Next to digging in the dirt, there’s almost nothing gardeners enjoy more than learning about their favorite plants. One of the easiest ways to increase your gardening knowledge is to enroll in WSU Extension’s Master Gardener course next spring. For forty years, Washington State University Extension has been training Master Gardener volunteers in the science and art of gardening. Volunteers who attend the comprehensive course will learn the latest information on how to successfully grow their favorite ornamentals, veggies, fruit, and a whole lot more.
There is a perception that to become a WSU Master Gardener you must know everything about gardening. This is unrealistic and untrue. To be a WSU Thurston County Master Gardener you must have some gardening experience but more importantly you must commit to sharing accurate gardening information with our community.
Thurston County WSU Master Gardeners are volunteers trained in all aspects of home gardening which they, in turn, share with members of the community who have gardening or insect questions. Some of the training topics include:
We provide a number of different venues, including demonstration gardens, community booths and question/answer clinics through which volunteers deliver these messages.
The WSU Master Gardener training will also teach you how to access the latest researched-based information from Washington State University faculty, staff, and nationwide partners on subjects you may not know too much about. You will become part of over 200 Thurston County WSU Master Gardeners who have very diverse backgrounds of gardening expertise and interests. As a result of this diversity you will have fun learning from one another while making lifelong friendships.
Classes will be held at a training room in Lacey.
To be considered for one of the limited training spots you must complete an application and attend a pre-orientation session. Pre-orientation sessions are held at the Thurston County Extension Office in West Olympia, directions are included in the application packet. At these sessions you will learn what it takes to be a WSU Master Gardener. This includes program expectations as well as all the benefits you will receive being a WSU Master Gardener. The following sessions will allow you to see if the WSU Master Gardener Program is a right fit for you. No pre-registration needed.
Upon acceptance into the program a $275 class fee will be collected. Since we are a self-sustaining program the training fee covers all class materials and field trips. Scholarships are available for those in need. Payment plans are available for those who are interested.
To learn more or to download an application packet visit our website .
The training class does have a cap and will be filled on a first come, first served basis with those who meet the criteria. If there is still room the very last date to apply is December 31st, 2014.
The average individual could walk through a creek without even noticing these small gems. In fact most people are completely unaware of their existence. Freshwater bivalves are a kind of freshwater molluscs. They are bivalves which live in freshwater, as opposed to saltwater. The majority of species of bivalve molluscs live in the sea, but a number of different families live in freshwater. Fresh water mussels can thrive in many different habitats small ditches, lakes, canals, rivers and creeks. While walking Mill creek with our summer youth program employees we found hundreds of fresh water mussels. The species we found is the Western Pearlshell (shown in all pictures). The Xerces Society is dedicated to developing a variety of publications that educate people on how to identify and conserve fresh water mussels, as well as manage their habitat. “The Society uses advocacy, education, and applied research to defend invertebrates”. For more information about fresh water mussels of the pacific northwest visit, http://www.xerces.org/western-freshwater-mussels/.
Submitted by Saint Martin’s University
Saint Martin’s University, the South Puget Sound Community College and the American Legion Band are once again combining their talents to perform two Christmas concerts in December that feature three choirs singing musical pieces spanning the early 16th century to contemporary works.
A carol sing-along will round out both “Sounds of the Season” concerts. The first event will be held Wednesday, December 3, at 7 p.m. on the Main Stage of the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts, located at South Puget Sound Community College, 2011 Mottman Rd., Olympia. The second concert will take place Friday, December 5, at 7:30 p.m., at Marcus Pavilion, located on the Lacey campus of Saint Martin’s University, 5000 Abbey Way SE.
The concerts will feature the Saint Martin’s University Chorale, both SPSCC Choirs and the American Legion Band. Associate Professor of Music Darrell Born directs the Saint Martin’s chorale. Molly McNamara conducts the SPSCC choirs. Kevin Robertson conducts the American Legion Band, along with Diana Appler, associate conductor.
“It will be so much fun,” says Born, who is also director of the Saint Martin’s Music Program. “The students and members of our community love singing the “White Christmas” tunes and all those famous, early, golden years of Broadway musicals.”
Each concert is composed of three parts. The first part will combine the three choirs, which will sing the early 16th century “Ding Dong Merrily on High,” two early American carols, the “Huron Carol” and “A Virgin Unspotted,” and a beautiful, contemporary piece, “O Magnum Mysterium.”
During the second part, the American Legion Band will perform several traditional, Christmas band pieces, including “T’was the Night Before Christmas” and “Sleigh Ride.” The choirs and the band will conclude both evenings with combined holiday pieces, such as the “White Christmas” medley and “A Christmas on Broadway,” before leading the audience through the sing-along.
The concerts are free and open to the public, and free-will donations are gratefully accepted.
Submitted by Bagel Brothers
What’s round, comes in a variety of flavors, and is everyone’s favorite? Bagel Brothers’ bagels, of course. Whether you choose a sandwich or a spread, whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner, these bagels hit the spot.
And did you know Bagel Brothers offers catering? For all your social functions, from holiday parties, to business luncheons and retirement parties, Bagel Brother’s can provide just the right spread for your gathering.
Starting at just $2.95 per person, receive an assortment of bagels, (cheesy, everything, onion and more) and an equally appetizing array of cream cheeses (plain, berry, chive and more).This option is a classic and easy way to feed your guests.
Kick it up a notch and order a lox and cream cheese platter, and your gathering will have a built-in conversation piece as guests gush about the Wild Alaskan Sockeye Lox, sliced tomatoes, onions, and capers. This is available at just $6.95 per person.
For the same price, consider a luncheon platter that includes sandwich favorites like Turkey & Jack, Ham & Swiss, Roast Beef &
Cheddar, and Vegetarian. Fruit platters, breakfast burritos, chips, cookies, and coffee, juice and teas services are also available.
“We love to help our customers host stress-free occasions by providing everything they need for a satisfying meal,” says Jeff Rose, owner.
Bagel Brothers catering will deliver with advance notice, but for those last minute arrangements, or for smaller orders, Bagel Brothers will have your tray ready for pick up at their
convenient Westside location.
Check out Bagels Brothers full catering menu here.
Bagel Brothers, 400 Cooper Point Rd. SW #22Olympia, (360) 352.3676.
Submitted by Austin Radio
This Saturday night, November 22, local music duo Austin Radio are bringing their popular blend of warm harmony vocals, driving acoustic guitar, harmonica, and humor back to Forrey’s Forza in Lacey. Showtime is 7pm-10pm. You will hear uptempo acoustic versions of popular country and rock songs old and new.
Austin Radio are Angie Ward and Mark Medalen, longtime performers throughout the Northwest, and partners in their lives both on and off the stage. They performed in various bands and as solo artists for many years before forming Austin Radio nearly ten years ago. Ward fronted the funk/rock/R&B Seattle big band known as Get Off The Stage (GOTS) and sang with Olympia’s Fishtrap for several years. In addition to Austin Radio, Medalen also performs with the country band Broken Trail.
These Forrey’s Forza shows are truly hometown shows for the duo. Ward and Medalen grew up in Lacey, are both graduates of Timberline High School, and have many ties to the area. Ward grew up singing with her siblings and picking strawberries on their Ward Farms on Yelm Highway. Two of her relatives now own and operate successful businesses on the same property, with cousin Jeff at Country Green Turf Farms and cousin Erica at Van’s Burgers. Medalen grew up in Lacey with parents who were career educators in the Yelm School District. He followed his passion for music and, after graduating from Central Washington University, brought his guitar back home and settled in Olympia. In addition to writing and playing music, Ward and Medalen are employed with the State of Washington.
Austin Radio’s name is a tribute to the diverse styles of music that can be found in Austin, Texas. Just like their namesake city, their song list covers a variety of artists and spans several decades and musical genres. At their shows, you will hear the music and influence of Trisha Yearwood, Indigo Girls, Tom Petty, Brandi Carlile, John Mellencamp, The Dixie Chicks, Dwight Yoakam, The Civil Wars, Kim Richey, Steve Earle, Tim McGraw, Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, John Mellencamp, and more.
All shows at Forrey’s Forza are open to all ages and there is no cover charge. For additional information about Austin Radio, including upcoming shows, videos, music, photos and more, visit Austin Radio online and find them at “Austin Radio Music” on Facebook. A list of upcoming events at Forrey’s Forza can be found at here and on their Facebook page.
130 Marvin Road SE
Lacey, WA 98503
THE WAYFINDERS- rock n roll from Olympia
CAPTAIN ALGEBRA- sludge from Olympia
By Mary Ellen Psaltis
Turkey? Dressing? Cranberry Sauce? Yes, yes, and yes. Traditional favorites become favorites for a reason. They tickle long held memories as your soul is satisfied. Plus, the tastes are delicious. Whether you are shopping for a banquet of family ‘musts,’ or hoping to expand your repertoire, both Ralph’s Thriftway and Bayview Thriftway are ready to supply your wishes. You’ll find aisles stocked with the foundations for your Thanksgiving feast and opportunities to add to your bounty in new ways.
Turkey and Ham
Meat Manager, Adam Beasley, would love to take your order now for holiday needs. They’ll find the size you want and hold it for you. Choose from a fresh Diestel free-range turkey, a fresh, natural turkey from Acme or a frozen Norbest. There are Hempler’s hams, too.
My cubed bread stuffing is dotted with celery, apple and onions and seasoned with sage. Maybe you prefer yours made with cornbread and oysters. Locally owned Thriftway carries scads of local breads, if you want to make your own. Essential Baking Company has its own bag of cubes for you. Do you cook your dressing in the bird or not? In my book, what other use could this cavity have if not for stuffing? Yes. We can agree to disagree.
A few years ago when I decided to pass on high fructose corn syrup, I found out that making my own cranberry sauce was as easy as opening a bag. All it takes is berries, a little water and some sugar. Boil five minutes until the berries pop. Cook longer if you want to make the skins softer. Then pour into a glass bowl and let cool. Presto. Variations might be adding orange pieces or orange juice. There also the nearly famous cranberry relish recipe from NPR’s Susan Stamberg to try. I just heard one from Seattle’s ‘Food For Thought’ commentator Nancy Leson. Her recipe includes rum, which sounds interesting and you can make a batch ahead of time.
For fluffy white mashed potatoes, you’ll need to peel your potatoes. Steam uniformly cut potatoes until soft. Hand mash or use a ricer. Heat up heavy cream and butter before mixing with the potatoes. You don’t have to use cream or butter, but my, oh my – they’ll melt in your mouth. I don’t mind potatoes with character. That means it’s OK to leave on the skins.
If potatoes are off your list, you can get on the mashed cauliflower bandwagon. A bit of garlic, buttermilk and butter mixed with your steamed cauliflower produces surprisingly good results. Don’t turn your nose up until you’ve tasted it.
Wine & Beer
Both Thriftway stores have bottles of holiday bargains. Stroll the displays. You can buy one with a label that appeals to your – or ask for help. The early settlers were on to something with hard cider.
Rhonda Nickle, Ralphs’ Bakery Deli Manager, says, “I love the holidays.” She’s noticeably excited about the Devonshire cream. She suggests mixing it with cream cheese for a smooth spread for apples, sandwiches or crackers. The deli is stocked with a vast array of cheeses and meats such as Boar’s Head sweet sliced ham. If you need a few suggestions for your holiday appetizer tray, please ask Nickle. Helping customers with food ideas is a favorite part of her job.
Cake decorator, Joy Graham, will be preparing a fruit salad that her mom used to make. Now her children like it. Maybe your family calls this salad Ambrosia (food of the gods). Variations feature the addition of whipped cream, pecans and/or shredded coconut. Joy uses imitation sour cream for family members who do not eat dairy foods. This recipe can easily be doubled.
Here is Joy Graham’s Favry Family Favorite Holiday Salad
1 pint sour cream
1 bag miniature marshmallows
2 – 16 ounce cans fruit cocktail, drained
1 can pineapple tidbits, drained
1-2 cans mandarin oranges, drained
Mix together and store in refrigerator overnight. Add a sliced banana before serving.
What else do you need to remember?
If you need it, you’ll likely find it at Ralph’s or Bayview. Both locations have barista service, if you need a pick-me-up as you shop. Have fun and happy shopping.
Eat Well – Be Well
Relocating is a big decision at any age. Whether a job transfer to a new city, uprooting after raising a family, or pulling up stakes upon retirement, finding a new place to call home is about defining your future lifestyle. For a handful of retirees, the naturally picturesque Sea Ranch community in Sonoma County, California seemed to be the ideal location to spend their golden years. Yet recently, over twenty Sea Ranch homeowners have “re-relocated” to Panorama in Lacey, Washington. Panorama is a retirement community designed around several distinct neighborhoods with lifestyle amenities, inclusion of home maintenance and a continuum of health care. Residents of Panorama are known as the doers and dreamers of Pacific Northwest senior living.
Sandy Bush moved to Panorama with her husband, George, in May 2013. Bush shares, “Sea Ranch was somewhere we went from the working world to decompress. We considered it our retirement home but it has become more of a rental community and a destination place. As we age, we realized there are not a lot of available services there for dental, medical, vision and such.”
Janet Sears and Beverly Sloane, also former Sea Ranch homeowners and current Panorama residents concur with Bush’s comments. “We moved to Sea Ranch because of the beauty, privacy, and to live lightly on the land,” adds Sears. “We have discovered that it is also a beautiful place here with such an engaging community of people.”
Rachel Dobry, Retirement Advisor at Panorama surmises, “My sense is what collectively drew them to Sea Ranch originally was that it was a community away from everything. But that is the very thing that has them leaving. Reality takes place and as we age it is important to access needed health care in a timely manner. Not only are the health care facilities and providers easily accessible from Panorama but we offer a continuum of health care on site. Doctors are within a few mile radius as well as a variety of cultural options and activities like the library, walking trails, shopping, museums and art. People come to Panorama for the community and lifestyle.”
Lifestyle and activities are as diverse as the people of Panorama. A weekly dinner date regularly brings the former Sea Ranch homeowners together. While the commonality is their previous place of residence, they represent a fascinating array of interests spanning from theater, woodworking, blogging and fiber arts. “We are not just consumers of our activities,” Sears remarks. “We also get out to contribute to the community. We volunteer at food banks, schools and are politically active. That is why our community is so rich.”
“Come to Panorama at least by your early 70s or whenever you are in good enough health to get acquainted with community,” Sears encourages. “We arrived when we were still living completely independently. It is as if you have your own gardeners and handymen to take care of things. Now I don’t have to worry about my home and yard maintenance, which enables me to enjoy the things that I really want to do. Olympia has been so fun to explore. It is the funkiest small town, big capital. Right next door to a tatoo parlor will be a plush restaurant.”
In addition to art and culture, the outdoor lifestyle is a huge attraction. Bush comments, “The hiking outings are amazing. There are places that I would likely not find on my own or make an effort to explore – from excursions to Mount Rainier to the many local parks.” Sloane adds, “Many of us like to take advantage of the proximity of the Chehalis-Western Trail. It is important to have flat and level walking areas for those with mobility issues and needing the use of a walker.”
What shapes the community of Panomora is the diversity of interests among the residents, spectrum of aging needs, and the easy lifestyle. Dobry explains, “You have to be at least 62 to live here. Generally speaking, people have been coming in their early 70s but this is changing because of the boomers. The boomers love the lifestyle we offer. They have worked hard and in many ways enjoy being taken care of. They understand that quality of life does not necessarily mean owning a home or having lots of stuff. They like to travel and get out to do things. That is all right here for our residents. It is an easy transition to come live here.”
“We were told it is just a change of address to come here. And really it has been,” Bush concludes. “It is so easy and comfortable living here.”
To learn more about residing at Panorama, click here.
1751 Circle Lane SE
Lacey, Washington 98503
360-456-0111 or 1-800-999-9807
By Lisa Herrick
If you thought you heard an abundance of Portuguese being spoken throughout Thurston County recently, it is likely you did. Certainly, that was the case lately on the Saint Martin’s University campus in Lacey, Washington. The University recently concluded the inaugural Washington State and Rio de Janeiro Conference on the United States and Brazilian Exchange held during International Education Week.
The purpose of the conference was to promote student exchange between Washington and Rio de Janeiro by bringing together representatives of higher education institutions from the two states. The conference was held in response to the ‘100,000 Strong in the Americas’ initiative that aims to increase educational exchanges in the Western Hemisphere.
The initiative’s goal is to prepare youth with the cross-cultural skills necessary to be successful in the 21st century economy and create a new generation of leaders. Reportedly, the number of Washington students studying abroad in Brazil is low. The number of Brazilian students studying in Washington State is also low. The hope from this conference is to change those numbers.
Truly, at the heart of the Saint Martin’s University conference were the Brazilian students themselves. Four delightful, lively and intelligent Brazilian undergraduates participated in a panel discussion, facilitated by Marco Tulluck, Director of International Programs and Development at Saint Martin’s University. The focus of the panel discussion was on living and studying in the United States. Felipe De Souza, Karyny Belo, Louise Da Silva, and Victor Leal all answered a variety of questions with tremendous poise and engaging humor.
Felipe explained some of his initial culture shock after arriving on campus in March. “Here, everything works on a scheduled time, which is good to learn – to understand what being on time means, here.” Louise followed up by describing one of her first encounters on campus. “In Brazil, we greet each other with a hug and kiss. The first time I did that they took several steps back from me. I said, ‘Oh, I am so sorry.’” Both scenarios received a knowing burst of laughter from the attendees, with many gesturing toward the cultural differences pertaining to what is considered to be punctual within the two cultures as well as how greetings are conducted.
Each of the Brazilian students are pursuing a different major. Felipe is a mechanical engineering major while Karyny majors in nursing, Louise in pharmacy and Victor in civil engineering. Yet they all have a common goal – to improve their English skills within their respective majors and gain a better understanding between the two countries.
Louise shares, “One of the biggest challenges is trying to do like the American students do in class while trying to improve our English. Sometimes we just need a little more time to learn the content of the class because we are also learning the expressions used. There are a lot of new terms we are learning in English.”
Victor agrees and explains how helpful and supportive the students, professors and the Saint Martin’s University community have been. “I like to be able to talk directly to the professors during their office hours. They are always willing to help.”
As the students shared their appreciation for the opportunity to study at Saint Martin’s University as well as the challenges of being a student in a new culture, Meg Dwyer, Media Relations Manager for the University, was tweeting their advice to future Brazilian students: “Be on time to class and bring a jacket!”
In addition to Felipe, Karyny, Louise and Victor, Saint Martin’s University has been hosting 28 Brazilian students since last summer, marking the first the Universtiy has hosted students from Brazil. Their journey to Saint Martin’s is the result of the Brazilian government’s initiative to send its students to higher education institutions in the United States to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professions. The University has partnered with the Institute of International Education and the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program, which provides scholarships to students to study in the STEM fields at colleges and universities in the United States.
An equally important initiative throughout the five-day conference was to provide the local business community with a convenient opportunity to learn why they should consider doing business in Brazil, given its emergence as a vibrant economic engine.
Brazil is the seventh largest economy in the world and has existing business relationships with Washington-based companies. There are approximately 5,000 Brazilians living in western Washington many of whom actively encourage entrepreneurship and social engagement in Washington.
Brazil has been in the limelight as the recent host of the 2014 Soccer World Cup and as host of the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics.
I stopped into the store on my way home a few nights ago and paused for a moment to notice the abundance of pumpkin pies, fresh turkeys, cranberry sauce displays and bags of stuffing bread. Thanksgiving is less than a week away and seeing these signs of our community in preparation made me smile. I love Thanksgiving – it’s my favorite holiday of the year. Taking time to both prepare and eat the meal, sit down with friends and family, and pause in the bustle of our lives to say “Thank You” has always resonated with me.
This weekend, as you do a bit of Thanksgiving preparation or engage in some of the great activities listed below, give thanks for the community we live in. Our neighbors support each other in their endeavors continually, whether in small business, athletics, or creative pursuits. And we at ThurstonTalk feel privileged to share these stories with you. Thank you for supporting us as we continue to share the positive stories of where we all live, work and play.
Submit an event for our calendar here.
ThurstonTalk aims to be your source for positive information and events happening in Olympia. If you have a suggestion for a post, send us a note at email@example.com. For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here.