Saturday, November 19, 2011

Winter 2011 Portland Hand Crafted Food Swap

Registration is Now Open for our Winter 2011 Portland Hand Crafted Food Swap!
Hosted by Rosemarried & Sustainable Food for Thought at Abby's Table in SE Portland

Invite Friends & Spread the Word:

After putting up, whipping up, drying, canning, soaking, mixing, stacking, sorting, and setting aside, come celebrate by bringing your favorite creations to swap with fellow Portland foodies. A Food Swap is part silent auction/part village marketplace/part fun-loving open house where your homemade creations (breads, preserves, special concoctions, canned goods, etc.) become your own personal currency for use in swapping with other participants. What better way to diversify your pantry and rub shoulders with friend and neighbors?

When: Sunday, December 11, 2011, 2pm-4pm*
(*Please note the early start time for this swap!)

Where: Abby's Table, 609 SE Ankeny Street, Portland, OR 97214

What: Bring an assortment of your homemade edible specialties to exchange for other handcrafted delights. Sustainable Food For Thought will provide swapping cards, name tags, and organization for the event. You will be given the opportunity to offer trades in a silent-auction type format, and you will be free to choose which trades to accept for your products. Bring as much or as little as you like; there are no caps or minimums.

Who: Pacific Northwesterners {aka the Willamette Valley, the Portland Metro Area, and our Neighbors to the North}. Please note, we are unable to provide childcare for this event.

Cost: Swap participants will be given free entry; a donation jar will be available to help cover the cost of supplies. (Or, better yet, donate one of your hand crafted goods!)


a) RSVP below with your name, contact info, & description of items you plan to trade.

Register early! Due to limited space, we are capping the number of swappers at 35 and will maintain a waiting list.

b) On Sunday the 11th, please bring your hand crafted goods and be read to swap!

c) Simple as that! We’re excited as always to meet one another and celebrate the bounty of the seasons and the fruits of our labor. If you have any questions about the swap, please refer to this handy list of FAQs.

d) Please note the early start time for this particular swap. Make sure to arrive at 2:00pm so we can get started on time. In addition, there will be no appetizer potluck for this swap. Instead, bring extras of the goods you plan to swap so that people can taste and sample.

Registration for this event is now closed. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please send an email to Thank you!

Registration is now closed for this event.
All registrants will receive an email confirmation.
Thank you, and we hope to see you on December 11th!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Community Garden Story

“A community is the mental and spiritual condition of knowing that the place is shared, and that the people who share the place define and limit the possibilities of each other's lives. It is the knowledge that people have of each other, their concern for each other, their trust in each other, the freedom with which they come and go among themselves.” ― Wendell Berry
Last year, not too many months after my husband and I partnered with a local non-profit to start a Transitional Housing Project in Montavilla, we attended a Community Food Forum in the neighborhood. The meeting raised awareness about the conditions and needs of under resourced residents in our corner of Portland. 

We were so grateful this past spring when a local church worked up some of its vacant land, built garden plots, fenced in the area, and opened sign ups to apartment dwellers and neighbors without access to land.

Matt Lawer with the Central Bible Church Community Garden graciously gave our Transitional Housing Program access to our own garden plot, and we enjoyed inviting friends and neighbors from the Program to take part in planting, growing, and harvesting their own fresh food.

We're also incredibly grateful to Jeff Michaels of Cascade Organic for donating an enormous variety of heirloom veggie starts.

{Springtime Planting}

{Growing Food & Friendships}

{Edible Lessons}

A few of our apartment girls game out one summer evening to learn how to harvest and cook fresh greens. After a how-to and taste-test hosted in my kitchen, one of the girls game back 20 minutes later to show off her own cooking skills. She'd gone home and re-created the dish all by herself!

Therein lies the beauty of teaching and sharing: young people empowered to get dirt under their nails, try new foods, cook for themselves, and share the table with neighbors. 


{Summer & Autumn Harvests}
 Again, beautiful heirloom tomatoes grown from starts
donated by Jeff Michaels of Cascade Organic 

We are grateful to each member of the community who participated this past year:

  • Central Bible Church for opening the garden.
  • Matt and Tori for extending the invitation to the community. 
  • Jeff Michaels for donating plants.
  • Our residents for planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting.

Our community is stronger for the opportunities to work together
and the joys of growing, harvesting, and feasting on home-grown, healthy foods.

Thank you.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Bringing in the Sheaves

I recently enjoyed the rare privilege of a solitary trip to the Beaverton Farmers’ Market.
I adore autumn, with all its old-fashioned little rituals.

Drawing in the last of the harvest…

Cleaning out the busy summer’s clutter and preparing home and hearth for winter…

Celebrating the end of harvest and joy of plenty with harvest time feasting and merriment…

Putting up and stocking up for the long, cold winter to come…

Slowing down from summer and preparing for the busy holiday season…

As I walked around the market on this seasonably chilly and breezy morning, I was struck by how different the energy around me seemed from the opening markets in the spring or even the high summer markets of only a few weeks past. The weather was different of course and the trees were now arrayed in their Technicolor best.  But the shift that I sensed was less tangible than that. The mood was cheerful, but a bit subdued from the exuberance and abundance of summer. The crowds were thinner. The farmers were friendly and helpful as ever, but perhaps a bit mellower, as though they were road-weary travelers, approaching home from a long, eventful journey.

As I filled up my bag to the brim with apples, pears, delicata squash, broccoli, potatoes, a few carrots and grapes, I reflected on the deep, abiding ties between humans and the changing seasons.

Here in the suburbs, I often feel divorced from nature, as I’m sure many people do. But I find it interesting that even if you’re not the type to spend a Saturday morning shopping an outdoor market and indulging in philosophical musings, everyone seems to feel a bit nostalgic for the need to bring in the harvest – even though the vast majority of us aren’t directly responsible for the reaping and storing of crops any longer.

Even in our virtually non-stop society, where our lives carry on pretty much as usual, with no thought given to quaint concerns such as “season,” autumn brings to mind the little traditions that link our very modern lives to the celebrations of yore –

Hay rides…

Drinking fresh-pressed apple cider…

Choosing pumpkins straight from the farmers’ fields…

Preparing our families’ favorite seasonal foods at home…

Even die hard city dwellers will find themselves pining for a visit to the farm in October. It’s fascinating to me that despite all our efforts at “modernization” and our attempts to grant nature as little influence over our busy lives as possible, we seem to have some sort of primal instinct that calls us back to the land at harvest time.

By and by the harvest and the labor ended,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
-Knowles Shaw, 1874

Rebekah Pike is most happy with her nose in a book and enjoys making the most of her pint-sized, apartment kitchen. After leaving her job in media production to become a full-time mommy, she began exploring the sustainable living movement and reconnected with the back-to-the-earth ideals of her hippie parents. In 2005, her love of Oregon’s rugged outdoors led to a summer job as a camp counselor, where she met her husband, Darian. Most of their time is spent chasing after their two year old daughter, Ashlynn, and doing serious “research” at restaurants, coffee shops and markets around Portland.


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