Needed: Seed Savers

The O'Hara Commons houses a seed library. Our seed inventory typically has about 75 varieties of locally grown, open pollinated seed. Mostly vegetables, but herbs and flowers are included. During this year there has been a run on seeds. With a greater number of people deciding to garden, seed houses have run out of seed and many have had to halt business due to the volume of orders they were receiving. O'Hara Commons has been able to step in and share seeds with our community. Because of this, our seed library reserves are very low and we want volunteers to grow out seed to restock our library. Whether you are a new gardener interested in learning how to save seed, or an experienced grower a

Geocaching

Who doesn't love a treasure hunt? We are all spending more time outside, this is an extra fun twist. An adventure and a reason to be outside longer. From the Geocaching Official Blog: "Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location" There is a little introduction video included below, and it will take you through the steps to get started. Like every other activity in our lives right now, Covid-19 has affected the sport of Geocaching. It is still possible to be safe and participate, the Geocaching Official Blog addresses thi

Sourdough Naan

7 ingredients + 1 Cast Iron Skillet 1 c of sourdough starter 1/2 c of warm milk 1/4 c of yogurt (substitute: sour cream) 1 t baking powder 2 c all purpose flour pinch of salt 2 T melted butter In large bowl, mix starter, milk and yogurt until smoothly blended. Add baking powder and flour, mix until you have what looks like a shaggy ball. Cover with moist kitchen cloth. Allow to sit for a few hours, in a warm location. Roll out on to a lightly floured surface, knead until smooth. Divide into 8 sections. Heat skillet, medium high. Using rolling pin, roll out each section to about 1/4" thick (work in batches depending on how many will fit in your skillet). Brush one side with butter, place face

Spring Fever.

As the days grow longer and warmer we seem to find ourselves with extra energy. Especially kids. Especially kids who are homebound. We found this great video that demonstrates how to make a jump rope out of t shirts. Now for some jump rope activities: 1. Put the rope under you and just swing it from behind to in front and vice versa. Jump over it each time. Do not lift the rope off the ground. 2. Try jumping with both feet as you swing the rope from forward to behind your back. 3. Try one legged jumping. Switch legs. Make this a contest. 2 jumps per leg, 3 jumps per leg, 5 or 10 jumps per leg. 4. Go backwards. Try crossing your arms. Even harder, try crossing your legs 5. Wheel Game: One per

'Raising Resiliency'. Growing a Sustainable Future.

Purpose: To get more people in Ravalli County to start growing gardens and find the joy, nutrition, health and economic importance of having a home garden. Volunteers building raised beds for O'Hara Commons Garden The Coronavirus outbreak has resulted in a ‘shelter in place’ for an undefined period of time. It is prime spring season and the perfect time to get people to start a garden of their own. Since this time of isolation can be depressing and lonely, this will be a positive and uplifting gift to individuals to begin their first garden. O'Hara Commons will build and deliver raised beds (8' x 4' x 16") to nominees, with soil and plant starts/seeds to begin a garden of their own. The soil

Local Agriculture: They need us. We need them.

We are less than two months away from our last frost. There are crops to be sowed outdoors, seeding to do indoors under lights and transplanting of previously seeded starts. For those of us who have home gardens, the season is at a crux. Not many of us can truly supply our food needs year round. Even the most dedicated gardener relies upon our greenhouses and nurseries for plant stock and our local growers for the vast majority of our annual food. It is a good time to remember that these growers and nurseries started planning their season before CORVID-19 was a reality. They had already invested money and continue to invest time into growing for us, for their community. O'Hara Commons has be

Sourdough Crackers

This is a base recipe. Get to know it and then adapt it to your preferences. 1 c Sourdough starter 1/3 c Melted butter or ¼ cup Olive oil 1 c (plus more) Unbleached all purpose flour* *whole wheat flour can be substituted. All variations use this basic dough. In a small bowl, pour in 1 cup sourdough starter and 1/3 cup melted butter, or olive oil. Stir to combine. Add 1 cup of flour to this mixture. Stir well. Add additional flour if needed, until you have a stiff dough. You may have to do some kneading in the bowl to incorporate enough flour once it gets too stiff for stirring. Cover and set aside for at least 8 hours. When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Sourdough Cornbread

Preheat oven to 425 F. Grease 12" skillet with bacon drippings or butter. I prefer a cast iron skillet. Mix: 3/4 c All-purpose flour 2 1/2 t Double-acting baking powder 1 T sugar 3/4 t salt Add: 1 1/4 c Stone-ground cornmeal (yellow or white) In separate bowl: 1 Egg, gently beaten Add & beat: 3 T Melted butter 1 c Milk (more fat=more flavor) 1 c Sourdough starter Combine all ingredients with a few brisk strokes. Add to skillet, bake for 20-25 minutes. Easily adapted to muffin pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Variations: add caramelized onions, sauteed bell peppers, corn kernels, garlic to egg mixture.

Alaskan Sourdough Dumplings

AKA: Drop Dumplings Make your stew. As it simmers: Stir together: 1 c Flour 2 t Baking Powder 1/4 t Salt 1 c Sourdough Starter 2 T Olive oil 1 Egg Double recipe if needed. Drop walnut to golfball sized dumplings over the top of simmering stew, about 1/4 inch apart. Cover and cook until the dumplings have doubled in size, about 15 minutes. Serve warm

Sourdough Pancakes

1.5 c Starter 1 Egg, slightly beaten 1 T Sugar 1 T Melted butter 3/4 t Salt 1/4 t Baking soda 2 T Milk + dash of vanilla, spot of cinnamon or bit of lemon Combine with a few rapid strokes. Too thick, add some milk. Too thin, add a little flour Heat griddle, medium high, add one tablespoon of butter for every cup of batter. Pour 1/4 cup batter, slowly. Fill griddle. Flip the cakes once bubbles appear on the upper surface, about 2 to 3 minutes. Lift edge to see if browned. Serve cakes immediately. Do not stack atop one another until service, for that will leave you with flabby cakes.

Mid Spring

This is seriously the most exciting time of the year in the garden. There is so much to do, and many of us have the time to dig in. One gardening aid that I have used for years is Pea and Bean Inoculant. Inoculant is a soil amendment to use at the point of time that you direct seed your peas and beans (including all edible peas, sweet peas, fava beans and the warm season beans that we will be planting when the soils are warmer). Peas and beans are legumes. They naturally 'fix' their own nitrogen with the aid of Rhizobia bacteria that is naturally occurring in soils. Inoculant is a product that contains Rhizobia bacteria, it is used to boost the bacteria in the soil at the root level of the p

Stop! Food Waste

Food waste is a national issue, urban and rural communities. We waste food scraps from our dining room tables, our kitchens, refrigerators. Additionally, there is food that goes to waste in gardens and orchards. As we are all sheltering in place and going to the grocery store as infrequently as possible, right now we are a bit more aware of our food and being as efficient as possible with this vital resource. This week in 'Watch', we are linking up a free documentary: Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story. The film is a bit longer than one hour. Pull out the popcorn, settle in. After the watch, you may be inspired. Get in touch with us! During the past several years, The O'Hara Commons has been de

Naturally Dyed Eggs with Citrus

As I prepared for this 'Creative Spark' easter egg post it occurred to me that vinegar is hard to find right now. I reached out to friends for ideas. Here's what I found out. • First, you can substitute lemon or lime juice for vinegar. The science is simply that acid will brighten your colors. • Second, into our resources for ideas and creativity came Jonathan! Jonathan Bardzik is a renowned storyteller, cook and author. And, he is the friend of a friend. Thanks Jess! Just recently Jonathan wrote about dying easter eggs with natural materials. Click on the photo below to learn more! Enjoy your Easter and have fun dying eggs with natural elements and citrus juice if you cannot find vinegar. T

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111 S. Fourth St  Hamilton, MT 59840

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