Queen of the Sun Sneak Peek this Saturday

March 17th, 2010

This Saturday night...

This is where I’m going on Saturday night. Queen of the Sun is Taggart Siegel’s soon-to-be new movie (he last directed the film The Real Dirt on Farmer John) and there’s a sneak peek screening in Portland this Saturday night at 8pm at Sunnyside Methodist Church. The film has been in the works for three years and the screening honors the film’s main character Gunther Hauk who’s visiting Portland for it as well as some beekeeping workshops — see details below.

This special screening will raise money for Hauk’s Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary as well as for the world premier and national release of Queen of the Sun later this year.

Details for the Saturday, March 20th screening:
Cost: $10 advance, $15 at the door
Time: Reception @ 7pm, film @ 8pm
Location: Sunnyside Methodist Church, SE 35th Ave. and Yamhill
Q&A with Gunther Hauk and filmmakers following the screening at 9:30pm

Beekeeping Workshop

March 19th-21st beekeeping workshop from biodynamic expert and teacher Gunther Hauk. All workshop activities will take place at Portland Waldorf School in Milwaukie.

Cost: $90-$125 — lunch and snacks included.

To register and get full details contact Cathy at beeworkshop10@yahoo.com

Queen of the Sun Movie
www.queenofthesun.com

Wordstock + Livestock: Portland Books and Butchery

September 29th, 2009

IS GETTING COZY WITH…

I think now’s as good of a time as any to let the cat out of the bag. I have a new job working for Hawthorne Books — my favorite Portland publishers. I’ve been slowly phasing in the past few weeks for an early October start date just in time to help out with two very exciting upcoming spring and summer 2010 titles. AND just in time for Wordstock — a delicious and more food writing focused Wordstock to boot.

For the two of you that don’t know — Wordstock is Portland’s annual fall weekend-long literary festival with stages for all kinds of author readings, a book fair of mostly regional publishers and presses and lots of writing workshops. It takes place next weekend — October 10th and 11th all day at the Oregon Convention Center.

This year’s festival includes more than a dozen food writers including The Accidental Hedonist herself Kate Hopkins; Veganomicon and Vegan with a Vengeance author Isa Chandra Moskowitz; Piper Davis and Ellen Jackson will present their hot-off-the-presses The Grand Central Baking Book; Julie Richardson and Cory Schreiber will read from their new title Rustic Fruit Desserts; and Ivy Manning will present her The Farm to Table Cookbook and The Adaptable Feast.

If you’re hungry for more check out this Wordstock food panel at 4pm Saturday, October 10th:

Seasons of Change: How much should people be encouraged to eat seasonal food? Hear three authors discuss the challenges of providing a seasonal menu, the impacts of rising demand on farmers and others aspects of eating seasonally.

Wordstock's Book Fair. I think this man just asked, So people still, you know, read?

Wordstock's Book Fair. I think this man just asked, So people still, you know, read?

Not only does this year’s Wordstock include more food writers than ever it’s also promoting the new November event Livestock — a series of Portland farm-to-fork events designed to explore the literary and literal aspects of killing our dinner.

Gleaned from the Livestock press release:

Watershed Culinary Productions in partnership with Camas Davis, food writer and founder of the soon-to-be-launched Portland Meat Collective, presents the first ever Livestock which will be held on two consecutive Wednesdays, November 4th and 11th, from 6pm to 8pm at the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Portland. Tickets are $25 each with $10 from every ticket sold going to Friends of Family Farmers. Space is limited so please call (503) 827-6564 between 9:00am and 5:30pm to reserve your place. Pay by Visa, MasterCard, American Express or cash. Sorry no checks.

Cathy Whims of Nostrana and Adam Sappington of The Country Cat will display their butchery craft as ranchers discuss their bond to the land, and writers present short stories exploring the food politics and emotions embedded in eating meat. The evenings will wrap up with a flight of beef or pork from three local farms cooked by the evening’s featured chef.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Local writers, chefs, and other artists are encouraged to submit personal essays of no more than 1,200 words for consideration as part of Livestock. Essays can explore anything from the politics of eating (or not eating) meat to the emotional (or unemotional) context of killing (or not killing) your dinner. Submissions might only explore the chop or the rib, or they might go as deep as the tail or the trotter, but metaphor and style will be prized above technicalities and generalities of any sort. Six finalists will be chosen to read their essays at the event. An honorarium will be offered to each author, along with all the charcuterie they can consume in one evening. To submit please contact Camas Davis by October 12th at: camas.davis@gmail.com

Livestock 1: The Butchery of a Cow

What: The Country Cat Dinnerhouse & Bar Chef Adam Sappington and Sweet Briar Farms, with readings & butchery demonstration. Chef Sappington will prepare three cuts from three different farms, and guests will be invited to compare and contrast flavors.
When: November 4, 2009 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Where: The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Portland
34 NW 8th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 228-6528
Cost: Tickets are $25 each. Please call (503) 827-6564 to reserve your seat.

Livestock 2: The Butchery of a Pig

What: Nostrana Chef Cathy Whims and Laughing Stock Farm, with readings & butchery demonstration. Chef Whims will prepare a flight of meat and invite guests to compare and contrast flavors.
When: November 11, 2009 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Where: The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Portland
34 NW 8th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 228-6528
Cost: Tickets are $25 each. Please call (503) 827-6564 to reserve your seat.

InFARMation — Friends of Family Farmers are friends of mine

September 21st, 2009
Jon Bansen of Double J Jersey in Monmouth speaks at an April InFARMation about transitioning from a conventional dairy to an organic dairy.

Jon Bansen of Double J Jersey in Monmouth speaks at an April InFARMation about transitioning from a conventional dairy to an organic dairy.

Although you won’t find InFARMation in the dictionary it’s a local agricultural event that takes place every second Tuesday of the month at Roots Organic Brewery in Southeast Portland where you can eat, drink and learn about all sorts of interesting local farm issues.

Since January 2009 Friends of Family Farmers has been hosting InFARMations in Roots’ events space attached to the brewery. Folks arrive, order food and drink if they want (Tuesday is $2.50 brew night at Root’s) and then usually by 6:30pm a farmer stands up front to talk about a pressing agricultural issue. Scot Callaway spoke at the first InFARMation I went to in mid-July. Callaway lives in Canby, Oregon and talked about how his community fought and organized against a Foster Farms CAFO setting up shop in their area. The fight isn’t over. I learned a lot.

Before the event I got to talk with Michele Knaus about Friends of Family Farmers and its mission. The organization was founded in 2005 by co-president Kendra Kimbirauskas and received 501(c)3 status in May of 2007. In just four years FOFF has become a leading voice for Oregon’s independent family farmers. The organization provides resources to help farmers and community members resist and retaliate against factory farms and support socially responsible sustainable farming.

Knaus is really happy with Portland’s InFARMations. She says, “Bringing the farmers here and bringing the issues in from a different angle has been really helpful. It helps people connect with others in the community doing the same work. At an InFARMation I’ll see a CSA urban farmer that I know talking to some old grizzly farmer who drove two hours to get here. I’ll also see young urban people listening and taking it all in. I get really excited about that stuff.”

I’m a big fan of InFARMations too. In college I attended all sorts of readings and lectures from visiting professors, writers, thinkers and I’m happy to live in a city where this kind of perpetual and diverse free schooling is available — especially in relation to farms and farmers. Added InFARMation bonuses: delicious beer, decent food and a low-key communal feel with picnic tables and an informal Q&A. The Roots space isn’t a quiet auditorium where you have to climb over ten people to get out. In other words feel free to stop by or take off beginning, middle or end.

According to Knaus October’s InFARMation focus will be — Eating Local: Thanksgiving, Winter, & Planning Ahead. November’s InFARMation will be co-presented by the Oregon Food Bank. OFB will report on listening sessions and focus groups they’ve held around the state, specifically focused on food insecurity and fresh produce/farmers markets. In December Knaus hopes to get a lot of farmers in the room to talk about apprenticeships and how they’re dealing with labor opportunities and training the next generation of farmers.

FOFF is always looking for volunteers and donations. Check out their website for more information.

Friends of Family Farmers

Friends of Family Farmers

Friend of Family Farmers
503.759.3276
P.O. Box 1286, Molalla, OR
www.friendsoffamilyfarmers.org

Slow Food Portland

July 16th, 2009

Last week I met up with Amanda Peden chair of Slow Food Portland. We met at Ecotrust so I got to have a cup of tea from Citizen Coffee which I’d been wanting to check out ever since Laughing Planet Cafe owner Richard Satnick told me about it. I showed up three hours early for my meeting with Amanda when I was supposed to be on the other side of town meeting with the folks at Nossa Familia Coffee. Lucky for me it all worked out and I blamed my calendar. Stupid calendar.

Even though Slow Food Portland is the oldest Slow Food chapter in the country (it precedes the national Slow Food USA in New York) and even though I’ve been in Portland now for seven years I’ve never been to a local Slow Food event. Many have piqued my interest though especially in the past few months.

Slow Food has the reputation in some parts as being a foodie wine and cheese club but it isn’t in Portland and not so much in any of the worldwide chapters. The Portland chapter has 450-plus members and hosts mostly low dough and sometimes no dough events. Within the last couple years more young people have gotten involved — half of Slow Food Portland’s steering committee is now 35 years old and younger.

Here are some images taken from some popular Slow Food Portland events this spring and summer…

Glen Andresen is one of many who talked at Slow Food Portland's bicycle tour of urban homesteaders this June.

Glen Andresen is one of many who talked at Slow Food Portland's bicycle tour of urban homesteaders this June.

Music at a Slow Food Portland hosted Farmworker Housing Development Corporation tour this May.

Music at a Slow Food Portland hosted Farmworker Housing Development Corporation tour this May.

In March Slow Food Portland hosted Bryant Terry author of Vegan Soul Kitchen at the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center for a book event and cooking demo.

In March Slow Food Portland hosted Bryant Terry author of Vegan Soul Kitchen at the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center for a book event and cooking demo.

Some other things that I learned while talking to Amanda:

Slow Food Portland members pay dues that go to the national office — $60 a year per individual, $75 per couple, $30 for students. Since the national office doesn’t financially support its US chapters each one does its own fund raising. Slow Food Portland is volunteer-run.

On July 21st Slow Food Portland will host another of its well attended happy hours from 5:30pm to 7pm at the North Mississippi Pastaworks. Cory Schreiber, former chef-owner of Wildwood will speak about Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School program for a bit and then folks can ask questions and hang out. The happy hour is free and food and drinks can be purchased. At Slow Food Portland’s last happy hour at Castagna Lisa Weasel spoke and about 70 people attended.

Another big Slow Food Portland event will be on Labor Day, September 1st — in conjunction with Portland’s TBA. Have you ever been to an Eat In? Read more about it here.

Slow Food Portland
www.slowfoodportland.com

Plant a Row for the Hungry — Oregon Food Bank

June 8th, 2009

My Plant a Row for the Hungry

My Plant a Row for the Hungry

I’ve been volunteering now and again this spring at the Oregon Food Bank’s Eastside Learning Garden. Along the way I’ve helped plant bush beans and calendula, lay garden paths, harvest collards and more. To sign up for Eastside Dig In! shifts go here and fill out a quick form. There’s also an OFB Westside Learning Garden in need of volunteers. The last time I was on the OFB site I came across Plant a Row for the Hungry. The gist: plant a row of vegetables and donate all of the food it produces throughout the season to local hunger relief agencies.

Oregon Food Bank has made this national campaign easy with various online Portland maps with Plant a Row drop-off points, contacts and times. There are three drop-off spots in North Portland close to my home so that makes it easy.

I planted my Row for the Hungry this weekend — well really my small mound — and I think it’ll be make for a nice and diverse mini harvest. I started everything from seed during the past few weeks except the eggplants which a friend gave me.

My Plant a Row for the Hungry:

3 Thai green eggplants

4 royal burgundy bush beans

2 purple calabash tomatoes

2 Cabernet grape tomatoes

1 pineapple tomato

The OFB site has a list of vegetables that they’d most like home gardeners to plant for the campaign. They also remind gardeners to cultivate and harvest vegetables that will store and transport well i.e. harvest your tomatoes when they’re a bit under ripe…

Oregon Food Bank’s most wanted produce:

Food pantries and soup kitchens need produce that stores and transports well.

Refrigerated space is often limited, so foods that don’t require refrigeration are always wanted. Here are some recommendations:

* Tomatoes (pick while slightly under-ripe)
* Green beans
* Winter squash (acorn or butternut)
* Garlic
* Hot peppers
* Cucumbers
* Zucchini
* Collard greens
* Onions

If you have any additional questions contact Eric Sopkin at 503-282-0555, Ext. 260, or esopkin@oregonfoodbank.org.

It doesn't look like much now but come mid-summer I'll be making weekly deliveries from my Plant a Row for the Hungry

It doesn't look like much now but come mid-summer I'll be making weekly deliveries from my Plant a Row for the Hungry to local hunger and relief agencies

Oregon Food Bank

Oregon Food Bank Learning Gardens

Plant a Row for the Hungry in Portland

Plant a Row for the Hungry national campaign