Friday, April 30, 2010

This week's show: planning for an abundant season

Strawberry freezer jam is so vibrant red
If you're like me, blink and the summer will be over. I want to make sure to plan for all kinds of great and fun things, including what kind of things we've got going in the garden, canning and preserving.

You can listen to my latest show, online here. (audio file fixed and available)

And here are some links that go along with the show and the things I talk about.

This deep magenta rose, as lovely as it is, is no longer behaving and is going to be taken out.

And these are the euphorbias I'm editing down.

Here is how we make strawberry freezer jam.

Pomona's Universal Pectin is a great solution for creating low or no sugar jam.

Yes, there really is a recipe for knotweed jam. Eat those invasives!

Here is my source in Seattle for tumbled glass, great for top dressing potted plants.

And here is a link to my favorite plant sale of the season: the Clackamas County Master Gardeners Spring Garden Fair.

And can I just say, thank you to the thousands of you (yes, I learned the number and it's thousands!) who are listening to my show live when it airs. If you have questions for me, or comments, I welcome them: please leave me a comment here. Also, next week I'm answering some great questions from a listener, but if you have a topic you'd like to hear more about, just let me know. Thank you so much!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Where do you go for infamous BBQ?

the salt lick licks
I feel like I should duck by asking that question from Oregon. Because Texas has a foothold on good barbecue, and our visit recently to Tejas recently demonstrated that to me. In fact, upon arriving back in Portland and asking AdRi what she wants to do with our summer, one of the items on her list is to barbecue brisket. I worked very, very hard to contain my excitement about that. Very hard. Because barbecued brisket, cooked low'n'slow on the 'cue, is amazing.

But it's understandable since we recently took a trip to the great state of Tejas and experienced some of that barbecue first hand. We don't mess around. With a tip from Penny to not miss the Salt Lick while in Austin, we took off for an afternoon and ventured outside of Austin for the mecca of all things smoked.

The infamous Salt Lick BBQ
The Salt Lick is legend when it comes to barbecue. There's the original site, where we went, and several offspring around Austin, plus Las Vegas. Hello. Yes, Vegas. You can visit their website here to take it all in if you like. They're pretty big. And you know? It's pretty impressive.

With all of their celebrity quotes and references on their website, you'd think it's possible they're only about the show of it all. But in reality? The majority of folk we saw were bringing in coolers and their own booze, meaning they were local out for a weekend afternoon at their fav' place. The original Salt Lick is dry, meaning if you want a beer to wash down that 'que, you best be bringing it yourself.

But you know what? You can walk right on in to that smoker and see it for yourself. So I did!
Can you spy my silver bag in the photo?
meat on the fire
As I skidded on in, a woman said, "you go girl" and I was determined to shoot that barbecue meat. It was slippery around the pit, and I still couldn't believe they were letting me in beyond the counter to see for myself and take photos. Brisket, steak and sausage all bid for grill time, and I just tried to get the aperture right.

Asking AdRi what she thought, she says, "They have a story and they honor that story. It was nostalgic and like a trip to the wild west. They only accept cash at the original location, but it's still a destination for locals out in the country." I think that sums it up all right there.

We grow 'em big at the Salt Lick
If you're in Austin, you need to take a trip to the historic Salt Lick. If you're not, stay tuned for how our Portland smoked brisket will fare this summer.

See a slideshow of our visit here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Exciting news: introducing LeLo Homemade, the musical!

Gnome in a sea of forget-me-nots
Just kidding, it's not a musical. Though I am tempted to throw up some jazz hands here just for effect. The truth is...I'm starting a radio show. It's an internet radio show and you can listen to it when it broadcasts on every Friday at noon, Pacific time, or via the web, or you can even subscribe to it via iTunes (to come soon).

So what is it about?

LeLo Homemade is hosted by me, LeAnn Locher, and while I hate the term domestic goddess, I love gardening, cooking great food, preserving the bounty of the harvest, and living a good life connected to the earth, friends and community. You too? Then I hope you’ll listen to the show.

Working in the garden is a labor of love and I try to do a little bit of it every day, when I can. Growing beautiful flowers—especially freaky plants—and produce to eat are balanced in my garden. 12 years ago we began removing our urban Portland lawn and today it’s full of flowers, food, bees, birds and a neighbor or two. And somewhere along the way I became an OSU Extension Master Gardener.

Cooking and preserving food go hand-in-hand for many gardeners, that I’m no exception. In fact, I couldn’t imagine doing this show without including them, and creative explorations that are a part of the home arts. Ah, the often-forgotten home arts. I believe the home arts are to be revered, honored and celebrated. They may even be a political statement in our busy go-go-go lives. Stop a moment, celebrate and explore them with me. Let’s grow a little goodness in this world together.

To hear me wax eloquently about my love of the forget-me-not, you can listen to my first show here.

Have ideas for future shows? Gardening or preserving questions? Feedback for me? I'd love to hear from you. This is a whole new realm for me and I'm just taking it in, and so grateful for the opportunity to share the things I love. Maybe someday, there will be LeLo the Musical, and if there is, I hope there's a top-hat high-kicking showgirl extravaganza. Until then, I have a radio show to turn out every week!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Second post in the series: How to be a good aunt

Always be prepared to entertain, distract and amuse. Use what you have. And if that's an iPhone, use it. And if you have nieces? The app for becoming a Unicorn is very, very popular.

Lola UnicornZiola UnicornLilee Unicorn

Monday, April 19, 2010

Rules for Being an Aunt

#1. There are no rules.
Therefore, have at it.

That's my mantra and I'm sticking to it. We recently spent some time with our nieces from Texas and niece and nephew from Australia (and all of the appropriate parents, grandparents, etc. that go along with the kids). Woohoo! Some would call that a family reunion. Yes, the first time we've all been together. With far flung family, that's how it is.

I thought I'd do a few posts on the rules to being an aunt, mainly being, there are no rules. And to demonstrate...

Embrace the silly. That may include mustaches.

Demonstrate the silliness with all ages. Therefore, mustache the grandfather. Also known as my father.
Grandpa got mustached too

Double the score by adding a grillz sucker to the equation. Score!!!
Moustache + grillz = SCORE

And most importantly, as all good aunts know, take photos of all of this.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Is it too early to plant tomatoes?

is it a pumpkin, or a tomato?
Have you seen those poor, shivering tomato plants out at the garden centers? Or that robust basil freshly yanked from the greenhouse and propped up for you to buy? Yeah, I have too. And I've even seen some of these in your shopping carts, people. I've been tempted to go up to you and tap you on the shoulder, smile a big smile, and in my sweetest voice, suggest you wait until June to put those bad boys out in your garden. But then I'd be the psycho garden lady and that wouldn't be good. Or would it? Hmmmm....

My column today out on the street includes a wonderful visit I had with my friends at the Gay Guys Garden club, and a little ditty on what to do in the garden. To help you out, here's some great ideas of things to be doing in your Portland area garden now....

Yes, it’s too early to put out tomatoes in your garden. I know you may see them in the stores but it’s all a ploy to get you to buy them, kill them, then have to buy them again. It’s also to put out basil, corn and eggplant. I know you’re excited, but just wait. There’s plenty of other things you can get going on now in mid to late April:
• Plant strawberries and other berries
• Set out transplants of lettuce, spinach, broccoli and leafy greens
• Start seeds indoors for hot weather plants like tomatoes, basil and eggplant
• Have you thought about your watering plans for this summer? Get a jump start now to get in those soaker hoses or drip irrigation, and be thankful for a summer not spent tied to the hose.
• And finally, our wet spring is high time for slugs. Check out WorryFree Slug and Snail bait, a safe bait to get those slimy slugs but keep your dogs and children safe.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Life lesson and deep thoughts as told in 3 acts.

Act #1, as told in photo:
Too Cool For School
Act #2, as told in Ferris Bueller quote:
Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Act #3, as told by my own written reflection:
In the past two days I have hugged my brother, kissed my sister, and laughed my ass off with my nephew and nieces—some I'm meeting for the very first time.

Having children who paint and hang signs on the fence welcoming you to Texas, and running out to the car screaming AUNTY just about makes me tear up right now as I type this. Life is good, life is good. And it's good to have the people you love help remind you of that.

But life moves fast, and as you get older, it moves even faster, and the nieces I saw last when they were just babies are reading and writing now. How did time go by so quickly?

The best I can do is to promise to be in the moment, to connect, to laugh from the gut, and to speak the truth. To be gentle. To love. To respect. And to let live. But in it all, to have a damn great time. You up for it? I am.

Encore Act #4:
Lessons learned from being an aunt: sunglasses may prove to be the biggest hit of all. With photo:
I Am Related To Giant Insects

Friday, April 02, 2010

Portland Gardeners, Mark Your Calendars Now!

This is a cross post to my column, out Friday in Just Out. You can also read it online here.

I’m planning my 2010 garden season and before we get off and running—or should I say digging—I’m getting into my calendar all of my favorite sales, open gardens and tours.

Plant sales provide direct access to our area’s plethora of plant growers, saving you time in driving from one end of the valley to another to get that one special tomato, or heirloom sweet peas.

As for open gardens, they’re the single best way to get inspired for your own garden. Do you think I came up with the idea of putting marbles in our gravel walkways? Thank you, open garden.

Several events are on my list, with more announcements anticipated as the season progresses. For now, I want to make sure to have my top choices on my calendar—and yours.

Spring Plant Sale & Garden Festival
The Hardy Plant Society typically kicks off the plant sale season with their spring plant sale, and for good reason: the quality of vendors and plants are top notch. If you’re seeking a unique new plant from one of our area’s growers you can get a jump start here.
Saturday-Sunday, April 17-18, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Portland Expo Center, Hall C, free admission, parking $7,

Bauman’s Greenhouse Gallery
Any reason to go visit at Bauman Farms in Gervais and I’m there. This art show comes with morning mimosas and afternoon wine tasting. Beautiful art for home and garden, the event raises money for the Linda L. Valadyka Breast Wellness Foundation. Pick up some freshly baked goods from their on-site bakery, shop for plants, and even purchase locally grown produce while you visit. I love Baumans, and you will too.
Saturday-Sunday, April 24-25, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., 12989 Howell Prairie Rd., Gervais, free admission,

Spring Garden Fair
I have a favorite plant sale of the season and this one is it. The Clackamas County Master Gardeners pull out all stops for this fantastic sale featuring over 185 of the best area nurseries. Come prepared to walk, visit, and buy. From vegetables to ornamentals to everything in between, this sale should be on every gardener’s calendar!
Saturday, May 1, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, May 2, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Clackamas County Event Center Fairgrounds, 694 NE 4th Ave., Canby, $3,

Glencoe Florist Plant Sale

Glencoe High School runs a fantastic student run greenhouse program. The big secret? They have plant sales, and your purchase helps to support their program. Like you needed more reasons to buy plants? Here you have it. Support a local school.
May 3-8, 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. (school hours), Glencoe High School Greenhouse, 2700 NW Glencoe Road, Hillsboro, free admission, 503-844-1900

LoneSomeVille Studio Open Garden and Pottery Sale

This private garden opens to the public but once a year, and is one of Portland’s best-kept secrets. Romance abounds in this farmhouse garden: take in the garden and get some of their arts and crafts style pottery at discounted prices.
Saturday, May 29, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., LoneSomeVille, 5006 SE Long St., Portland, free,

Garden Conservancy Open Days

The national open days program is in Portland June 5, with five local gardens to visit. Check their website for updated information as the date gets closer.
Saturday, June 5, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., $5 per garden,

Seeding Our Future

The Foundation for Tigard Tualatin Schools pulls off a fantastically coordinated and curated garden tour every year, and should be on your list. Eight private gardens in Tigard and Tualatin will be open and a garden art show is also planned the same weekend. Tour + shop? Golden.
Seeding Our Future Art Show, Friday, June 25, noon-8 p.m., Saturday, June 26, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Tigard High School, 9000 SW Durham Rd., Tigard, free
Seeding our Future Garden Tour, Saturday June 26, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., tickets $20, locations announced with purchase,

Behind the Scenes Garden Tour
The Association of Northwest Landscape Designers organize a wonderful tour every year, and this year’s tour will feature 9 gardens in North and Northeast Portland, as well as Vancouver Washington.
Saturday, July 10, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., tickets will be available online,

Cracked Pots Garden Art Show
The big kahuna of garden art shows with 75 vendors, Cracked Pots throws a fantastic show and sale of garden art made from recycled materials. Better yet? It’s set outside among the gardens and grounds of McMenamins Edgefield. Benches built from recycled garden hoses, birdfeeders made from salvaged china, hummingbird statuary crafted with old silverware? This is the place to find it. Don’t wait ‘til the last minute: this art sells fast, for good reason.
Tuesday-Wednesday, July 20-21, 1 p.m. – 8 p.m, McMenamins Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey Street, Troutdale, free,