Monday, October 11, 2010

Livin' in the Blurbs: Dedication to a Cause

One of the things that gives me hope, and sometimes makes me shake my head in disbelief, is the dedication that some people have to making their city a healthier, more equitable place to live. Some of those people can be found at Zenger Farm, a working urban farm in southeast Portland that serves as an educational center and model for a sustainable, environmentally responsible food system. They are holding their 3rd Annual Farm to Table Fundraiser on October 22, with a four-course, chef-prepared dinner of food from their farm along with locally made wine and microbrews. I can't imagine a better way to start making a change in our food system, and have a great meal to boot!

Details: 3rd Annual Farm to Table Fundraiser. Fri., Oct. 22, 6 pm; $100 ticket, available online. Dinner held at University of Portland's University Commons, 5000 N Willamette Blvd. Phone 503-282-4245 for information.

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And talk about dedication: Harry MacCormack of Sunbow Farm in Corvallis has started the Southern Willamette Valley Bean and Grain Project to, get this, "rebuild the local food system by increasing the quantity and diversity of food crops that are grown in the valley, evaluating deficiencies in the food system infrastructure, building buyer/seller relationships for locally grown food, incorporating the culture of community into the fabric of the food system, and compiling resources on organic and sustainable agricultural practices specific to this region." Whew! The first step in this herculean task is the First Annual Willamette Valley Fill-Your-Pantry Market, where you can buy staples directly from local farmers and fishers. Not just making meals for your family, but making change as well? Sign me up!

Details: First Annual Willamette Valley Fill-Your-Pantry Market. Sat., Oct. 23, 2-5 pm. A2R Farms, 7205 Cutler Lane, Corvallis. Download a pdf of a product list and information on bulk orders.

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I've written about Sophie Rahman's dedication to educating people about the regional cooking of India, and she's offering a set of new classes that sound amazing.
  • Indian Breads: Naans and Rotis. Nov. 10. Learn to make these classic staples and the condiments that accompany them.
  • Portuguese Goa. Dec. 8. The western Indian state whose Hindu origins are melded with 400 years of Portuguese colonialism.
  • Tagore's India: East Bengal. Dec. 15. Tagore, a Calcutta-born  writer, playwright, song-writer, poet, philosopher and educator, was deeply influenced by the sights, sounds and tastes of this region.
Details: Masala NW Classes with Sophie Rahman. All classes 6-9 pm; $50, registration required. Classes include refreshments, snacks and samples of each dish. 4356 NE Flanders St. 503-233-1966.

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