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Their annual Harvest Festival highlighted the approaching end of the season for Master Gardeners

DAVID F. ASHTON - Many dishes, created with their own fresh-from-the-garden produce, lined the serving table at this years Multnomah County Master Gardeners Harvest Fest, on S.E. 60th Avenue. The Multnomah County Chapter of Master Gardeners held their annual "Harvest Fest" on Saturday, September 14, in the Learning Garden Lab property at 6801 S.E. 60th Avenue, between Duke and Flavel, across from Brentwood Park. The celebration each year is supposed to mark the end of the growing season.

"Our 'year' actually ends closer to Thanksgiving; so our Demonstration Garden has a little time left in its garden season. But we celebrate in September, to take advantage of the good weather," explained its organizer, Linda Goldser.

The festival – primarily, a low-key potluck dinner – acknowledges accomplishments and all the time that volunteers have donated over the season. Sixteen awards were to be presented this year.

Those who have visited the Learning Garden Lab have seen the "Demonstration Garden", in which the event was held. Much of this season's work was focused on their "Annex Garden". "It's still in its infancy, and is only started; we added 11 new raised beds, up from four last year. We are expanding our native garden areas, and we have 'timed drip irrigation' throughout the garden," Goldser said.

Much of the vegetables and berries grown in both gardens is donated to local charities, Goldser pointed out – divided among:

· Meals on Wheels

· Richmond Clinic

· Lane Middle School Food Pantry

· DHS

· Arleta School

· Youth Builders

"Our main goal for next year in our Annex Demonstration Garden is to begin a Garden Education program, and hold classes in it, to further our goal of sharing our garden expertise with the community," revealed Goldser.

If you enjoy gardening, or want to learn more about how to take care of your own plants, learn more about this group online – www.multnomahmastergardeners.org


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