Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

More Contact Info

Get the dish on news, events and announcements related to sustainable food.

The Local Buzz

A new film takes you into the world of bees plus local keepers hope to be the Kings of Queens

film posterIt’s no secret that bees and other pollinators are in trouble. At the panel discussion following the Portland film premiere of “More Than Honey,” an audience member voiced her frustration at the myriad hypothesis for colony collapse and other maladies. She wanted a definitive answer to the question of what’s killing the insects that are responsible for a third of our food.

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Unlike another bee movie, The Vanishing of the Bees, that's a stinging indictment of pesticide use, More Than Honey suggests it’s most likely a combination of industrial agriculture, pesticides, cross breeding, parasites, and disease. It’s a gorgeous film with astounding close-up footage of bee life (How does a camera follow bees mating in flight?). That alone is reason enough to buzz on down to the Hollywood Theatre where More Than Honey screens on Tuesday and Thursday.

And, close to home and hive, check out The Oregonian’s front-page feature on local beekeepers Glen Andresen and Tim Wessels as they seek to breed Northeast Portland queen bees that can survive the winter. 


Save the date for Gaining Ground: A New Film on Food Justice and Feeding Our Communities Sustainably

film poster for Gaining GroundThe negative impacts of industrial agriculture are everywhere. The increasing threat of genetically engineered food and the destruction of
local communities can make us feel powerless to effect change. Gaining Ground is an intimate view of rural and urban farmers who are embracing this challenge.

On Saturday, June 1, 2013 at 7 p.m., the Media Project presents a screening of a rough cut of the upcoming documentary film Gaining Ground. A benefit to raise finishing funds for the film, the event takes place at the Fifth Avenue Cinema, 510 SW Hall St in downtown Portland.

Gaining Ground tells the stories of farmers who are transforming their farming practices so they can feed their local communities sustainably grown produce and grains. From farms in Oregon’s fertile Willamette Valley to the food desert of inner city Richmond, California, Gaining Ground reveals the ingenuity and courage of these diverse urban and rural farmers who are committed to serving and empowering their communities.

About the Filmmakers

Elaine Velazquez and Barbara Bernstein have been creating film and radio documentaries for over thirty-five years. Their award winning work has been broadcast on public television and radio, screened at international film festivals and distributed through broad grassroots networks. Barbara also hosts the environmental show Locus Focus on KBOO-FM. 

Gaining Ground is partially funded by the Regional Arts & Culture Council.

More about Gaining Ground:

Following the screening there will be a discussion with farmers featured in the film: Vicki Hertel, Sun Gold Farm in Verboort, OR; and Willow Coberly and Harry Stalford, Stalford Seed Farms in Tangent, OR. 

This screening is co-sponsored by KBOO-FM, West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District, Food and Water Watch and the City of Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability.

For more information:
Barbara Bernstein & Elaine Velazquez
Media Project


Consolidation and corporate control in the food system

Foodopoly book cover

Ever wonder what's really behind the American way of eating? Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food and Water Watch, pulls back the curtain with her new book, Foodopoly."It's a revealing account of the business behind the meat, vegetables, grains and milk that most of us eat every day, including some of our favorite and most respected organic and health-conscious brands. Hauter will discuss her work and Foodopoly when she visits Powell's City of Books on Burnside, Tuesday, January 29 at 7 p.m.

Another recent Portland visitor, author and food activist Raj Patel, says Foodopoly is "a terrific primer on the corporate control of food in the U.S., and the actions of those who fight back."

Besides her non-profit work, Hauter's family owns an organic farm that feeds 500 families through Community Supported Agriculture. So, it's through personal experience that she states "that the local food movement is not enough to solve America’s food crisis and the public health debacle it has created." Hauter's book, and the discussion at Powell's, will focus on a crisis that requires a complete structural shift, not just rooted in personal choice, but in national politics.

East Multnomah County Soil and Water Conservation District Looking for Landless Farmers

East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District seeks farmers seeking land

Tractor road signThe East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD) is accepting applications for the Headwaters Incubator Program’s 2013 growing season. The program assists in the development of motivated, skilled farmers by leasing growing space at EMSWCD's Gresham farm property. 

Qualified applicants will have farming experience and a solid farm business plan which lays out a road map for a successful farm operation. Applications, which will be reviewed by a selection team, can be found at The deadline is Friday, February 22 at 5 p.m.


City Food Policy and Programs: Lessons harvested from an emerging field

New study gleans best practices from 13 North American municipal food programs

Municipal food programs with full-time, paid staff are blossoming all over the country. food policy imageRecognizing this burgeoning movement, the Innovation Fund of the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, a Project of Global Philanthropy Partnership, sponsored a recent study entitled City Food Policy and Programs: Lessons harvested from an emerging field.

Researched and written by the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, the report gleaned best practices through interviews with food policy professionals from 13 North American cities. The analysis covers the challenges and opportunities faced by these programs in such areas as organization, funding, priorities and metrics, interdepartmental coordination, and community involvement