Category: From the PDX Green Team (10)

It’s Hard Not to Fall for Autumn

We’ve taken a poll and determined that fall is officially our team’s favorite time of year. Changing leaves, crisp mornings and cozy sweaters, just what the doctor ordered after a long beautiful summer. Time to button up your home, harvest the rest of your summer gardens, and get your canning jars out. Here’s what we love to do with our shorter days as we inch towards the rainy season:

Visit a Pumpkin Patch

In the Portland area, we are surrounded by farms in every direction. You won’t have to travel far to find a good looking squash to slice and dice. Might as well get lost in a corn maze while you are at it! Carmel apple anyone?

Kruger’s Farm – A 150-acre farm located on Sauvie Island just 12 miles from downtown Portland at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia. The farm hosts a large produce stand with canning supplies and local artisan food items. U-pick pumpkins, pickling cucumbers, flowers and a HAUNTED corn maze on weekends.

The Pumpkin Patch – The original pumpkin patch on Sauvie Island, you can visit this awesome family farm June-October. Certified sustainable by The Food Alliance this patch offers hayrides, u-pick pumpkins, a fresh produce market, cafe and coffee, corn maze and more.

Lee Farms – Located in Tualatin area since 1869. For seven generations this family has worked the land and today, three generations are actively involved in their farming operations. Make sure get tickets if you plan on visiting on a Saturday or Sunday. Wristbands are available for different levels of fun!

Baggenstos Farm – The Baggenstos family has been farming in the Sherwood community since 1919.  Over three generations have carried on the family farming and every October they offer hayrides, u-pick pumpkins, mazes, farm animals, food, a farm store and more.

Fir Point Farm – This family-owned farm in Aurora seeks to bring back the days of old. Pumpkin activities every weekend in October. Pick your own pumpkins or corn stalks, catch a hayride, jump in the bouncy house or sip some apple cider. Visit Charlotte’s Web corn maze or the petting zoo for some harvest time fun.

Liepold Farms – Located in Boring this farm has nothing boring about it. The fall festival hosts a HUGE corn maze, a variety of u-pick pumpkins, an apple-pult (attempt to hit a target with a huge rubber band and 3 apples), an antique tractor exhibition and lots of BBQ and beer.

Enjoy the Harvest at a Farmer’s Market

It’s the perfect time to fill your basket with the bounty of the season. Harvest is in full swing and there is nothing as good as a farm-to-table meal with friends and family. Be sure to hit up these neighborhood farmer’s markets to grab the freshest produce and flowers around. Colorful stands filled with locally grown fruits and vegetables, tasty samples and smiling faces. The Saturday market at Portland State University in the south Park Blocks offers a huge variety of fall flavors, cooking classes, live music, produce for preserving, gorgeous flower bouquets, delicious prepared foods and, of course, great people watching. Don’t miss the PDX Green Team favorite Pine State Biscuits stand at the south end of the market! From the vegans to the carnivores in your family, everyone loves the warm North Carolina flavors that PSB serves up on a cool fall day.

Make the Harvest Last

If you are like us, you want to stretch out the bounty as long as possible. With a little hard work and some preparation you can enjoy the fruits of your summer harvest all winter long. Some people (like us) get nervous around pressure cookers, so we stick to the foods that can be preserved in a hot water bath. This method is great for any of your high-acid foods, such as:

    • Fruits and Fruit Juices
    • Jams and Jellies
    • Salsas and Tomatoes
    • Pickles and Relishes
    • Chutneys
    • Vinegars
    • Condiments

Canning your harvest can feel a little overwhelming if you have never done it before. The best way to learn is to become a preserving apprentice! Connect with a friend who has experience and supplies and offer to assist them with their project. They will appreciate the help and you will learn a hands-on skill that will last a lifetime. There are many steps involved and it is much more fun with some good company, great conversation and even a glass of wine.

If you love to DIY and want to jump right in, be sure to pick up the canning bible (Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving) and start with jam. The sticky sweet satisfaction of canning your own fruit is fun for people of all ages and helps you draw out the flavors of summer all year long. The Portland Homestead Supply Co will have all that you need to get your canning projects underway. Stop in for community classes and all of your canning and preserving supplies. Yum!

 

CakesWe would love for you to join us next week at the Depressed Cake Shop, a fundraising event we are sponsoring to benefit the Baby Blues Connection. You can read more about our personal connection to the Baby Blues Connection and why we include them in our Giving Back program here.

When: Thursday, August 25th at 6pm

Where: The Little Church – 5138 NE 23rd Ave, Portland, Oregon 97211

The Depressed Cake Shop is a different kind of cake shop. It’s a one day pop-up bakery to raise awareness of mental illness through the sale of special cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and other treats donated by local bakers. The baked goods are gray on the outside and sometimes colored on the inside to symbolize hope – all to encourage conversation about mental health issues.

The Depressed Cake Shop offers a unique platform to talk about mental illness. With 1 in 5 people affected by some type of mental health issue, we all know someone who is struggling. Whether it’s a family member, friend, or co-worker, we’re all touched by it.

Baby Blues Connection focuses on providing free support for mothers and families coping with perinatal mood disorders- depression, anxiety, stress related to welcoming a child. “We’re always working to reduce stigma and create a dialogue where parents can express – in a supportive and non-judgmental environment- exactly how they are feeling without shame or blame,” said Angie Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of Baby Blues Connection. “We’ve partnered with Depressed Cake Shop, a worldwide grassroots movement to raise awareness about our common struggles. No one should suffer alone, be it from Postpartum Depression or any other mental health condition.”

The Depressed Cake Shop started in the UK in 2013 and has since become a worldwide grassroots collective with Depressed Cake Shops popping up all over the world.

Read more about the event here.

Bike Sharing Hits the Portland Streets

What is BIKETOWN?

After 10 years of planning, $2 million in federal grants and another $10 million kicked in by Nike BIKETOWN is the west coast’s largest smart bike program! As of July 19, 2016, 1,000 bright orange cruisers are now available to cyclists across the city at 100 different stations. The service area covers the entire PDX central city, including downtown, Old Town/Chinatown, inner Northwest, Goose Hollow, South Waterfront, West End, Pearl District, Central Eastside, Rose Quarter, Lloyd District, and inner North Portland.

What is a bike share and how much does it cost?

Bike share is a public bike rental system for short trips (30-90 minutes) across the city, giving residents and visitors a convenient and fun transportation option. A membership costs $12 per month (90 minutes of ride time daily), $12 for 24 hours (perfect for visitors) or $2.50 for a single, 30-minute trip (the same rate as a single-ride TriMet ticket). BIKETOWN offers the lowest price point of any major bike share system in the U.S., allowing a broad cross-section of Portlanders to access the system for flexible trips.

Is it safe?

These bikes are built to be sturdy, but be sure to bring your own helmet as no Nutcases are provided with this ride. The bike share community hopes to encourage the use of helmets for their riders by providing free helmet promotions, discounts for annual members on helmet purchases, and low-cost helmets for low-income users through retail partnerships. The city is also exploring helmet vending options in conjunction with bike share station locations. Lights are integrated right into the frame of the bikes and turn on automatically when you begin your ride, making sure you stay visible at all times. Safety first! You will also want to follow the rules of the road to ensure that all of your two-wheel adventures end in a fun arrival at your destination.

How does it work?

Get the APP for your smartphone which will allow you to purchase your rides, find bikes and stations, reserve bikes, track your riding history and get ride notifications.

Ready for an adventure? Check out the City of Portland’s interactive bike map and get planning!

Sure, cruising through PDX on a bright orange bike is pretty awesome, but what’s even cooler about this new way of getting around? BIKETOWN will help our amazing city of Portland meet many of its livability, transportation, and climate change goals. It will provide a low-cost transportation option to reduce congestion and carbon emissions all the while complementing our MAX light rail, Portland Streetcar and bus systems.

Is PDX the first city to have bike share?

Bike shares operate in over 60 U.S. cities and more than 500 worldwide, however, Portland will be an innovation laboratory for bike shares across the globe as we work to develop the most accessible, flexible, and sustainable bike share system in the world!

Portland is utilizing Social Bicycle’s (SoBi) smart bike technology to empower us to make the system operate efficiently. Bike share’s biggest operating cost is “system rebalancing” – moving bikes to and from high demand locations. Where most bike share systems require vans or trucks to move bikes around and keep the system operating efficiently, Portland will pilot the use of real-time GPS data and financial incentives to reduce reliance on motorized vehicles. As the trip data grows over time, Portland and the bike share community plan to develop algorithms to further enhance the efficiency, predictability, and sustainability of their rebalancing efforts.

Looking forward to seeing you crusin’ PDX!