Saturday, March 7, 2009

Beyond gardening.

As I get older and gain a bit more patience along with a better ability to plan and execute, my gardening successes multiply. In recent years I've also tried my hand at preserving, and as an offshoot of deepening my culinary skills it all goes hand in hand. This year, we are going to enhance our small greenhouse in order to make better use of it. Stay tuned for some interesting projects! We've also had our interests piqued by urban beekeeping and urban chickens as well, two hot topics which are growing in popularity.

We traipsed around today in the Portland area, hitting some old favorites like Bullseye Glass and lunching at PF Chang's downtown with friends before hitting Powell's. Two new stops were really, really interesting, however!

Ruhl Bee Supply

Scot had some exposure to beekeeping as a child, and has always been interested in it. We've learned of a lot of options for urban beekeeping--and also the many benefits it can lend to the local gardens! And if you want to start out small and simple, look into making friends with Orchard Mason Bees!

We found the place with no troubles, and were surprised at the variety of products, books and supplies they offered.

Friendly service. Scot is returning next weekend to take a class on beginning beekeeping!

Later on in the day we stopped by Urban Farm Store, located just east of the Willamette on Morrison. Definitely urban. They have a small selection of pet supplies, organic seeds and a small bit of gardening paraphernalia. I imagine it'll all grow as they are fairly new. The big draw is chickens! They have a number of types of adorable baby chicks, who will soon grow up into egg laying machines that can produce some great fertilizer, too. We've been reading about a number of people who have 2-3 hens in their small sized yards.

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