Friday, January 30, 2009

Pigs, Wine, Chefs...and the Other Side of the River

I know , I know. This is a blog that focuses on what's going on over here on the North Bank. However, despite the multitude of folks covering the food and farm scene for our neighbors to the south, I would be remiss if I did not occasionally mention extraordinary people or events happening on the other side of the river. That's why you see links from this blog to folks like Red Pig Tools, the Urban Farm Store, Viande Meats, Steve's Cheese, and Apizza Scholls. Amazing people doing amazing things that you should know about. All folks that I have had enough personal experience with to recommend to you.

Today I wanted to let you know about a culinary tour of sorts that is coming to Portland on March 1st. It's being held at the Ecotrust building in NW Portland and will showcase the talents of five of NW Oregon's finest chefs, including Vitaly Paley (Paley's Place), John Gorham (Toro Bravo), Tommy Habetz (Bunk), and Gabriel Rucker (Le Pigeon), each preparing an entire heritage breed hog from head-to-tail any way they see fit. The pork will be served with five, fine Oregon wines. It's all for the benefit of the Raphael House of Portland, a shelter that has been serving the needs of women & children since 1977. Here's the link that will get you to the event website and an avenue from which you may purchase tickets:

Cochon 555

$125.00 is a steep fee for admission, but I sincerely believe that this will be a unique and noteworthy culinary event as well as a bargain for the price. Check it out.

Julia Bakery on the Web!

Nenad, baker & proprietor of Julia Bakery, launched a new website recently. For those of you who are already fans or would like to check out Julia Bakery virtually, please click on the link below:

Julia Bakery

Julia Bakery is Vancouver's only artisan, organic bakery with a retail storefront that I am aware of. Nenad is a very congenial fellow who bakes all sorts of delicious treats, both sweet & savory. If you haven't been to his bakery before, please stop by and check it out. Your tummy will thank you.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

NW Organic Farm 2009 CSA info.

Greg & Joyce are a joy to spend time with and mighty fine food growers too. The Pacific NW is blessed with numerous excellent farmers, but I've found very few who can match the consistent quality of the produce I've purchased from NW Organic Farm. These folks are serious about their farming and they are working to continually expand and improve the variety of products at their farm. Still have doubts? Give Joyce a ring and set up a visit to the farm. You can also visit their website for more info.

NW Organic Farm

Here's the CSA note from Joyce:

Come Join Our CSA- Shares available for 2009

We have CSA (Community supported agriculture) shares available for the 2009 growing season. NW Organic Farm is "Certified Organic" by Oregon Tilth. We strive to use only Heirloom seeds. This assures you of a unique basket full of the best quality produce each week.

Some full share samples may include:

Spring: 1 pound sweet peas, 1/2 pound spinach, 1 bunch radishes, 1 bunch turnips, 1 bunch onions, 1 bunch kale, 1 bunch chard, 1 bunch arugula, fresh herbs, 1/2 pint strawberries.

Summer: 2 pounds green beans, 4 pounds tomatoes, 2 egg plant, 3 summer squash, 1/2 pint black berries, 3/4 pound salad mix, 1 bunch kale, 1 bunch basil, 1 bunch carrots, 3-4 peppers, 2 onions, 2 garlic, 3 cucumbers, flowers or herbs.

Fall: 4 pounds tomatoes, 1 bunch beets, 1 bunch kale, 3-4 peppers, 1 pint blueberries, 1 bunch radish, 2 broccoli, 1 cauliflower, 1 cabbage, 4 ears of corn, 3 pounds potatoes, 1 bunch leaks, 3 winter squash, 2 onions.

23 week full share $598.00 One half share $325.00

Gourmet Micro Greens is a weekly bag of fresh harvested mixed gourmet salad greens. This share insures you weekly fresh salad for our full 23 week season. One pound is only $7.50.

We also have free range eggs. One dozen $4.25.

Contact Joyce at (360) 573-4868 or Cell (360) 608-1483

Monday, January 26, 2009

Nature's Choice for the New Year

My good friends Bill & Laura Cole just sent me an e-mail over the weekend detailing their plans to make the offerings from their company, Nature's Choices, more readily available to us common folks. No longer will we have to play the waiting game to find out which farmers' market Bill will be at hocking his amazing selection of handpicked mushrooms, fiddleheads, huckleberries, and other wild foods. Looks like they'll also be regularly offering a fair portion of their selection of dried foods as well as eggs from their expanded chicken flock too. I did not attach the .pdf copy of their product list to this post, but I bet you can easily get a copy by dropping Laura an e-mail or ringing her up on the tele. Read on to get the full details on what's in store for Nature's Choice customers this year.

Bill Cole (the mushroom guy) and his new wife Laura here. Greetings to all our mushroom friends and locavores.

We hope that you are off to a healthy and happy New Year in spite of the many difficulties facing us all these days. We know that times are tough for many folks and we send our best wishes to all in need.

This email is to let you know what our plans are for Nature’s Choice this year, and to offer you several ways to find us and to bring home your favorite mushrooms, berries and other wild-crafted goodies throughout the year ahead.

#1 Starting this coming week, we are offering a weekly product pickup at our home. Since we do not always know if, when (or which) farmers market we may be at, many customers often call us for alternative arrangements. Having an organized effort seemed like a natural step. The plan is to send out a product list every Sunday or Monday, with the products we have for that week highlighted, and then to accept preorders that can be sent to us by email, fax or a phone call. We are requesting that all preorders be sent over by Wednesday noon to ensure delivery. The pickup time will be on Thursdays from 6:15-7:00pm. We have a very convenient location from just about anywhere, at I-205 between Mill Plain and Highway 14. Even if you have not preordered, everyone is welcome to stop by and purchase on a 1st come, 1st serve basis. We will often have wonderful items available from some of our farm friends as well. Such as raw, unfiltered honey, artisan cheeses and organic produce.

#2 Also in the works is a special CSA supplemental package of strictly wild-crafted edibles that will serve as a wonderful compliment to seasonal CSA produce and dairy packages offered by several of our hardworking local farmers. The cost is expected to be just under $20.00 per week and we will offer membership flexibility and a payment plan. A brochure on this will be available in the next few days.

#3 And finally, we are working on setting up a website and blog, so you can keep up with what’s going on in our world and the many wonderful wild foods available in the Pacific Northwest. We will also be offering some fun new products through that avenue such as t-shirts, recipe books, wild-crafted teas, dried mushrooms, jams, seasonings and gift packs that do not have strict freshness issues.

We are attaching a PDF file with our first ‘organized’ product list to get the weekly delivery system in place. If there are any goodies that you would like to request, please give us a call or drop an email by this coming Wednesday, Jan. 28th by noon or so, and then we will confirm your order and give you directions to our place for the Thursday pickup. (The fax will be installed by next week for that option as well.) We will also have some treats & a small food gift on hand for all who visit us in the first couple weeks.

If you would like to be removed from our email & mailing list, please just let us know.

We look forward to hearing from you and hopefully to visiting with some of you on Thursdays.

Bill & Laura

Laura Cole
Nature's Choice
(360) 852-7851 Phone
(360) 852-8835 Fax
laura at natureswildharvest dot com

Friday, January 16, 2009

Permaculture/Slope Terracing Workshop @ the Old Poor Farm 3.7.2009

Here's an announcement re. an upcoming permaculture related workshop on Slope Terracing brought to you by the folks @ Abundance Permaculture Consulting. For those of you who have never heard of Abundance, they not only provide permaculture consulting for folks in our region, but they were also contracted by Clark County to help develop the Old Poor Farm/WSU Extension property on NE 78th St. in Hazel Dell. You can read more about their involvement with the project here:

Ne 78th St. Project

Now for the details on the workshop from Deston Denniston of Abundance Permaculture:

Howdy Friends,

I'm happy to make official the promotion to bring Sepp Holzer to demonstrate Slope Terracing on March 7-8. This is for you farmers, or your farming friends. Please forwad this message to anyone you know who may be interested in attending this workshop on erosion free terrace construction on slopes. This workshop is valid for farmers and foresters alike. Sepp's methods have produced a veritable Eden in some of Austria's steepest forest terrain. We have a small John Deer with a bucket and are working to get a backhoe for this demonstration- as long as weather permits, this will be a hands on field day. Sepp will field questions and demonstrate use of the machinery to insure stable terrace construction. Construction of terraces is not complete without plantings, and Sepp will talk about that aspect of stabilization as well. The following weekend we are planning a workparty to fully plant the terraces with native species, fruiting cultivars and beneficial associatives.

Who is Sepp? watch this video:

The location is 1919 78th Street, Vancouver Washington.
This is just 20 minutes north of Downtown Portland, 5 minutes off the highway, in north Vancouver/Hazel Dell.

Details, including map, can be found at

links to the tour info and sponsor can be found at

We have managed to secure Sepp at very low prices, just $150 for a two day seminar if you register before February 8, $200 after that date.

Please send check and registration info to

16827 Hickory Lane SE
Yelm, WA 98597

The lunch meal will be a Brown Bag potluck; please bring casseroles, pies and other dish items to share.

Coffee and tea will be provided.

Information about the 78th St. Site, which is quickly shaping up to be the largest publicly funded permaculture site Im aware of, can be found at the home page of our website,

If you have questions about the site, contact me here; if you have questions about Sepp or the tour in general, please contact Mathilda at (info at perma-dise dot com)

Thank you all!


Deston Denniston
Abundance Permaculture Consulting

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Washougal Community Garden

Thanks for this info from Peter DuBois, aka Recycleman and the Sustainability Coordinator for Clark County:

Edible Clark County - Washougal Community Gardens Coming March 2009

The City of Washougal is jumping in to the vegetable business through their community gardens program. Following a series of public meetings and completion of an online survey, the city decided to convert an unused portion of Hamllik Park into community vegetable gardens.

The park is located near apartment complexes making it an ideal location for residents without yards to plant a garden. The community garden is slated to be operational by March 1, 2009.

You can get a truckload of great info and ideas about sustainability efforts in Clark County by checking out Pete's go check it out!

Sustainable Clark County

Oops...One More

I am hanging my head in shame for forgetting to tell you about an event being hosted by one of my favorite farm families, the good folks @ Dee Creek Farm. This will be a unique opportunity to learn about emergency & family preparedness. Here's the scoop on their upcoming class:

Hey folks! It's been so long since we did deliveries (a whopping two
weeks!) - I'm suffering from withdrawal, and so couldn't help but
plan a get-together. It should be a great workshop - I'm totally
excited! We are planning on having another similar class in the
summer, which will include a campout, with hands on experience in
some of these techniques. That class will be more spendy. Btw, I
did update the website with new blog entries this week! ~Summer

Please Join Us
at Dee Creek Farm

"Intro to Emergency & Family Preparedness"
by Summer M.
January 17th, 2008, 2pm
$35 per person

To register for the class, email me your interest,
And confirm with your admission fees (at deliveries or by mail)
Class space is limited

Emergency and Family Preparedness will focus on the skills and
supplies needed for weathering emergencies and disasters. Whether it
is a loss of a job or illness in the family, a natural disaster,
epidemic or a temproary/long-term breakdown of the food/commodity
supply chain, learn what is necessary to keep yourself and others
from panicking while coming up with practical solutions to keep
oneself, family, friends or neighbors alive and healthy.

Topics will include: how to stock your food pantry, packaging/
preserving/storing foods, preparing emergency Bug-Out bags and
equipment, storing/cleaning/treating water, catching and using
rainwater, emergency toilets, seeds for quick sprouting and planting
in 30-40 day growing cycles, putting together an emergency first aid
kit, how to dress burns, how to use an oil lamp, tips for cast iron
and dutch oven cookery, starting a fire and more!

Bring snacks just in case class heads on into evening!
(we're shooting for 4 hours)
Come, and let's learn together!

Summer M. has been a long-time customer of DCF, and a committed
Locavore in our community, with two boys needing maximum nutrition to
keep their health maintained.

I have attended several of Summer's classes, and found the shared
information and instructors input invaluable. I thought I knew
stuff, but learned quickly that I could glean many new concepts, how
and why they worked. Folks that attend are invited to join a Google
group that is full of sharing, too!

I think there is no better time than now, when the economy is
struggling, to learn old-fashioned ways of living!

Email: summer at deecreekfarm dot com
Farm Phone: 360-225-9711
Cell Phone: 360-903-6956 (no service at the Farm)

Meet the Farmers and New Series of Classes at Preserve

Happy New Year everyone! I'm back after a short holiday break and I have a couple of really exciting upcoming events to tell you about.

The first is the 3rd Annual Meet the Farmers Event:

Sponsored by:

The Vancouver Food Co-op, SW WA CSA Farmers, WSU Vancouver Public Affairs Department, WSU Small Farms Team


7:00 to 8:30 pm
January 21st, 2009
WSU Vancouver
Firstenburg Student Commons
14204 NE Salmon Creek Ave

The Vancouver Food Coop in cooperation with Washington State University Vancouver and the WSU Small Farms Team will host the Southwest Washington Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farms for Meet the Farmers on Wednesday January 21, 2009. The event will feature local CSA farms from southwest Washington and a speaker from the WSU Small Farms Team. WSU Small Farms Team staff and the SW WA CSA Farms will provide information to participants on what a CSA is, how to determine if a CSA is right for you, and questions to ask farmers to find the right CSA for you and your family. A Vancouver Food Co-op (VFC) board member will be present to speak briefly about VFC and their role with local farms.

There are a record number of CSAs in SW WA this year we are up to 18, that is from only around 3 a few years ago.

Come join others to meet many of the CSA farmers in person and sign up for CSA shares before the season begins.

“We are excited to be partnering with the CSAs for this event; we are proud to support local agriculture,” says Sunrise O’Mahoney of the Vancouver Food Coop.

For more information please call the Vancouver Food Coop at 360-694-8094 or check their website at SW WA CSA Farms website:

The next is a phenomenal series of classes being offered by local home economics heroine and proprietor of the amazing Preserve, Harriet Fasenfest. The classes will span the better portion of the local growing season and will take you on a journey from pre-season garden planning all the way through preserving the harvest. This will definitely be one of the best home economics educational opportunities offered by anyone in our region this year and it's a bargain too. Sign up soon, because this will be a for sure sell out. For more details, please click this link:

The Householding Series: From Seed to Pantry

And for the Cliff Notes version, here's what Harriet has to say:

The Householding Series:
From Seed to Pantry

What is House Holding?

House Holding suggests a commitment and year-round process of tending our gardens, home, psyche and pantry in accordance to the logic, systems and bounty of the natural world. It supplants the full-throttle acceptance of the market economy as the engine of our survival as well as the ferocious consumer culture that fuels it. In essence, house-holding is about skills, values and processes that not only bring our own needs back to earth, but those of the planet’s as well. When combined, the information in this series will give you not only an efficient system for creating your own “stores” but, too, a sound economical one that brings the notion of local and sustainable to a whole new level. New systems need new thinking - not just smart packaging!

Series Summary

Taught once a month over the nine-month growing and preserving season, this series is intended to offer concrete tools for creating new patterns of food production, direct-farm purchase, preservation and meal planning.

Appropriate for all levels of experience but suggested for those truly committed to the process. Some previous knowledge helpful but not necessary.

The series will be presented by a number of instructors experienced in their field but who, together, offer a systematic approach to living, growing and cooking within the seasons.

This year is looking like it will be a stellar one for local agriculture, supporting the local economy, and revitalizing the art of keeping a good, healthy home. Don't let the media get you down with all of the stories of gloom and doom. As a caring, concerned community, we can and will work together to weather any storm. And we are truly blessed to have wonderful resources in our area to help us figure out how to do it.

Love your family, hug a farmer, and start planning your gardens. Talk to y'all soon.