Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuv haAretz NE Portland Garden Tour by Bike

This past Sunday I joined other members of Tuv HaAretz for a tour of extremely edible yards and chicken coops. Friend Beth was ride leader, friend Joel rode sweep. Beth's partner L was the organizer. I knew one other rider; our daughters went to the same preschool (said daughters are now, oh, 26 years old). Most of the riders were from Havurah Shalom, a couple from Kesser Israel, and me, the lone representative from Neveh Shalom.

I tried not to look TOO "lycra-spandex", but I still had the most colorful jersey - my Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger. Covered with flowers, so quite appropriate :-) Little Pink Bear also came along for the ride.

Drove over to Beth's place; we rode the 2 miles over to the ride start. I got my first-ever spoke card.

My first spoke card ever

And we're off

The first stop was a wonderfully mature urban garden with chickens. Huckleberries in the front, raised beds, fruit trees, raspberries and chickens in the back. The raised beds used the Trex planking. We should consider that; it does not rot. I was surprised how little space the chickens required. Tasty rhubard bread as well.

Urban garden


Next stop was a garden in a rental house, so lots of containers and plantings around the edge. They had a beautiful purple brussels sprout plant. Wonder what color the sprouts are? And if they are purple, do they stay that color when cooked? Minty lemonade and snap peas.

Purple brussels sprouts

Third stop was Willow Cottage, which seemed to house many people, had a great willow tree in the front yard, as well as a nice raised bed. Serious cabbage moth capture efforts going on here, and we were offered the opportunity to forage in the strawberries (mmmm). Nice little chicken flock in the back. I'm liking the gold-laced Wyandotte. Eggs were harvested; one was sent along for our post-ride spinach salad.

Urban garden


Somewhere in there was the climb up Alameda Ridge - 2 blocks, whacking steep. My bike computer read out 11%, but the post-ride analysis showed a bit of 15%. I went around on the left so I could climb without needing to stop. Regroup at the top. Whew.

House number 4 featured a classy chicken coop on the garage roof, which is ground level in the back yard, and raised bed vegetable plantings in the strip between the sidewalk and the street.

Chicken coop

We then wandered around for awhile before ending up at Beth and L's place. They've got a nice garden with spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, onions, arugula, ... No chickens; they have an arrangement with Joel for eggs. We picked the spinach and some arugula; spinach salad was constructed. Nice picnic on the front lawn.

7.6 miles. I got a little crispy because I didn't bother with sunscreen :-)

All the pics here

1 comment:

SMB tech geeks said...

Our neighbours have chickens in a tiny urban garden, but for a bit more space the chickens quite often meander over to our lawn - my other half was a bit starled to find chickens pecking at her feet when she stepped out the front door the other day!

As always Lynne, your pictures a just like a little ray of sunshine ;0)