Luscher FarmMay 2012

Now that spring has arrived, I hope you are all in your gardens with big plans and soon big plants. THINK SUN!


Karen Davis

Luscher Farm Coordinator


Community Gardener Happenings
May Work Party
Saturday, May 12, 10a-12p at Luscher Farm
2012 Garden Plots have been assigned and are posted on the kiosk.
Fertilizer is now available in the toolshed for Community Gardeners. Please sign in when you pick yours up.
The 2012 Summer Catalog is on-line and
City Logo


May Garden Classes at Luscher Farm

Lake Oswego Hanging Baskets
Make a lovely basket like the ones you see on our City streets. Plants, baskets, planting materials and maintenance instructions are provided. Leave with your own beautiful, long lasting creation that compliments your home's colors.
Saturday, May 5, 10-11:15a at Luscher Farm
Class #2325050. To register, click here.
Saturday, May 5, 1-2:15p at Luscher Farm
Class #2325051. To register, click here.


Evening of Birds and Butterflies
Wednesday, May 23, 6:30-8:p at Luscher Farm
Class #2229450. To register, click here.


To register for other classes click here.
If you have trouble with online registration or want more information, please call the registrar Monday-Friday, 8a-5p at 503-675-2549.
Spring Garden Fair 
Plan to attend the 28th Annual Clackamas County Spring Garden Fair! This popular plant sale has everything for the gardener. Extras include attending some of the 15 different free 10-Minute University sessions on gardening tips, a free potting station for your new plant and new pot,  and an "Ask a Master Garden station".  Too many plants to carry? There is a free plant check station or you can use the Plant Taxi service . Don't forget to bring soil from your garden for free  testing. 
Over 200 vendors. $3 admission, free parking.
Clackamas Couty Fair Grounds       Canby, OR 
Saturday, May 5, 9a-5p
Sunday, May 6, 9a-4p
Visit their webpage here.

A Purple Tomato?? 

purple tomato Recently, when  Oregon State University rolled out their new tomato "Indigo Rose" it became the quite talk of the vegetable. This first true purple tomato is high in antioxidants, which many people believe is good for your health. The hope is that while plants like blueberries which  also are high in antioxidants are normally eaten for only a few weeks of the year, people consuming tomatoes on this type would receive benefits from them year round. This new variety was grown using natural genetics, rather than lab engineering. Development of this variety started back in the 1960's.  I met Jim Myers , a Professor of Vegetable Breeding and Genetics several years ago while he was doing early testing on a cross of  extremely hardy native (wild) tomato varieties from South America with both"Sun Gold" and Stupice which are favorites here at our Community Garden. This new tomato strain was not named at that time, but was identified as P20. The researchers  were working to improve the flavor, which was lacking from the wild strains.  A couple of years later I again got to see  their  progress in OSU's Research Farm in Corvallis.  The result is "Indigo Rose".

Locally, starts of this plant will be available at Kordell's, Dennis' 7 Dees and Portland Nursery about mid-May.  There may be a limited amount available, as it is so new.
Things to do in the Garden in May
  • Keep an eye on the soil temperature. Tomatoes and other tropical based veggies still need protection on cold nights. Baby them a bit. This area's average last frost day is April 29th.
  • Remove rhubarb seedstalks as they appear.
  • Slugs love to hide under boards. Put some down in your plot and then remove them each time you come to the garden. Use slug bait if necessary. Iron phosphate based products can be used safely. Escargo and Sluggo are pet, child and wildlife safe.
  • You can use floating row covers to protect your young plants from pests and cold tempatures.
  • Check the amount of moisture in the soil before doing much digging.  When a handful of soil is compressed, it should crumble a bit when released, not stay in a tight ball.
  • Avoid stepping into the garden. Stay on your paths to avoid compacting the soil.  I remind myself that there are lots of delicate little creatures in there that are my friends.
  • Manage weeds while they are small. 
Did You Know? 
Rufous HummingbirdThe Rufous Hummingbirds have returned to this area after wintering in  Mexico. They rejoin the Anna's Hummingbirds who stay in our area year-round. In case you haven't noticed, hummingbirds are amazing creatures.  Their wings beat 70-80 times a second and they are like living helicopters. They can hover and fly straight up and down, sideways, backwards, and even upside down.  This is possible because their wings rotate from the shoulder, so they get power from both the downbeat and the upbeat. Watch for them around the farmhouse.
I will be away from Luscher Farm from April 21 through May 2 on vacation.  I'll be checking out Hawaii for the first time and be back in the office on Thursday, May 3.  I promise to send you sun. If you have some immediate needs please contact Jan Wirtz at 503-675-2546. 

If you have any comments  or questions you may reach me atI after I return.
or 503-638-0376.  

See you in the garden,
In This Issue
Community Garden Happenings
May Garden Classes
A Purple Tomato?
Things to do in the Garden in May
Did You Know?
Discover Active Living!

To view the Summer 2012 catalog, click here. To register for Parks & Recreation programs, please call the registrar 503-675-2549 or visit
Luscher Farm
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