This past Tuesday we had the opportunity to co-host Friends of Family Farmer’s month InFARMation event. The evenings conversation surrounded the experiences of local sourcing pioneers Cory Schreiber, Greg Higgins and Kathy Watson. Check out the pics below and then visit our Facebook page to see the full album!
Fresh Picks – Top 5 Stories Worth Reading
Waitress’s Wages Leave Little to Take Home
A waitress in a family-style restaurant in Detroit says it’s a struggle to make ends meet. Most servers are women and they are subject to a sub-minimum wage that hasn’t been raised since 1991. Family members often provide a crucial safety net.
Poultry scientists working on “chicken translator”
Any experienced chicken farmer will tell you, the relative contentment of the birds can be gauged by the sounds they’re making. While this has generally been accepted as anecdotal folk wisdom, a team of scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia are now trying to scientifically verify it.
More Americans now eating whole grains, fresh produce
Los Angeles Times
A vast majority of Americans say they eat more whole grains and fresh produce than they did five years ago, but many believe the federal government needs to do more to ensure greater access to locally produced fresh food, according to a new survey.
Battle Brewing Over Labeling of Genetically Modified Food
For more than a decade, almost all processed foods in the US have contained ingredients from plants whose DNA was manipulated in a laboratory. Regulators and many scientists say these pose no danger. Labeling bills have been proposed in more than a dozen states over the last year, the most closely watched labeling effort is a proposed ballot initiative in California that cleared a crucial hurdle this month.
LA makes history with ban on plastic bags at stores
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles became the largest city in the nation to approve a ban on plastic bags at supermarket checkout lines, handing a hard-fought victory to environmentalists and promising to change the way Angelenos do their grocery shopping.
Fresh Picks – Top 5 Stories Worth Reading
Biofuels Hub in Portland, Oregon
A new biofuels hub in Portland, Oregon is bringing together three companies with a verticallly integrated facility featuring manufacturing, a distribution terminal, and a cooking oil recycling facility. Whole Energy Fuels Corporation, based in Bellingham, Washington is setting up a distribution terminal there, Oregon Oils, a cooking oil recycling operation, and Beaver Biodiesel is moving its manufacturing from Albany, Oregon to Portland.
Controversial Alaska bill would provide rural veterinary care
Although some veterinarians routinely visit hard-to-reach rural areas of in Alaska, parts of the state haven’t had veterinary care in years. A recent bill would provide for licensed veterinarians from outside of the state to practice in these areas on a short-term basis. Some worry that without state oversight, volunteer care givers could get away with providing sub-standard care.
A Place for Old Chickens, Outside the Pot
Because most chickens lay the majority of eggs early in life, and can live about 10 years, the quest for a place where chickens can live out their sunset years has brought a boom to at least two farm animal sanctuaries and led Pete Porath, a self-described chicken slinger, to expand the portion of his business that finds new homes for unwanted birds.
A Restaurant for the 99 Percent – Of Chefs
Although they all had a background working in Michelin-starred restaurants, what Erik Oberholtzer, Matt Lyman and David Dressler really craved was “farmer’s market food at a price we could afford,” says Oberholtzer. It took two years of fundraising and conceptualizing, but in 2006, Tender Greens was born with the goal to support locally sourced food and small farmers.
How Making Food Safe Can Harm Wildlife And Water
We’d probably like to think that clean, safe food goes hand in hand with pristine nature, with lots of wildlife and clean water. But in the part of California that grows a lot of the country’s lettuce and spinach, these two goals have come into conflict. Environmental advocates say a single-minded focus on food safety has forced growers of salad greens to strip vegetation from around their fields, harming wildlife and polluting streams and rivers.
FoodHub Connections: For old hands or new and beginning farmers FoodHub spells new connections, marketing innovationsWednesday, April 11th, 2012 by Megan
|The Hoyle kids help out on the farm.|
David and Lori Hoyle of Creative Growers in Noti, OR, know being a new farmer isn’t easy. At first, it was difficult for the Hoyles – who have been farming since 1996 – to know which tactics were best for growing a sustainable business as beginning farmers. But they soon discovered it was about more than just producing the highest quality crops.
“There are a lot of people who grow really good food,” said David, “but if you don’t pay attention to your business practices and learn how to market your products you’re gonna fall to the wayside with a truck full of really good stuff.”
Even after almost 15 years of being in business Hoyle still keeps an eye out for new and innovative ways to respond to customer demands and market his products.
“It doesn’t behoove me to be comfortable in our current situation where demand outweighs supply,” said Hoyle who discovered FoodHub in 2010 and jumped at the chance to use the tool to find new markets and connections.
“It doesn’t do us any good to have one-time sales. What we’re looking for is someone who week in and week out is going to be a steady customer,” he said. “One of things about FoodHub that I really like is that the people you meet there are very in the game. They want it to be more than a sale. They’re looking for a relationship.” (more…)
When David Anderson became head chef at Genoa and Accanto in Portland he was tasked with building unique, seasonal, locally-sourced menus for each restaurant– a perfect fit for a Northwest chef eager to broaden his connections in the region’s ever-growing local food network. Now, two years later, Anderson is a local sourcing pro and shares some of his recommendations for making, keeping and advancing connections with producers.
1. Search FoodHub every week.
Anderson took his post at Genoa and Accanto in 2010, the same year FoodHub launched, and it became clear that the site was the perfect place for him to broaden his sourcing horizons. In that first year, Anderson made a connection with Creative Growers out of Noti, OR, and still works with them today (Read more about Creative Growers’ recipe for working successfully with local chefs here). Even after two years of using FoodHub Anderson says he still finds value in what the site brings to the table and that there are a few key ingredients for using it successfully.
“Have fun, search, pay attention to the miles away and be realistic,” he says. “Searching is the best function on FoodHub. I browse the site at least once or twice a week and I’ll spend anywhere from a half hour to an hour on it.”
Anderson also noted that buyers should update the product section of their profile to include those local products that they’re looking for and read the weekly Fresh Sheets that send product alerts and marketplace updates straight to buyers’ inboxes.
“We change the menus really often and being micro-seasonal is a big part of that,” Anderson says. “Since taking over here at Genoa I’ve been getting more involved in finding and developing connections. FoodHub has helped me do that for sure.” (more…)
Have you been trying to get a local sourcing program off the ground for your school, but don’t quite know where to start? FoodHub is the tool that helps schools kick-start relationships with local producers, bringing healthy, delicious foods to kitchens and cafeterias. Now is your chance to learn more about how FoodHub can help your Farm to School program thrive.