Thursday, March 14, 2013

Livin' in the Blurbs: April Events, No Foolin'

It's shocking to me that more people don't know about the annual Farm Fest Plowing Competition in McMinnville. For horse lovers young and old it's a no-brainer. For history buffs, it's like stepping back into a piece of Oregon's agricultural past (and more and more, its future). For Trekkies…well, that one's a stretch unless you pretend you're on the holodeck. But really, the chance to have a drive through some gorgeous country, to see these beautiful animals at work and the men and women who train and work with them, is a real privilege. And we're not just talking hobbyists here. Many of the competitors actually plow their farms with these horses and mules and are available for questions and photos. Plus you can take  a tour of the museum, see a quilt show and hear live old-time music. Seriously, it's well worth a couple of hours on a Saturday to see it.

Details: Farm Fest 2013 Plowing Competition. Sat., April 13, 10 am-4 pm; $3 per person, kids 12 and under free. Yamhill Valley Heritage Center, 11275 SW Durham Lane at the intersection of Hwy. 18 and Duram Lane, McMinnville. 503-434-0490.

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Before we remodeled our kitchen we spent a lot of time looking at other people's, gathering ideas and making lists of what worked and didn't, what we wanted and, of course, what we could actually afford. Home tours were a part of that, but the most helpful to us, at least, was the Architectural Heritage Center's Kitchen Revival Tour featuring an array of homes from the 1890s to the 1950s. It's coming around again on April 13, so those considering a remodel at some point in the future, or those of a just-plain-snoopy bent should definitely put it on their calendars.

Details: Architectural Heritage Center Kitchen Revival Tour. Sat., April 13, 10 am-4 pm; $25, tickets available online. 503 231-7264.

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"Going Beyond Happy Farmers & Recipes" should be the title of an upcoming day-long workshop on food journalism and issues. Called the Food + Agriculture Media Project (F+AMP)—I like to think of it as "FoodAmp"—it's being put on by the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) and Ecotrust on April 12. Coordinator Jackleen de la Harpe says that with the increasing interest on the part of consumers about where their food comes from, "it's time to go beyond the 'plate-centric' approach to food writing." She promises reporters, bloggers and writers an engaging exploration of the deeper issues of our food system, including sustainability, climate change, poverty and health disparities. Sounds like a worthwhile way to spend a day!

Details: Food + Agriculture Media Project. Friday, April 12, 8:30 am-3:30 pm; $40 with preregistration online. Event at Ecotrust Building, 721 NW 9th Ave.

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