Saturday, October 30, 2010

Food Group: October Recap ~ Tips for Choosing a Raw Milk Source

Thank you to Charlotte Smith of Champoeg Creamery for being our wonderful guest at the October Food Group! In addition to sampling pure, delicious, raw cow's milk and farm fresh feta cheese, we spent the evening learning from Charlotte about the importance of sourcing high quality, nourishing foods from farmers who follow high standards of farming practices and offer transparent relationships with their customers.

In summary of the evening's conversation, all raw milk is not created equal. Charlotte shared helpful criteria for choosing a local raw milk source, and the following types of questions and considerations will help families make the most nutritious choices when deciding on a farm to support:

Sanitation Practices
Milking can be a messy chore! Check out the anatomy of a cow and see for yourself the proximity between the udder and other critical-bodily-function-performing-bits-of-anatomy.

Does the farmer use a milking machine? Is it cleaned regularly with a bleach and vinegar solution? Are milk jars properly sanitized? Is milk chilled immediately to the 40° Fahrenheit minimum? How? Ice-water? Stainless steel chiller?

The Health of the Cow
A cow's health and the health of its pasture are interrelated (think about the way that human health and the human diet are interrelated)...

Does the cow look healthy? Does she have vibrant, curious eyes? What breed is she? Older rather than newer breeds (Jersey, Guernsey, Brown Swiss, Milking Shorthorn vs. Holstein, etc.) will produce milk with the A2 beta casein protein, whereas newer, over-bred cows are producing mutant A1 beta casein which has been linked to increased risk of childhood diabetes, heart disease, and negative affects related to schizophrenia and autism. (I encourage you to begin your own research if this interests you; see and also the interesting Lay Summary of Beta Casein A1 and A2 in Milk and Human Health by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority.)

The Health of the Pasture/Soil/Feed
Semantics, semantics. Marketing buzzwords in combination with eager, under-informed consumers could spell potential disaster. Grass fed does not equal lawn-clipping appetizers served before a large meal of corn and soy.

Are the cows on pasture? Healthy cows in Oregon should be on rotated pasture for 7-9 months out of the year on grass that stands 4-7" tall. Are the cows given minerals and good quality alfalfa hay? If they are fed supplemental grain, it should be void of corn and soy (which upset the bacterial ecology of the cow's rumen and makes them susceptible to carrying food borne illness bacteria - see why real cows eat grass), and it should not exceed 1% of the animal's body weight (8-10lbs.).

Taking all of these factors into consideration, it's easy to understand why high quality raw milk farmers are so passionate and invested in the health of their animals, pasture, and the quality of the milk they provide their customers. So much effort and work is involved; if you're in search of a source and you find suspiciously cheap milk, beware the possible cut corners in any of these areas that may compromise the quality of the milk and invite possible health problems.
This past year, a group of us took the opportunity to visit Charlotte on her farm in St. Paul, Oregon, and to see first hand her milking parlor setup, her beautiful cows, and her rotational grazing practices.

See Resources Below for Heather's Gorgeous photos of the day...

Lastly, it wouldn't be a fair recap of Food Group without revealing the truth about ulterior motives for getting together once a month. Yes, we learn, and yes, we share resources...but we also indulge in a Potluck of Delightful Edibles!

October's menu included Yogurt & Honey Brownies, Groundcherry Tarts, Homemade Artisan Bread & Dipping Oil, Apples, and Fresh Feta Cheese...

Fresh, raw milk at home in my fridge...complete with beautiful cream lines...

We've been so grateful for the opportunity to bring home wholesome, delicious milk ready for making ice cream, sour cream, cheese, yogurt...or simply pouring a tall glass that rivals any of Portland's best lattes!

If you've not had an opportunity to have your first taste of raw milk, please, invite yourself over to my place for a drink, and then give Charlotte a jingle and arrange to head out to the farm and meet the cows yourself!

Note: I'm a believer in raw milk; I love the difference in taste, the versatility of use, the natural shelf life, and the reasonable arguments in favor of its superior health benefits. As Charlotte shared, it is critical to identify a high quality source; modern dairy practices on large scale farm necessitate pasteurization and other conventional milk handling methods, and raw milk from an unsanitary operation would certainly be a health risk.

I encourage you to spend time looking into the options for you and your own family. In the process, I hope you meet your very own Charlotte ~ I believe the world is full of wonderful family farmers like her who are passionately dedicated to offering themselves, their knowledge, and their amazingly hard work to care for the land and animals, and to nourish us, the members of their communities.


~ Heather Espana's charming photos from our farm day
~ Eating Stumptown's visit to Champoeg Creamery
~ Weston A. Price Foundation - National & Portland Chapter
~ Real Milk dot com
~ The Oregon Alliance for Raw Milk (OR-ARM)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

{Weekend Breakfast} Autumn Waffles with Kale and Egg Cups

Few mornings prove more fulfilling than ones spent with friends over fine food. New day. Time enjoyed at a pace of luxury. And appetites easily enchanted; fine food for breakfast is quite another thing altogether than fine food for dinner. {And may I say, much less intimidating and time consuming!}

Case in point: Kale & Egg Cups
I try to keep myself honest in the kitchen and, as often as possible, whip things up from what I already have on hand instead of taking another opportunity to buy more at the store. We had friends coming for breakfast, so I first took stock and then headed for the keyboard.

~ I had eggs galore thanks to Full of Life Farm. (Conveniently, their pastured eggs are available for purchase when I pick up milk at Champoeg Creamery)

~ I had milk and cream. (Conveniently also located at Champoeg Creamery. Of course.) And I had plenty of the basics. I'd already settled on waffles (see below), and we had all the toppings we could need (and then some!).

~ I had veggies coming out my ears...kale, leeks, onions, potatoes, celery...plenty to assure me at minimum a semi-impressive culinary amalgamation.

Roll on, Google search. Recipes. Blogs. Sucker me in with a few glamorous photos. I'm sold.

The inspiration for this dish came from Scarpetta Dolcetto's take on a Julia Child recipe. (Oh, it's a long, dark tunnel full of twists and turns whenever you follow my cooking notions back to their respective points of origin.)

I seem to have kale almost literally coming out my ears this year, so that dutifully stood in for the spinach, and it was easy enough to substitute a tad less onion in place of the 1/4 cup of shallots.

She mentioned in the recipe setting the ramekins in a cake pan or baking sheet. What she didn't mention, and I suspect, is that I should've filled the pan with water to help keep moisture in the oven while they were cooking. Oh well. Next time.A final tidbit ~ I proudly served these with a side of homemade ketchup. And they turned out splendid.

A Smattering of Notes about our Autumn Waffles:

A) The recipe I followed said "Serves 4 to 6" ~ I was cooking for four, but I might as well have doubled the amounts because as soon as I started spooning batter onto the hot waffle maker, I realized I'd soon come up short.

B) Coming up short sent me into a tizzy, and to recover from the tailspin of hostess panic, I quickly reached into the pantry to pull out my as-yet-unopened Organic Buckwheat Pancake mix that I'd ordered this fall from Azure. Two things:
B.1) Maybe if I'd been more ready for a new experience, I'd think differently, but I was sad to eventually take a bite of said buckwheat waffle and have the sensation of eating a cracker.
B.2) As it turned out, with the diverse toppings to accompany the four regular waffles, we didn't truly need the extra Buckwheat-to-the-rescue backups after all.

Okay three things:
B.3) Despite the cracker episode, I'm glad to have ventured again into new cooking territory, and I'll experiment again...sans guests. (Or maybe not. So watch out if you're the next ones invited for a meal!)

C) Returning to the original waffles ~ the recipe came from the lovely Deb at Smitten Kitchen: Rich Buttermilk Waffles. I had extra cultured buttermilk (quote unquote?) from my recent sour cream making foray (perhaps a post will surface about that adventure in upcoming weeks), and this recipe was perfect. My friend, Sara, made similar waffles for me at a recent breakfast {+ tea & company}, and I'm now fully won over by the beating of the egg whites.

D) Usually, I'm crazily snapping pictures of food in my kitchen, and my sweet husband puts up with it quite well. I thought I would draw the line, however, at bringing my camera to the breakfast table when we had company...and so, I have no photos to show of the waffle feast. I'll attempt a verbal substitute, and you'll simply need to fill in beautiful images from your imagination:

Autumn Waffles
(recipe above + toppings of choice)
~ Sliced pears (thank you, Amber, who gifted us with fall bounty from Mountain View Orchards in Hood River, OR)
~ Sliced bananas (nothing special, but since I don't buy them very often, a treat)
~ Honey (thanks to Andrea's lovely source for raw gold)
~ Lacto fermented Marionberry syrup (Berries thanks to Gardenripe CSA; Recipe page 111, Nourishing Traditions)
~ Maple Syrup
~ Cardamom apple butter
~ Fresh apples, simmered with cinnamon (thank you, Ted!)
De. li. cious.

Our friends brought Sterling Coffee (Ted was in heaven). Orange leaves glowed outside the window. Oregon rain fell. The warm candle burned through breakfast, and we ate our fill. And then...we attempted learning Pinochle. (I have mad bidding skills when it comes to eBay. Not so much card games, apparently. But I digress...)

The gist?
Hearty breakfasts ~ happy hearts.
And if I do say so, the whole thing gave any Portland $16 breakfast plate a fare and square run for the money...


Monday, October 18, 2010

Craigslist Apples and Cardamom Apple Butter

Applesauce. Apple Butter. Better yet, Cardamom Apple Butter*
The last few must-dos on my preservation list...

Thanks to craigslist, I found a quirky local couple in Vancouver selling their you-pick, no-spray apples for $.40/lb. I drove up Saturday morning with my friend, Miranda, and came back with a brimming laundry basket of fruit in exchange for a handful of dollars.

Plucking Gorgeous Pinks and Reds and Greens
Blue Sky Blazing (In October!? In the Pacific Northwest?)

Gravensteins + Unmarked Varieties...

He was a crotchety old man with stories galore, and she was a helpful, no-nonsense woman who had already put up 70 quarts of her own apple-pear and applesauce. In addition to raising one daughter and five sons.
The Farm Geese. Too funny.

My husband, Ted, stepped in as master chopper and chef, wielding his knife and stirring his spoon through several batches of applesauce... Relegated to Sous-Chef de Cuisine, I was glad to take over at the tail end, confiscating the last bit of sauce for my own batch of apple butter.

Several Cups of Chopped Apples
Enough Water (or better yet, apple cider!) to Cook Apples Until Soft
Sweetener to Taste (honey and cinnamon for us)
~Cook apples until soft, Run through the food mill, Sweeten to taste, Pack into sterilized jars, Process 20 minutes in boiling water bath canner.

Cardamom Apple Butter*
Milled Apple Mash (stolen from applesauce above)
Seeds of Four Cardamom Pods, Ground
Sweetener to taste
~Combine apple mash, cardamom, sweetener; Simmer until thick, stirring as necessary; Pack into sterilized jars, Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath canner.
*See The Real Recipe in
Canning and Preserving by Ashley English

You never know what you might discover when you respond to those promising craigslist ads... You may just meet a quirky farmer with delicious produce.

Be inspired. Go forth and find delicious food!
After a while, come on over for tea & biscuits & a sweet spread of apple-y goodness...


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Food Preservation at the Close of Harvest

Growing up, I spent summers on our family farm. Rising early and staying on the job until past sunset, day after day, we worked together to bring in the crop (in our case, grass seed), and with each passing year, I understood more the cycle of steadfast diligence and reward.

I watched my dad's efforts across all seasons, patiently waiting on the rain, monitoring pests and disease, investing in the health of his crop. And I experienced the satisfaction of collectively leaving the last field, on the last day of harvest, and celebrating with the crew and our families at pizza.

Harvest took precedent over nearly everything else during those summer months. It was a seven day a week affair, with a late start on Sundays. At the time, it was an incredible treat to leave early on a few occasions in Jr. High to go to summer camp. (Thank you, Dad!)

I'm reminded of those days when I find myself in the kitchen at midnight, attempting to make the most of the summer's bounty. I tell myself that it's only for a season...and that we'll celebrate the fruits of our labor when we sit to enjoy homemade pizza sauce on a cold winter night.

And the thing of it is, I truly love the labor. My back might ache from standing too nails may be stained tomato kitchen may look like a disaster area...but at the end of it all, I love the satisfaction of pulling out a jar of homemade jam, or canned peaches, or frozen pasta sauce.

Too, I love the reminder of time... The milestones. The recipes that resurface at the turns of the seasons. There is a richness that reminds me to calm from my otherwise frenzied pace. There is a poetry to "...seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night..." - Genesis 8:22

Bethany's Homemade Pasta Sauce

Heirloom tomatoes (Claudia's Country Kitchen & Gardenripe CSA)
Basil (Gardenripe CSA)
Peppers (A sweet farmer ~ Lents International Farmer's Market)
Thyme (Montavilla Farmer's Market)
Garlic (Community Table ~ Lent's International Farmer's Market)
Red Onion (Montavilla Farmer's Market)
Olive Oil (Trader Joes ~ I don't have an olive grove...yet!)

Roasted until the wee through my trusty food mill...packed up and frozen...ready to make a bright and cheery appearance at dinner~

"Our deep respect for the land and its harvest is the legacy of generations of farmers who put food on our tables, preserved our landscape, and inspired us with a powerful work ethic..."
~ James H. Douglas

For the food on our table, I thank farmer Bill, farmer Claudia, the farmers from the various stands at the market, the interns and crews and employees who labor in the fields to watch and grow and weed and water... And for the lessons in diligence, loyalty, and hard work, I thank my dad, the best farmer I've been blessed to know.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Potato Leek Soup with Sausage

I love soup season! Soups are hearty, economical, and a great way to use up whatever's in your fridge and pantry. Last week I wanted to make a potato leek soup and utilize some sausage at the same time...the end result...a new family favorite!


  • 2 medium leeks, about 1 pound
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 lb sausage (I used some natural chicken sausage)
  • 1/2 cup cooking sherry (or dry white wine)
  • 4 - 5 cups chicken stock
  • 5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Cut the Dark green parts off the leek, cut in half lengthwise and rinse thoroughly. (Leeks hide sand in their many leaves). Slice thinly and set aside.

Saute sausage until it is no longer pink. Add the sliced leeks and cook until tender. Add the sherry and bring to a boil. Add the spices, potatoes, chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and the soup is savory.

Lightly puree the soup in a food processor or with an immersion blender until the soup is slightly creamy but still chunky. Stir in the cream. Serve immediately, with some fresh sprigs of parsley and enjoy!

Eat Well!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Portland Apple Tasting and the Loss of Biodiversity

Paul and I just returned from the 23rd annual Portland Nursery Apple Festival. If you've never been, you definitely need to make it a yearly tradition! Children's activities, yummy samples, apple tasting of over 60 varieties, and of course, delicious apple strudel were among the attractions.

We live in a culture of ever decreasing crop diversity where it is normal to only see four apple varieties in the grocery store, so it was refreshing to admire the 60 flavor packed varieties at the festival. As we continued to walk around the festival, I started thinking of all the ways we are losing diversity in our crops because of the industrialization of farming, subsidies, and the increase of huge monocultures. At home I started researching about biodiversity and found some shocking facts.

"Apples in America are a $1.7 billion industry today. Large markets favor industrialized agriculture practiced on a vast scale; the bottom line is consistency and efficiency. This factor combined with changes in American family life, has meant that within a century, the number of apple varieties available has shrunk to a tiny fraction of the 700 plus grown in the this country when S. A. Beach wrote The Apples of New York in 1905." (Cornell)

"The genetic diversity of apples has continually eroded from a high of 7000 worldwide commercial varieties described between 1804 and 1904 to the present, when most of the world's commercial production is based on two varieties, Red and Golden Delicious and their offspring." (Emphasis mine) (Cornell)

Suddenly the 60 varieties of apples at the Portland Nursery don't seem so impressive.

The saddening facts reach far beyond just apples, check out these stats by (Oregon State University)
  • In 1903, US seed catalogs listed 408 pea varieties; only 25 can be found now (a 95% decrease) and by 1970, just two pea varieties comprised 96% of the US commercial crop.
  • Seventy one percent of US corn acreage in 1991 was planted to just six varieties.
  • Nine varieties of wheat occupy half of all the wheat land in the US.
  • Genetic diversity of livestock has been similarly diminished over recent decades.
Speaking of diminishing livestock diversity, as Thanksgiving approaches, did you know that:
  • 99% of all turkeys raised in the U.S. are Broad-Breasted Whites, a single turkey breed (Sustainable Table)
I guess I'm feeling bitter sweet after attending the apple festival. I'm frustrated by what we have already lost, but hopeful of all the varieties left to preserve.

So what can you and I do to help preserve the diversity in our food crops? Here's a couple of my ideas:
  • Add more heirloom fruit, vegetables, meat, and grains into your family's diet
  • Start a garden with heirloom seeds and learn how to save seeds
  • Ask your local grocer to stock more heirloom fruits and veggies (You'd be surprised how much grocers will accommodate you if the interest is there)
  • Don't use pesticides on your yard and garden, and avoid supporting companies who use them
Here are some more suggestions from Sustainable Table:
"There are still small farms throughout the US and Canada that specialize in producing heirloom and heritage foods. Visit the Eat Well Guide to find a farm, market or restaurant near you that sells meat, eggs and dairy products from heritage animals.
Try cooking with heirloom crop varieties to add exciting new elements to your meals; heirloom fruits and vegetables have unique colors, textures, and tastes that can't be found in factory-farmed industrial produce. They can often be found at farmers markets around the country."

Join me in doing our part to put a STOP to decreasing crop diversity!

This post only touches the surface of this issue; I encourage you to check out the following sites:
Eat Well!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Emily's Autumn Empanadas

Last week Bethany called asking if I would take some of their overly abundant CSA produce. I gladly accepted, but she failed to tell me she was going to leave a small farm on my doorstep. As you can see from the picture above, we had an abundance of tasty freshness to help spur some creative cooking.

I've had an acorn squash sitting in my kitchen waiting to be used and I wanted to try my hand at Empanadas so I thought this was the perfect opportunity! Empanada literally means "wrapped in bread" and is a common stuffed pastry in Spanish and Latin American cuisine.
These were flavorful and fun to make. I loved the process of making mini stuffed pastries so much that I started brainstorming of other yummy stuffings. A couple days later I made the dough and stuffed it with pizza toppings for mini calazones...(or should we say a healthier hot pocket!). Make extras and freeze them for an easy dinner at a later date.

Emily's Autumn Empanadas
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
5 1/2 Tbsp water

1 Medium size acorn squash
1 Medium onion, diced
1 Green pepper, diced
3 Ears of corn, off the cob
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
2 Tbsp raisins
salt and pepper to taste

Mix flour and salt. Cut in butter. Stir in water until you have a smooth dough. Set aside.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise (Acorn squash have very hard shells, so be careful). Scoop out seeds, sprinkle with salt, and set in a baking dish cut side up. Fill the baking dish up a 1/4 inch with water and bake at 350 for 30 - 35 minutes or until squash is tender but not mushy.

Meanwhile saute onion, green pepper, corn, and spices until tender. Stir in raisins. Peel cooled squash and cut in to small chunks. Stir the squash into your skillet.

To Assemble:
Roll dough until it is between an 1/8 and 1/4 in thick. Use the rim of a glass to cut out rounds. Take the individual rounds and roll out until they are about 5 inches in diameter. Spread about 2 Tbsp. in each of the rounds. Fold in half and pinch edges firmly to seal. (If you want to freeze these, do so now). Place on and ungreased baking sheet and brush with beaten egg. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Hope you all enjoy these savory empanadas, we sure did!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

First Azure Standard Drop!

Food Group's first Azure Standard drop was successful! Six food group members placed orders and Bethany and Allison helped unload the semi truck on delivery day.

We are hoping to place orders once a month depending on interest since drop minimums must add up to $550. If you are interested in joining our drop site, please email me for details and requirements.

It was pretty fun having a semi truck come down our little street with a delivery just for us!

Here's to having great food delivered to your doorstep!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Local Food: Equity in Actions & Truth

Last weekend, Ted and I attended a Community Food Forum. A small online notice caught my eye a while back. I posted it to the Sustainable Food for Thought Facebook page (mostly as a more-reliable-than-a-bookmark reminder to myself) and was grateful to be able to participate in the Saturday morning event.

Individuals from local non-profits and churches, the Montavilla, Lents, Cully, and Parkrose Farmers Markets, the Multnomah County Chair's office, and the community at large filed in to the meeting held at a neighborhood church just a handful of blocks from our home. The discussion revolved around equity of access to healthy food for for east Portlanders, in particular, our disenfranchised and low income neighbors in Montavilla.

As Ted and I have been seeking to engage and build camaraderie with the under resourced members of our community, the event's conversations were timely.

Kyle Curtis, the Associate Manager of the Montavilla Farmer's Market, opened the morning asking, "How can we make healthy food more accessible and affordable in east Portland?"

We were asked to consider:

What kind of food system do we want, and how can we encourage it through policies, programs, and partnerships?

How do we ensure equity in the new food systems we create?

Can small farmers make a decent wage selling affordably priced food to low-income customers without subsidies?
And he shared with us a number of telling maps from the Portland Plan from the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, showing recent inventories of neighborhood access to grocery stores, community gardens, Oregon Food Bank food assistance programs, fast food establishments, and changes in food stamp usage over the past few years.

Karol Collymore of county chair Jeff Cogen's office shared about the health disparities related to the way we currently offer the "least of what we have" (i.e., packaged, processed, nutrient-void foods from corner markets, gas stations, and the like) to many or our resource-isolated areas. She raised questions of of how to incentivise healthy business development in neighborhoods where current economic viability is questionable. She spoke of New Seasons' practice of locating grocery stores in areas of high college education rates and the trouble of under resourced areas remaining so in the face of improvements in more affluent areas of town. She shared about the Multnomah Food Initiative and gave avenues to educate ourselves and become a part of the dialog.

Did you know that if you spot a vacant plot of land within the urban areas, there are mechanisms in place to work with the county to do a tax and title search and then transform that space into a spot for growing healthy food? Check out Groundwork Portland and Janus Youth Programs' urban agriculture projects.
Kyle Curtis relayed to us that the recent Montavilla Food Co-op survey taken over this past summer had a very small percentage of respondents from non-white, low-income zip codes, despite the high rates of those populations within geographic proximity to the Montavilla Farmers Market, local food buying clubs, and other neighborhood food initiatives. Clearly, there is much to be improved in the way our food system engages and supports families of diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds...

Did you know that there is a 2-3 year waiting list for the Vestal Elementary School community garden here at NE 82nd and Couch? It's discouraging to see the sky-high numbers of fast food and chain restaurants up and down 82nd and the surrounding thoroughfares...and to see the high prices at the farmers markets that can be luxuriously justified to me, but sincerely unapproachable by my dear neighbors here at Stepping Stone Apartments.

Many members of the local community shared their experiences over the past few years here in the Montavilla area. Progress is being made. Positive changes are happening. Areas for work and improvement are being identified and addressed.

Encouraging, yes.

But also a strong reminder that care and concern require hands and feet.
At the conclusion of the event, we were given additional ways to be involved. I'm happy to share them here as well, in hopes that word will continue to go out...

Volunteer at local markets - Montavilla, Cully, Lents, Parkrose (or one in your own back yard!)

Attend the various upcoming Multnomah Food Initiative Workshops (10/19 Healthy Eating, 10/28 Local Food, 11/1 Social Equity, 11/3 Economic Vitality)

Consider applying for a seat on the Portland-Multnomah Food Policy Council

Participate in local food buying clubs: Lents Grocery Co-op, Lents Food Buying Club, Lents Grocery Buying Club, Montavilla Buying Club, Portland Eastside Buying Club (or, added plug, our Sustainable Food For Thought group!)

Connect with Friends of Family Farmers

And I would add a few more ideas to the list...

~Share a meal, in your home, with your neighbors. Learn about their stories and their needs and desires. Learn about the foods that they enjoy most! Seek out opportunities to share resources that are meaningful and practical to them in their particular circumstances.
~Check with your local CSA or farm stand and ask if they have sponsorship opportunities for reduced cost subscriptions to be made available to low income participants.
~Grow a garden and share your bounty with people up and down your street.
~Eat with gratefulness, and share your best.

As Ted and I have chosen to change our habits of purchasing and consuming, and as we've conscientiously used our dollars to vote for changes in the food system, it still comes as a deeply troubling reality that so very many of our fellow Portlanders are without a voice, without the luxury of dollars to vote, and without the access to foods that promote health and nourishment.

We've not come to answers yet. Only to continued questions and invitations to conversation. I am challenged to put my blessings to revel in the goodness and bounty of the seasons and to participate in restoring the Creator's hope and vitality to the neighborhood in which we live.

Leviticus 23:22 When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.

Deuteronomy 14:28-29
At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year's produce and store it in your towns, so that the...the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

Proverbs 21:13 If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.

Luke 14:13-14 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.

1 John 3:17-18
If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

Join me as we learn to carry the truth and live out the calling?



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