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

PDX Street Eats Are #1

Portland's food carts voted best in the world

food cartsAsk anyone in Portland about their favorite lunch place, and it’s even odds that they’ll name one of the hundreds of food carts that populate the street corners and parking lots of our fair city. Well, clearly they’re on to something: US News & World Report just ranked PDX number one in its list of the World’s Best Street Food. Edging past formidable (and mouth-watering) competition that included Paris, Morocco, and Istanbul, Portland was awarded this culinary crown based on the “diversity, quality, and affordability” of our city's street cuisine, as well as the friendliness with which its served.

So go celebrate another win for Portland! With almost 700 licensed carts to choose from, you're bound to find an award-winning lunch.

Portland Multnomah Food Policy Council Seeks New Members

Applications for the Portland Multnomah Food Policy Council are being accepted through October 21, 2011.

The City of Portland and Multnomah County seek interested community members to serve two-year terms on the Portland Multnomah Food Policy Council. Those interested in being considered for a January 2012 appointment should complete an application and submit it by October 21.  

The Portland Multnomah Food Policy Council provides policy advice to local governments on food-related matters that impact land use, health, the environment, jobs, access, and other relevant issues. 

Priorities for 2012 are expected to include:

  • the availability of healthy, affordable food to all residents;
  • food justice;
  • urban food production and distribution/land use policies;
  • expanding the networking role of the Council;
  • the capacity of local communities to engage in healthy food practices; and
  • food system strategic planning.

A Tale of Two Cities, or A Tomato By Any Other Name Would Look Bad

Urban Food Zoning Concept Report Released

Raised bedIt was the best of thyme, it was the worst of thyme. Oak Park, Michigan threatens to send rogue gardener Julia Bass to the cooler for planting vegetables in her front yard. Meanwhile, Portland, Oregon releases a Concept Report for updating zoning codes to promote growing and selling food in the city.

Bass, the vegetable villain, got blasted by a city planner who opined that “a tomato vine on a tomato cage is just not attractive,” and noted that “In planning and zoning, we try and put things in appropriate places. Inappropriate vegetables could have put Bass in jail for 93 days before a judge dismissed the charge.

Back on the home front, Portland's Urban Food Zoning Concept Report addresses growing and distributing food in the city and ways to increase access to healthful, local foods. It’s a compilation of what project planners heard from the community over the past nine months and offers direction for the zoning code revision.

It's not to late to chime in. Fill out the online questionnaire or attend one of three public meetings. Keep Portland safe for vegetables!

Let It Rain

Cloudy, with a CSA of vegetables.

Oregon Vegetables say “Bring It On”

Ever notice who uses umbrellas on a rainy winter (or in this year’s case, summer) day? That’s right, tourists. We’re Oregonians, we can handle the rain. Apparently, our local crops are just as resilient. La Niña takes her best shot with the second wettest spring in 117 years and barbecues may be belated, but vegetables are coming on strong. Francesca Benedetti of Sauvie Island Organics tells us that “while the weather affected spring planting, the weather since has not affected crop growth.” 
It’s premature to predict the punctuality of later produce, like peppers and pumpkins, but this week’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares are likely to have the same crops you would have received this time last year, or the year before. Proving once again that local vegetables are right as rain. 

If you doubted summer's arrival and didn't sign up for a CSA, don’t worry: it’s not too late. Dancing Roots Farm still has shares and will prorate the cost for the rest of the season. Slow Hand Farm, Mercy Corps Northwest refugee farm program, and other farms offer fall CSA options.  

And remember, let a smile be your umbrella because July showers bring August, uh....vegetables.