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

April is Community Orchards Month

Local partners celebrate start of growing season at community orchards

Some of us think of April as the first full month of spring, when the rains slow (okay, just by a bit) and the trees sprout new leaves. Some of us also think of April as Earth Month and find a way to make our corner of the planet healthier. Now, for the second year in a row, Portland Fruit Tree Project is growing a new tradition by promoting April as Community Orchards Month.


Portland Fruit Tree Project is partnering with The Home Orchard Society and Green Lents to host nine events throughout the month at seven different locations, each celebrating community orchards and publicly accessible fruit trees. The events will include orchard clean-ups and work parties, the establishment of an edible mushroom bed, a "work & learn" party about pollinators, and a third-anniversary celebration of the groundbreaking at the Fruits of Diversity Community Orchard.

One of the newest orchards, the Malden Court Community Orchard, is on city-owned land and blossoming thanks to a dynamic group of Lents neighbors. They’ll be hosting a work party on the morning of April 16.   

More information is available at Portland Fruit Tree Project.

Find Your CSA Farmer at Fair Share and on BPS website

Support your local farmer and feast on fresh, seasonal food

The Portland-Area CSA Coalition is hosting the second annual Share Fair on Saturday, March 19 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at 831 SE Salmon. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, where households become “shareholders” or “subscribers” and provide financial support for the season’s farming by purchasing a share of the harvest. Once harvesting begins, shareholders typically receive weekly shares of seasonal vegetables, fruit, eggs, dairy, meat and poultry.

Share Fair is free and will include over 40 CSA farmers, fishers, and ranchers, cooking demonstrations from local chefs, a cookbook swap, and fun and games for kids. 

All the Share Fair events are listed on their website.

BPS makes it even easier to begin your CSA search with a map that shows all the CSA drop-off points in Portland and information for each farm. Check out the map and put your family on the road to better eating with fresh food that also supports local farmers and our regional economy. 

Two Chances to Stock Up on Storage Crops

Grow Portland and Friends of Family Farmers offer bulk-buying in time for winter.


Stock your pantry with food that lasts for months, save money, and help strengthen our regional food system with two programs that connect you with area farmers.  

Grow Portland offers 80-pound shares of storage crops — winter squash, potatoes, onions, garlic, and others for $99. The organic produce comes from their community farms in East Portland, with supplemental  products coming from other local farmers. Storage shares are available for pickup on Saturday, October 24th, from 10 - 11:30 a.m. Register and pay in advance (SNAP is available) on their website.

Friends of Family Farmers brings their Fill Your Pantry program to Portland on Sunday, November 8th from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Rigler Elementary School. The program helps Oregon family farmers sell fall crops by connecting them directly with consumers who want to save money by buying healthful, local food in bulk. Offerings will include dry beans, grains, flours, nuts, honey, root vegetables, garlic, onions, winter squash, and more. Ordering online between October 17th and 31st is the best way to get what you want and more information can be found at the Friends of Family Farmers’ website.

Orchard Bee Association Hosts Public Symposium and Expo

Learn about the critical roles of lesser-known local pollinator species and how you can support their work.

bee on flower

Information about the sudden decline of honeybee colonies is everywhere, but much less is heard about solitary, non-social orchard bee species that make remarkable contributions to the pollination of our gardens, crops, and native plants.

As part of their 2015 International Meeting, the Orchard Bee Association will hold a public symposium and expo on Saturday, October 3rd, from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM, at PSU’s Smith Memorial Student Union in Room 296/8. Registration opens at 9:30 AM.

The day will feature presentations on creating backyard habitats that support native pollinators, sustainable solutions for crop pollination, the orchard mason bee, and a researcher’s unique experiences studying native bees in Western Oregon. The Expo is an excellent opportunity for networking with bee boosters and learning about local projects like BEEnergy.

A complete schedule and advance tickets for Saturday’s public symposium and expo cost $15. (Lunch is included in the ticket cost.)

Local Filmmakers’ Food Documentary to Premiere in Portland

New film, Gaining Ground, shows how sustainable food can change communities.

Gaining Ground Film POsterGaining Ground, a feature-length documentary by local filmmakers Elaine Velazquez and Barbara Bernstein, tells the stories of farmers and their
evolving commitment to sustainable farming practices. The film highlights the inspiring work of regional farmers and food activists who are making a positive difference in their community. The filmmakers’ goal is to “inspire people to make choices in their own lives that support local and sustainable food and the farmers who are working to take back our food system.”

Gaining Ground’s Portland premiere takes places on Wednesday, September 30th and Thursday, October 1st, at 7 PM, at Cinema 21.

A Q&A will follow the screenings and include the filmmakers, as well as farmers featured in the film: Doria Robinson with Urban Tilth in Richmond, CA, Vicki Hertel with Sun Gold Farm in Verboort, OR, and Willow Coberly and Harry Stalford with Stalford Seed Farms in Tangent, OR. There will also be a reception at the theater after the September 30th screening with the filmmakers and farmers.

Ticket prices are $7 -10, and advance tickets are available now.