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!