The Farmstand

“Always Open” We are actively developing our Farmstand to be a beautiful stop for visitors to find and buy what we grow and create at the farm. We plan to stock everything from jam to bamboo to biochar… There will be a unique lineup of organically grown produce to ancient skill crafts. The Farmstand will also be a hub of information about what we do at Parker Learning Gardens. Check it out!

Bamboo Forest

“Loose Yourself Within The Bamboo”  With nearly 40 varieties on 3 acres, we grow a lot of bamboo! Each variety grows differently: some is green and tall, some is more yellow and bushy, some is mottled brown and green, and some is jet black… Some varieties are better suited for structural use, others are better suited for smaller crafts like native bee houses or fishing poles.

An impressive trail system has been getting developed within the 3 acre bamboo forest to provide an opportunity for visitors to explore and learn about this fascinating plant. Parts of the trail system are so completely enclosed with towering bamboo the daylight is blocked out completely. For younger children the bamboo forest is an exciting adventure that can completely remove them from the commonly known scenery they are used too.

Sun Tunnel & Seasonal Garden

“Fresh Food” This garden is intended to extend the growing season for fall and spring crops and demonstrate how to grow certain vegetables year around. The Sun Tunnel is covered with new plastic, but it lacks side and end walls. Spring planting is underway…

Fruit Orchard

“Fruit Everywhere!”  There are several hundred mature fruit trees throughout the farm: apple, pear, Asian pear, plum, quince, persimmon, fig and pawpaw. For several months in late summer and early fall delicious fruit can be found hanging in abundance wherever you turn. We had around 150 sheep brought in to our fruit orchard for Fall cleanup. They were here for about 3 weeks and they ate down the grass and blackberries, as well as all the windfall fruit.

Linden Tree Grove

“Huge And Majestic”  This is a well known tree in Britain, and gaining recognition here in the US. Known for its light, yet strong wood, basswood is easily carved and used in crafts. The name “basswood” originates from the inner fibrous bark of the tree, known as bast. Bast fibers were historically used to weave clothing, sacks, mats, shoes and many other crafts. The flowers in the early summer offer medicinal properties, and are used in tea for their soothing and relaxing qualities. The leaves are edible. The Linden tree is clearly a natural resource more people should be accustomed to.

The trees of the Linden Grove are tightly spaced, forming an expansive tree canopy alcove that is conducive to inspiring awe and inspiration as a outdoor classroom environment. This area will be further developed to naturally receive groups of people for hosting carving/fiber workshops.

Hazelnut Orchard

“Old, Wild & Wise” The hazelnut orchard is full of old trees that have not been selectively pruned to have one lead trunk. The trees are very shrub-like in a grand sense. Together they form a near continuous canopy with many hollows that make for great gathering places and covered trail-ways between different areas of the farm. The Snack Shack is recessed within the hazelnut canopy.

Farm Fresh Snack Shack

“Fresh Fruit & Produce!”  Currently under active construction, the Snack Shack will be housed within two adjacent 12′ x 14′ covered gazebo structures. Several large stainless sinks and surfaces will accommodate a variety of produce related washing activities in the near future – fruit harvested from the orchard and produce harvested from the gardens (fresh pressed cider and popcorn…). The Snack Shack is developing nicely. We have one gazebo structure up and one more to assemble. The floor design and sink installation will follow. Exciting progress…

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Biochar Creation

 “Fire!”  With the regular maintenance of our bamboo forest trails and our fruit and hazelnut orchards we generate a significant accumulation of woody biomass. This material provides the fuel for our “Ring of Fire” biochar kiln. (Biochar is charcoal produced by the burning of biomass in an oxygen-limited environment.)

The biochar is incorporated into our composting operation to be inoculated by beneficial microorganisms. This links the growth of our farm’s woody vegetation back to the garden as an amazing soil amendment with a net result of carbon sequestration (long-term removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere).

Visitors of all ages are drawn to the whole process of loading and operating the kiln. Learning all of the benefits (improving the soil’s fertility, microbe habitat, water retention. etc) of biochar, plus the fact that it sequesters carbon for up to 10,000 years, makes a strong impression on all participants.

Compost Station

“Compost Happens…”  With a diverse farm consisting of many perennial and annual garden plants, plus our on-site biochar generation, our composting operation receives an array of beneficial inputs. Set up to demonstrate the various cycles of decomposition, kids and families can observe and better understand how the different aspects of the farm connect to result in healthier plants and food.

The composting station will also include a vermicomposting (decomposition by worms) operation that exemplifies the benefits of worms in gardening (higher production of plant nutrients, improved soil structure, increased water retention, etc.).

Hoop House Workshop Space

“Let’s Build & Create!” With a covered footprint of 30′ x 100′ and an electrical and water source, the large hoop house is a great location to conduct craft workshops. It also serves as a potential large gathering space for inclement weather. The structure is covered in an opaque overwintering white greenhouse film which diffuses the light to provide for a uniform temperature for days of sporadic sunshine.

Microbes

Fungi

Seeds

Photosynthesis

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Comment ( 1 )

  1. Chris Bond
    Yes, Yes, Yes! Thank you, John and Marsha. Watching with enthusiasm as you develop this wonderful gift to our Oregon community. Will be watching fro volunteer opportunities, and garden learning for all ages.