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Rainy Days are for Research!

When the rains come and scoot us out of the gardens, it can be hard to know what to do. With gardening work's never-ending set of chores, it can be tough to feel productive when weather suspends the work.

Around the Community Roots gardens we have some special chores that we keep on our Rainy Day list for JUST this purpose:

  • Signage - we always start out great with labels, but you know how it goes! Plants get plopped in to unexpected places to make room or labeling tape/stakes get lost or the permanent (my ass!) ink fades. Rainy days offer the perfect time to make new signage or improve on existing signs.

  • Potting Up - we started a LOT of seeds this winter and this year it seems as though we are always potting up little seedlings that need to grow a bit before transplanting into the ground.

  • Research - We have a great couple of growing trials this summer! We are pariticpating once again in the OSU Consumer Trials, growing peas, zinnias, Swiss chard, amount other plants. We get two varieties of each plant type and report the data on characteristics that help OSU recommend varieties to consumers for specific contexts. Traits like germination rates, maturity rates, yields, disease resistance, etc. help consumer science more accurately match consumer with needs. Rainy days are great days to catch up on that data collection!

New to us this year, we are also running trials for the Seed Savers Exchange ADAPT program. The Community Science ADAPT program is a fun and exciting way to get involved in Seed Savers Exchange’s mission of preserving and sharing our food crop heritage. Participants in this program trial varieties from the seed bank in their own gardens and send us feedback on their performance. This information helps us better understand the adaptability of these varieties to different environments and guides our selection process for new introductions into the Seed Savers Exchange catalog.

We are trying potato, sorghum, bell peppers, mustard, and cut flowers! Stay tuned!

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