Last week, marketeers were stunned by the appearance of 4 flats of Oregon Strawberries. Does this mean berries will be available again? Maybe, maybe not; depends on what is in the local fields and ready to go but there will be berry starts though from Berry Patch. And nice weather, you just knew if you waited long enough the sun would have to reappear eventually – Along with the sunshine there is a good chance of asparagus, 100% chance of lamb and beef from Sexton Ranches, Dulcet Sauces and Dressings and it is the last week for Laurel Valley Daffodils.
Nationally, April is Poetry Month; locally, we are in the midst of our own Ode to Food. On Sunday, The City of Portland is hosting a panel discussion about climate change and food. This conversation is free and open to the public- features Anna Lappe, author of Diet for a Hot Planet joined by the Director of the Oregon Tilth and representatives from the Oregon Environmental Council, Portland’s Food Policy advisor and Scott Givot, President, International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). Later Sunday evening, Ms. Lappe will be reading from her new book and taking questions at Powell’s City of Books beginning at 7:30pm. Tangentially, Bill McKibben presents his new book Monday night at the Bagdad Theatre.
Portland often stands accused of being a foodie town; next week it becomes the the undisputed Foodie Capital of the world – the aforementioned Scott Givot welcomes 1,000s of IACP members to Portland for their annual convention. Along with Culinarians and discussions, there will be movies: Fresh, the movie; a documentary featuring Joel Salatin (who was profiled in Omnivore’s Dilemma) and (former NBA Hoopster, MacArthur Genius and Urban Farmer) Will Allen – will begin a limited run at the Hollywood Theatre on the 24th. In conjunction with the film, Joel Salatin will be giving 2 lectures on Monday the 19th, ticket info, here.
Wait there’s more…Tuesday night – Old Town Pizza is donating 30% of proceeds to Fresh Exchange, a fund matching program to help all Portland residents afford access to healthy food with the added bonus of keeping local dollars with local growers. You need a special coupon to activate the donation – Download and info here.
With all the talk and thought of food, there are practical events too…April shoppers can bring their purchased herb and vegetable starts to be potted in new, portable containers. Soil and fertilizer is supplied through the generosity of Portland Nursery and Whitney Farms. This week PEEPs, Portland Environmental Engagement Program, will be filling the containers. PEEPs works with local middle school youth to engage them in their community and build environmental awareness.
Or for the great indoorsmen – not mocking, I am one of you – Need ideas how to turn veggies into dinner? Sign up for a cooking class with Cook With What You Have. There are open spaces for classes April 24 and 25.