On Saturday, my husband and I made the trek south to meet a couple of our friends at the Gathering Together Farm Restaurant in Philomath. Nestled along the Mary’s river, the fifty acre farm grows a bounty of gorgeous food some of which is served in their restaurant where we had brunch.
After being filled up by a superb corn, tomato, goat cheese, pesto omelet, I was ready for another adventure. My friend, Janet, suggested a visit to a community garden not far away in neighboring Corvallis. Adjacent to the Bruce Starker Park, we not only found a huge community garden, but the Starker Arts Garden for Education, a project of the Corvallis Environmental Center, as well. We wandered up and down the many rows and gawked at the size and variety of produce we saw. Most of the plants were familiar to us, but when we came up to a patch of giant yellow orbs, we were mystified. Were they melons, squash, pumpkins? Stay tuned for the answer!
We made our way around the entire garden until we ended up at a small shed where we happily ran into Deanna, the garden manager, and Amoreena, a volunteer from FoodCore. Both of them spoke with enthusiasm about the camps and classes and dinners they provide for kids and the whole community. It’s a beautiful place to learn about sustainable gardening and growing food close to town. And where does all the food go that’s grown there? Amazingly, SAGE supplies local food banks with thousands of pounds of organically grown produce each year. Now that’s a real community garden!
Oh, and before we left, Deanna and Amoreena solved the mystery of the unknown vegetable. They’re giant pumpkins that for some unknown reason are lemon yellow at this stage. As far as they know, they’re supposed to grow big and orange! Good luck with the pumpkins, and a big thank you to Deanna and Amoreena for taking the time to talk with us about SAGE and their special garden.