The record snowfall Old Man Winter dropped on Central Oregon is finally in the rearview mirror. In preparation for warmer temperatures, back patios are being cleaned, gardeners are getting their hands dirty, and many of us are thinking about how to quench our upcoming summer thirst. For the cocktail lover who also enjoys being outside and using garden tools, Central Oregon is the place to be.
True to its name, the High Desert is high in elevation and low in annual precipitation. Our dry soil and cold temperatures don’t allow for a long outdoor growing season, but local gardeners still prevail. Fortunately, many cocktail recipes utilize ingredients that grow well in the Central Oregon climate.
Growing sage, lavender and basil is possible utilizing pots dotted around your patio. A raised bed is an option if you don’t have the proper soil conditions in your yard and if you’re interested in growing additional ingredients like peppers for Bloody Marys or rhubarb for Rhubarb-Basil cocktails.
You don’t need much in the way of materials to construct a raised bed for your cocktail garden–-a four foot by four foot raised bed is more than adequate to grow all ingredients for summer sipping. A framed bed is more efficient than an unframed one, but more costly. Both require substantial quantities of soil and organic matter. A metal trough with drainage holes is a great alternative to constructing a raised bed out of wood.
For the cocktail gardener who is interested in starting plants from seeds, the Central Oregon Seed Exchange (COSE) is a great resource. Located inside Central Oregon Locavore in Bend, COSE provides local, organic, non-GMO and cold-climate hardy seeds originating in Central Oregon.
Central Oregon Seed Exchange SeedExchange.Weebly.com
Central Oregon Locavore CentralOregonLocavore.org
Oregon State University Master Gardeners
Twist Cocktails TwistCocktails.com