Scientist and author Tao Orion will present a couple of new ways to deal with invasive species when she visits the Oregon Coast this weekend, arguing on the one hand for holistic management and on the other for serving them up as a gourmet side dish.

Orion is the author of “Beyond the War on Invasive Species: A Permaculture Approach to Ecosystem Restoration.” She teaches permaculture design at Oregon State University and at Aprovecho, a 40-acre nonprofit sustainable-living educational organization. She holds a degree in agroecology and sustainable agriculture from UC Santa Cruz, and raises crops and animals on her organic homestead in the southern Willamette Valley.

On Sunday, April 7, Orion will present “Whole Systems Ecological Restoration – Rethinking the Role of Invasive Species” at St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church in Manzanita.

This presentation will focus on developing a whole systems-based understanding of invasive species as a foundation for holistically managing their populations.

“Factors including climate change, historic changes in land use and management, and even our modern concept of nature and wilderness contribute to the status of ecosystems we live in today, many of which are declining in health and productivity,” Orion said. “Land managers have an important role to play in accounting for and mitigating these forces as they make plans for increasing biodiversity, beauty, and ecosystem function over the long term.”

The presentation, which is free and open to all, will run from from 5:30 to 7:30 at 36335 N Hwy. 101.

Orion will also make an appearance at the Eat the Invaders dinner on Monday, April 8, at the Salmonberry Saloon in Wheeler.

The event will see chefs around the world showcase ways to prepare Japanese knotweed, using the shoots, stalks, leaves, flowers and roots of this notorious plant.

Chef Catalano of Alimento Astoria will present multiple approaches to this versatile plant, with chefs from Salmonberry Saloon on hand to add their touches from the savory to the sweet.

This multi-course meal, which includes dessert, will be interspersed with brief talks from Orion, as well as leaders from Lower Nehalem Watershed Council and Tillamook Estuaries Partnership, who are working to improve regional ecosystems.

Eat the Invaders will run from 5:30 to 8 pm at the Salmonberry Saloon, 380 Marine Drive, Wheeler.

Tickets, $45, are available at www.BrownPaperTickets.com.

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