Like the pairings of Astaire and Rogers; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; and Key and Peele, there's a beautiful affinity that happens when farmers and chefs get together. On Monday, March 3, the Farmer-Chef Connection will be holding an all-day conference to further the conversation between food buyers and growers in the Northwest. This year the day is organized around five-minute, TED-style talks called "FED" talks (get it?), featuring some of the area's best known food movers and shakers:
- Gabe Rosen and Kina Voelz, Biwa: “Health Insurance and Wages in a Small Restaurant”
- Frank Morton, Wild Garden Seed: “Plant Patents on Common Vegetables”
- Samantha Bakall, Oregonian Food & Dining Reporter: “Waste Not, Want Yes: Beyond Farm-to-Table in the City Where the Dream of the ‘90s is Still Alive”
- Alice Busch, Emergency Management Coordinator at Multnomah County Department of Human Services: “Dining Through Disaster”
- Cory Carman, Carman Ranch: “The Steakholders in Sustainable Beef”
- Dayna McErlean, DOC, Yakuza, and Nonna: “Successfully Broke”
- Lyf Gildersleeve, Flying Fish Company: “Traceable Trash Fish”
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Grain and Gristle and Old Salt Marketplace. In a recent article in Forbes magazine on Portland's leading food entrepreneurs, Meyer discusses his strategies for selling the highest quality, sustainably produced meat and produce for an affordable price, plus providing all of his employees with a living wage and health care. His restaurants are places where not just his neighbors, but the farmers and ranchers he works with, can afford to eat in his restaurants. His new project is The Descendents Dinner Series, bringing together pioneering chefs of the Northwest's farm-to-table movement with outstanding area farmers and some lucky young chefs in what are sure to make delicious, as well as stimulating, evenings.
Details: The Descendents Dinner Series. Beginning Mon., Mar. 10, 6:30 pm; $100 includes beverage pairings. Reservations required. Old Salt Marketplace, 5027 NE 42nd Ave. 971-255-0167.
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Friends of Family Farmers (FoFF) was organized to foster family farmers whose approach agriculture respected the land, treated animals humanely and sustained local communities, small farmers had very little support in advancing issues that affected them or a way to network with other farmers who shared their concerns. In addition to promoting legislation that helped ease restrictions on farm-direct sales and marketing, FoFF has been involved in efforts to ban growing canola in the Willamette Valley, started public education evenings called "InFARMation (and Beer)" to bring the public into the discussion about the direction of the state's agriculture and been involved in a myriad of other efforts. They're currently in the middle of a series of 20 Listening Sessions around the state designed to bring together farmers and ranchers to talk about the great parts of, as well as the barriers to, farming successfully in Oregon, where they can brainstorm solutions and help define the future of agricultural policy in Oregon. Upcoming sessions in the metro area are:
- Thurs., Mar. 6, Redland Grange, 18131 S Fischers Mill Road, Oregon City, 7-9pm. Please RSVP here.
- Mon., Mar. 10, Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd Avenue, Portland, 7-9pm. Please RSVP here.
Top photo from New Seasons Market. Bottom photo from Friends of Family Farmers.