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

Preserving Summer with Urban Growth Bounty Classes

After a busy Spring of backyard bees, piping cauldrons of curdling milk (soon to be cheese), tubs of healthy soil ready to sprout seeds and dining deliciously, our Urban Growth Bounty 2010 classes are winding down. That is not to say school’s out for summer—we still have a few exciting classes left.

By popular demand, Laura Ohm of Grand Central Bakery will be teaching one more of her previously sold out class, Preserving the Harvest, on September 30. Laura’s also offering a pickles, relish and chutney class where you’ll make quick refrigerator dills, Indian eggplant relish, green tomato chutney and mustard-carrot pickles.

Ivy Manning

Ivy Manning’s last (Nearly) Meatless Monday class on June 21 will focus on quick and delicious meals to complement an active outside summer lifestyle. Quick Posole Stew, Antipasto Tuna Tartines, 3-B Burgers (Bulgur, Beef and Bean), and Carbonara Primavera will be on the menu.

Abby’s Table and Salt Fire & Time will share their food preservation skills in upcoming classes on canning, cordials and syrups, pickling and fermenting and cider pressing through October.

There are still a few spots left in Claudio Lucero’s Making Fresh Cheese series for the fall, if you didn’t catch farmers’ and goat cheeses the first time around.

And that takes us through 2010! Thanks for your support, enthusiasm and engagement with UGB classes. We would love to hear about your experiences: Any success stories employing skills learned at a UGB class? Suggestions for next year? Email us at

Tamale Madness, (Nearly) Meatless Mondays and More with Ivy Manning

tamalesWe’ve all bought the occasional tamale from food carts or at our favorite Mexican restaurant, but have you actually taken the time to make one? Ivy Manning, one of our talented Urban Growth Bounty instructors, breaks down the steps behind an temptingly tasty tamale in her FOODday column in the Oregonian.

Cheesy, beefy, spicy or vegan, Ivy takes us through the process of buying ingredients, beating the dough, preparing the filling, wrapping it all together, steaming and serving a homemade tamale. It is an art really, as can be seen by the stream of photos and slew of recipes accompanying Ivy’s article.

And, if all this tamale talk inspires you to hone your culinary skills, check out Ivy’s upcoming (Nearly) Meatless Monday classes, enjoyed by vegetarians and omnivores alike. 

Ivy ManningMonday June 2 from 6- 8pm Ivy will be teaching Summer Salads as a Main Event class. Learn how to make dishes that take advantage of spring seasonal bounty and are refreshing, yet substantial.

A Quick and Delicious class will follow on Monday, June 21 with quick vegetarian and almost-vegetarian meals that can be assembled swiftly, without sacrificing flavor or nutrition. Ivy’s classes are filled with tips, amusing anecdotes and good food. We always end up leaving with a full belly and recipes to impress family and friends! Registration for classes is available online.

Jen Aron Appreciation Day

May 14, 2010

Jen and Amy

The Mayor's Office surprised the City Hall Better Together Gardener Goddess this morning by declaring May 14, 2010, "A Day of Recognition for Jen Aron." We can't say enough about Jen and how she keeps the garden growing, raises a family, works with the Oregon State University Master Garden program, volunteers, teaches and runs her own business, Peaceful Gardens. Jen loves talking about her sustainable philosophy, so next time you see her at City Hall, make sure you stop and say "hi." And tell her how much you appreciate her. Every day. Any day.  Photo: Amy Ruiz, Mayor's office (l) and Jen Aron

Food and Climate Change Day: A Panel Discussion with Anna Lappé

After our sunny celebration at the Better Together Garden at City Hall we braved the two block stretch to the Portland Building for Part Deux of Food and Climate Change Day: a panel discussion with Anna Lappé. Anna Lappé

Diet for a Hot PlanetLappé’s new book, Diet for a Hot Planet, is not only packed with useful information and entertaining anecdotes from Anna’s research, but explores a central issue to the city: the connection between food and climate change. With Portland’s 2009 Climate Action Plan underway, reducing our carbon “forkprint” is key.

Lappé was joined by a diverse panel of four other inspiring individuals working to transform the food system in Oregon and beyond, including: Scott Givot, President of the International Association of Culinary Professionals; Allison Hensey of the Oregon Environmental Council; Chris Schreiner, executive director of Oregon Tilth;

Kumar Venkat, president of CleanMetrics. Steve Cohen, Portland Food Policy and Programs manager, moderated the lively discussion.

The panelists had differing points of view, but agreed that the impact of the food industry on climate change is huge and may be responsible for up to one third of greenhouse gas emissions. It is so expansive that cross industry cooperation will be necessary for any significant change. Lappé’s book offers seven principles of a climate friendly diet and during the panel she revealed a hidden eighth principle that “goes beyond our plate.” A recorded version of the discussion, is available in two parts from our friends at KBOO Community Radio here and here.panelists at Food and Climate Change Day

And check out this video from Net Green News which gives a concise explanation of the connections between food and climate. Casey Hatfield, who stopped by the Garden Rededication, advocates for Lappé’s climate friendly diet and gives a shout out to our Urban Growth Bounty classes (Warning: close ups of fast food included!).

Growing a City Hall Garden

By Cooking Up a Story

Sunday, April 18

City Hall’s Better Together Garden bustled on a usually somnambulant Sunday as thermometers passed seventy for the first time this year and garden enthusiasts gathered for a short ceremony commemorating the 700 square foot edible plot’s first anniversary. Doesn’t seem like 50 weeks since we tore out the lawn, but the calendar says otherwise. We counted.  

Better Together Garden   signJen Aron

Robert Bradley and some of the crew from Elm Court Loaves and Fishes were on hand to personally peruse the produce planned for their plates. Daniel Baca’s ( new garden sign was admired by all and Dave Barmon’s installation is holding it upright…so far. 

Many hands were crucial towards establishing the Garden’s roots and we’re grateful to all the businesses who generously donated their time and resources. Unfortunately, OSU Master Gardener, Jen Aron, couldn’t be at the celebration to accept our accolades for all her work over the past year.

Thanks to gardening gurus from Portland Community Garden program, Growing Gardens, OSU Master Gardeners, Portland Fruit Tree Project, and Oregon Tilth for their snazzy gardening lit, free seeds and edible edifying that pulled passer-bys off the street and set a welcoming tone for the rededication.

Check out the great video from our friends at Cooking Up a Story ( Here’s to another year of a flourishing Better Together garden at City Hall!

By Cooking Up a Story