OSU Extension Blogs

Blueberry Field Day

Small Farms Events - Wed, 07/12/2017 - 2:36pm
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Mark your calendars for our field days at Oregon State University’s North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora.
Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Are you ready? Let’s go on a Quest!

Breaking Waves - Wed, 07/12/2017 - 1:47pm

The 2017-18 edition of Oregon Sea Grant’s popular “Oregon Coast Quests Book” is now available, featuring 24 Quests in English (three of which are brand new) and one in Spanish. The directions for virtually all of the previous Quests included in the new edition have been updated to reflect changes in site terrain, landmarks, signage and other details, making this book a must-have for avid Questers!

The price for the 222-page book is just $10, and you can buy copies from the retailers listed here.

What is a Quest?

Quests are fun and educational clue-directed hunts that encourage exploration of natural areas. In this self-guided activity, Questers follow a map and find a series of clues to reach a hidden box. The box contains a small guest book, a stamp pad, a unique rubber stamp and additional information about the Quest site. Participants sign the guest book to record their find, and make an imprint of the Quest Box stamp in the back of their clue book as proof of accomplishment. Then the box is re-hidden for the next person to find. The location of the clues and box remain a secret so others can share the fun. Oregon Coast Quest clues and boxes stay in place year-round.

Questing is an ideal place-based activity for individuals, small groups and families. By turning a walk into a treasure hunt, children often race ahead of their parents instead of lagging behind. Through Quests, important areas of natural, cultural and/or historical significance are shared. Furthermore, both those who go on Quests and those who create Quests for others gain pride and a sense of stewardship for their community’s special places.

Production of the Oregon Coast Quests Book 2017-18 was coordinated by Cait Goodwin of Oregon Sea Grant.

The post Are you ready? Let’s go on a Quest! appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Are you ready? Let’s go on a Quest!

Sea Grant - Wed, 07/12/2017 - 1:47pm

The 2017-18 edition of Oregon Sea Grant’s popular “Oregon Coast Quests Book” is now available, featuring 24 Quests in English (three of which are brand new) and one in Spanish. The directions for virtually all of the previous Quests included in the new edition have been updated to reflect changes in site terrain, landmarks, signage and other details, making this book a must-have for avid Questers!

The price for the 222-page book is just $10, and you can buy copies from the retailers listed here.

What is a Quest?

Quests are fun and educational clue-directed hunts that encourage exploration of natural areas. In this self-guided activity, Questers follow a map and find a series of clues to reach a hidden box. The box contains a small guest book, a stamp pad, a unique rubber stamp and additional information about the Quest site. Participants sign the guest book to record their find, and make an imprint of the Quest Box stamp in the back of their clue book as proof of accomplishment. Then the box is re-hidden for the next person to find. The location of the clues and box remain a secret so others can share the fun. Oregon Coast Quest clues and boxes stay in place year-round.

Questing is an ideal place-based activity for individuals, small groups and families. By turning a walk into a treasure hunt, children often race ahead of their parents instead of lagging behind. Through Quests, important areas of natural, cultural and/or historical significance are shared. Furthermore, both those who go on Quests and those who create Quests for others gain pride and a sense of stewardship for their community’s special places.

Production of the Oregon Coast Quests Book 2017-18 was coordinated by Cait Goodwin of Oregon Sea Grant.

The post Are you ready? Let’s go on a Quest! appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Organic Cherry Harvest and Food Safety Workshop

Small Farms Events - Sat, 07/08/2017 - 2:40pm
Saturday, July 1, 2017 8:00 AM - Saturday, July 8, 2017 9:00 AM
Register here: 

https://secure.oregonstate.edu/smallfarms-events/register/150 

INSTRUCTORS 

Javier Fernandez-Salvador, OSU Small Farms Program

Scott Robbins, OSU Lewis Brown Farm

 

TOPICS

Food safety issues and best practices for cherry harvest. Harvest and post-harvest techniques for fresh market cherries ('Regina').

After the workshop, there will be an optional, 2 hour work party to harvest cherries and practice what you have learned. Anyone who stays around to harvest can purchase organic cherries at a discounted price and learn about crew management for perennial crops. All profits from sales cover the OSU Organic Growers Club summer internships.

 

DIRECTIONS

From I-5, take the exit for OR 34W/Corvallis-Lebanon Hwy 210, turn right on OR 34, follow it for 9 miles and turn left on Peoria Rd. Follow Peoria Rd. for 1.5 miles to a driveway on the left with a sign for OSU Lewis Brown Farm.  

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Protected: Paying for Research

Terra - Wed, 07/05/2017 - 4:37pm

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The post Protected: Paying for Research appeared first on Terra Magazine.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

New videos encourage boaters to help keep waterways clean

Sea Grant - Wed, 07/05/2017 - 2:44pm

Two new videos from Oregon Sea Grant encourage boaters to help keep our waterways clean by emptying their portable toilets and holding tanks at designated facilities at marinas and short-term tie-up docks.

The videos, “Where to Empty Onboard Portable Toilets in Oregon” and “Where to Empty Onboard Holding Tanks in Oregon,” feature Jenny East, boater outreach coordinator with Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon State University Extension Service. They are part of her ongoing efforts to educate recreational boaters about the availability of facilities at marinas for disposing of onboard sewage.

Jenny East empties an onboard portable toilet.

The new videos join a dozen others on the subject, available on a YouTube playlist here.

Photos of East and some of the facilities she demonstrates in the videos are available for download from our “Boater Outreach” album on Flickr.

The videos were filmed and edited by Oregon Sea Grant videographer Vanessa Cholewczynski in collaboration with the Oregon State Marine Board.

The post New videos encourage boaters to help keep waterways clean appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

New videos encourage boaters to help keep waterways clean

Breaking Waves - Wed, 07/05/2017 - 2:44pm

Two new videos from Oregon Sea Grant encourage boaters to help keep our waterways clean by emptying their portable toilets and holding tanks at designated facilities at marinas and short-term tie-up docks.

The videos, “Where to Empty Onboard Portable Toilets in Oregon” and “Where to Empty Onboard Holding Tanks in Oregon,” feature Jenny East, boater outreach coordinator with Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon State University Extension Service. They are part of her ongoing efforts to educate recreational boaters about the availability of facilities at marinas for disposing of onboard sewage.

Jenny East empties an onboard portable toilet.

The new videos join a dozen others on the subject, available on a YouTube playlist here.

Photos of East and some of the facilities she demonstrates in the videos are available for download from our “Boater Outreach” album on Flickr.

The videos were filmed and edited by Oregon Sea Grant videographer Vanessa Cholewczynski in collaboration with the Oregon State Marine Board.

The post New videos encourage boaters to help keep waterways clean appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Irrigation Management in Pastures

Small Farms Events - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 2:53pm
Thursday, June 29, 2017 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

OSU Forage Management Series

Small Farms Events - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 2:53pm
Thursday, June 29, 2017 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Each part consists of an evening classroom presentation at the Oldfield Animal Teaching Facility on the OSU campus, followed by a morning field practical at a local outdoor location.

Class meets Wednesdays (6 – 8:30 pm) and Thursdays (10 – noon). Topics for each month are:
April 19 & 20 – Farm and Forage Assessment
May 24 & 25 – Harvest Management
June 28 & 29 – Irrigation
August 16 and 17 – Fertility
September 20 and 21 – Renovation Techniques

Speakers will be Shelby Filley, David Hannaway, Serkan Ates, Gene Pirelli, and Troy Downing, plus other OSU faculty and local experts.

This series will focus on a “project ranch” that we work on together, including site visits and on-line document sharing and blog. The project ranch will be the Wilson Farm, the OSU sheep facility with sheep and cattle grazing the pastures. You can also work on your own ranch as a side project if desired. The objective of the series is to improve knowledge about managing forage on properties in the Willamette Valley.
Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Growing a Diverse Forest and Making Money: How Some Small Woodland Owners Do It

Tree Topics - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 8:20am

By Amy Grotta, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension – Columbia, Washington & Yamhill Counties

Lately on this blog we’ve been discussing ways to grow a diverse forest.  Many small woodland owners are interested in maintaining diversity on their land, yet strive to do it in a way that also brings in income from timber or other means. For these reasons, I was intrigued by the work of Julian Geisel, who recently wrapped up his master’s degree in the College of Forestry at OSU. His research topic, “Management Strategies for Small, Income Generating and Structurally Diverse Forests” is particularly relevant to small woodland owners. Julian’s research focused on private woodlands in western Oregon, representative of the vast majority of the owners that we work with in Extension. I interviewed Julian about his work.

 

Julian Geisel, former OSU graduate student

What question did you set out to explore through your research?

I wanted to know what strategies help make it possible to generate income while maintaining or improving structural diversity on a small-scale forest. Most small woodland owners want or need to produce income from their property. Society values forest diversity, and so do many woodland owners, but many believe it’s not possible to maintain without sacrificing income. However, some woodland owners have been successful at it, and so I wanted to know if there were specific strategies or things they had in common, that other woodland owners could apply.

 

What methods did you use to accomplish this?

I conducted extensive interviews with six owners with between 25 – 150 acres in the Willamette Valley. These owners all had stated income generation and maintaining diversity as goals in their management plans. In the interviews, we discussed their management philosophy, successes and challenges they had in achieving their management goals, and resources or people that they relied upon. I used these interviews to look for patterns and evidence, and to validate my interpretation, I had another student independently review all the interview transcripts.

In addition, I did field assessments to try to quantify the extent to which these owners’ forests were structurally diverse. I looked at features of the overstory, understory, ground cover, and dead wood, for example. Then, I reviewed each landowner’s records to evaluate how much income they were producing. Finally, after doing all of this work and coming up with my own theories and ideas, I went back to each landowner for a second interview to confirm that my interpretations of what they said were correct.

 

How did the woodland owners that you interviewed describe structural diversity on their property, and why was this type of management important to them?

Structurally diverse forest in Linn County

Well, structural diversity is sort of a technical term. Some talked about it in terms of having habitat, or areas for wildlife. Some described their property as being more “natural”, and others simply recognized diversity across the landscape; i.e. their property is different from their neighbors’ and that in itself created diversity. Their motivations varied, but included the desire to maintain a functioning ecosystem, reducing pest risk, having more options for selling timber, or simply wanting to do what they felt was best for the land.

Among the landowners, I found a continuum between those that were more income-driven, and those that were very passionate about the concept of diversity, but all of them incorporated some of both into the management of their forest. Some did not think there had to be a tradeoff between the two, some created diversity or income without necessarily intending to in the process of reaching another goal.

 

How did these owners make money from their forestland?

Some of the income generation strategies included: selling timber, selling specialty wood, renting out a residence on the property, leasing other parts of the property for grazing, selling firewood or boughs, and providing timber management services or equipment for other landowners.  Sometimes owners would reinvest the profit from a one-time timber sale into a different type of asset that would provide a more regular cash flow.

Also important were strategies to save money, such as using firewood, construction materials and residential water from one’s own land; sharing resources with other woodland owners; keeping forest operations small and manageable so that the owners could do it themselves instead of hiring out; and learning how best to navigate the tax system.

Finally, owners emphasized the secondary benefits their forests provided, that had indirect value to them, such as mental health, stress reduction, physical fitness, and recreation.

 

What are the challenges to achieving structural diversity and income generation on a small acreage?

Scale is a problem. Landowners said that setting aside areas as ecological “preserves” is difficult when there are fewer acres to work with. All acres need to contribute to both income and diversity goals on very small properties Additionally, landowners recognized that there are many external factors influencing their forest that are both complex to understand, and hard to control – such as markets, tax systems, and regulations. These things, if not taken into proper consideration, can impinge on their goals.

 

If one were interested in balancing income generation and structural diversity, what seem to be the most important strategies to be successful?

Everyone mentioned that learning is a lifelong and continuous process. They combined learning by doing, and observing nature with listening to other people’s accounts during classes or by reading up on topics. Having mentors such as family members or neighbors and conducting little documented experiments characterized even more sophisticated managers.

Integrating their actions to achieve multiple goals is another important strategy. The landowners said that without much additional effort, by making small tweaks to their management they could produce income while maintaining or improving forest diversity, or vice versa. One memorable example was thinning plantations and leaving head-high snags. This action increased future income, created snags and made falling trees a little easier and faster.

Cultivating trusting relationships with others seem to be crucial. Forest management yielded successes quicker as a joint effort. So in the end, it’s not about the trees, it’s about people.

 

Congratulations to Julian on successful completion of his degree.  He plans to post more information about his project at his website, http://smallforests.com/ 

The post Growing a Diverse Forest and Making Money: How Some Small Woodland Owners Do It appeared first on TreeTopics.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Food Science Camp 2013 and Erik Fooladi

Bringing Food Chemistry to Life - Fri, 07/19/2013 - 1:44pm

We participate in the Oregon State U Food Science Camp for middle school students.

Part of the STEM [science technology engineering math] Academies@OSU Camps.

We teach about bread fermentations, yeast converting sugars to CO2 and ethanol, lactobacillus converting sugar to lactic and acetic acids, how the gluten in wheat can form films to trap the gas and  allow the dough to rise. On the way we teach about flour composition, bread ingredients and their chemical functionalities, hydration, the relationships between enzymes and substrates [amylases on starch to produce maltose for the fermentation organisms]; gluten development, the gas laws and CO2′s declining solubility in the aqueous phase during baking which expands the gas bubbles and leads to the oven spring at the beginning of baking; and the effect of pH on Maillard browning using soft pretzels that they get to shape themselves..

All this is illustrated by hands on [in] activities: they experience the hydration and the increasing cohesiveness of the dough as they mix it with their own hands, they see their own hand mixed dough taken through to well-risen bread. They get to experience dough/gluten development in a different context with the pasta extruder, and more and more.

A great way to introduce kids to the relevance of science to their day to day lives: in our case chemistry physics biochemistry and biology in cereal food processing.

We were also fortunate to have Erik Fooladi from Volda University College in Norway to observe the fun: http://www.fooducation.org/

If you have not read his blog and you like what we do here: you should!

 

endless pasta

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Good Cheese, Bad Cheese

Bringing Food Chemistry to Life - Wed, 07/10/2013 - 1:25pm

pH, colloidal calcium phosphate, aging, proteolysis, emulsification or its loss and their interactions lead to optimum melting qualities for cheeses. A module in this year’s food systems chemistry class.

This module was informed by this beautiful article “The beauty of milk at high magnification“ by Miloslav Kalab, which is available on the Royal Microscopical Society website.

http://www.rms.org.uk/Resources/Royal%20Microscopical%20Society/infocus/Images/TheBeautyOfMilk.pdf

Of course accompanied by real sourdough wholegrain bread baked in out own research bakery.

Inspired by…

“The Science of a Grilled Cheese Sandwich.”

by: Jennifer Kimmel

in: The Kitchen as Laboratory: Reflections on the Science of Food and Cooking

Edited by Cesar Vega, Job Ubbink, and Erik van der Linden

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

February 2011- Nutrition Education Volunteers taking “vacation”

Family Food Educators of Central Oregon - Tue, 02/01/2011 - 9:24am

I’m back from maternity leave and getting resettled into some new responsibilities.  We had a staff member leave us, so Glenda and I are having to pick up the work load until we find someone new, or our responsibilites change.  Being a new mom is lots of work too, so I’ve gone part time (24 hours aweek) but am still trying to get everything done… that being said, we’ve decided to put our nutrition education volunteering on hold, until I have a managable workload.

We look forward to being able to start things back up in the summer or fall of 2011.  Thanks so much and since a few of you have been asking, here’s a photo of our boy.  He is 5 months old today!

Bundled out in the cold!

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs