The RAFT (Renewing America’s Food Traditions) Alliance is a collaboration of food, farming and environmental advocates (including Slow Food USA). It was founded in 2004 to identify, restore and celebrate America’s biologically and culturally diverse food traditions through conservation, education, market recovery and regional networking. RAFT developed the first-ever comprehensive list of food species and varieties unique to each eco-region of North America and found that well over 1,000 food varieties are threatened, endangered or functionally extinct from the marketplace.
The local RAFT Garden is located at the Whiteaker Community Garden the end of N. Polk St. The plot is on the east side and marked with a RAFT Garden sign.
The RAFT garden includes Hooker’s corn, Oregon Giant Pole bean, Oregon Delicious melon, Lower Salmon River squash, Newburg onion, Haida, Tlingit and Ozette potatoes and Marshall Strawberry. Two recent additions to Pacific and Northwest Region of the Ark of Taste are the Manalauloa Kalo (a taro) and Spanish Roja Garlic. Both will soon be listed on both the Slow Food USA and the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity websites.
The focus of the garden has been the Marshall Strawberry the last two years. Runners have been distributed to more than a dozen gardens throughout Lane County.
Slow Food member, Nicki Maxwell, maintains the RAFT garden. She is also a member of the Pacific and Northwest Regional Committee of Ark of Taste, Slow Food USA. The Ark of Taste is a tool for farmers, ranchers, fishers, chefs, grocers, educators and consumers to seek out and celebrate our country’s diverse biological, cultural and culinary heritage. Learn more about its function at http://www.slowfoodusa.org/ark-of-taste-in-the-usa.
Nicki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get in touch with her if you know of a food product that is outstanding in terms of taste; at risk biologically; able to be sustainably produced; culturally or historically linked to this region; currently produced in limited quantities. These are the criteria for nominating and selecting items to the Ark of Taste. For a list of Pacific Northwest foods currently on the list, click here.
Are you committed to food for all that is “good, clean, and fair?” Other organizations advocate for good OR clean OR fair food policies. Only Slow Food emphasizes the interconnectedness of all three. Please consider joining with other like-minded people all over the nation and the world, by becoming a MEMBER of Slow Food USA.
Click here to join now
Our local Slow Food chapter sponsors events throughout the year that connect us with our food traditions, promote learning about local food production, and gather people to enjoy good food together.
As a public service, we are listing some upcoming events we thought that you might be interested in. Listing an event is not an indication that we are sponsoring or endorsing the event.
Chef’s Night Out
Benefit for FOOD for Lane County
Tuesday, April 7th, 6:30-9pm
Hult Center Lobby
That’s My Farmer!
Showcase of farms offering CSA programs
Tuesday, April 13th, 6-8pm
First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive Street
Sprout Regional Food Hub
Fridays, 3pm-7pm, year round
418 A Street, downtown Springfield
Accepts Oregon Trail (SNAP), WIC and Senior Coupon
The Corner Market
Wednesdays, noon to 6pm, year round
295 River Road, near Chambers Street bridge
Hideaway Bakery Market
Saturdays, 9am-2pm, year round
3377 East Amazon, behind Mazzi’s Restaurant
Lane County Farmers’ Market
Saturday Market, April 5-November 15, 8th & Oak, 9am-3pm
Tuesday Market, May 6-October 28, 8th and Oak, 10am-3pm
Thursday Market, June 5 – September 25
12pm-4pm, 5th St. Public Market
Cottage Grove Growers Market
Saturdays, 9am-6pm, year round
12th & Main Street
Accepts Debit & Credit cards, Oregon Trail (SNAP) WIC and Senior Coupons
Willamette Farm And Food Coalition
Support this great organization.
Weston A. Price Foundation Potluck
What: A monthly potluck in Eugene (and other locales) to foster discussion and understanding of traditional healing foods used by long-lived and healthy societies. Based on researched gathered by Weston A Price, DDS.
Who: Weston A. Price Foundation, Eugene Chapter
When: Held second Monday of each month, 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Where: Rotates among members’ homes. Email Lisa at email@example.com for current location and to get newsletters of activities.
Cost: Bring a Weston A. Price Traditional-Style dish to share.
More Information: Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org
What: Ongoing edible planting events providing an opportunity to volunteer in creating new gardens, developing edible forests, caring for existing gardens, making compost and meeting like-minded gardening folks.
Who: Victory Garden Team
When: call 541-653-0149
Where: 505 River Road, Eugene
More information: email@example.com or call Charlotte 541.653.0149
What: Slow Money is a movement to organize investors and donors to steer new sources of capital to small food enterprises, organic farms, and local food systems.
Who: Slow Money South Willamette Valley
When: Always meets on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Where: Location and more details To Be Announced
More information: Financing our Foodsheds by Carole Peppe Hewett, who started Slow Money North Carolina.
On Monday, Feb. 3rd Judy Stickney, co-leader of Slow Food Eugene, had the pleasure of participating in the 8th annual Local Food Connection Conference hosted at Lane Community College: Center for meeting and Learning. The event was organized by Cascade Pacific Resource, Conservation and Development, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting local, grassroots projects in the Willamette Valley through social, educational, economic and environmental improvements.
The purpose of this conference was to bring together local food producers, buyers and institutions through presentations and workshops to offer support and networking opportunities. This year’s event was focused on food distribution and received over 250 attendees.
The keynote address was presented by Danielle and Alex Amarotico, owners of Standing Stone Brewery Company in Ashland, OR. The Amarotico’s spoke of their commitment to sustainable business practices from recycling to raising their own beef. Standing Stone Brewery has received numerous awards for their dedication to Green Business and Sustainable Leadership.
Participants at the conference enjoyed networking opportunities, a tradeshow and workshops on topics ranging from “Diversifying Your Farm” to “Social Media”.
Lunch was a highlight of this event and numerous conference attendees donated local ingredients graciously prepared by the LCC Culinary Arts students.
Slow Food Eugene was proud to participate in this conference to show our commitment to advocating for good, clean and fair food. For more information on the Local Food Connection, visit the website at: www.localfoodconnection.org.
A word and request from our friends at the Deck Family about the terrible fire that destroyed their barn:
On the evening of Sunday, November 9th the Deck Family Farm experienced a setback when our barn caught fire. By the time the local firefighters arrived, the flames engulfed the building and all we could do was keep it from spreading.
We lost the building, some equipment, our bull, and two calves, but we are thankful beyond belief that no family, interns, or employees were in or near the barn when the alfalfa hay inside began to burn.
We suspect it was the hay that spontaneously combusted on its own due to some composting in the stacks, but we can’t know for sure. Unfortunately, parts of the building were brand new, and the replacement costs will far exceed what our insurance company will cover.
For now, we’re going about business as usual with some help from neighbors and use of other facilities. But some of you have asked if there is anything you can do to defray our immediate costs or to help with clean up and rebuilding efforts. We would appreciate any help from our community and customers as we work to bounce back and replace some of the uninsured items like the manure spreader, loader, spin spreader, stanchions and panels.
For this reason we set-up this fundraising tool through YouCaring.com. It’s free to use and anything helps.
We’ll keep this site and our own site updated with more information
It is a time to give thanks,
Christine & John Deck and the Deck Family Farm “Farmily”
We’ve added four new sponsors this month. Marche Restaurants, Toby’s Family Foods, Capella Market, and Sweet Creek Foods have been fixtures on the local food scene for years. They have all been early advocates for good, clean and fair food. We welcome their support and are happy to have them in our family of sponsors.
Take a look at the entire list of sponsors in the right hand column. These local businesses are supporting Slow Food Eugene’s fight for good, clean, and fair food. Their help is vitally important to our efforts to support organizations like the School Garden Project, the Farm to School Program, and our participation in Terra Madre, the international gathering of Slow Food delegates. Please show your support by clicking on their ads and patronizing their businesses.
We encourage others of you to help us out. This is a great opportunity to get your business name out to our large and growing newsletter subscriber list. Join the sponsors listed along the right hand column. Not only are they supporting good, clean, and fair food, but they are letting our subscribers know that they are friends of Slow Food Eugene.
By Jackie Variano, Slow Food member and Special Contributor
This article is part of a series highlighting our sponsors’ contributions to the community.
Although it’s now a part of our daily digest of words, in 1982 the word “organic” didn’t hold much weight, and definitely wasn’t part of the mainstream.
Enter the Organically Grown Company, which was started in 1982 as a growers’ cooperative to mitigate competition between struggling organic farmers.
“Bringing organic produce to the people” has become their unofficial slogan, according to Tonya Hayworth of OGC.
“We are not your typical produce distributor-wholesaler,” says Hayworth.
“We are actively involved in environmental and agricultural politics and walk the talk of sustainability. OGC works to not only be a player in the discussion about the big issues. We are committed to pushing ourselves to always do more, be more, expect more-in terms of our values, the values of our growers and customers.”
They source 35 percent of their products directly from PNW farms, and contribute to Slow Food’s goal of good, clean, and fair in a number of ways.
“Organically Grown and Slow Food are very much aligned through the basic fundamentals of our business structures. OGC is an employee and grower owned organization that prides itself on not taking the easy road with everything from grower relations to distribution,” says Hayworth.
They’ve partnered with B-Line delivery in Portland in order to still access smaller, centrally located customers through a cleaner transportation model.
In addition, they’ve made great strides to give back to communities.
“Since 2005, we have purchased our bananas exclusively from Organics Unlimited GROW program, resulting in almost $700,000 contributed back to the communities where the fruit is grown. We contribute at least 2.5% of our previous year’s profits to 501c-3 non-profit organizations that are also in alignment. Our efforts towards a more sustainable food system are continual,” says Hayworth.
How can you support OGC? Let us count the ways.
“Buying organic (& LADYBUG brand) produce is a wonderful direct way to support our business, but our involvement in the communities we serve and the organic trade expands well beyond that.”
“We host many events including our big, biennial Organicology conference, Organically Grown in Oregon Week and more that folks can be a part of. We are very active in political efforts to keep our food supply, farmland, water, seed, food safety and so many other issues and appreciate everyone that takes the time to write a congressman and vote on these topics.”
And no matter how big OGC’s world view is, they always honor their commitment to small and local.
“Our customer base has evolved at the same time we see many larger scale growers transitioning to organic growing practices. We see balance in that equation through staying strong to our roots; we still work with many very small scale growers and deliver to many of the same small Co-Ops and Independent Retailers that we did when the company was formed,” she says.
Be sure to find OGC through social media channels like Twitter and Facebook to be kept up with all events and news.
When you buy Farm to School Fuji apples at participating retailers in the Eugene area including Kiva, Friendly St. Market, Sundance, Cappella, Red Barn, New Frontier and Eugene Local Foods, profits from the sale will support the Willamette Farm and Food Coalition’s Farm to School Program.
For more information: click this link.