Luscher Farm


October  2013  



Hi Community Gardeners!

Well, summer is winding down, and what a great gardening summer it has been!  I'm already thinking of how much I will be miss all the tomatoes and other vegetables I've been growing.  I eat so much healthier during the Summer and early Fall.  See below for my new favorite way to eat my extra tomatoes.    

I hope you enjoy receiving these monthly newsletters. If you do not want to continue receiving them, please feel free to click "unsubscribe" at the top of this email or on the bottom where it says "Safe Unsubscribe."  

Karen Davis

Luscher Farm Coordinator







This is the last scheduled party of the year.  For those needing hours, please get those hours completed so you can return next year.  Call if you have questions. 

Saturday, October 12                  Rain or shine




If you need work done in your plot this year you might consider hiring Luscher Farm's Caretaker, Brice Anderson.  Brice is available to do projects you don't want to or aren't able to do yourself. You may contact him directly at 503-313-5478 to discuss details.







Make your pumpkin spooky or spiffy using fabrics, paints, and natural materials.  Gather items from the Children's Garden for this project.          
Ages 7+         Staff
Saturday October 26      10a-12p
To register, click here 



Know how to knit, but need a refresher course?  Bring a current knitting project and join Janet for some individual instruction and help to finish your project in a snap.  Cable stitches, purling, binding off, and other difficult knotting techniques can be conquered in this workshop..

Ages 10+            Boulis 

Sunday, October  27     1-4p

To register, click here




Fresh fruits and vegetables can boost health and vitality. Join us at Luscher Farm and discover the power of juicing and how to make it a part of your daily life.

Ages 18+           Klein

Thursday, October 17           6-7:30p

To register, click  here




Do you want to enjoy the bounty of healthy, fresh vegetables straight from the farm? Or would you like to garden but just don't have the time? Then consider becoming a shareholder in the Luscher Farm CSA. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a partnership between a farmer and local consumers who invest in each other. It is an innovative and resourceful strategy to connect local farmers with local consumers, develop a sense of community and connect urban citizens to our rural roots. Members pay a fee at the beginning of the growing season to meet the farm's operating expenses for the upcoming season. In return, they receive a portion of the farm's produce throughout the growing season.

Lake Oswego Parks & Recreation Department has teamed up with Laura Masterson, owner of 47th Avenue Farms, to provide our citizens with an opportunity to reconnect with the land and receive healthy, sustainable grown vegetables. The winter CSA harvest starts the beginning of November and continues through mid-April. Members come to Luscher Farm once a week on Thursday evenings to pick up their shares of produce. At each pick up you receive at least 8-10 different vegetables and herbs.

Ages 16+               Masterson

To register, click here


To register for other classes, click here 





  1. Be sure you have your four hours of work time completed so you can return again next year.

Give your tomato bushes a major trim. 

See article below. 

Start clearing your garden. By removing old vegetation you will be eliminating many over-wintering diseases and pests (including slugs). 

Dig and divide rhubarb every 4 years.

Plant spring bulbs for welcome color in the early spring

Harvest sunflower heads; use seed for birdseed or roast for personal use.

Dig and store potatoes.

Cover asparagus bed with mulch or compost.

Save seeds from your best plants.

Harvest squash and pumpkins; keep at 55-60 degrees. 

When gardens are cleared, add lime so it will carried into the soil by the winter rains.

           YOUR TOMATOES


Toward the end of the season (mid-September around here), I start topping off my taller plants.  New growth this time of the year most likely will not bear fruit, and I want my tomatoes to devote their energy to fruit production. I also trim foliage back a LOT.  I'm not concerned about sun scalding.  I want the sun to reach existing tomatoes, and I want good air flow through the plants to reduce the chance of mildew, so I remove almost all of the foliage of the plants with sharp garden shears, so all the energy goes to the ripening fruit.

Options for saving green tomatoes
Don't waste your time on diseased fruit. Salvage only the good quality green tomatoes. Those with minor damage can be put on the kitchen counter to
ripen.  Tomatoes already hit by frost will not ripen.  For those looking for something to do over the next few rainy weeks, here are some ideas for eating fresh produce later in the fall.  When these tomatoes are red and firm, eat them  soon after they ripen. 
1. Ways to ripening green tomatoes indoors.
Select tomatoes that have at least a pale yellow star coloring on the blossom end of the tomato. Do not wash them. If they have long or sharp stems trim them so they don't damage their neighbors. Carefully wrap each tomato in old newspaper and store them loosely in a flat newspaper-lined box in the garage or some other cool, dark place. Check them at least twice weekly and remove any that are starting to spoil.  Move any tomatoes that are beginning to turn pink to the kitchen counter to finish ripening. If still green, rewrap it and return it to the box.
You also can put tomatoes and a ripening banana into a sealed paper or a plastic bag with holes cut in it (I have not tried this method).  Check this project often, as the ethylene emitted from the banana speeds up the ripening a lot.         
2.  You can pull the entire plant out of the ground, shake off most dirt roots and all and hang the plant upside down in a dark, cool environment.
What has worked for extending tomatoes the longest for me is to start with a tomato variety called "Long Keeper".  It was bred to be a storage tomato and I have had some tomatoes last into early February.  I couldn't brag about these thick skinned vegetables, but the store-bought ones are nothing to get excited about either. For this project I wiped down each tomato with a rinse of 1 part bleach or vinegar to 9 parts water to kill anything that might contaminate my experiment and I believe it extended the time frame they were still edible.
There is always recipes for green tomatoes around!
Have fun!!   
I hope you find these monthly newsletters interesting and informational. They are sent out the fourth Thursday of each month. Please tell me if there are topics you would like me to include in future
newsletters.  If you would like to unsubscribe from receiving these newsletters, please click the link "SafeUnsubscribe" found at the bottom of this email.
If you have any comments  or questions you may reach me at or 503-638-0376.  
See you in the garden,
In This Issue
October Garden Activities
Gardening Tips and Things to do in October
Getting the most out of your tomatoes
Discover Active Living!

To view the Winter/Spring 2014 Catalog, click here. To register for Parks & Recreation programs, please call the registrar 503-675-2549 or visit
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Luscher Farm Sponsors and Donors


Owl Brand Supply Company donated two handsome barn owl nesting boxes to Luscher Farm


Special thanks to artist Jan Aungier for the donation of the oil painting "White Barn at Luscher Farm"


Boy Scout Westley Wurscher for completing his Eagle Scout project of installing the nesting boxes and completing projects in the Children's Garden


Thanks to Lake Oswego gardener Daryl Leonetti for a wheelbarrow