What’s Going On? – Ear Notching

Along with the changing leaves, pumpkin patches and spooky thrills, October is dedicated to the appreciation of pork. Pork is the most consumed meat around the world and serves as a very important food source. In the United States, the pork industry is booming with about 60,000 pork producers that raise around 115 million hogs annually.

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I Soiled My Undies…and You Can Too!

Fall is here, bringing cooler temperatures and shorter days. In the garden, it is time to start harvesting the few remaining summer crops, making room for cold hardy plants like garlic and onions. As the season changes and garden productivity wanes, soil that once housed a plethora of warm season plants can begin to look sparse. In the Pacific Northwest, where winters bring heavy rains, a garden left unprotected can lose not only substantial amounts of soil, but may also leach nutrients essential to plant health. For schools (and home gardeners like myself), time is a limited resource. Rather than losing your soil and replacing it next year, the most economical and efficient thing is to keep and improve upon the soil that you have. The best part about soil health? If you play your cards right, your garden will do the work of maintaining soil health for you.

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Celebrating Young Artists

The 17th Annual Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Calendar Art Contest wrapped up with a reception at the Oregon State Fair on Sunday, August 26, 2018. Thirteen students were honored at the reception held on the Creative Living Stage in Columbia Hall. Parents, grandparents and educators attended the reception to celebrate the young artists.

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Farm Safety

Farm safety is important for everyone even if you do not live or work on a farm or ranch! Farms, like many workplaces, have many potential hazards. There are several things visitors to farms and ranches need to be aware of. Upon your arrival for a trip to the farm, the farmer or tour guide will generally give your group a brief overview on what to be aware of in terms of safety and if there is anything you are unsure of, ALWAYS ASK, safety is always their number one priority!

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Young Gardeners Bloom at McKinney Elementary

McKinney Elementary (Hillsboro, Oregon) is making use of a Farm to School Grant from the Oregon Department of Education to incorporate agriculture across their curriculum. Partnering with Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom, committed community members such as Debi Lorence, and many local environmental education organizations, McKinney has used the funding to re-establish their school garden, and to hire a school garden coordinator. Six months into her position, McKinney’s coordinator (Megan Kupko) has this advice for fellow school garden educators. “Take things slow, observe and interact with the land, students, teachers and parents and allow relationships to develop. But don’t be afraid to get outside and try new things!”

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Compost Is for Everyone!

I’d like to be able to tell you that my love of worms is purely academic. They are, after all, an excellent addition to any garden. They aerate the soil, which makes plant roots happy, and their waste—referred to in the worm lover community as castings—restores essential nutrients to the soil, vastly improving the yield of your garden. The truth of the matter is...

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Experience Oregon Agriculture

I am thankful to live in the beautiful state of Oregon, where I can explore the outdoors, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and appreciate the variety of food we have available. Although I never grew up on a farm, I had the opportunity to live a country lifestyle, raising animals and working on farms during the summer months. I was surrounded by agriculture in our small town and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Bulb Forcing

My mother loves tulips. She is as faithful to this bloom as the pickiest of pollinators. Even in spring, when tulips are plentiful at the farmers market and grocery store, she will drive the extra 45 minutes to a tulip farm—just for the added choice. Only yesterday over dinner, I noticed a bouquet of deep purple tulips on her windowsill, set against the backdrop of a rainy January evening. I love tulips because my mother loves tulips, and because of the the color they bring to an otherwise typical gray Portland day. In winter, these flowers bring with them a foreshadowing of spring, and can warm the people sitting around a kitchen table. Tulips, and other bulbs, can do the same thing for a classroom.

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