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Friday, August 14, 2009

Calendar: Great stuff, starting tomorrow, 8/15!

During a community garden tourTurn off the toys and get your kids out into the dirt! They'll thank you for it. Image by Toban Black via Flickr

Jordan Blake, the Gardens Project Manager for Marion Polk Food Share, sends this update full of items for your calendar:
Community Harvest Swap
Saturday, August 15th, 2009 – 1:00pm – 5:00pm
First Congregational United Church of Christ – 700 Marion St. NE

Join the Salem Creative Network and City Repair Project (CRP) of Portland for a free event in the parking lot of the United Church of Christ downtown. CRP’s Tea-Horse, a traveling art exhibit offering free tea and conversation will be a focal point of the gathering, and we will be creating a giant chalk drawing in the parking lot with a natural theme. Neighbors are encouraged to attend and participate in the drawing.

Please bring excess garden produce to swap with other gardeners and donate the leftovers to MPFS (Marion Polk Food Share).

Stop by and help build your community!

Summer in the City Music and Wine Festival

Downtown Salem – Saturday, August 15th noon to 10 pm. and Sunday, August 16th, noon to 6 pm. Come support Marion Polk Food Share and the core of downtown Salem, as we party in the streets! (One dollar of each adult ticket sold goes to Food Share and cans of food are being collected)

MPFS’s “Imagination Garden” Gathering at Oregon School for the Deaf
Sunday August 23rd, 2009 – 9:00am – 6pm
Oregon School for the Deaf – 999 Locust Street NE

In light of International Kitchen Garden Day and National Community Garden Week, Marion Polk Food Share is celebrating the summer of garden bounty with a program that offers something for everyone.
  • 9 am-noon: The art of organic community food production (MPFS garden work/learn-party)

  • noon-1pm: Ribbon cutting and “taste of the garden” ceremony.

  • 1pm-4pm: Building of the OSD cob garden bench (community building workshop)

  • 4pm-6pm: STIR community garden bike tour

  • Music, Food and Community Building activities will be going on all day.
Garden Program Preview: Sowing the Seeds of Inner Growth:
Boys & Girls Club 3rd Annual Back to School Family Heath Fair is coming up this Friday August 14th from 5:00pm to 8:00pm, at our Knudson Branch located at 1395 Summer St NE. This year we expect to serve over 1200 family members!

This event offers families in the community an opportunity to connect with resources to help stay safe and healthy. On a mission to engage youth with healthful learning activities, MPFS will be getting a head start on fall crops of cabbage, broccoli, carrots, turnips and garlic by planting these seeds with the kids and their families.
Feed the Soil: A Food Share & Future Farmers of America Partnership Project
This summer, thanks to a wonderful partnership between Marion County Soil and Water Conservation, McKay High School – Future Farmers of America and Marion Polk Food Share, a project is getting underway that will feed the soils of our food share gardens with a bounty of organic matter. Set up as a progressive element of an already existing “Manure Exchange Program” through MCSWC, the project has received funding to construct a “Manure Storage and Processing Facility” at McKay High School.

With a contingent of special projects volunteers, Marion Polk Food Share will coordinate a composting education and organic implementation project with FFA students. Concurrently, volunteer drivers will be traveling throughout the Willamette Valley to collect horse, steer, lama, alpaca and other types of manure in the new MPFS dump truck. This organic matter will be brought back to McKay to compost, with much of it also being made available to area community and home gardens for donation.
Head Start to Garden: “An intentional partnership to grow our future”
Beginning this fall, an MPFS garden team will begin working with Head Start staff to implement "Head Start to Garden," a project where classrooms grow vegetable starts for each child and then plant them in a community garden to support food, health, and gardening interests in our community. Although details are still being finalized here are a few tidbits:
  • Key partners are Marion Polk Food Share and Marion County Health Dept.

  • The project will be “phased in” over 3 years. Each year we will ask for about 7 classrooms to volunteer to participate.

  • Participating classrooms will receive an in-depth orientation on the “how-tos,” MPFS presentations at parent meetings, worm garden supplies, raised bed planter boxes for growing additional food and herb plants, seeds, and soil that is locally sourced.

  • The vegetable starts will be planted in area MPFS gardens.
2009 Chefs' Nite Out Tickets on sale now through October 1.
$65 prior to August 1st, $75 after August 1st.

Marion-Polk Food Share leading the fight to END hunger in Marion and Polk counties
... because no one should be hungry.

P.S. Speaking of improving local food security, don't forget the Planning Commission meets this Tuesday, August 18 at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall -- come and speak out in support of permitting urban hens!
This hearing is before the Planning Commission and its purpose is to help the Commission decide if it should recommend changing Salem's city code definition of livestock to exclude chickens when raised as pets and not for commercial purposes. This is an important first step to getting backyard hens legalized. Please come to show you support this change. Thank you!
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Common Sense on Energy: Very uncommon indeed

Ring The BellThis game makes them money because people are terrible at estimating energy requirements. Image by Pete Ashton via Flickr

Nice little story and a link to a good calculator that helps show how difficult it is for humans -- beings evolved to use carbohydrates for brain and muscle power -- to even appreciate how much external energy we've come to depend on every moment of every day.
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