WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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From Tomato Wrangler Carl Palmer

Yummie Tomato Wiki photo

Yummie Tomato
Wiki photo

Plant Sale and Free Tomato Barrel Workshops Scheduled in May

Thanks to the generous contribution of extra tomato plants by the Lincoln County Master Gardeners and the innovative growing techniques of the TomatoBarrel approach, members of the 4-H Sustainable Living Club were enjoying fresh, ripe tomatoes in July last year. Now the Club wants to show you how you can do the same and the Master Gardeners are ready to sell you starter plants!

Youth, their parents and all interested adult community members are invited to participate in a free, three-hour workshop at the Club’s Toledo garden. Upcoming opportunities include:
· Saturday, May 10 – 5:05pm
· Tuesday, May 13 – 5:05pm

The 4-H Sustainable Living Club garden is located near the Toledo Library and south of the town’s skateboard park.

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Six TomatoBarrels will be built during the workshops. Those wishing to build one should bring their own electric drill. All other materials will be supplied. Registered 4-H Members attending the workshop can take home one of the barrels at no charge. Youth wishing to join 4-H can do the same. Others may be purchased at cost (about $35) if there are any left. If there is a demand for more than six barrels built, then those bringing their drill will be entered into a drawing for a barrel.

Then start your mobile garden out right by purchasing locally selected and adapted tomato plants at the Lincoln County Master Gardeners’ Spring Plant Sale. This year’s sale is being held May 31 at the National Guard Armory in Newport (541 SW Coast Highway). A wide variety of plants will be available for purchase from 9am to 2pm. Come early, as the sale is a big hit every year with top items selling out quickly.

Background on TomatoBarrels
The TomatoBarrel is a portable system that takes advantage of the heat storing capacity of the water reservoir and of its portability to enable a longer growing season and minimal need for watering. Tomato production on the Oregon Coast is hard because of the large amount of cold Oregon rain; the Coast’s earth is cold until usually June or early July. With a TomatoBarrel you can start planting as soon as you build your 33-gallon container barrel.

Because the containers are mobile and can sit anywhere – on a deck, in a yard, on a sidewalk – they can be easily located in the sunniest area throughout the season. And because they are not in contact with the earth and there are 23 gallons of water stored in the bottom, they stay warmer. They also only need to have water replenished about once a week. So attend one of these free workshops and get ready to celebrate the Fourth of July with a plentiful harvest of red, vine-ripened, luscious tomatoes at your doorstep and available all summer long!

The TomatoBarrel workshops are yet another offering made possible through the 4-H Sustainable Living Club’s YA-4H grant. The Oregon State University Youth Advocates for Heath (YA4-H!) program launched the Producing for the Future Project to support local organizations in creating youth-developed community gardens in partnership with supportive adults in limited resource communities. Not only are organic gardening practices a focus but also developing and implementing a micro-enterprise venture to market the produce grown.

For more information about the barrels or to schedule a workshop, contact 4-H Sustainable Living Club Leaders Carl and Coralee Palmer at nextday@vol.com or 541-765-2109. To find out more about 4-H in Lincoln County, please contact Program Coordinator Todd Williver at 541-574-6534, todd.williver@oregonstate.edu

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