'Master Gardeners' donate piles of produce to those in need
Volunteer members of the "Multnomah County Master Gardeners" (MCMG) have been busy this summer, having finally obtained permission to work during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic back in June – in what they call their "Multnomah County Demonstration Garden", in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood.
THE BEE was invited back to visit the garden in late summer – and the gardeners were all abuzz about a giant squash they were preparing to pick.
"We've been watching a Trombincino squash, which is reaching a new record in size for our garden – 49 inches long, weighing in at 2,127 grams, or 4.78 pounds!" exclaimed spokesperson and Master Gardeners member Linda Goldser.
Unlike the garden-variety zucchinis that get woody and pulpy as they reach gigantic proportions, the Trombincino squash remains tender, with a mild taste no matter how big it gets.
Master Gardener John Jordan was given the honor of harvesting the long, delicate squash. "We learned about the Trombincino at a meeting, several years ago, with Chef Leather Storrs of the restaurant 'Noble Rot', on lower East Burnside Street," he confided.
Every week, since the summer harvest started on August 3, the MCMG group has grown and gathered boxes of produce – both from the Demo Garden, and each gardener's home gardens – and donated 935 combined pounds of it, as of October 11; with the fresh food going to Urban Gleaners on Mondays, and to Woodstock All Saints' Episcopal Food Pantry on Thursdays.
"The harvest has included cucumber, summer squash, scallions, pole beans, peppers, basil, beets, radishes, blackberries, lettuce, tomatoes, blueberries, and bush beans," Goldser revealed. "Our top producers have been Silver Slicer cucumbers, Yellow Crookneck squash, and the winter squash, leeks, and scallions. Plus, of course. the Tromboncino squash. And, our blackberries continue to give us a few pounds of juicy goodness every harvest day, even into October.
"While part of our mission is to learn sustainable gardening skills and share them with the community; and to maintain an active garden to share with the public (in non-Covid times) – we also do this because we are committed to produce fresh food to donate to those who need it," Goldser told THE BEE. "And, we just love gardening!"
Demo Garden now open to you
And that's not all. "The Demo Garden is finally open to any gardener who would like to come work with us," Goldser added. "We have made a lot of progress, but there are many things that still need to be done to get our garden back to where we had to leave it back in March, to get it ready for the upcoming winter."
Please, though, don't just "show up" on impulse – first, learn more about the Multnomah County Master Gardeners, and what they do, online: www.multnomahmastergardeners.org
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