Wednesday, November 28, 2012

WINTER PDX FOOD SWAP: December 16th, 2012

Registration is Now Open for our Winter Food Swap!

SUNDAY,  DECEMBER 16th (4-6 pm) 
Hosted by Rosemarried & Sustainable Food for Thought at Abby's Table in SE Portland

Invite Friends & Spread the Word:

It's that time again: the Winter PDX Food Swap is upon us! We think this is a perfect time of year to hold a swap -- just in time for the holidays and gift-giving! 

For those of you who've attended our swaps previously, please feel free to scroll down to the registration form at the bottom. If you're new to the PDX Food Swap - hello and welcome! See below for details, and please don't hesitate to ask questions. We hope to see you all on December 16th!

What: A Food Swap is part silent auction/part village marketplace/part open house where your homemade creations (breads, preserves, infusions, canned goods, etc.) become your own personal currency for use in swapping with other participants. What better way to diversify your pantry and meet a few new food-minded friends?

When: Sunday, December 16th, 4-6pm

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

What: Bring an assortment of your homemade edible specialties (and even a few non-edibles, such as: lip balm, soaps, etc.) to exchange for other handcrafted delights. We 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.

Make sure to register early! Due to limited space, we are capping the number of swappers at 35 and will maintain a waiting list. The last few swaps have filled up quickly, so make sure to fill out the registration form as soon as possible.

b) On Sunday the 16th, please bring your hand crafted goods and be read to swap at 4:00 pm!

c) It's as 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 4:00pm 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 your goods!

Registration for this event is now closed. Thanks to all who signed up, we'll see you on the 16th!

(If you have any questions, please contact

Thank you! - Lindsay,

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Rescued Plums and Why Putting Up Matters

I had originally intended this post to just be about my unexpected, delightful plum harvest, but a thoughtful comment from a SFFT reader on my previous post made me realize that my surprise plums meant more to me than just something else to fill up my canning pantry.

My plums came to me by a lucky chance. One of my dear friends and SFFT reader Sara Buss had recently discovered a cluster of old plum trees at the edge of her property, after some brush had been cleared away.

I happen to have a penchant for both plums and secret gardens, so you can imagine my glee when she showed me the find.

Some of the plums were too soft and overripe to be saved, but we both came away with quite a harvest. Most of mine ended up going straight into jars, pits and all.

Whole canned plums. Recipe from the book Tart and Sweet.

The rest of them went first into my crockpot ...

...and then were blended with spices, lemon juice and sugar for plum butter.

I shared in my last post how I had foraged a single pear from an old tree growing on an abandoned lot in my neighborhood. One of our readers observed that there is a great deal of food that ends up rotting on the ground, particularly in urban areas. Meanwhile, we have a staggering number of U.S. residents who suffer from hunger. There are a multitude of complicated causes for this very sad contradiction; how we can produce an excess of food and let so many go hungry. I don't claim to be an expert on this issue and others much more qualified and informed than I am have already explored it in depth.

But what I do know, is that food matters.

What we do in our kitchens every day matters.

What we grow in our gardens, on our balconies and on our window sills matters.

The attitude we pass on to our children about their food and where it comes from matters.

And when we share what we're cooking and eating and learning with others, that matters too.

And no, I don't think my canned plums are going to solve our deeply rooted cycles of poverty and hunger.

Canning condiments in pretty jars will not change the world.

But you have to look a bit closer than that. What if it's just the act of harvesting and preserving that makes the difference? That inspires and empowers us and others to feed our friends and families? What if making use of a few dozen pieces of fruit from an overlooked tree led to an entirely different outlook on the issue of access to available food resources?  What if it helped us to see with new eyes the need for a more generous and fair food system?

That might change the world.

I love so much this inspiring post from Alana over at Eating from the Ground Up. I'll quote part of it here, but please go read the whole thing. It's perfect.

"Because those acts of filling, preserving, creating, feeding–I really do think it’s the actions themselves that create change. The jars are pretty and the contents are delicious, and that seems to me to be enough of a reason to give it a shot. But for me, the real capacity for change comes in the events that come after we fill the jar. If I can do this, what else can I do? What else can I make and create?"

Those are powerful words, friends. Let's not underestimate ourselves. If we're making and sharing and creating with eyes and hearts open to the needs among us, I think we really might just accomplish something crazy.

Like that whole world-changing thing.

Thank you again to Sara Buss for sharing her unexpected plum bounty with me! Thank you also to SFFT reader Daughter of the Glade for her thoughtful observations.

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


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