Local Master Gardeners celebrate fall season at ‘Harvest Festival’

Discover why the Multnomah County Master Gardeners Association volunteers had so much to celebrate this year in their outer East Portland Demonstration Garden …

Welcoming late-coming guests to the Multnomah County Master Gardeners Association ™ Annual Harvest , it’s Lori Nye.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

With a rainstorm impending on Saturday, September 23, Multnomah County Master Gardeners Association™ (MCMG) volunteers set up canopies in their Demonstration Garden in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood, determined to hold their Annual Harvest Festival rain or shine.

And indeed the rain held off for most of the afternoon, allowing guests to fully enjoy a bountiful buffet featuring ten homemade salads, brats, and burgers – and an astounding dessert bar, too.

Coming out of the pandemic, it was a mighty good year for the MCMG, said organizer Linda Goldser during the Annual Harvest Festival.

“Later in the afternoon, it got to actually raining, but we didn’t get rained out – we just hunkered down under the canopies,” MCMG organizer Linda Goldser told East Portland News afterwards.

Serving salads, here’s Master Gardener Victoria Horton, and Suzanne Jabaley – a Master Gardener intern.

Grill Masters Bill Nichols and Jerry Beatty keep the sausages and brats coming.

“MCMG volunteers come from all walks of life and each have their own lives and ‘other’ things to do with their spare time – yet they choose to come play in the dirt with us to help grow and harvest produce to donate to others,” smiled Goldser.

“Our Demonstration Garden is about more than just growing food – we are learning how to grow plants better in our changing climate, and sharing what we learn with the public – the garden is open three mornings a week when the community is welcome to visit.”

Master Gardener Tenaya Waits, with her family — Rock Rathgeb, Dakota, and River – enjoy the Annual Harvest Festival.

So far this season, 68 gardeners gave 3,100 volunteer hours; that’s an effort that provided about 1,400 pounds of fresh fruits and produce – including vegetables, from Asparagus to Zucchini – for local food pantries, Goldser said.

“And, we oriented 20 new gardeners this year – both community members & Master Gardeners; many of these new volunteers have become integral members of our Demo Garden team and have brought in new ideas that help the garden as a whole.”

“Now, it’s time to ‘put the garden to bed’ for the season,” concluded Goldser.

Folks hurry to the dessert buffet, just as the rain begins.

Find out more about the Multnomah County Master Gardeners Association by visiting their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

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