Local Fare — Feeding Us All

Head Start with Starts
Glimpses of blue sky and sun gets coastal residents chomping at the bit to get outside and begin gardening. But as long-timers know, the chance of a significant frost in May is high—so patience is not only a necessity but a virtue. Later planting with starts is one way to mitigate the wait, and fortunately the Lower Nehalem Community Trust’s Community Garden Program is hosting a sale of organic veggie starts proven for the NW Maritime climate. The sale is on Saturday May 14, from 9am to noon at the Alder Creek Farm.  Greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, squashes, tomatoes, herbs and more are will be ready for adoption into your own garden.

“Proceeds from the sale will help with the ongoing improvements to our greenhouse and gardens,” says Karen Matthews, LNCT’s Community Garden manager.   “We continually upgrade our garden practices which allow our productivity to flourish.   The more our garden grows, the more fresh organic produce we can donate to the North County Community Food Bank.” Essential, as food banks continue to see exponential rise in demand, especially for fresh and nutritious foods.

LNCT’s community garden is another avenue to local food access and food security. The 25 active gardeners share the work and harvest of food from the ½ acre garden. Other ways to get involved in the Trust include membership; a 4 in. plant start can be yours with a commitment to get involved.
Annual membership in the LNCT begins at just $15 and includes benefits such as reduced admission and tuition to events, programs, and workshops.

To reach Alder Creek Farm & Natural Area, turn south off of Hwy 101 at Underhill Lane between Manzanita and Nehalem.  Follow the Lane to the end of the road for plenty of free parking. Tel: 503-368-3203 Email: Web:

Growin’ A Row
Growing a garden this year? Food Roots of Tillamook County is encouraging local gardeners to plant an extra row or bed for donation to the hungry. No donation is too small or large, and neighbors or friends can team up to make a bigger impact. The usual suspects of carrots, onions, squash, peppers, beets, and so on are popular, but lesser-known plants are welcome too. Produce should be in good, edible shape and it is appreciated if it is field washed.

There are two ways to donate: bring the food to the Regional Food Bank of Tillamook County at 2105 Fourth St. in Tillamook; or take your produce directly to a food pantry, soup kitchen or other community program. For a list of these programs call The Regional Food Bank at 503-842-3154 x1 or x4.
Spread the word about the Grow a Row program, and help increase access to high quality local food. For more info about the program, contact Food Roots. Tel: 503-842-3154 x2 Email:

Postals Packin’ Peas
May 14 is the day of the world’s largest one-day food drive, and everyone with a mailbox (and without, for that matter) is invited to participate. More than 4,000 letter carriers in urban and rural areas throughout Oregon and Clark County, WA will join with letter carriers across America to collect donations of nonperishable food from their postal customers during the National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive, Saturday, May 14.

The Run down:
1. Look for a white, plastic, degradable food drive bag in your mail during the first week of May.
Fill the bag (or any sturdy bag) with nutritious, nonperishable food. The Oregon Food Bank Network will recycle your bag.

2. Place it by your mailbox early on Saturday, May 14.

3. All donated food stays in the community where it was collected. Letter carriers will collect nonperishable food donations left by mailboxes and take them to their local post office, where more than a thousand volunteers throughout Oregon and Clark County will pack the food. Trucks will pick up the food and deliver it to regional food banks of the Oregon Food Bank Network. If you miss your letter carrier’s daily visit, drop off your food donations at any post office by Wednesday, May 18.

Foods to donate:
canned meats (tuna, chicken, salmon),
canned and boxed meals (soup, chili, stew, macaroni and cheese),
canned or dried beans and peas (black, pinto, lentils),
pasta, rice cereal,
canned fruits, 100 percent fruit juice (canned, plastic or boxed),
canned vegetables,
cooking oil, boxed baking mixes.

Avoid the Obvious:
Rusty or unlabeled cans, glass containers, perishable items, homemade items, noncommercial canned or packaged items, alcoholic beverages, mixes or soda, open or used items.

Up-Beet Shopping Up Wahkiakum Way
Two Island’s Farm Market began their sixth season Friday, May 6th at Stockhouse’s Farm, 59 W. Birnie Slough Road on Puget Island.  Market hours have been extended and will run Fridays from 3-6:30 pm through October.  Fresh Wahkiakum grown vegetables, cut flowers, veggie starts (23 varieties of tomato plants), perennials, artisan breads, free-range eggs, and USDA processed meats (goat, beef, lamb and pork) by the cut are often available.  Market booths will accept Senior Farmers Market Checks and SNAP cards this season.  The Up-Beet Stage is ready for a new season with an Open Mic—all musicians welcome—3-6:30–a great sound system will amplify your talents!  The Chief Wahkiakum trolley will run shoppers from the Elochoman Marina to the Farmers Market, leaving the marina at 3, 4 and 5 pm on Fridays (weather permitting). Contact Rob or Diane Stockhouse, Tel: 360.849.4145, or the Wahkiakum Chamber for more info, Tel: 360-795-9996.

By Elia Seely

eating the coast/food groove is a bright new slice in HIPFiSH showcasing the burgeoning local food scene in the columbia pacific region - from farm/sea to fork, community gardening, growing, consuming, eating out, and raising a living - stay tuned and watch as we nurture and grow this section in sync with the locovore movement . Eating the Coast Editor
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