Learn to plant a hellstrip veggie plot

first_imgUrban vegetable gardening is not always pretty. If picture-perfect curb appeal is crucial to you, a “hellstrip” veggie plot probably isn’t in your future.But if you don’t mind some raised eyebrows from the neighbors while you experiment, master gardener Laura Heldreth wants to help you get started with your own small, street-side vegetable farm. Heldreth gives a free talk about her experiments and successes with “Growing Vegetables In Your Hellstrip” at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Washougal Community Library.Heldreth has been an avid urban vegetable gardener for much of her life. Her earliest memory is holding her grandfather’s hand while exploring his garden in Southeast Portland; he harvested a Walla Walla sweet onion, peeled it with a knife and handed it to his granddaughter, who “ate it like an apple,” she said.Fourteen years ago, Heldreth and her husband moved to a shady, woodsy parcel in northeast Vancouver’s Burnt Bridge Creek neighborhood; the only spot on their property that enjoys full sun is that little strip between the sidewalk and the street — known to many as the “parking strip” or the “planting strip.”Heldreth, who has a slightly wicked sense of humor, prefers the damnation of “hellstrip” — even though she’s checked on tailpipe-pollution levels with fellow master gardener and soil scientist Martha Minnich, who reassured her that your typical residential-street planting strip is safe for growing food. But it might be less safe if you live right alongside a freeway, she added.last_img

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