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


City Hall Garden Grows Greens and Sows Knowledge

Downtown oasis is a fount of food and information.

Jillian Glasgow is standing at the corner of Southwest Fourth and Jefferson on a recent evening as she surveys the City Hall Garden she has tended for the past three years. Now in its seventh growing season, the former parking lot and grass patch was transformed into a downtown oasis where passersby can interact with the process of growing food and be inspired to create their own gardens.

City Hall Garden

The fruits (and vegetables) of Glasgow’s labor travel just a few blocks up the street to a nearby church, where food pantry volunteers pack it into boxes and cook it into hot meals for their clients. On occasion, Glasgow will hand off some fresh produce directly to folks in need, like the crisp collard greens she bestowed upon a vivacious visitor as they exchanged recipes for hot water cornbread.

While tending to rows of Swiss chard, snap peas, and Sungold tomatoes, Glasgow relishes the interactions with interested onlookers. The lush leaves of potato plants, rainbow-colored stems of chard, and bright yellow orbs dangling from tomato stakes stand in relief to the surrounding concrete and pavement, attracting people from different walks of life to the fount of fresh food on City property. From these conversations, Glasgow discovers the gardening topics people hope to learn about, which inform the tips and notes she writes on signs planted throughout the garden.

Glasgow urges people to come visit and look closely, making observations about the imperfections inherent in any garden lovingly tended by human hands. She helps home gardeners realize that it’s possible to grow a lot of food on a small amount of land. “You just have to get a little closer, make some observations, and learn a little bit,” she said. 

It’s National Farmers Market Week!

Celebrate summer’s bounty at a farmers market every day of the week in Portland.

August 2-8 is National Farmers Market Week and Portlanders can celebrate by shopping a different market every day of the week. You can plan your itinerary with this listing and map that will lead you to the freshest food you can find. Need another reason to support your local farmer? Check out this infographic from The Farmers Market Coalition. 

farmers market infographics

Peak Season for the Portland Fruit Tree Project

Got Fruit? Portland Fruit Tree Project helps share summer’s bounty.

plumsSummer means fruit season is in full bloom for the Portland Fruit Tree Project (PFTP), a non-profit that gathers volunteers to harvest peaches, plums, pears, figs, apples, and more from registered trees across the city. PTFP salvages fruit that would otherwise go to waste, donating half to Portland food banks and dividing the rest among “harvest party” volunteers. PFTP channeled over 58,000 pounds of fruit to families in need last year.

During a recent harvest party, an enthusiastic team of volunteers, young and old, plucked plums from two Southeast Portland sites. First, they collected 379 pounds of bright yellow Shiro plums from a majestic tree in Brentwood-Darlington’s Green Thumb Community Orchard – and with over half of the fruit left on the prolific tree, another team will be back soon!

The team then traveled to Carmen Piekarski’s home to gather 86 pounds of juicy purplish-red cherry plums from her two trees towering over the sidewalk. “I come from a family where things were never wasted, and to watch anything go to waste is really difficult,” Carmen said. “There’s too much for us and too much for the neighbors, and the Portland Fruit Tree Project allows people who are truly in need to access healthy fruit.”  

With 465 pounds of plums in tow at the end of the evening, each volunteer took home a generous 12 pounds and the remaining 235 pounds went to area food pantries. PFTP hosts several harvest parties a week and provides additional opportunities to get involved and learn new skills from tree care to food preservation. Don’t miss out…it’s summertime and the time is ripe for sharing the harvest. 

Make a Beeline to the Tour De Hives on Saturday

Portland Urban Beekeepers presents third annual tour on Saturday, June 20.

tour posterPortland Urban Beekeepers (PUB) present the third annual Tour de Hives on Saturday, June 20, from 1 – 4 p.m. The self-guided tour of urban apiaries is a sweet opportunity to learn about the craft of keeping bees while supporting a non-profit that promotes our Portland pollinator partners.

And it’s not all honey and beeswax. Over the course of the event, Tour de Hives participants will learn about the importance of bees to the environment and the problems they face. The plight of bees has garnered a lot of attention of the years and the Tour offers a unique opportunity to learn firsthand how local beekeepers are rising to the challenge.

The event is an excellent opportunity to learn more about Portland’s beekeeping community in a relaxed and casual setting. PUB’s President, Bill Catherall, notes that “It's a casual, social event to meet others and learn how we can get involved in helping honey bees, native bees, and other important pollinators and beneficial insects.”

So buzz over to the event’s website as it might bee the perfect way to spend your Saturday. To get in the mood, check out this amazing time-lapse video of a honeybee’s development.  

 

 

Make a Beeline to the Tour De Hives on Saturday

Portland Urban Beekeepers presents third annual tour on Saturday, June 20.

tour posterPortland Urban Beekeepers (PUB) present the third annual Tour de Hives on Saturday, June 20, from 1 – 4 p.m. The self-guided tour of urban apiaries is a sweet opportunity to learn about the craft of keeping bees while supporting a non-profit that promotes our Portland pollinator partners.

And it’s not all honey and beeswax. Over the course of the event, Tour de Hives participants will learn about the importance of bees to the environment and the problems they face. The plight of bees has garnered a lot of attention of the years and the Tour offers a unique opportunity to learn firsthand how local beekeepers are rising to the challenge.

 The event is an excellent opportunity to learn more about Portland’s beekeeping community in a relaxed and casual setting. PUB’s President, Bill Catherall, notes that “It's a casual, social event to meet others and learn how we can get involved in helping honey bees, native bees, and other important pollinators and beneficial insects.”

So buzz over to the event’s website as it might bee the perfect way to spend your Saturday. To get in the mood, check out this amazing time-lapse video of a honeybee’s development.  

 

many bees