Monday, March 21, 2011

Happy Trails...

Well folks, I'm shuttin' this party down for the time being. There are two reasons for this.

1) This community has plenty of farmers, community groups and individuals preaching about local agriculture these days. No need for redundancy.

2) Being a full-time parent and looking for employment doesn't allow enough time for me to do justice to this blog and the people, issues and events I attempt to promote and discuss with you.

The blog will remain "live" indefinitely and I may yet change my mind, but for now I suggest you all check out all of the chatter at Facebook, plant a garden, get involved with groups like Urban Abundance or the Gorge Grown Food Network, join the Vancouver Food Co-op and patronize Neighbors Market and the many awesome SW Washington Farmers' Markets. Also, there are still plenty of great links to active blogs and other resources here that are worth checking out, if you haven't already done so.

Please support local agriculture and local businesses. Thank you to everyone who has read, commented and supported Clark County Food & Farm these past few years.

See y'all around town!

Friday, February 11, 2011

What IS Grow Vancouver?

Here's a great video featuring Urban Abundance intern, Maika Horjus, telling us about Grow Vancouver.

Food & Film: A Series On Water - 2.15.2011

Food & Film: A Series on Water

When: Tue, February 15, 6pm - 9pm

Where: Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver-4505 E. 18th St.

Description: Join us for our second movie, "Water Before Anything," featuring a discussion with filmmaker Sarah Sheldrick.  Sponsored by the Vancouver Watersheds Council and Clark County Environmental Services, "Water Before Anything" tells the story of the Umatilla County Critical Groundwater Solutions Taskforce, a volunteer group that has been working
to enhance and protect groundwater in the Umatilla Basin.  Attendance is FREE.

Food and activities for children provided!

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Free FoodHub Membership Extended to May 1st!!

You heard it right, folks. The good people of Ecotrust and FoodHub are extending free FoodHub membership until May 1st. What's FoodHub and why should you care?  If you are involved in ANY aspect of the food chain, especially as a producer, distributor, manufacturer or retailer, FoodHub is an incredible tool that links local/regional buyers and sellers together. Read all about it...

PORTLAND, Ore.  – February 2, 2011 – FoodHub, the online marketplace where Northwest wholesale food buyers and sellers connect and conduct business, turns one today. Recognizing that this dynamic platform’s ability to catalyze and facilitate connections rests on critical mass and active engagement among members,Ecotrust, the creator of FoodHub, is waiving the $100 annual membership now through May 1st with an aim to rapidly build its active user base. 
“During our first year we recruited nearly 800 users and through their experience and feedback, we’ve refined and improved the FoodHub business model and service offerings,” said Deborah Kane, vice president of Ecotrust’s Food and Farms program. “Most importantly, we learned that the annual registration fee was a barrier. By testing a three-month ‘free membership’ we hope to add hundreds, if not thousands, of new farmers, chefs, ranchers, restaurateurs, fishers, foodservice directors, and professional food buyers and sellers of all kinds to our current database.”  
A survey of FoodHub users conducted by Ecotrust in the fall of 2010 showed that 83 percent of the buyers are extremely committed to buying locally.  Eighty-five percent stating that they joined FoodHub to source more products locally and they have become aware of local suppliers they did not know existed before using FoodHub. According to the same survey, sellers who made connections to new buyers estimated the total dollar value generated from new FoodHub connections to as much as $10,000.  
At this time of year, food buyers are actively soliciting interest in forward contracts with growers. Farmers who take advantage of the free FoodHub membership offer and become active users, can find buyers for their crop before their seeds go into the ground. Chefs and grocers lining up suppliers for seasonal menus and specials can build relationships with farmers and food processors. 
Also launching today is a third category of FoodHub membership. The existing Buyer and Seller membership categories will be joined by an Associate category, which will accommodate the vast community of practitioners, government agencies and service providers who are integral to the regional food economy. The new Associate membership category, also free, will welcome all Northwest commodity commissions, trade associations, seed producers, farmers markets, extension offices, nonprofits and service suppliers.    
“As an Associate member, farmers market managers can use FoodHub to recruit vendors for this year’s market season, an agricultural irrigation company can introduce its services to a targeted list of farmers and ranchers, and a mobile bottler can promote its rates and equipment to small Northwest wineries,” said Kane. “This new membership category demonstrates how FoodHub is becoming a go-to resource for everyone in the Northwest food community, from seed to plate. Now is the time to join.” 
More Features and Services Added to FoodHub throughout 2011
Later this year, the free membership drive will be followed with the introduction of new customized search and find features and enhancing the site as a marketing platform. For example, upgraded membership levels will offer added benefits including the ability to enhance a profile page with photos and video; and preferential searches can be used to optimize a seller’s profile based on specific search criteria. There will also be more opportunities for FoodHub members to connect in person, and a program for members interested in advertising on the site.  
About Ecotrust’s Food & Farms Program
FoodHub ( is an Ecotrust project made possible by the generous support and contributions of many. Ecotrust’s mission is to inspire fresh thinking that creates social equity, economic opportunity, and environmental well-being. With regard to our Food & Farms program, we improve public understanding of agriculture and the challenges it faces and increase the market share of locally grown, processed, and manufactured foods. Whether by introducing a farmer to a chef or a food processor to an institutional buyer, Ecotrust is a trusted “benevolent broker” that has been making connections between food buyers and sellers in the Pacific Northwest for more than a decade. Learn more at 

The Vancouver Food Co-op Featured in The Vancouver Voice!

Here's an intro and a link to a great article covering the Vancouver Food Co-op by the passionate word-smiths at our very own Vancouver Voice newspaper.

From the outside, 215 W 4th Street looks like an unassuming enough hole-in-the-wall in downtown Vancouver. The inside doesn’t look like much more: a small, sectioned-off warehouse that, close to the front, is adorned with aluminum shelves stocked mom-and-pop style with organic foods and household products, and a cooler packed with locally-grown produce. Yet as volunteers are compiling orders made online and being instructed in the steps to complete a given transaction, it seems clear that this humble start is about to grow into something more: a food cooperative for the farmers and consumers of Vancouver.

Read the entire article by clicking on the link below.

I'm a member of the Co-op....are you? A lifetime membership is only $180.00. Please consider joining and supporting local food, local agriculture and the option to shop in a grocery store that is influenced by its members, not by corporations.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

FoodHub Membership FREE today only - 2-2-2011

Here's the scoop on FoodHub from the FoodHub website:

FoodHub is a dynamic marketplace and online directory that makes it easy and efficient for professional food buyers and sellers in the greater Northwest to research, connect, and do business. It’s easy to use and a great place to meet and do business over food.

Who is FoodHub For?

FoodHub gathers food producers, professional food buyers, and the associations and suppliers that serve them both, in one dynamic marketplace and interactive directory. If you’re based in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska or California and fit one of the following descriptions, you should be here!
  • Buyer: Bakery, B&B, buying club, caterer, college or university, culinary school, food bank or food assistance program, food service contractor, grocer, healthcare facility, hotel, motel, resort, packer/processor, personal chef, restaurant, school or specialty retailer.
  • Seller: Farmer, rancher, fisherman, dairy, brewer, distillery, winery, food processor/manufacturer, broker or wholesale distributor.
  • Associate: Academic or research institution, certifier, commodity commission, farmers’ market, government agency, logistics or transport provider, NGO, service provider/supplier to the food/ag trade, or trade association.

FoodHub is scale-neutral

Producers with only a case to sell will find willing buyers, while buyers who need semi-truckload quantities can connect with large volume producers as well.

FoodHub is production-practice-neutral

Organic producers can reap marketplace rewards for their certification alongside conventional producers finding value in regional market opportunities.
FoodHub’s strength lies in the number, diversity and engagement of our Members.

How is distribution handled?

FoodHub supports a wide variety of distribution models–from Alaskan fishermen who freeze and ship their product via UPS, ranchers who run their own trucks into town and farmers who ready wholesale orders for pick up at farmers’ markets, to all those who gladly rely on the services provided by mainline distributors. Once a connection is made via FoodHub, buyer and seller negotiate pricing and order details, execute the transaction and coordinate the exchange of goods independently. There are no transaction fees associated with making connections on FoodHub.

What is the geographic range of FoodHub?

FoodHub membership is open to food buyers, sellers and in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Montana, Idaho and California.

How much does FoodHub cost?

Right now membership in FoodHub is absolutely FREE!

Why join FoodHub?

  • Because you want to spend 10 seconds, not 10 hours, finding the perfect case of peaches.
  • Because when your next potential customer searches for your product, you want your name to pop up on the screen.
  • Because there has never been more interest in buying and selling regionally produced food.

FoodHub offers:

A Comprehensive Catalog of Buyers and Sellers

FoodHub engages the entire food community, including retail grocers, schools, institutional buyers, caterers, restaurants, bakeries, food processors, manufacturers, farmers, ranchers, fishermen, vintners, and artisan producers of specialty items, plus the associations, service providers and industry suppliers that serve them all. It’s one-stop shopping of the very best kind.

Robust Profiles

See and be seen. Share your story. A FoodHub online business profile allows potential customers to get to know you and your business intimately. You, in turn, can make the best use of your time by identifying and soliciting precisely the customers you want.

Easy Searches

FoodHub is a robust interactive directory that allows you to find what you need quickly and easily. Start typing the name of the product you’re looking for in the search box in the upper right corner of any FoodHub page. FoodHub will auto-complete the word (so you can’t misspell it!) and give you the option to search a specific variety. Click the Search button and FoodHub returns a list of every FoodHub Member who deals in that item. Sort and filter by proximity, variety, member type, or a host of other attributes to find your perfect match.

Dynamic Marketplace

It’s been called the “Craig’s List” of Northwest food. FoodHub Members can post products they need, or need to move, in the Marketplace section. Need to find a regional supplier for an item on your seasonal menu? Put a “Wanted” post on the FoodHub Marketplace and watch qualified replies roll in. Have a lot of something perishable that needs to move quickly? Put an “Available” post on Marketplace and know that professional food buyers across the Northwest will see it. Check back daily to keep a thumb on the pulse of wholesale food in the Northwest.

Register for FoodHub Member ship by clicking the link below.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Cheese Making Classes at Bader Beer & Wine and Neighbors Market Coupon

Rumor has it if you attend one of Bader Beer & Wine cheese making classes, you'll get a coupon for a raw milk purchase at Neighbors Market  down on Main Street. Bader has sold out their first four Beginning Cheese Making classes, but they have a couple more schedule for Saturday March 5th and Saturday, March 19th.

Sign up for a class, learn how to make cheese and get your first batch of delicious, raw milk to make more cheese with...and support two of Vancouver's finest local businesses while you're having fun doing it.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Start a Community Garden In Your Neighborhood Park!

Here's a blurb from the folks at Vancouver-Clark parks & Recreation:

Food Gardens in Neighborhood Parks

Are you interested in working with your neighborhood association to create a community food garden in your neighborhood park? We may be able to help. Go to our policy for starting a food garden in your neighborhood park. Food gardens in your neighborhood create active spaces in the park, promote conversations with your neighbors, promote healthy lifestyles and build community.

Call 487-7100 or e-mail us  for more information.

Sharing Backyards

Gardening season is coming and it sure feels like our community has built up some momentum in the efforts to encourage and promote edible gardening. Many of our community members don't have space, time, resources or ability to make the most of their gardening ambitions. Sharing Backyards is a great online mapping and connecting tool for folks who'd like to share their gardening space or share someone else's space. There's even an opportunity to start a Sharing Backyards program for Vancouver/Clark County for anyone who might be inclined to take on a high value/low-input web project. This is a definition of community gardening at it's finest.

Check it out!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Home Orchard Society Upcoming Workshops

HOS Fruit Tree Pruning Class
Saturday, February 5th, 9am-11:50am, at the HOS Arboretum located on the Clackamas Community College campus.

HOS experts will demonstrate pruning methods applicable for a variety of fruit trees. Bring your pruning tools and appropriate outdoor wear so you can practice what you learn in this hands-on seminar!

Co-sponsored by the Home Orchard Society and Clackamas Community College. Fee: $10.00
Download Registration Form and registration instructions from this link:

Pre-registration is highly encouraged and is through Clackamas Community College (Loretta Mills 503-594-3292), not the Home Orchard Society.

For directions:

Other Upcoming Events:

Beginning and Intermediate Fruit Tree Grafting Classes Saturday, February 19th, at Clackamas Community College.

Fruit Propagation Fair (Scion Exchange) Saturday, March 19th, 11-5 PM at the Clackamas Co. Fairgrounds

More information available at

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How about a CSA With a Twist?

Any of my CSA farmer friends who had or are having trouble filling subscriptions might want to read about this novel concept my buddy Alan Bishop is using.

"...This year Bishop’s Homegrown is looking to create a viable alternative to the traditional CSA program by creating a farm stand coupon program which will allow customers to still share in helping us get our business going during the part of the season in which seed and implements and other essentials are being purchased while also making the relationship more convenient for the farmer and the shareholders.

In this arrangement, instead of the farmer putting together a box of produce weekly he has selected for you you will instead receive “credit” from our farm which will allow you to visit our farm stand or farm where you can make your selection of produce that we have available including also a selection of seedlings, nursery stock, seeds, compost, poultry, meat, animals and other items from our farm. This gives you the opportunity to decide what you want instead of us deciding what you want. Every $100 you invest will also get you a 10% discount which means that you will actually get 10% more produce for your food dollars."

You can read the entire post by following the link below:

Don't forget to check out Alan's open source vegetable seed catalog:

And last, but not least, his very informative and friendly horticultural/agricultural/cultural bulletin board:

Wild Bill Cole @ Neighbors Market - 1-29-2011

If you want to know about wild fungus and other wild edibles, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better source of wisdom  than Bill Cole. He and his lovely wife Laura run Nature's Wild Harvest/Nature's Choice . You can find their products at area farmers' markets as well as Neighbors Market . You can catch Bill in a rare live performance (talking about the art of wildcrafting) at Neighbors this Saturday @ noon.

Check it out!

Seed Saving Workshop Illustration Contest!

We are looking for black & white illustrations or photographs for use in flyers and other promotional materials for two March seed saving workshops presented by Sarah Kleeger and Andrew Still from The Seed Ambassadors & Adaptive Seeds. Subject matter should include seed sowing, seeds, seed germination, or be of a similar horticultural nature. Submissions are due no later than February 10th. The workshops are scheduled for Saturday, March 19th in White Salmon, WA (hosted by the Gorge Grown Food Network) and on Sunday, March 20th in Vancouver, WA (hosted by Neighbors MarketsSlow Food Southwest WA and Urban Abundance). All submissions will become property of Clark County Food & Farm and will NOT be used for any commercial purpose, other than this workshop series, without permission of the submitter. 

Clark County Food & Farm is offering FIVE FREE packets of seeds from the Adaptive Seeds 2011 Catalog to one lucky winner!

Please submit all entries via e-mail in .png, .jpeg or .tif format. Highest quality images are preferred. Enter as often as you like. The winner will be announced on February 11th.

More info on the workshops coming soon!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop

The City of Vancouver Urban Forestry team and Clark County Environmental Services would like to invite you to participate in a Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop!

What: An opportunity to learn how to prune or improve on existing skills
Where: 78th St. Heritage Farm, 1919 NE 78th Ave, permaculture food forest
When: Thursday, January 27th from 1-4 p.m.
Who: Anybody and everybody is welcome, so long as you don’t mind getting a little dirty and handling pruners
Why: Free of charge, a great chance to learn, and you will be helping establish a healthy food forest!

The Food Forest

What is a Food Forest?
A permaculture forest garden mimics the architecture and beneficial relationships of a natural forest. Food forests are not ‘natural’, but are designed and managed ecosystems that are very rich in biodiversity and productivity.

Food Forests:
• Produce food
• Produce forage for
• insects, pollinators, chickens,and song birds
• Create wildlife habitat
• Nuture our bodies through herbal teas and concoctions
• Create beauty and a sense of well being

Join us for this hands-on workshop. Learn the biology and fundamentals of proper fruit tree pruning then put your new skills into practice on the terraced food forest located at the Heritage Farm. Participants should bring gloves and pruners. Some will be provided but only in limited numbers.

Space is limited, please call 487-8308 or email to reserve your spot

Heritage Farm
4400 NE 78th Ave

Battle Ground Wine Loop Tour This Weekend! 1.22.2011

Are you in the loop? 

Stop and taste wine at all three wineries on Sat. Jan. 22nd between noon and 5 and be entered to win a $50 gift certificate. Tasting is free. No purchase necessary.

24218 NE 142nd Ave.
Battle Ground , WA 98604

28005 NE 172nd Ave.
Battle Ground , WA 98604

16712 NE 219th St.
Battle Ground, WA 98604

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bishop's Homegrown 2011 Face of the Earth Seed Catalog

Well, Alan Bishop (my friend, super farmer, plant breeder and social activist) of Bishop's Homegrown finally managed to get a seed catalog of sorts together for 2011.

I can't recommend his seeds highly enough. Alan is offering seeds from stable and unstable plant lines in his seed rack. While growing unstable lines may not be for everyone, the benefits of growing from seed like Alan's (as well as seed from the Ken Ettlinger Long Island Seed Project, Tom Wagner of Tater-Mater Seeds and others) are many.

Most importantly you are helping independent seedsmen who are busting their tails to ensure the supply of new, diverse and non-patented seeds.

You will have the ability to select individual plants that bear favorable traits for your specific garden, climate, taste or breeding project.
You'll have a garden full of interesting and surprising things that will taste better than anything you can find in a store.
You'll be contributing to the future of our nation's food system security.

Some of the finest tasting and most beautiful fruits and vegetables I have ever grown came from Alan, Tom and Ken.

I know there are many great companies out there, but here's a short list of folks I have personally done business with and highly recommend to get you started.

Seed Planting Dates

Here's a link to a nifty little web page created by the folks at The Old Farmer's Almanac. Just enter your city or zip code into the space and you'll get a chart which shows seed planting dates (including moon favorable dates for all of you who are biodynamically inclined).

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tom Wagner Potato Sampler Available Now!

I've grown a number of Tom's children and l guarantee you will NOT find a better source for the best tasting and most nutrient packed potatoes you've ever had anywhere. Here's the word from the Tater-Mater himself:

This winter and until about April I am offering my Potato Sampler again. It is an 8 lb. box sent postpaid and delivered in two days or so. I usually put about 5 to 20 varieties together. The varieties could be little known varieties from around the world or exclusive varieties out of my potato breeding program. I ask $40 to cover shipping costs and the rest to support my research.

I usually give my address to folks over emails, but here it is: 

Tom Wagner
Tater Mater Seeds
8407 18th Ave. West 
Everett, WA 98204
425 894-1123

I have many of the standards such as Yukon Gold, Norland, Kennebec, Cobblers, but if you want some potatoes to try that you wont find at any of the other places offering seed potatoes just send me a line, email, or phone call. The picture on the right is a shot of my "John Tom Kaighin" potato variety.

Talk Pigs With April Jones of Gus & Co. @ Salt, Fire & Time - 2.9.2011

Feb 9th — Heritage pork shares, and pig farming with April Jones Gus & Co. Farm.April raises Tamworth pigs in Ridgefield, WA. This is a chance to learn about how she raises them, we will talk about grain feeds with her sister, Anna, an expert from Montana as well as the advantages/disadavantages to doing so. She raises and sells the animals as pork shares, so come and learn more about the why and how of participating. We will also talk a bit about how to use that whole pig once you’ve gotten it. $10/person 6:30pm
Gus & Co. Farm is owned by Gus the Dog and operated by April Jones.  On 24 acres near Ridgefield, Washington, Farmer Jones grows a wide variety of vegetables, herbs, and fruits.  In addition, she is particularly passionate about her small herd of heritage, pasture raised hogs.
Anna Jones-Crabtree, P.E., Ph.D. is a Sustainability Coordinator for the Federal Government. She and her husband Doug, have started Vilicus Farms, a 1280 acre grain, legume and oilseed farm in north central Montana to grow food as well as a new crop of farmers.

DIY Soda With Jacqueline Freeman of Friendly Haven Rise & Tressa From Salt, Fire & Time - 1.26.2011

January 26th — Fermented Sodas (w/ Jacqueline Freeman & Tressa!): 
This class we will discuss, taste and demonstrate how to make your own kombucha, water kefir, lacto-fermented sodas and more. We can help troubleshoot your current experiments with fizzy fun drinks or alleviate your fear to try it at home. Take home a kombucha scoby or water kefir grains!
Recipes to include coconut water kefir, basic kombucha, verbena soda, and root beer.

Marketing Workshop for Producers - 2.22.2011

Check out this upcoming class sponsored by the Clark County Farm Bureau and the Vancouver Farmers Market. Click on the image below for a larger view.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Food & Film Series from the Vancouver Watersheds Council

A monthly film series on the 3rd Tuesday at 6pm, we will show films that bring light to water related issues both in our local community, and around the world. Through community partnerships with the Vancouver Watersheds Council, Clark County Environmental Services and the City of Vancouver we will bring the filmmakers and local experts together for a panel discussion. Following each film there will be a forum to discuss the issues and how to take action. FOOD and CHILDCARE will be provided.

Mission: To educate the community through environmental documentaries and panel discussions with local experts and filmmakers.

Films schedule for viewing:

"Deep Green"
"Water Before Anything"
"The Great Salmon Run"
"The End of the Line"
"Blue Gold"

Food and children’s activities will be provided.

When: January 18, February 15, March 15, April 19, May 17, June 21;  6-9 p.m.

Where: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4505 East 18th Street, Vancouver

Contact Info

Potluck & A Movie @ Neighbors Market - 1.18.2011

Tuesday, January 18 · 6:00pm - 9:00pm

LocationDowntown Vancouver - RSVP req'd

Created By
Summer Steenbarger @ Dee Creek Farm

More InfoDee Creek Farm and Neighbors Market are hosting a Potluck & a Movie on January 18th, 6pm!

This will be held downtown at Neighbors Market. RSVP's required as space is limited (no walk ins). We will be showing the film "Ingredients" (

"American food is in a state of crisis. Health, food costs and our environment are all in jeopardy. A movement to put good food back on the table is emerging. What began 30 years ago with chefs demanding better flavor, has inspired consumers to seek relationships with nearby farmers. This is local food."

Lots of NW farmers (and a restaurant) featured!

You will need to bring your own chair! We will have a donation jar for speaker rentals.

RSVP by contacting Summer at Dee Creek Farm:

Summer Steenbarger