After a long absence, Tillamook County Master Gardeners have resumed our public presence by conducting Plant Clinics at all four Farmer’s Markets in the County; Neskowin, Pacific City, Tillamook and Manzanita. June 12 was a great day for us, as we not only attended the Neskowin Farmer’s Market for the first time, but it was also our first public event, exactly 15 months from the day (March 12, 2020) that our Executive Board met and had to make the difficult decision to cease in-person activities, due to Covid-19. And while we “pivoted” and have done what we can remotely, we’ve all missed meeting folks in person and helping them get research-based information so they can garden more sustainably.
Only 3 weeks in, and we have already attended all four of the Markets and will continue until end of the season.
Neskowin – 9am-1pm – Saturday
TCMG Dates: July 10, August 14, September 11
Pacific City – 10am-2pm – Sunday
TCMG Dates: July 4, August 1, September 5
Tillamook – 9am-2pm – Saturday
TCMG Dates: July 24, August 28, September 25
Manzanita – 4pm-7pm – Friday evening
TCMG Dates: July 23, August 20, September 10
We’re fortunate to have such a bounty of locally produced foods here, from fresh produce and dairy products, to seafood, meats and bakery treats, and each of the Market Managers assure there’s a good assortment of products available, so you can truly do “one-stop shopping” at your local Market. And you’re getting the shortest supply line possible and helping your neighbors grow their businesses as they grow your food!
And while you’re perusing all the great offerings and doing your shopping, you can stop by the Master Gardeners table and ask us any and all of your gardening questions! If you have a plant problem, we can help you find a science-based solution. If you’re interested in gardening but don’t know what grows well here, we can help you with that as well, including sourcing varieties that have been developed specifically for the Pacific Northwest. And if you’re interested in gardening education, good news, our Master Gardener training will be offered again in 2021 and we can direct you to other educational opportunities in the interim.
Kristy P. Lund, President, Tillamook County Master Gardeners Association
Now that the summer dry season is rapidly arriving, or may be already here, everyone should be aware of the possibility of wildfires. Let us not forget last year with the number and size of fires in Oregon. Tillamook County was no exception, although fires were limited compared to the rest of the State. (Kudos to our local firemen who worked to contain these fires.) But who knows what 2021 will bring. Foresters are aware that the areas that have not burned in recent years are where there is buildup for creating and feeding fires; Tillamook County is one such area.
The 2021 fire season began in Oregon June 22. Be aware of the following information.
ODF (Oregon Department of Forestry) – Fire Season has Started June 22
Prohibited during fire season.
Additional restrictions mentioned by the Tillamook District:
Gardeners can help reduce fire threat by appropriate landscaping. OSU Extension has a publication, Fire-resistant Plants for Home Landscapes, PNW 590, that gives advice on creating landscapes that may help protect your property from wildfires. PNW 590 may be downloaded at https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/pnw590 by clicking on the pdf button.
From the publication: One way [to protect your home] is to create a defensible space around your home… Three critical steps in creating a defensible space include using fire-resistant building materials (for example, roofing materials), reducing wildland fuels around the home, and using fire-resistant plant material in the landscape. The publication continues to give information on how to create this defensible space with a list of plants that work best.
Help prevent wildfires!
Submitted by Marcille Ansorge
Introducing TCMGA’s 2020 Photo Contest Winners
Each year TCMGA holds a Member Photo Contest where members submit their best photos in the respective categories. Submissions are voted on and winners determined with each receiving a prize.
Categories are ‘Flowers’, ‘Garden’, ‘Animal in the Garden’, ‘Landscape’, and ‘Other’. Winning photos are displayed below. Congratulations to all and a special thank you to members who submitted photos for judging.
Animal in the Garden
Two winners in this category!
Per- and Poly-Fluoro-Alkyl-Substances (PFAS) is a class of chemicals that have evolved to become a global environmental and health contaminant.
This article will identify and discuss PFAS , provide a brief background, discuss the health risks of PFAS, how the process of contamination occurs, and list common sources of PFAS. Of special concern to gardeners and agriculturists is the presence of PFAS in various fertilizers. Considerations for avoidance of commercial products are listed. References are numbered and hyperlinked (X) throughout the article for further reading.
Background: Per- and Poly-Fluoro-Alkyl-Substances (PFAS) is a class of chemicals that have evolved to become a global environmental and health contaminant. Considered inert at their introduction in the 1940’s, persistent research has proven that PFAS are highly toxic and persist – seemingly forever – in water resources, soil, and animal tissue and organs with malignant effects. In the US alone, as early as 1998, a study by 3M, manufacturer of PFAS varieties, verified that PFAS were in the blood stream of the general US population. (7)
This is a global crisis as PFAS contamination is now worldwide due to the extensive use of household and industrial products. (1) Now labeled as “forever chemicals”, just how to reduce and eliminate them from tissue and blood has yet to be discovered. The first PFAS were “long chain”, 8-Carbon atoms. More recent PFAS have six carbons atoms (Gen X or “short chain” PFAS) Research indicates that the short chain PFAS which were hoped to be less residual, are actually more toxic. (1)
Sources of PFAS: PFAS are found in a vast assortment of common products. Contamination of air occurs from emissions from manufacturing sites, (6) and from heating cookware to boiling point temperature (100 °C or 212 °F) a common cooking temperature. PFAS leach into food and water stored in PFAS-infused plastic containers and water bottles. Other sources of absorption through skin or off-gassing are: “products designed to repel soil, grease, and water, for carpet and furniture treatments, food wraps, sprays for leather, shoes and other clothing, paints and cleaning products, shampoo and floor wax, where PFCs are used as surfactants.” Scotchguard (3M) applications (3) , Class B firefighting foams (note: exempt is Class A foam for wildland fires) (8), and various mosquito treatments.
Health Impacts: Once PFAS are absorbed by animal tissue or are respired through aerosol they enter the blood, or plant cells, reside in soil, or in water, they persist for an indefinite amount of time. This is significant because we are continually exposed to PFAS through consumer products, water, air, and environmental locations. If a PFAS-free world could suddenly be created, it would still take an estimated 44 years to excrete half the mass of PFAS accumulated in a living organism. (5) The persistency of toxic absorption undermines mitigation, assuring negative health impacts.
Research on pregnant women indicated that PFAS pass through the umbilical cord and is stored in fetal tissue. (2) In studies the 3M Company submitted to the government (2001), they found PFAS in the blood of 96 percent of 598 children tested in 23 states and the District of Columbia. [Extract | Full Document] (3) A peer-reviewed study in 2021 found that PFAS were in mothers’ breast milk in the US at levels higher than a previous 2005 study, including newer varieties of PFAS being present. Lastly, water supplies in many areas of the US carry PFAS either influent (to homes) or effluent (from homes, industry) or both. Both pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and PFAS are not filtered by most municipal water treatment plants in the effluent cycle. PFAS reside in the biosolids/manure from the waste plant at that point. If the biosolids become a primary ingredient in a fertilizer, PFAS are present. Forever.
PFAS have been linked to cancer, immune system harm, kidney and testicular cancer, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, low birth weights, obesity, reduced fertility in both men and women, thyroid disease, brain damage, low birth weights, hormone suppression, pre-eclampsia in pregnant women, birth defects, and other health issues. (7) (3)
PFAS and Fertilizer: Sewage sludges (biosolids) are treated various ways to kill pathogens and then spread on farmland, forests, parks, golf courses, pastures, and wildlands in some cases. As just discussed, the problem with this ‘re-cycling’ of manure resources is that sewage sludge also contains PFAS, PPCPs (pharmaceutical and personal care products) and we don’t know how to eliminate these chemical groups once introduced. The sludge treatments applied to land contaminate the ground and surface water through the natural percolation, the soil, the plants. the wildlife who survive on what’s left of their habitat. Here’s how to be part of the solution, every good intention matters. Reference Sierra Club Graph.
Be Part of the Solution: Check the label. Biosolid fertilizers are often presented as ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ , a comforting but inaccurate description. Look on the label for the “Guaranteed Analysis” section where you ‘ll find the source of the fertilizer. If purchasing compost or topsoil, check product information for terms like “biosolids,” “residuals,” or “municipal waste,” which could indicate it is made from sewage. (11) Of course, there are products which bypass the PFAS/PPCP problem which will be clear in the analysis section. In closing, here’s some gardening strategies which are sustainable and avoid purchasing products entirely:
Submitted by A. West
Have a Gardening Question? Ask a Master Gardener!
Tillamook County Master Gardeners will be attending Farmers Markets this season, in Neskowin, Pacific City, Tillamook & Manzanita on the dates below. For each market’s full summer schedule and market vendor offerings, click on their link. Visit us at any of the markets where we will answer your gardening questions such as: ‘Is it too late to plant the tomatoes?’ ‘What is this bug crawling in the cabbage?’ ‘The deer have eaten all my flowers!’ ‘The moles have been aerating the lawn. Do I poison the holes, flood them out, trap?’ We can also offer plant and tree recommendations to ensure they will grow successfully on the Oregon Coast.
For those of you who are interested in becoming a Master Gardener there is also GOOD NEWS. OSU will be conducting Master Gardener in-person training classes in 2022. Details will be coming out this fall, so be sure to check our website for updates. We also like to just meet people and have a friendly chat.
Support Your Community Farmers Markets!
Neskowin Farmers Market – 9am-1pm
June 12, July 10, August 14, September 11
Pacific City Farmers Market – 10am-2pm
June 13, July 4, August 1, September 5
Tillamook Farmers Market – 9am-2pm
June 26, July 24, August 28, September 25
Manzanita Farmers Market – 4pm-7pm
June 25, July 23, August 20, September 10