December 11th: The Food & Farm Movement: An Overview: Perspectives from Local to Global

We took a multi-media big picture look at the Food & Farm Movement. Panelists included filmmakers Barbara Bernstein and Elaine Valezquez who showed a rough cut of their forthcoming documentary, Gaining Ground. Julia Degraw, NW organizer for Food and Water Watch, talked Farm Bill and a returning Terra Madre Delegate, Bette McKibben of McK Ranch talked ranching and shared some of her experiences from the bi-annual food conference held in Torino, Italy. Additionally, The Lexicon of Sustainability was on display courtesy of Charlene Murdock-White.

November 13th: Growing and Eating locally produced goods year round: We explored how farmers and eaters continue to produce and consume Oregon’s local bounty through the darker, colder and wetter months of the year. We discussed techniques and prudent planning that makes nutritious, seasonal eating possible.  Our panelists included farmer and State Board of Agriculture member, Laura Masterson of 47th Avenue Farm, activist, cook and current Chair of Slow Food USA, Katherine Deumling and Steve Fedje, Soil Conservationist from NRCS.

October 9th: Biodynamics – Panelists, the very knowledgeable  Biodynamics expert and writer, Beth Weiting, Farmer, Wali Via of Winter Green Farm, Nadine Lew, Viticulture Consultant, Dundee Dirtbox Farmer & Demeter Certifier explore how Biodynamics fits into the sustainable agriculture spectrum.

September 11th: Tater-Mater: An Evening with Tom Wagner, amazing tomato and potato breeder who developed the green  zebra tomato as a teenager, and who has dedicated his life to breeding and sharing his results with the world. Tom is currently searching for the right person to carry on his tater-mater legacy.  Evening includes tomato tasting!  Vist his blog at http://tater-mater.blogspot.com/.

August 14th: Grassfed Beef & Bison Is grass fed meat a better choice?  Is it healthier, more humane?  What’s the difference between grass fed and grass finished? Do you have to cook it differently? What does one get if you buy a “quarter” animal? We delved into these questions with a great panel of qualified professionals: Lynne Curry, author of the cookbook Pure Beef, Steve Oberg of Powell Butte Bison Ranch in Central Oregon and rancher Joe Pestana of Oregon GrassFed on the Southern Coast.

 

July 10th: Sustainable Seafood Stepping out of FoFF’s usual terrestrial focus to talk about agriculture of the sea!  This month we take a quick look at the broad issue of sustainable seafood and what we Eaters should know as consumers (at least the basics).  We will gain insight from Lyf Gildersleeve of Flying Fish, Michael Morrissey of Food Innovation Center, previously with Astoria Seafood Laboratory and Megan Mackey with Ecotrust’s Fisheries Program

June 12th: Chef Stories – Sourcing Locally For June’s InFARMation, FoFF is working with Food Hub to turn out chefs who can give us their perspectives on working directly with farmers in a variety of ways.  The success stories, where the barriers lie, and how we as their customers can support these choices. Cory Schrieber is a pioneer in local sourcing in the Portland restaurant scene with restaurants including Wildwood, has held the first ever position with Oregon Department of Agriculture as the Farm to School Director, and is now running the culinary program at the Art Institute. Greg Higgins is another Portland pioneer of local sourcing with Higgins restaurant, and Kathy Watson will bring us her perspective from Hood River where she is the chef and owner of Nora’s Table.

May 8th: Building Community Through Urban Agriculture This month we bring you three fine examples of Portland area projects rejuvenating soil and nourishing people and healthy ecosystems within the city. Come learn about the multi-dimensional  North Portland Farm of Project Grow, Ariadne Garden, the first parcel of land placed into trust with OSALT (Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust)  and Emma’s Garden, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering underprivileged communities through healthy local food.

One of the laws passed during the 2011 Legislative Session to help with smaller-scale farmer viability is what is referred to on the ground as the Farm Direct Law.  It’s primary focus is allowing farmers who grow certain products on their land to take additional steps to create products processed on-farm for sale.  For example, berry farmers can also make jam, pepper farmers can also make hot sauce, cabbage farmers can also ferment sauerkraut.  These products will provide extra revenue and value to the crop for the farmer, and expand the choices consumers have in what they buy on farm, at farm stands, and at farmers markets.
There are a lot of regulations associated with this production, and many prepared products that don’t qualify for this exemption.  The products that do will be showing up during this market season labeled “This product is homemade and is not prepared in an inspected food establishment”.   The Oregon Department of Agriculture has a FAQ online for farmers, but come on out next Tuesday to hear the story of the creation of this bill and what you will want to know as a customer at the farmers market this year!
Our panelists next week are farmer Anne Berblinger of Gales Meadow Farm who has been involved with the creation of this bill from the early days, Oregon City Farmers Market manager Jackie Hammond-Williams, and expert on home processing Charlene Murdock of Nana Cardoon Farm.

 

April 10th: The Farm Direct Bill One of the laws passed during the 2011 Legislative Session to help with smaller-scale farmer viability is what is referred to on the ground as the Farm Direct Law.  It’s primary focus is allowing farmers who grow certain products on their land to take additional steps to create products processed on-farm for sale.  For example, berry farmers can also make jam, pepper farmers can also make hot sauce, cabbage farmers can also ferment sauerkraut.  These products will provide extra revenue and value to the crop for the farmer, and expand the choices consumers have in what they buy on farm, at farm stands, and at farmers markets.

There are a lot of regulations associated with this production, and many prepared products that don’t qualify for this exemption.  The products that do will be showing up during this market season labeled “This product is homemade and is not prepared in an inspected food establishment”.   The Oregon Department of Agriculture has a FAQ online for farmers, but come on out next Tuesday to hear the story of the creation of this bill and what you will want to know as a customer at the farmers market this year!

Our panelists next week are farmer Anne Berblinger of Gales Meadow Farm who has been involved with the creation of this bill from the early days, Oregon City Farmers Market manager Jackie Hammond-Williams, and expert on home processing Charlene Murdock of Nana Cardoon Farm. Building Community Through Urban Agriculture

March 13th:  Chickens in the City, Chickens in the State Our panelists this month discussed keeping chickens in the city, and also the larger picture of poultry in Oregon, especially from a processing perspective.  Have you noticed how hard it is to find pastured poultry to buy, especially at grocery stores and restaurants?  Most Portlanders at least have a neighbor with chickens, so why isn’t pastured chicken abundantly available?  Our speakers this month included Joe and Karen Schueller, ranchers from Rainshadow El Rancho and co-founders and operators of Scio Poultry Processing, Heather Havens, general manager of Concentrates, Inc, and Karen Wolfgang, owner and project coordinator for Independence Gardens.

February 14th: GMOs, Three Perspectives – From our panelists, Andrew Still, farmer and seed grower, local food processor from the Williamette Valley, Clint Linsey, and professor and author Lisa Weasel who has done extensive research on genetically modified crops.

January 10th: Anthony Boutard of Ayers Creek Farm – A Farmer’s Primer on Seed Production in the Willamette Valley at the Garden, Farm, and Commercial Level