Thursday, December 23, 2010

Save the Estrella Family Creamery!

Help the Estrella Family Creamery

The Estrella Family Creamery, a family run creamery in Montesano, Washington that produces some world-class and highly beloved cheese, had all their product seized by the FDA, essentially in an attempt to put them out of business.

This site:

has been set up to aid the Estrella family by taking donations for their charitable relief.

For more information, see their blog at:

Thank you and God bless you for your generosity.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Community Grown

Check out the spiffy web site sported by Vancouver Clark Community Grown!

Seed Swaps, Seedball Making and the Urban Farmers Co-op!

Southwest Washington residents have some fantastic urban agriculture opportunities coming this winter thanks to the efforts of Warren Neth of Urban Abundance.

Here's a link to the entire Urban Abundance calendar of events.

And here's the scoop from Warren on what's happening soon at Urban Abundance:


The Urban Abundance late winter calendar of FUN was been pulled together and I wanted to pass you the line up. I've also attached the press release for our new program, Urban Farmers Coop, which i'd love to discuss with you all more soon. All the events are posted on our Facebook page and website if you find that easier to keep track of. 

Seeking food stewards! If anyone is particularly sure that they are going to join, and have interest in cooking a pot of soup/stew/beans warm goodness to bring to the event, I'm hoping to get a rotation of food bearers this next season. My paid position with Urban Abundance will end at the end of January, so I'll be having to focus more on other paid work and won't have as much time to put toward the project. LOOKING FWD to see what kinda legs UA has as an all-volunteer organization! 


What: Urban Farmers Coop Information Session
When: Monday 1/24 6:30-8:00pm
Where: Minehaha Grange Hall, 4905 NE St. Johns Blvd.
Cost: FREE 

Calling All Urban Farmers!

Join Vancouver’s Urban Famers Co-op!

Urban Farmers Co-op: Growing markets for urban raised bounty.

Do you have a green thumb and want to sell your produce, but don’t
know where to start?
Urban Abundance is launching Urban Farmers Co-op this spring.  Urban
Farmers Co-op (UFC) offers urban growers a gateway to the marketplace
by providing a staffed vendor booth along with accounting and
marketing management for coop members’ produce. The UFC will make it
easy for you to live out your dream of being a farmer without leaving
the city limits.  At the UFC booth, located in the heart of the Uptown
Village at the new Urban Growers Market, you will be able to find
produce grown by neighbors from just down the street.

Interested? Now is the time to start thinking about your garden plan! 

For more info contact Maika Horjus 360-909-9012


What: Wildflower Seedball Workshop
When: Tuesday 2/1 6:30-8:00pm
Where: Columbia Springs Environmental Center, Swift Classroom, 12208 SE Evergreen Hwy, 
Cost: FREE 
Mix Clay, Compost and Native Wildflower seeds and “presto!” you have seedballs to toss around your yard and neighborhood creating a landscape that supports native pollinators and smiles. Seed balls are one-half inch diameter models of the living world protecting seed from predators and giving them all their base needs for germination once the rains come. They are a cost effective restoration technique that can be made by anyone anywhere in the world where there is soil and seed. 

Making seedballs is also a great opportunity to meet others interested in creating abundance in our urban neighborhoods. 
We will be serving a vegetarian stew, cornbread and salad. So please RSVP if you'd like to share food. 

For more information on seedballs visit:  
Hosted by Urban Abundance  
For more details or RSVP contact Warren Neth 360-771-1296 or

What: Urban Farmers Coop Information Session
When: Monday 2/7 6:30-8:00pm
Where: Minehaha Grange Hall, 4905 NE St. Johns Blvd.
Cost: FREE 

Calling All Urban Farmers!

Join Vancouver’s Urban Famers Co-op!

Urban Farmers Co-op: Growing markets for urban raised bounty.

Do you have a green thumb and want to sell your produce, but don’t know where to start?
Urban Abundance is launching Urban Farmers Co-op this spring.  Urban Farmers Co-op (UFC) offers urban growers a gateway to the marketplace by providing a staffed vendor booth along with accounting and marketing management for coop members’ produce. The UFC will make it easy for you to live out your dream of being a farmer without leaving
the city limits.  At the UFC booth, located in the heart of the Uptown Village at the new Urban Growers Market, you will be able to find produce grown by neighbors from just down the street.

Interested? Now is the time to start thinking about your garden plan! 

For more info contact Maika Horjus 360-909-9012

What: Grow Vancouver: Seed swap and give away
When: Tuesday 2/15 @ 6:30-8:00pm
Where: Harney Elementary - Cafeteria 3212 E Evergreen Blvd 98661 Vancouver, WA
Cost: FREE 

Bring your extra vegetable seed and trade with neighbors. 
Bring home bags full of Free Vegetable and Herb Seed that has been donated to Urban Abundance. 

This will also be the first Grow Vancouver gathering. Besides seed exchanging there will be opportunities to plan more urban agriculture projects with neighbors. Vegetarian stew and cornbread will be available. Feel free to bring other food goodies to share! 

Find more information: 
or contact Warren Neth 360-771-1296


What: Grow Vancouver: Seed swap and give away
When: Tuesday 3/15 @ 6:30-8:00pm
Where: Harney Elementary - Cafeteria 3212 E Evergreen Blvd 98661 Vancouver, WA
Cost: FREE 

Making seedballs is also a great opportunity to meet others interested in creating abundance in our urban neighborhoods. 
We will be serving a vegetarian stew, cornbread and salad. So please RSVP if you'd like to share food. 

For more information on seedballs visit:  Hosted by Urban Abundance  For more details or RSVP contact Warren Neth 360-771-1296 or

Bring your extra vegetable seed and trade with neighbors. Bring home bags full of Free Vegetable and Herb Seed that has been donated to Urban Abundance. This will also be the first Grow Vancouver gathering. Besides seed exchanging there will be opportunities to plan more urban agriculture projects with neighbors. Vegetarian stew and cornbread will be available. Feel free to bring other food goodies to share! 

Find more information: 
or contact Warren Neth 360-771-1296

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Vancouver Kids Cooking Corner

Here's a fun, new, local business that offers classes for the aspiring young Julia or Jacques in your home.

The Kids Cooking Corner was formed to help create a new generation of capable cooks! The Kids Cooking Corner focuses on nutrition, kitchen safety, proper food preparation, etiquette, cleanliness and FUN!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Growing Groceries Garden Mentor Workshop

Growing Groceries Garden Mentor Workshop

The Growing Groceries Mentor Program is a new Clark County collaborative effort focused on training and linking experienced gardeners to serve as mentors in community based garden programs.
Training will take place over 4 months with one training session per month on the following dates:

January 8, 2011 from 9 a.m to 1 p.m.
February 12, 2011 from 9 a.m to 1 p.m.
March 12, 2011 from 9 a.m to 1 p.m.
and April 9, 2011 from 9 a.m to 1 p.m.

Garden Mentors must attend all four training sessions.
Please bring a sack lunch to each training session.

The program will include training on;
site and plant selection
soils and irrigation
composting and environmental stewardship
harvesting and preserving
community organization and leadership

Growing Groceries Mentors will then volunteer with organizations such as neighborhood associations, schools, faith-based and emergency food organizations and community garden sites and serve as a technical resource and a garden champion.

This program was developed through joint efforts of Clark County Public Health, WSU Clark County Extension, and other community garden advocates.

The Portal Cafe
2007 E. 12th Street
Vancouver, WA 98661

Video Interview with Hector Jimenez, Grocery Manager at Chuck’s Produce & Street Market

Courtesy of the Vancouver Business Journal. Thanks, Nick!

Meet Your Neighbors: Chuck’s Produce & Street Market from Vancouver Business Journal on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Patch: A Time to Build Up Farms

Patch: A Time to Build Up Farms
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Sat, January 8, 2011, 7pm – 9pm
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Parish Hall, 426 E Fourth Plain Blvd

The locally filmed Patch: A Time to Build Up Farms will be showcased at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in the Parish Hall at 7 pm. This film was created and produced by Vancouver School of Arts and Academics student Justine Hanrahan as part of the school’s Art for Change theme. The movie explores the importance of local sustainable farms in Clark County and features Urban Abundance’s own Warren Neth. The film includes interviews from local farms such as Inspiration Plantation, Storytree Farm, Osprey Organic Farm and Dee Creek. Stores and organizations featured are Vancouver Co-op, Neighbors Market and Urban Abundance. The showing is a chance to learn more about the agriculture in the area and speak with the farmers who provide Clark County residents sustainable products. Patch: A Time to Build Up Farms focuses on the importance of farms and how people can be a part of patching up the local farm economy. The director’s artistic vision is symbolized by a scarecrow being patched up with various patches which represent the different farms or organizations repairing the farming community in Clark County. The showing is free of charge and a great chance to meet farmers and gather information about the agriculture around you.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Best of Bubbles! @ Niche

"The Best of Bubbles!
Niche Wine & Art
Tuesday, December 28, 2010, 6-8:00pm

Nothing is more celebratory than bubbles!
Taste through a delightful array of sparkling wines from around the world while learning the basics of bubbles and how to serve them.
Fee $25

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Urban Growers Market - Uptown Vancouver

There's a new outdoor market coming to town and I am really excited about this one. Part local artisan vendors and part locally grown food...with an emphasis on VERY locally in your backyard.  Here's the skinny from the Urban Growers Market Facebook page:

We are a non-profit based in Vancouver Washington. Our board of directors are: Liz Halili, Sunrise O Mahoney and Chris Stevens. We are an experiment in a new kind of farmers market creating a marketplace for small and backyard growers and gardeners. We will also feature a marketplace for local crafters and artisans to sell their wares. 

Our mission is to create a place for smaller and backyard growers to sell at creating an even closer circle of "buy local". 

Our focus is on sustainability, food safety and availability and community involvement.We are looking for growers of produce and plants for everyday use, food vendors and sellers as well as local artists and crafters.

The Urban Growers Market will be looking for volunteers in the coming months.  All you Westsiders and inner-Eastsiders who want to play a part in this new chapter of the Southwest Washington homegrown, food system security revolution keep your ears open and please heed the call for help. This is going to be the coolest thing in local food since Neighbors Markets opened.

The Urban Growers Market@ coming soon!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Join SHARE & Whole Foods for a “Taste of Thanksgiving” event!

Whole Foods Market
Thursday, November 11
5 to 8 p.m.
815 SE 160th Avenue
Vancouver, WA
• $10 donation for adults; $5 donation for kids under 12
• Event passports will be pre-sold two weeks prior to the event, starting on Oct. 28.
• Proceeds from the event will benefit Share.

On Nov. 11 Whole Foods Market – Mill Plain invites the community to our store to taste a fabulous array of seasonal specialties all to benefit Share. Guests make a donation and are given a menu which includes everything from their full holiday meal to wine and dessert. This is our fourth annual Taste of Thanksgiving; it’s our holiday tradition! So come, invite your neighbors and friends to enjoy delicious food while supporting a great cause!

Menu Includes:
• Table 1 Welcome Table & Drink Fountain:
Columbia Gorge Organics Apple Juice
-To kick off your Taste of Thanksgiving extravaganza, sample this locally made Apple Juice!

• Table 2 Produce: Roasted Squash with Smoked Artisan Salts

• Table 3 Seafood: Oyster Stuffing
-Made with fresh and local Northwest raised Oysters!

• Table 4 Meat: Prime Rib
-Come sample this Northwest raised, tender, all natural holiday delight

• Table 5 Grocery: Field Roast & Green Bean Casserole
-A vegan alternative for your traditional holiday celebration

• Table 6 Specialty: Build your own cheese plate!
-Come visit with our cheese specialist & design the cheese
platter of your dreams.

• Table 7 Prepared Foods:
Diestel Turkey, Mashed Potatoes & Classic Cranberry Relish
-Our Thanksgiving classic, done up for you Whole Foods Market style!

• Table 8 Bakery:
Pumpkin Pie with Made in House Whipped Cream

• Table 9 Wine Bar:

SHARE Holiday Cheer Program

Is YOUR company sponsoring a SHARE Giving Tree this holiday season?

Share needs 10 more companies to sponsor a Giving Tree for our Holiday Cheer Program. The Giving Tree helps families in need in our community have a wonderful holiday season. If you can help, please contact Susan Oberst, Director of Volunteers, at 360-750-4436 ext. 309 or for more details. Thank you!

SHARE is also looking for individuals and groups to help with the many other Holiday Cheer program events. Please visit the SHARE web site for more details.

Dee Creek Farm Cheese Now Available @ Neighbors Markets!

Neighbors Markets is setting the bar higher for distribution of food that is good, clean and LOCAL. Way to go Lynn!!

You can now buy Dee Creek artisan farmstead cheeses 7 days a week at Neighbors Markets on Main Street in Uptown Vancouver.

Vancouver Urban Abundance Story In the Oregonian

Urban Abundance. Words that are like music to my ears.

Check out this great story in the Oregonian about Warren Neth and Vancouver Urban Abundance!

Link to Oregonian story

Understanding the Farm Bill: A Citizen's Guide to a Better Food System

The support for local farmers, fresh and healthy food, gardening, and farmers markets has reached new levels of enthusiasm. That enthusiasm for a new food system, however, has yet to be translated into new food policy.

All of us have seen the impacts of bad food and agriculture policy. From low prices in the early 2000s that drove huge numbers of farmers out of business, to the price spike in 2008 that led to food riots in parts of the world, to the continued problem in many communities of poor access to healthy foods, to the epidemic of childhood obesity, poor choices in Washington, DC hurt real people.

The most important piece of legislation is the federal farm bill, which is expected to be reauthorized in 2012. Yet in order to improve this legislation, we need to better understand the legislation and how policy is made.

The Facebook page is the joint creation of Mark Muller (Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP)) and Lee Zukor (Simple, Good, and Tasty (SGT)). The purpose of this page is not to tell visitors what to think about various policy proposals or send out calls to action, but to help demystify the process.

The page is intended to be collaborative and we welcome your input. Please post your own thoughts, views, websites, articles, photos, and videos.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Thanksgiving Wine Pairing Seminar @ Niche - 11.16.2010

Join Niche for a Thanksgiving Wine Pairing Seminar!
Tuesday, November 16th at 6:00pm
Lynn will guide you through the somewhat perplexing task of choosing the perfect wines to pair with the quintessential holiday meal. Cost is $25 and includes pairing of 8 wines with light bites and printed information. Seating is limited so please register at or call or stop by Niche.

Niche Wine Bar
1013 Main St
Vancouver, WA, 98660

Wed - Thurs:
4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Fri - Sat:
4:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Cultivating Regional Food Security: Recent Research in Urban-Rural Food Systems - 12.4-5.2010

Register now to get the early bird rate for the conference at the University of Washington Botanic Gardens Center for Urban Horticulture December 4-5, 2010, with the goal of increasing collaboration among community leaders and residents to create a more sustainable regional food system in terms of production, land use and equitable access to food.

Co-hosted by the UW Botanic Gardens and Washington State University Extension, the conference brings together a diverse audience including urban gardeners, agriculture organizations and policy-enacting legislators. Nearly three dozen speakers will present emerging research on topics ranging from urban soils, food markets, urban/rural economic interdependence and public health. Work groups will outline post-conference initiatives.

Seats will be limited. Registration for the two day conference includes two lunches and an evening reception, along with conference materials. Early bird registration fees are $150 per person through November 7 and $175 after that date. One day registration is $100.

For more information, contact conference coordinator Karen Luetjen at 206-616-1569 or

Detailed Agenda and Conference Outline

Registration, Directions and Lodging

Register for Cultivating Regional Food Security conference

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The food movement’s new frontier: “ultra-processing” if processed foods aren't bad enough. Now we have "ultra-processed" foods. This is just so wrong.

The food movement’s new frontier: “ultra-processing”

Chicken Butchering Class @ Inspiration Plantation - 11.21.2010

Sun. Nov. 21st ~ Chicken Harvest 201 BYOC: Bring Your Own Chicken

Learning the Art of Harvesting at Home!

Many of you, have shown such great interest in learning our methods of Harvesting at home that we are starting a new class designed to allow you to bring a chicken from home to a harvest! If you were one of those people, then read on farm friend!!

IP Farmers Matt & Jen Schwab will walk you through the process of how to humanely kill and butcher a chicken at home. These are good skills to know for the person wishing to be more self-sustainable, know where their food comes from or has a hen that is no longer laying or maybe has a hen turned rooster! No one will be required to kill a chicken, but this is a class, not an opportunity for custom-processing. The class cost includes bringing ONE chicken or we will have ours available for an additional $15.00 (we have a limited number available, please reserve soon should you want an IP chicken)

Participants may bring up to a total of 3 chickens (for an additional charge) which you will be able to take home with you as a whole broiler chicken. Please feel free to contact us if you have more than 3 chickens to harvest, we can recommend some options for you.

Space is limited - E-Mail us ASAP to reserve your spot!

Class Details:

What: Chicken Harvest 201 BYOC ~ Bring Your Own Chicken ~ Learning the Art of Harvesting at Home!

When: Sunday November 21st

Where: Inspiration Plantation - 24311 NW 24th Ave. Ridgefield, WA 98642

Why: Because knowing your farmer and where your food comes from, how it is grown and how it is harvested is of a great interest and/or importance to you! :)

Cost: $25.00 per person (includes one chicken, addt’l chickens are $5.00/ea – limited to 3 chickens)

Oregon Farmer, Seedsman & Plant Breeder Frank Morton Discussing GMOs

Urban Abundance - Planning Abundance Forum

And here's another great opportunity to get involved with our local food system via Urban Abundance:

Planning Abundance Forum
Tue, November 16, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
The Portal 2007 E. 12th St, Vancouver, WA‎ (map)

Lets grow more food in Vancouver! Hear local Historian tell the story of the Hudson Bay Company Food System in Vancouver. Share your story of Kitchen gardens in Vancouver and any tid bits of Vancouver's historical food system you'd like to share. Learn about Vancouver's ordinance that allows new community gardens in public parks and about Land Trust's that will work with private landowners to ensure their land is held in trust as agricultural and the benefits that can offer land owners. We will have a map of the four neighborhoods meeting at Grand Blvd and Mill Plain to help us see urban agricultural opportunities and where our neighbor's gardens are. Help us locate a spot for a new Neighborhood Garden! Thanks to Walmart, funding is available for one more garden site in one of the 7 neighborhoods along 4th Plain Boulevard (Rose Village, Central Park, 4th Plain Village, Harney, Bagley Downs, Ogden, & Meadow Homes). At the Planning Urban Abundance Forum you will have an opportunity to suggest a possible site. Please be prepared to include in your suggestion –

1) why you think this would be a good site
2) property location/address
3) owner name and contact info
4) brief description of the current site condition
5) what part you would like to play in the creation of the new site
6) whether or not you have discussed such possibility with the owner

Contact Warren Neth to RSVP or get involved: 260-771-1296

Vancouver Food Co-op Looking For Board Members

If you're looking for an opportunity to contribute to local food security and the continued development of Vancouver's first food co-op, here's your big chance!

 From VFC President, Marj Caswell:

The VFC is asking for member-owners to step forward to serve on the board.  This is an exciting time for VFC--the online store means VFC has taken a major step forward in support of VFC's vision of access to healthy and sustainably produced foods, especially local. 
Currently, we have four board members responsible for decisions ...and we need more of you involved!  Bylaws allow for nine positions.  We need more representation from VFC member-owners.  We need more voices in our discussions.  This means you.  We need you.  Please think about involvement, and email me at: with your questions and comments--or to let me know your interest.
Requirements?  VFC board members must be VFC member-owners, that's a given.  The other need is a strong desire for bringing healthy, organic food to our community.  The board meets on the first Wednesday every month, from 6:00 to 8:30 PM.  We try to handle business between meetings via email--so, board members need to have access to the Internet, and be willing to check in every couple of days, at least, and to be part of discussions and decisions. 
Marj Casswell, President

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Just had a really nice pow-wow with farmers' market consultant Vance Corum. If you're a farmers market board member, manager or growing for market and you're looking for someone with proven results to help you grow your business, he's the man you want to know. 

Here's a link to his LinkedIn profile:

He's also written a great book on the business of farmers' markets:

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Save Friendly Haven Rise Farm!

Jacqueline and Joseph Freeman are currently in danger of losing their farm and their home due to a poorly managed federal mortgage aid program. Their lender, Wells Fargo (recipient of billions of TARP bailout dollars), has sent them a notice of foreclosure. The Freeman's are pioneers in the sustainable agriculture/homesteading movement here in Clark County. They freely share their knowledge and experience, organize the annual Venersborg Heirloom Apple Tasting and offer numerous educational opportunities via classes at their farm, Friendly Haven Rise. Please contact Senator Patty Murray & Rep Craig Pridemore and let them know that their federal aid program is failing their constituents. And if you are a customer of Wells Fargo, it couldn't hurt to let them know how you feel about their actions as well. 

Let's help the Freeman's save their farm!.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Seasonal Feast - Local Food & Social Mixer - 11.12.2010

Celebrate the completion of Urban Abundance's first year harvesting the Urban Orchard with a 3-course Seasonal Feast created by Jo Foody Catering and prepared with local farm goods. The farmers will be introduced during the feast, making it a true "farm to table" experience. LOCALS will be adding a social mixer to the evening that will help us not only deepen our connection to locally grown food, but also help us to get to know our neighbors.

The evenings program will include an intro by Jo Foody and local farmers on "connecting the dots within our local food system", a brief introduction to the estates from which Paper Tiger sources its coffee from and a digital storytelling session by Emily Jameson about Urban Abundance's first year harvesting the Urban Orchard.

The menu prepared for the evening will have both a Carnivore and Vegetarian options and will be developed between the farmers and Jo Foody based on the freshest available produce that week.

Tickets are available for purchase online:

5:30 and 7:30 seating

Join us for this lovely evening sponsored by 3 great local nonprofits:
Slow Foods SWWA
and Urban Abundance

Niche - A Wine Bar

Welcome to the new Vancouver. Wine bars, art galleries, convenience stores stocked with locally produced/grown food...and Niche is leading the way as one of the vanguards of this movement. 

Great food, a small, well-considered wine selection and numerous pours by the glass. The shop is operated by Leah (Angst Gallery owner & cycling aficionado ) & Lynn (wine maven) and the two ladies are very fine hosts who eagerly share their respective passions and expertise. 

Niche offers an "exclusive" club membership in which participants purchase one of the many niche located in the shop. Each month you'll find wine and treat(s) selected especially for you and your tastes. Your yearly membership will culminate with a wine maker's dinner attended by all niche club members. It sounds like our cup of tea and so my wife and I purchased a niche. Feel free to leave gifts and/or love notes whenever you're in the shop...

You'll be hard pressed to find a better place to entertain company and clients or unwind after a long day. Head on down to Uptown and have a sip or three at Niche!

The Niche web site isn't quite up and running yet. In the meantime, you can follow Niche on Facebook:

Niche @ Facebook





Wed - Thurs:

4:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Fri - Sat:

4:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Opening Day @ Neighbors Markets

The girls and I stopped by Vancouver's latest addition to our rapidly growing alternative, sustainable, organic, etc food movement, Neighbors Markets. Neighbors Markets is not a grocery store. It's more like a "Plaid Pantry" for foodies and folks who want to keep their food dollars local. Despite the curerntly spartan interior and limited initial offerings, the store radiates with promises of great things to come. I even ran into one of my favorite farmers, Summer from Dee Creek Farm there...and if the farmers are hanging out there, you know it's going to be good. And what they are currently stocking is shaping up to be some of the best of what SW Washington and our nearby neighbors have to offer. Pippin apples, Bosch pears and beets from Joe's Place. Garlic, shallots and winter squash from NW Organic Farm. Beer from Laurelhurst Brewing and Hopworks Urban Brewing. Bread from Je T'aime and Russell's Bread. Over the coming weeks you'll find more good stuff on the shelves and I'm sure Lynn, the proprietor, is happy to entertain requests.

I'll be doing an interview with Lynn soon so we can get a little deeper into the business of Neighbors Markets and find out more about Lynn too! In the meantime, stop on into the market, pick up some tasty treats and show your support for the coolest thing to hit Main Street since Niche Restaurant & Wine Bar opened earlier this month.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Neighbors Markets Opens Monday!

Don't forget about the grand opening of Neighbors Markets next week! Stop in, buy some fixins for dinner and say "Hi" to Lynn.

Here's a brief Q&A with Lynn Krogseng (the proprietor) via the good folks at the Vancouver Business Journal.

Meet Your Neighbors - Neighbors Market from Vancouver Business Journal on Vimeo.

Monday, October 18, 2010

King Arthur Flour Fall 2010 Traveling Baking Demo - FREE - Jantzen Beach Red Lion - 10.21.2010

Featuring  tips and tricks for baking festive Perfect Pies & Tarts and Sweet Yeast Bread. No registration is required for these FREE demonstrations. For more information, call 800.827.6836. 

Demo times 
Noon to 2 pm: Perfect Pies & Tarts
7 pm to 9 pm: Sweet Yeast Bread 
Each 2-hour demonstration includes free recipes, and time to “talk baking” with the talented King Arthur staff – plus a chance to win some great baking-related door prizes! 

Thursday, October 21
Red Lion Hotel On The River 
909 N. Hayden Island Dr.
Portland, OR 97217

Jacqueline Freeman of Friendly Haven Rise Farm on Colony Collapse Disorder

Jacqueline Freeman is the author of an upcoming book "Bees, the OTHER Way" and runs Friendly Haven Rise Farm with her family here in Clark County. In this video and her upcoming book release, she points out the different strategies that conventional bee keepers might try to save their hives from colony collapse disorder. 

Permaculture and biodynamics DO exist in Clark County. You can learn much more from the folks at Friendly Haven Rise Farm by attending one of their many classes or an overnight farm stay. The next class offered by the Freemans will be:

Sat. Oct. 30 from 10-4... $50 
Learn to be a friend to bees. Beekeepers, novices and backyard bee afficionados all welcome. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Chuck's Produce & Street Market Recon Mission

So I went to Chuck's on opening day and here are my thoughts.

On the plus side, Chuck's is indeed carrying a larger variety of "locally" grown and produced products than any grocery store I know of in Clark County. I do think the term "local" being used liberally by the folks at Chuck's.

Local = anything grown in Oregon or Washington or anything processed and sold by a company located in either state.

The produce selection is of very good quality and variety and the organic section is a bit better than that found at many Fred Meyer stores, but be aware that probably 80% of their produce is conventionally grown.

The grocery section is filled with a cornucopia of more unusual, exotic, and gourmet type products. Some organic, most not. It reminds me quite a bit of Zupan's.

The bakery/deli/ice cream shop almost seemed like an afterthought. The employees did not seem terribly knowledgeable or well-trained. The deli selection was very mid-range and there was no sign of anything produced in an artisan or sustainable manner. The bakery offered mostly white wheat flour products and the selection was small. I suggest walking across the parking lot to the venerable and much more experienced folks at Larson's for your baked goods. The cheese counter wasn't any better than that offered at most Fred Meyer stores and besides the gratuitous inclusion of the commonly found Beecher's and Rogue Creamery items, the only other "locally" produced cheese I saw was some River's Edge goat cheese. Finally, don't expect to load up on ANY pork products. That's right. No ham, no liverwurst, no salami. We'll talk more about that in a minute.

The prepared deli foods looked unappetizing and were somewhat less than imaginative. There are custom made sandwiches available, just like you find at most grocery stores these days. A salad bar and soup kiosk are well stocked for light lunches. And there is an ice cream shop located in the same area of the store, serving gelato and soft serve ice cream. Pizzas were being baked in an impressively large "wood-fired" oven. However, it was a model that utilizes gas, infrared and wood fire options...and I saw no evidence of wood actually being burned in the oven while I was there.

A small and, in my opinion, tragically understocked beer & wine section is located near the ice cream shop & gift store. Although I was pleased to find brews offered by Hopworks Urban Brewing and Laurelwood Brewing on sale for a very nice price.

My biggest surprise came when I visited the meat counter. I asked one of the butchers if they carried pork belly so I could cure another batch of bacon. I was informed that the store would carry no pork or shellfish products due to the religious beliefs of the store ownership group. So no bacon, no sausage, no baby back ribs, no oysters, no scallops, no clams. This was a deal killer for me, but perhaps there are more people than I imagine in Clark County who don't mind either eliminating those items from their pantry or shopping for them elsewhere. The beef selection was Country Natural Beef (the same suppliers of beef for Burgerville). Fewer cuts available than I'd like (no bone-in rib eye, brisket or 7 bone roasts) and many of the cuts appeared to be low to mid range "Choice" grade. It was also unfortunate to note that although they had a decent selection of lamb, they weren't using any of Southwest Washington's several lamb producers for their supply. They also carry a small amount of pre-packaged organic chicken, a larger selection of "free-range" chicken, and a plethora of "natural" and Tyson brand poultry products.

So there you have it. Chuck's occupies a very interesting niche in our community food system. This store is being billed as a "prototype" store, so that leads me to believe that things may very well change and that the store ownership group might be interested in your feedback. I personally think the present incarnation of Chuck's is little more than a watered down version of Zupan's market. When you visit Chuck's you won't find the store to fulfill your foodie dreams. And if you are a passionate proponent of locally produced food, you won't find a store that bridges that gap between the farmers' market and Whole Foods. But you will find our small town charm when dealing the store staff and you will find numerous items to impress your Winco patronizing friends and neighbors.

I hope that they make a greater effort to help our local farmers with shelf space for their products and that our local food community takes advantage of that door if it opens for them.

And I would like to say "Thank you, Chuck's." for reusing an existing empty retail space rather than building another strip mall and for employing over one hundred members of our community.

Here's a link to a photo album of my visit to Chuck's Produce & Street Market.

P.S. - Don't plan any shopping forays to Chuck's on a Saturday. Saturday closure is also another of Chuck's ownership group's religious based decisions.

Warren Neth & Urban Abundance @ the 2010 Community Food Security Conference

Jump on board and be a participant in one of the coolest and one of the most important social media experiences to ever involve our community. Warren Neth will be bringing us podcasts from the 2010 Community Food Security Conference in New Orleans, LA. He would like your input on the workshops he attends. Check out his first installment:

Link to the Urban Abundance YouTube channel

Urban Abundance on Facebook

Thank you so much for your efforts, Warren!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Food Preservation Workshop with Dee Creek Farm & Gertrude Snickelgrove - 10.15.2010

Here's the scoop from Dee Creek & Gertrude:

Hey Folks!

This may be the last preservation workshop for the season.  That said, we have some good herbal and gluten-free workshops coming up - keep your eyes peeled!

If you plan to join us, please RSVP via email and I will send class details.  Since there is not enough time to pay prior to this class, I'll give the following note:  Please attend if you RSVP.  There is an allotted amount of space and these classes fill fast, so no shows are painful and expensive, and a real bummer for others who may have wanted your spot.

Look forward to learning with you all!  This class is a very popular one, because it's CHALK full of incredible knowledge and information - I love it!

For those of you who have not had the opportunity to attend in the past (or those who want a refresher!), I'd encourage you to join us!  You'll learn about preserving by drying, and with oil, alcohol, salt, vinegar, and whey / lacto-fermentation!  That may not be all - some come prepared to learn new things, smell interesting smells, taste interesting tastes, and get your hands dirty!  ~Summer

You're invited!

Friday, October 15th, 2pm-5pm

Preserving the Harvest
Vancouver (Orchards), WA
Hosted by Gertrude & Dee Creek Farm
$35/person - RSVP Required

"Preserving the Harvest is a fun, hands on class devoted to the understanding of traditional food storage techniques that use the basic gifts of earth, air, water and salt to put up food in a creative and individual way, to best enhance the flavor, nutrition, over-all health and pure excitement of fresh, local whole food and garden harvests. This class is poetry in motion and participants are encouraged to bring their ideas, questions and recipes, every class is unique!" ~ Gertrude

Attendees will have the opportunity to sign up to the instructors Google group, where there is continued shared interaction and bulk food buying opportunities. We also will have some herbs available for sale (and/or sharing - so please bring anything you have extra of) at class.

This instructor is a wealth of information, and could answer nearly any question, I'm certain (tho' won't hold her to it). She's easy to understand, and makes all of these things so simple & normal and encouraging.  She 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.

To register for the class, email me your interest,
And confirm with your admission fees (at deliveries or by mail)
Class space is limited
Bring snacks - for yourself, or to share!

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

Farm Phone: 360-225-9711
Cell Phone: 360-903-6956 (no service at the Farm)