Saturday, March 29, 2014

Climate Chaos: here now, gonna get worse, lots worse

So let's squander hundreds of millions on unnecessary highway boondoggles like the Bridgeasaurus instead of on things that will help our living children and their kids avoid the worst!  Because, for the highway and sprawl lobby, Gordon Gekko always says it best:  "Greed is Good" -- and it's nothing but the greed of the well off today that keeps us chasing the chimera of "growth." 

Best new thing in Salem in a long while -- join in!

Of course, the deeper answer is to stop wasting resources and reducing learning by laying aside the obsolete agricultural era school year model ... All schools should be year-round, with abundant breaks to allow play and rejuvenation, but no extended stopping, as we do now with summer break.  But the program below is a welcome and wonderful response to the problem of the traditional school calendar, and will help bring critical skills into the schools.

From: "Salem Harvest" <>
Date: March 29, 2014 at 9:13:19 PDT
Subject: Community Garden Opportunity

Happy Spring!

Salem Harvest volunteers have a unique opportunity this summer that not only can help alleviate hunger in the long term but can also help you learn a skill as well – gardening. 

 Programs to combat hunger, such as Marion-Polk Food Share, are finding they need to do more than simply provide food to people.  They need to help teach people how to grow their own food.  Thus, they are getting involved in various community garden projects.

Three years ago the Salem-Keizer Education Foundation started a program of after-school garden clubs.  They now have gardens at more than a half dozen schools in Salem.  But they face a major challenge in how to take care of those gardens during the summer, when the schools are not in session.

To tend these community gardens over the summer, the Salem-Keizer Education Foundation, the OSU Marion County Master Gardeners, and Salem Harvest are coming together.  It is planned that for each garden there will be a team of two Master Gardeners and three volunteers so that not all members of the team would have to attend each week. Although it will differ with each garden, it is anticipated that each garden team would maintain and harvest from its garden once a week from mid-June through August at a time that best suits the members of the team.

There are seven schools with community gardens that will need looking after this summer:

Grant Elementary
Highland Elementary
Washington Elementary
McKinley Elementary
Parrish Middle School
Waldo Middle School
Houck Middle School

One of the goals of SKEF's school gardens program is to encourage the students and their families to be involved in the gardens over the summer.  To that end, the Master Gardeners are going to work with the students during the spring session of the after-school garden clubs, for ten weeks beginning the week of April 1st.  The hope is that the personal relationships developed in the spring will translate into the students and families being more motivated to come to the garden in the summer.  Salem Harvest volunteers will be welcome to become involved during the spring session as well, not only to develop personal relationships with the students but also to get in on the initial phases of the gardening process, however, completely optional.

This project is a good way to contribute to the community while at the same time learning more about gardening.  Kids are of course welcome, actually encouraged to participate! 

If you are interested in joining us, please contact me at –OR-
Salem-Keizer Education Foundation, Chelsey Thomsen at –OR-
OSU Marion County Master Gardeners, Bill and Carol Sutkus at

Looking forward to seeing you this summer,

Elise Bauman,
Salem Harvest, President