Terra Madre 2014 and Updates

Terra Madre
Looking out over a small portion of the non Italian section of the completely overwhelming Salone del Gusto, Torino, 2015

Last Wednesday evening I got back from a two week trip to Italy which was amazing and completely overwhelming. The Italy trip started with the marathon event that is Terra Madre, now integrated into the enormous Slow Food show the Salone del Gusto. From there I traveled to Tuscany and then Chioggia, visiting farms and seeing a lot of the country side between. My final stop was Verona where I fell into bed sick, but managed to recover enough to have a nice visit with my friend Gio who works for the fascinating food company NaturaSì, now part of Ecor. Coming back, I stepped straight back into harvest and deliveries on the farm and then a presented a workshop on equipment at Tilth Producers 40th annual conference with my friend Chris Jagger from Blue Fox Farm in southern Oregon. It’s been a whirlwind and I wish I had a week just to process it all, get my notes straight and fill this blog and my websites with stories and information I gleaned while I was there.

I will be talking about my experience at Terra Madre at Slow Food Portland’s upcoming Terra Madre Talks event on the afternoon of December 7, and maybe showing a few slides. I’ll certainly be slowly working on getting some of the stories and photos posted on this website over time. Recently a lot of my internet content uploading has been through my instagram feed, simple photos and extended comments/conversations with other growers there (of course it’s mixed in with a bit of other stuff too).

One last note before I get back to writing agricultural plans for other folks and trying to figure out the plan for vegetable expansion at Our Table, where I’ve been growing for the past two years – Don’t forget that the amazing and dynamic Michael Ableman and I are teaching our Growing for Family, Neighborhood and Market workshop at the stunningly beautiful seaside, hot springs retreat, Esalen, December 12-14. Please sign up, please let everyone you know know to sign up. We want to see you all there and spend the weekend talking vegetables and soaking in hot water while overlooking the ocean!

Feeding the Future Workshop


This December 12-14 I’ll be co-teaching a workshop titled Feeding the Future: Growing for Family, Neighborhood and Market at Esalen on the central coast of California. Michael Ableman and I have been teaching a version of this workshop at his farm in Canada for the past four years and this year we’re excited to bring it to such a beautiful location.

Esalen is a beautiful and special place overlooking the Pacific Ocean, dedicated to education and research. They have a variety of lodging options and spectacular hot springs and gardens.

Please join us for what should be a very special weekend of fun learning and sharing of ideas on how to create spaces on all scales that are productive and that feed ourselves and our communities.

Terra Madre Again

Terra Madre 2006

As a little precursor to this note, I have to acknowledge, it’s been too long since my last post. Things are definitely busy so that’s good, but I’ll see if I can make a bit more time for posting soon. A completely non farm related, but very inspiring blog I’ve been reading lately had a post starting out with the same feeling I frequently have after not posting for a while. You can see that here if you’re interested – and if you want to get sucked into this very creative fellow’s work I suggest ignoring his present situation and start a ways back with something like this.


So, about Terra Madre, it’s happening again this year and they’re calling for applicants for the USA delegation. I’m super tempted to apply again. After my first experience there I felt like it would be great to go back knowing a little more about what to expect.

This morning I was preparing for an interview about my Terra Madre experience for a little promotional piece that Cheryl Brock from Slow Food Portland is putting together. I went to look back at my journal entries (which are online) and realized that the links never made it into the post I meant to put them in a few years back. So, I’ve updated that post and I’m also putting them here.

New Greenhorns Book

greenhorns book

Yep, somehow they let me slip a little farm story into this great book of stories from young farmers around the country. I just got my copy in the mail yesterday so I haven’t had a chance to read all of it, but the stories I have read are fantastic.

My friends Zoë, Katie and Maud and I are all going to be at a book signing at Powell’s on Wednesday, May 9, please come and see us there. I had no idea that books have trailers, but if you want to see the one for this book go here.

If you can’t make that, Zoë is doing another reading the following night which is sponsored by Friends of Family Farmers as part of the FarmON series (you’ll have to search for details from them, not sure where the info for that is, just a rumor maybe?)

Hedgerow Workshop

I’m not actually directly involved in this one, but it’s connected to a project that I’ve been working on for the past year. The project is on a beautiful 58 acre property in Sherwood, Oregon which is taking the best aspects of Permaculture design, Biodynamics, co-operative business models, community thinking, and slow money investing, the Manav Foundation is starting to offer workshops (Manav translates into English from Sanskrit as Humanity).

The workshop should be in depth and is May 18-20.  Details can be found here. It is being taught by Jude Hobbs and Jenny Pell.