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September 18, 2015
Beginners learn basics at OSU’s farm school
By ERIC MORTENSON
OREGON CITY — He was
speaking to a class of beginning
beekeepers, but Joe Maresh’s ad-
vice probably could apply to all the
prospective farmers who attended
Oregon State University’s one-day
Small Farms School:
“Take your stings.”
In other words, accept the fact
that you will take your lumps in
agriculture. But that doesn’t deter
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to OSU’s popular small farms pro-
grams. At least 175 registered for the
Sept. 12 farm school workshops and
demonstrations held at Clackamas
Community College in Oregon City
southeast of Portland.
Classes offered through the day
ranged from horse and sheep han-
dling and emergency veterinary care
Eric Mortenson/Capital Press
to pasture management, small engine Joe Maresh, left, president of the Portland Metro Beekeepers Association, advises beginning farmers during an Oregon
State University Small Farm School session Sept. 12.
basics and how to grow blueberries.
Maresh, president of the Portland
Among his tips: Get into your
Metro Beekeepers Association, led
“Avoid beekeeping on the Inter- keepers a question,” he added, “and
about 30 students through the basics hives frequently to see what’s going net,” Maresh advised. “The Internet get eight different answers.”
of keeping pollinators and collect- on, join a bee club and get one or two is not your friend.
Outside at the college’s expan-
good beekeeping books, not a bunch.
³<RX FDQ DVN ¿YH GLIIHUHQW EHH- sive crop plots, Aaron Guffy of East
Deep Roots Coalition skips irrigation
By BRETT TALLMAN
For the Capital Press
DUNDEE, Ore. — In Or-
egon’s Willamette Valley, 22
vintners and farmers, calling
themselves the Deep Roots
Coalition, are forgoing irriga-
tion in favor of the tradition-
al method of growing wine
For thousands of years,
that method was the standard
practice for grape growers,
but since the introduction of
irrigation it has become an al-
ternative viticultural practice
called dry farming.
“I started in California in
the ’70s so (the dry-farming
method) is just how I learned
to do it,” John Paul of Cam-
eron Winery in Dundee, Ore.,
said. “Before the late ’70s ev-
erything was dry farmed.”
Paul is the founder of the
Deep Roots Coalition. As a
group, their mission is to con-
serve agricultural water sup-
plies, as well as make what they
believe is more authentic wine.
“To irrigate is to interfere
with the impact of rainfall
on the wine,” Paul said, “and
rainfall, or lack of it, is an im-
portant part of terroir. In most
grape-growing regions in Eu-
rope, a vintner will lose the
right to put the appellation on
the bottle if they irrigate their
vines. That would be like tell-
ing someone they couldn’t
put Dundee Hills on their la-
bel, which would cost them a
lot of money.”
Paul argued that growing
grapes by the dry-farmed
method makes good ecologi-
cal sense as well.
Multnomah Soil and Water Con-
servation District talked irrigation
basics with two dozen beginning
In a fast-paced discussion of
and variable frequency drives, Guffy
emphasized the need to focus on get-
ting water from one place to another.
“Before you decide the begin-
ning” of an irrigation system, he
said, “decide the end.”
The turnout for farm school was
indicative of the continued intense
interest, especially in urban areas,
about where food comes from and
how it’s produced, said Garry Ste-
phenson, director of OSU’s Center
for Small Farms and Community
That interest can energize agri-
culture as legions of baby boomer
farmers near retirement age.
“We have a generation of people
in their twenties and thirties who
are interested in going into farming
as a business and as a statement of
how they see the world,” Stephen-
son said. “One of the hopes we have
is that they will eventually scale up
and become medium-size farms.”
make cross-laminated timber
stall, aesthetically pleasing
and made from a renewable
resource, the governor said.
“We are perfectly suited
PORTLAND — Valerie
Johnson acknowledges it’s for this work,” Brown said.
been a wild ride. Just 22 “We grow the most desirable
months after hearing about species. If this product is go-
cross-laminated timber pan- ing to hit the market, it made
els, her D.R. Johnson mill more sense for it to emerge
in Southern Oregon is mak- from our state than any oth-
ing them, has partnered er.”
Ethan Martin, an engi-
with state money and uni-
versity researchers, bought neer with the industry group
Kali Ramey Martin/For the Capital Press
new equipment and appears WoodWorks, said cross lam-
Cover crops are used to regulate moisture at the Cameron Winery. poised for a breakout that inated timbers are “like Glu-
Owner John Paul is the founder of the Deep Roots Coalition. As a
many think could revitalize lam (beams) and plywood
group, their mission is to conserve agricultural water supplies, as
got together and had a baby.”
Oregon’s timber industry.
well as make what they believe is more authentic wine.
The process can produce
On Sept. 10 in Portland,
Gov. Kate Brown announced wooden panels 8- to 10-feet
“In Northern California, table to the point where trib- '5 -RKQVRQ LV WKH ¿UVW wide, up to 20 inches thick
for instance, the Russian Riv- utaries are running dry and $PHULFDQ FRPSDQ\ FHUWL¿HG and 64 feet long, he said.
er is drying up,” Paul said. nothing is making it down- to make cross-laminated tim- Panels are formed by bond-
“They’ve lowered the water stream. The same thing is EHU SDQHOV &HUWL¿FDWLRQ E\ ing layers of dimensional
the American Plywood As- lumber such as two-by-fours.
starting to happen here.”
They can be hauled to a
Paul addressed three ad- sociation and the American
vantages an irrigated vine- National Standards Institute construction site and quickly
yard has over a dry-farmed assures the panels, called installed in a manner Martin
CLT, can be used in building and others jokingly compare
to assembling products from
First, an irrigated vineyard construction.
Brown made the an- Ikea, or like giant Legos.
The product’s environ-
to six years after it is planted, nouncement at Best Fest, an
while a dry-farmed vineyard annual conference that fea- mental impact is much less
tures clean-tech innovation. than other construction meth-
will take about seven years.
“But,” Paul said, “a dry- The conference organizer, ods, Martin said.
“Every other material ex-
farmed vineyard is way more Oregon BEST, is a qua-
stable. There are productive si-public state agency that udes carbon, except wood,”
vineyards in California that provides development grants he said. “Wood is the only
are 80 to 100 years old. And and links entrepreneurs with product that sequesters car-
some — not all, but some a network of university re- bon.”
CLT construction has
— irrigated vineyards start searchers.
Oregon BEST provided been used for high-rise build-
to slow down after just 20
$150,000 for CLT research ings in Europe and Canada,
Second, an irrigated vine- at Oregon State University but is limited in the U.S. to
yard will produce larger and will lend D.R. Johnson six stories, Martin said. The
$100,000 for a new produc- limitations come from build-
“That’s debatable,” Paul tion line. The governor said ing laws adopted in 1899 and
said.” If quality wine is the the state is sponsoring a CLT 1910 in response to tragic
goal, you should be thinning design competition, with WHQHPHQW¿UHV
Martin said that’s chang-
$200,000 in funding and ser-
ing, and the technology is
And third, irrigated vines vices going to the winner.
Speaking from a podium gaining acceptance. A 19-sto-
can be planted closer together
because there is less competi- made from cross-laminat- ry wooden building is being
ed timbers, Brown said she designed in Portland, he said.
tion for water.
“The trouble is,” Paul said, hopes the technology will A four-story commercial
“roots will go where the wa- “fuel the economic engine in building, Albina Yard, is un-
ter is. If the water is dumped rural Oregon.” Cross lami- der construction in Portland
on the surface, the roots stay nated panels are strong, cost DQG LV WKH ¿UVW SURMHFW EXLOW
shallow where they’re more competitive, much quicker with domestically produced
than steel and concrete to in- CLT panels.
vulnerable to disease.”
By ERIC MORTENSON