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

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.

Celebrate Fall’s Bounty at OMSI Harvest Festival

Family-friendly festival is a fun way to discover and buy regional food.

Find out why Oregon’s specialty crops are so special, meet local community-supported agricultural farmers, check out artisan vendors, and enjoy Pacific Northwest food and drink at the free OMSI Harvest Festival this Sunday. Kids’ activities, cooking demonstrations (including two on turning common pests into food!), a beer garden, and live music will also be featured.

The Harvest Festival takes place this Sunday, September 27th, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at OMSI’s Bridge Lot at the base of the Tilikum Bridge.

Find a list of vendors and a schedule of food science demonstrations on OMSI’s website.

event poster

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