogs tend to feature sprawling backyards with big wooden decks and room for everything from decorative fountains to artificial ponds.

Radon can be home danger

My husband and I recently purchased our first home. As part of the home inspection process, I requested a radon test. I learned about the risks of radon in an environmental health class I took at Oregon State University and wanted to make sure I knew everything about our new home—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Fruit-damaging fly could hit record numbers

CORVALLIS — The spotted wing drosophila fly, which lays its eggs in fruit and makes it unmarketable, could reach record population levels in the Pacific Northwest this year, according to Oregon State University researchers.

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Village Idiot: As the garden grows; you are what you plant

We have a big garden. A huge garden. I only wish that it was outside the house. And in a few weeks, when it is warmer, it will be, but right now there are bedding trays of tiny plants and seed catalogs in almost every room covering every flat surface. It looks like a vegetarian hoarder exploded in our kitchen. Since it's like this every spring, you'd think I'd get used to it, but I'm still not. I told Sue that they have this new thing called outdoor gardening, which only got me a withering look and a smack with a Johnny's seed catalog upside the head.

Gorge Grown Food Network receives Meyer Trust grant

Gorge Grown Food Network (Gorge Grown), a Columbia Gorge-based nonprofit organization that supports local farms and locally-grown food, has been awarded three years of funding by Meyer Memorial Trust for a multi-tiered, region-wide project called the Rural Food Collaborative.

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Dahlias are a great spring project

It's never too soon to be thinking about preparing for a garden full of colorful dahlias for late summer or fall. These showy, long-blooming flowers come in enough choices to satisfy just about any appetite for color, size and design. Dinner plate blooms can be as big as the china they are named after, but more petite varieties may satisfy other tastes.

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Think your house is small? Former homeless call ‘Conestoga’ huts home in Eugene

EUGENE — Next time you complain about your house being too small, think about Mark Hubbell, Diane Sciacca or Greg Bregg.

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Food preservation classes might change your life

What if I told you that by the end of June you would be fermenting your own sauerkraut, canning your own jams and jellies, making your own fresh yogurt, pressure canning the spring Chinook run of salmon into half-pint jars, dehydrating your own herbs, and freezing extra snow peas and strawberries for use this winter?

Simple steps can boost perennial survival

A couple weeks ago my wife and I took advantage of the beautiful late winter weather that we were having and planted some container plants in our garden. This is in a bed that we started renovating last fall. It was the first perennial bed that we planted in our yard many years ago and it had turned into a hodgepodge of plants that we thought might be interesting. The problem was that there was no order in the bed and it lacked unity.

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