We sat down with Ian Wilson from Portland Edible Gardens for our first Five Questions on Friday; here's what he had to say!
Question 1: Where are you from?
I grew up right here in Portland! I went to Chapman Elementary School which is now most famous for the Chimney Swifts that visit every September. Portland has changed a lot since my elementary school days, but despite incredible growth, Portland maintains its distinctive and beloved character. I wouldn't leave Portland for anything ...What a place to call home!
Question 2: Favorite Restaurant?
Unfair question in Portland, But... a long time favorite is Cafe Mingo on NW 21st Avenue. Its another place that has been incredibly consistent through a lot of change. Incredible food, unpretentious, authentic Italian, with the freshest ingredients. Yum.
Question 3: How did Portland Edible Gardens start? What kind of services do you offer?
I started Portland Edible Gardens after working on and managing organic vegetable farms for many years. I came to realize that even though Portland loves food and organic vegetables and gardening, aspiring home gardeners didn't have many options when it came to personal and professional support in growing their own food at their homes! Growing food has brought so much satisfaction, joy, and delciousness into my life, and I wanted more Portlanders to have the opportunity to grow their own!! So I dropped everything and started PEG.
Portland Edible Gardens builds Cedar raised garden beds, creates seasonal planting plans, plants fruit trees and berries, and works with people one on one throughout the year planting their gardens and teaching them how to do it! We take the time to learn about what our clients are interested in, what their goals are, and then craft a plan and cater our services to meet their needs.
Question 4. Fall is here! What can we do for our gardens and our soil to prepare for next spring?
Fall is a great time to give back to our gardens that have given us so much throughout the year! There are several ways to care for your soil in the Fall and Winter so it is ready to provide in the year to come. One option is to grow a "cover crop", a planting that offers nutrients, insulation and protection to your soil. Another option is to cover your bare soil with a straw mulch to protect it from winter rains, compaction, and erosion.
If you want to learn more about these soil saving methods or for more Portland based edible gardening advice throughout the year, check out my Blog!!!
Questions 5. When is the best time to build a new garden bed?
Now! The truth is, any time is a good time to establish your garden beds. The most important thing is to make it happen whenever you can and to be ready for the growing season in early Spring. I plant my sugar snap peas in mid-February, so that's when it all begins for me. But even planting a garden as late as June can bring a serious bounty to your kitchen.