Creating a Sourdough Tradition

If you have attended any of our fundraising events then you know that we always like to give you a thank you gift for your support. During the past 5 years that gift has oftentimes been a jar of sourdough starter, and some of our favorite recipes. According to our records we have shared away somewhere around 200 jars of starter with community members. It has come to our attention that bakers yeast has become another one of the items in our food supply that has been difficult to find. Why? Here is a fun read: Food52 In accordance with Montana's directive to shelter in place, we cannot share our starter with you at this point in time. While old sourdough starters can have a more developed flav

Regrow: For Food & Fun

Super fun and great science project for kids (some adults might have a bit of surprise). Vegetables cannot grow vegetables. Or, can they?? It is always most fun to lead with questions. Stow away as many of these vegetable ends as possible: carrot, celery, green onion, lettuce, leeks. Trim vegetables, do not cut roots off too close, do not cut tops too low, place in water (enough to provide moisture, but not so much as to rot the vegetable before it can grow). This is one of the great science projects. Start with questions, gather information, guess the answer, experiment and analyze & record your observations. Trick vegetables (we already told you what will work): potatoes, sweet potatoes, c

O'Hara Commons Seed Library

The O'Hara Commons Seed Library was founded with recognition that saving seeds is the foundation of a durable and resilient locally based food system. Community members are encouraged to participate in the library by 'borrowing' the seeds of open-pollinated vegetables, flowers and herbs. We will provide you with support through the growing season. You will reap the benefit of the harvest, with the added intention of returning seed to the repository. Due to COVID-19, we will be mailing seed requests. We are asking that you make a donation to O'Hara Commons to cover the cost of shipping and packaging. Your seed request will be shipped upon receipt of your donation. Recommended: $5 for 1-5 pack

Watch: Seed Starting Webinar

Do you feel a little overwhelmed with the details of starting your garden from seeds? How and what to start indoors versus direct seeding outdoors. Timetables, seeding techniques, supplemental lighting strategies. We are here to help. While you can contact O'Hara Commons with any questions, we thought to include this fantastic video produced by Seed Savers Exchange. Grab a cup of tea and jump into a 50 minute watch.

Seed Starters Reference

Years ago there was a wonderful seed company in Ravalli County, Garden City Seeds. They annually published a seed catalog and it was chock full of seed starting information relevant to our region. Once I had a 'vertical' collection of these catalogs, many years worth. Over the years I have given them away to new gardeners. I grew nervous as my collection dwindled to three copies. The solution? I took a copy to our local office supply store (The Paper Clip) and they converted it into a pdf. This is shared here. As you page through the catalog you will see it is organized by crop. including seed starting, sowing, cultivating and seed saving information. We hope that you use this information we

From the Pantry: Vegetable Stock

Rice, beans and grains can have much more flavor if cooked in vegetable stock, also called broth. It is easy to make vegetable stock and minimizes food waste. Here are a few tips and tricks to help make delicious vegetable stock from your kitchen scraps. Throughout your week, or for some households this will take a few days, gather vegetable scraps while preparing meals. It is convenient to store these scraps in a gallon zip lock bag, and best to keep in the freezer until you have compiled enough scraps to start a batch of stock. You do not need to use a recipe! It is all about the vegetable selection and proportion of water. You are using ends, tops and skins. It is good to rinse all the di

In the Garden: Fast Growing Vegetables

This time of the year is busy for the gardener. We have seedlings to nurture indoors (or greenhouses), soil to prepare and direct sowing of cold hardy vegetables. Review 'In The Garden' post from last week to stay up on your gardening timetable, here. Additionally: • It is time to plant asparagus, horseradish and rhubarb crowns in the garden • Remove about half of the mulch on strawberry beds once the foliage starts to grow • Raspberry maintenance: remove dead canes • Finish pruning fruit trees; pruning on sunny days is best for plant health Fast Growing, Cold Hardy Vegetables. Craving fresh greens mixes? Need to supplement your C.S.A. box with extra edibles? There are quite a few crops that

Creative Spark: Building a Compost Bin

Compost is better known as 'Black Gold'. Your kitchen and yard waste can become the best and least expensive soil amendment for your garden. There are many ways to make compost: pallet bin, wire rings, nothing, dig a pit or purchase a tumbler. Composting can be very easy, if you do not allow yourself to be bogged down with the 'science' of compost. This week we have two references to share with you. 1. A video, this is for those of you who are getting ready to start a compost pile, garden scale. Thanks Pure Living for Life! 2. A link to a website with kid-friendly compost projects, great as science experiments. Thanks to 'Gardening Know How"! Of course, if you develop questions then shoot th

Watch: The Compost Story

Have you thought about starting a compost pile but found the task daunting? Read a book about composting and felt overwhelmed with the 'science' aspect? Maybe you had fears of attracting unwanted critters, or feared potential aroma issues. Composting is one of the best kitchen practices for a household to implement. It is easy, minimizes waste and creates a most magical end product. This is the perfect time of the year to start a compost pile and a fun outdoor project to do with kids. If you need a little inspiration, we included this short video to watch. Check out this week's 'Creative Spark' for directions on how to start that pile. Enjoy this 'Watch'!

Creative Spark: Nature Walks.

Now, I know this is not 'staying at home'. But in the Bitterroot, we have the rich resource of easy to access outdoor spaces, and we can safely access these spaces without human contact. Whether walking alone or with your family, being in nature bolsters both emotional and physical wellness. This time of year is particularly inspiring. Spring is burgeoning and the signs of the season change are everywhere. So, toss on a good pair of shoes, grab a water bottle, some food and a basic first aid kit and head for a local park or trailhead. Maybe an extra layer for each walker, as spring time weather can be unpredictable. Many of the following activities are easily done in a backyard. The most im

In the Garden: Ten Weeks Before (average) Last Frost

This is certainly the most exciting time of the year for a gardener. There are many seedlings to start indoors and as our soils become workable, there are seeds to sow outdoors. With the unusual state of affairs in March, 2020, you might not feel prepared even as you may have more time on your hands. No worries! We are here to help. Indoor seed starting takes some space and a few supplies. You will need seed starting mix (try Ace Hardware), supplemental lighting, flats (leftover watertight clamshells are great, the type that greens mix is sold in at the grocery store), and seed. Regarding light, our days are not long enough nor is the light source strong enough for seed starting. If you try

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111 S. Fourth St  Hamilton, MT 59840


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