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A Farmtastic Journey

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North American Biodynamic Conference November 14-18, 2018 in Portland, Oregon.

USG plans to attend the next North American Biodynamic Conference in Portland, Oregon from November 14th to the 18th. We're excited to go to this port city at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. The farmtastic biodynamic conference is a

watershed gathering of 700-1000 farmers, gardeners, vintners, entrepreneurs, educators, researchers, activists, and enthusiasts from around the word. There will be five days of programming including on-farm field days, hands-on workshops, inspiring keynotes, delicious local food, and many opportunities to connect with passionate farmers.

The farmfest takes place on Hayden Island which is a few minutes drive north from downtown Portland. The views from the island are spectacular as it's situated on the Columbia River between Oregon and Vancouver, Washington in an area called Janzten Beach. The picture above shows a boat headed toward the island with Oregon's highest peak and potentially active stratovolcano,

the 11,249 foot Mt Hood, looming majestically in the background.

Photo above captures the fun at Bella Organic Pumpkin Patch and Winery, Sauvie Island, Portland, Oregon

The North American Biodynamic conference is organized by the Biodynamic Association which explains : "Biodynamics is a holistic, ecological, and ethical approach to farming, gardening, food, and nutrition...Biodynamic principles and practices are based on the spiritual insights and practical suggestions of Dr. Rudolf Steiner, and have been developed through the collaboration of many farmers and researchers since the early 1920s."

While in Portland, we plan to check out Bella Organic , a 100 acre Certified Organic Farm located on the beautiful Sauvie Island. Bella has a farmers market, food pavilion, offers wine and cider tastings, as well as local beers, and it looks like a total blast! The farm is 100% powered by renewable energy.

We also hope to visit the 137 acre campus of Lewis & Clark College located in the Southwest Hills of the city. The Lewis and Clark expedition (1804-1806) ended in Oregon. The namesake college was ranked #5 in Sierra Club's 2017 "Cool Schools" list of the most sustainable college campuses in America. Their food service has a Farm to Fork Initiative mandating they “source at least 20 percent of their ingredients from small, owner-operated farms, ranches, and artisan producers within 150 miles of Portland." They provide containers for composting food waste throughout campus and in every dorm kitchen.

Cannon Beach Oregon. Pic via Portland Travel Tips

We recently discovered, via Sierra Magazine, that, thanks to the 1967 Oregon Beach Bill, the Oregon Coast line was established as public property from surf to vegetation. There is free public access to the coast. Inspired by this landmark legislation and pictures of the gorgeous coast, we plan to take a day trip to Cannon Beach which is a 90 minute drive from Portland.

We look forward to traveling a few hours southwest of Portland to Philomath, Oregon in the Kings Valley region to visit the folks at Demeter Association, Inc., the United States’ representative of Demeter International. They are a not-for-profit incorporated in 1985 with the mission to enable people to farm successfully in accordance with Biodynamic® practices and principles. Jim Fullmer, Co-Director of Demeter, is a hands-on Biodynamic® farmer. We plan to visit his family's Demeter Certified Biodynamic farm, the Hoskins Berry Farm.

Views of Mountains Looking Out Toward Pacific Coast near Philomath, Oregon via Karl Johnson.

We're excited to go to Portland for the first time. We definitely plan to spend a few days wandering around some of the city's almost 100 distinct neighborhoods, sampling a few of the 600 plus food carts for which the city is famous for.

See you soon Portland!

Copyright Paul E McGinniss 2018

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