Event Brings Regional Grains and Good Times to All!

People of all ages, interests, and backgrounds found their way to the Celebrate Grains festivities last September at Spiesschaert Farms.

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flour in bag
horses and wagon

In addition to highlighting the fresh grown and milled barley, rye and wheat, there were baked goods, distilled products, tastings, music, soil education, and plenty of children’s activities.

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Soil education and seed savings tips were well received.

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Kids found many interesting textures, and lots to see and do!

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Volunteers helped Charlene with the youth activities and community members gave out advice.

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Oh, lets look at the baked goods, and taste them, too.

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Booths highlighted local and regional foods and spirits.

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Volunteers and visitors enjoyed looking, tasting and visiting on the farm.

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The Lemon Love booth was popular. So was painting and wagon tours.

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Everyone got to meet the horses and drivers.

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Charlene and Richard received a photo highlighting the year of growing grains from Lyle, and music rocked the barn!

Plan to spend the day at the farm during the Celebrate Great Grains event in September 2019!

 

 

Growing Grains

Do you know where your grains come from? Come along on the journey of our 2018 wheat and rye crops. Meet the farmer, see the soil, plant the seed, tend the crop, harvest the grain . . . and that’s just the beginning of the regional grain economy we’re growing!

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Grain flowering in field.
Grain sprounting in field
Farmer Lyle checking the growing grains.

Fall 2017. Farmer Lyle Spiesschaert planted 26 acres of Red Fife Wheat, Dark Northern Rye and Purple Karma Barley on his farm, Spiesschaert Farms in Forest Grove, Oregon.

Grain harvest - grain pouring into truck.
Combine in field.
Charlene and Lyle on combine.

August 2018. Harvest time on the farm. Charlene gets in on the action as farmer Lyle starts the grain harvest with his combine.

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Here’s a close up look at the amazing harvest machinery.

Sorting the grain with the Chipper.
Bagging the grains.
Grain from the Chipper.
Sewing the grain sacks up.

Flashback to our first harvest in Fall 2017. In our first year three acres of grains were grown. Here we share our cleaning, sorting and bagging during that first small harvest!  The Clipper Seed Cleaner, approximately 100 years old, is put into use by it owner Malvin Van Domelen.  Then the grains were sorted and bagged.  Much has changed with the increase to 26 acres! We are in an exciting transition with this part of the process and have new production methods this year to bring the larger amount of grains to market.

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Small package of grains.
Grain in bag.

Fall and Winter 2018. Packaged grains ready for the bakers, brewers, and home cooks of our region!

Outlook for 2019: We’ve planted the seeds for the grain harvest in 2019. With the increase in production and milling capacity, we’ll be ready for an expanded base of regional grain customers.

For information about the grains and the grain project, or to purchase grains, contact Charlene at charlene@foodwaysatnanacardoon.org or call her at 206-794-1900.

 

Celebrate Great (local) Grains

Saturday, September 22, Free & Family Friendly!

Explore the advantages of reintroducing wholesome grains raised and processed in our area for our community. Find out how local grains enhance our local economy. Discover heritage grains that bring great taste to baking, brewing and distilling.

Saturday, September 22, 10 am to 3 pm
Spiesschaert Farms, 3150 NW Thatcher Rd, Forest Grove, Oregon
Free & Family Friendly

Bread, bakery & beverage tasting

Whole grain cooking & baking demos

Horse drawn wagon rides through farm & riparian area

Fresh food concessions

Live music

Covered seating & plenty of parking

Local flour and grains will be for sale!

 

Great Grains Fundraising Dinner

Enjoy a locally sourced dinner & help grow the local grain economy

Grain, the missing ingredient in many locally sourced meals, just became a little more local and accessible. Now in its second year, the Great Grains Initiative grew to 26 acres of sustainably grown grains, up from just three acres of production in its humble beginning a little over one year ago.

Now we need your help to continue! Plan to attend the Great Grains fundraising dinner on Sunday, August 26. All proceeds from the event go toward milling, community outreach, marketing, and education.

For additional details and to RSVP/purchase your tickets, click here.

Say Yes to Biodiversity, Cross-Cultural Exchange, and Benedicta Alejo Vargas’s Tamales en Mole

Wednesday, July 18

5:30 pm

Nana Cardoon Urban Farm

$75 includes specialty cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages, appetizers, multi-course dinner, and dessert.

Benedicta Alejo Vargas, master indigenous Purepecha cook from San Lorenzo in Michoacan, came north to celebrate biodiversity, cross cultural exchange, and delicious food with you. Teaming up with the folks at Foodways at Nana Cardoon, Benedicta created a special menu full of flavor, and made with local and regional ingredients. She looks forward to sharing her food and culture, as well as helping the workers and families of the Fossil Salt Project. All proceeds from this event will be donated to promote the packaging and marketing of this indigenous Ark of Taste product.

For additional details and to RSVP/purchase your tickets, click here.

Explore & Discover: 2017 Classes

From carving and scything, to basket weaving, preserving and much more, the Nana Cardoon 2017 class schedule offers a great way to slow down and learn new skills, crafts, preserving, and food preparation. Plus spent the day at the farm with others interested in farm culture and traditions, too.
Join instructors who have honed their craft over a lifetime and use their talent and experience each day to create foods, tools, gardens and other useful products. Bring your curiosity. Get ready to explore. Sign up for a class and take home new skills and friendships from a day on the farm.
Take a look at the class list, and contact Charlene, charlene@nanacardoon.com or 503-357-4992, with questions or to sign up for a session.

2016 classes open for discovery!

Learn how to carve your own wooden spoon, or create a plan for building your own nutritious food forest. Become well versed in the art of basic garment construction, natural dyes, or weaving a traditional foraging basket. Paint, prepare and eat a Cuban meal. Plus gain the knowledge and skills to preserve seasonal foods in the new Larder & Pantry Sessions. These are just a few of the class topics in the Nana Cardoon 2016 educational series.

Kiko helping a student with his spoon

Kiko helping a student with his spoon

Taught by working practitioners and experts in their subject, the classes offer community members, farmers, gardeners, and teachers an in-depth experience in a wide variety of traditional food and craft subjects.

Each class offers a wealth of information through hands-on projects, presentations, and discussion. A wood-fired oven shares the classroom space and bicycles build to grind grain wait for the willing rider nearby. The ever-changing orchards, rich garden beds and sown fields surround you. All classes include a farm fresh meal and rich conversation at the long community table.

Marcella making salsa

Marcella and student making Salsa

Don’t wait long to sign up, space is limited to ensure the best experience for all.

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Sharing a meal at the community tab

 

 

 

 

To register for a class, or for more information, contact Charlene at 503-357-4992 or at charlene@foodwaysatnanacardoon.org
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and save your place in the classroom and at the table!

The Essential Larder & Pantry

“Over here is one of our larders,” Charlene mentions as she leads the small group of university students to the north facing porch of the farm house she and Richard call home. The students quickly realize its not your average front porch. They gaze over the cornucopia of milk carton cases bursting with multicolored apples, gallon glass jars jam-packed with

Jar of pickles

Jars of pickles fill the larder shelves.

olives, earthenware pots spilling over with potatoes and onions, and light gray formation crocks bubbling with sauerkraut, kosher dills, and assorted citrus.

“These foods are alive,” Charlene continues. “The larder is where we keep foods that need to be in a naturally cool and shaded environment.” The care and respect she has for good food comes through as she talks with the students about “live” food, the fermentation process, and the importance of a larder in a well stocked kitchen. Each student takes an olive to taste.

Corn kernels in hand

Corn kernels will be stored in the pantry.

Charlene moves on to the subject of the pantry. “Our pantry designated areas are stores of canned tomato sauces, preserves, dried pasta, beans and grains, jars of anchovies, dried fruits and vegetables. These are all things that are kept in a ‘still’ room, which is also an old term referring to a kitchen or workroom where foods are preserved or made ‘still’.”

Nana Cardoon Urban Farm hosts many students of all ages and Charlene doesn’t miss a chance to help them learn the many components to a good table. “Pantry comes from the French ‘pain’. Larder comes from the French ‘lard’. These terms come from the way homes used to be organized. I like to keep things separated in the same way, honoring the traditional ways of storing and handling nutrition, and depending on non-electric storage methods.”

Squash on the vine

This farm grown squash is now in one of the larders.

The students continue on their farm tour as they make their way past mounds of herbs, twisting grape vines, and fruit hanging heavy on the persimmon tree. If they just happen to come back in the near future they would find that most of what they see now in one of the pantries or larders they just learned about. Because as she mentioned Charlene processes and stores almost all foods utilizing traditional and natural storage in various the larders and pantries around their home.

Harvesting produce, beans and grains from the farm; procuring and curing meats from neighboring farms; creating cheeses, kefir, and fermented breads – each batch, jar, basket, or crate makes it way into the appropriate pantry or larder. There it becomes part of the ever-changing procession of good foods headed toward a nutritious convivial meal around the farmhouse table.

Nana Cardoon larder areas:

  • Charcuterie
  • Cheese
  • Vinegars
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Lacto Fermentation Crocks
Canned tuna in glass jars

Canned Oregon albacore stocks the pantry.

Nana Cardoon pantry areas:

  • Kitchen area pantry – ‘still’ items used on a daily basis
  • Shed pantry – canned goods for the year

And the wine is in our “cellar”!

Sala Painting, Creating & Eating

A day of creativity awaits 12 students as artist and teacher Marcella Kriebel guides the class through painting vegetables and making salsa. Turning farm-raised corn into tortillas is Charlene’s focus, and with Richard at the grill brunch is in good hands!

Marcella provides guidance for beginners and advanced painters alike — everyone is creative!

Charlene shares a peek at the farm-grown corn to be made into tortillas. The molino does the trick and soon tortillas are ready for the grill.

Marcella and class are busy making salsa – with fresh picked peppers and other ingredients from the farm.

Brunch tastes fantastic, right down to the last slurp – south of the border style!

This is too much fun!

Missed this event? Don’t wait to sign up for Margarita Shake Up: An Evening of Painting & Dining on the Farm! — October 2nd. Marcella will be back with another creative class — check it out and save your seat at the table.

Hands-On Learning on the Farm

Charlene and Richard began developing Nana Cardoon Urban Farm and Learning Center long before the 3rd grade through high school students that came to visit last month were even born. Yet having the 76 girls from the Chicas Youth Development Program explore, discover, and learn from this land was just what they had in mind over thirty years ago. Back in the 80’s they began to build organic soil, plant a diverse orchard, develop an infrastructure to support an urban farm, and focus on how they could help neighbors and community members of all ages learn about sustainable and healthy food and farming.

Join the 3rd through 5th grade members of the Chicas Youth Development Program, a Adelante Mujeres program, as they spend the day on the farm.

(clockwise from left) Kathy Alvares explores the taste of freshly ground flour; Abigail Grande inspects a water feature; Andrea Tellez seasons the garden salsa she helped make.

(clockwise from left) The table is set and ready for the Chicas lunch; signs throughout the garden stand ready to guide students in learning; Charlene talks with volunteers about the various work stations for the day; onions lay in wait, ready to harvest for salsa-making.

Plenty of preparation takes place before the Chicas visit. Charlene and Richard, the co-farmers at Nana Cardoon, worked with Eden Acres, an environmental literacy organization, to design an activity-packed day filled with hands-on learning. Over 10 volunteers also participate during the program — from setting up the learning stations to manning the grill, from leading projects to washing dishes.

(clockwise from left) Cytlalli Najera grinds wheat on the bicycle  grinder; Richard talks about how wheat is harvested and the process to prepare it for use with (l to r) Leticia Guiterrez, Yuliana Garfias and Andrea Tellez; Kathy Alvarez (l) and Natalia Martinez (r) sift the freshly ground wheat.

A focus on the cycle of soil to seeds, planting, tending, and harvest is always present at Nana Cardoon. Also, how the harvest comes to table plays an important role, and was highlighted for the young students as they ground freshly harvested wheat using the bicycle-powered grinder.

(clockwise from top left) Janette Santiago grinds corn as Charlene looks on; the molino; Charlene helps Natalia Martinez  grind corn; a handful of the organic corn to be ground and used for tortillas.

Grinding the organic corn that was made into tortillas, cooked on the outdoor grill, and then tasted by the girls, opened up a discussion about various ways our food is produced and processed. The hands-on activity helped make the concept of good, clean and healthy ingredients and foods more understandable.

(clockwise from top left) all salsa ingredients, except lime, were harvested at Nana Cardoon; Amalia Guzman uses a stone mortar and pestle; (l to r) Itzel Ortiz, Yuliana Garfias, Leticia Guiterrez work together to make salsa; Moncerrat Villanueva crushes the vegetables for the salsa. 

“Going to Nana Cardoon offered the participants the experience to link cultural traditions with food in a fun and interactive way. Physically making their own salsa and picking their fresh salad ingredients made them feel special and important to be part of old and new traditions.” Andrea Chunga-Celis, Chicas Program Site Facilitator

(clockwise from top left) (l to r) Hatziri Mandujano, Kathy Alvarez, Yamil Gaona and Natalia Martinez help Richard harvest potatoes; volunteer Elena Rasmussen at the grill; potato harvest

One of the morning projects got the girls out in the garden digging potatoes that were then later served at lunch.

“Knowing where their food comes from really gives kids something to think about. They start to make the connections and it’s like a light goes off. That’s a joy to see!” Richard

(clockwise from top) Lunch of garden greens, potatoes; fresh salsa, beans, and tortillas; the Chicas enjoy the meal they just helped to make; a plate of the freshly made tortillas; Charlene and Leticia Aguilar, Chicas Program Coordinator, serve up the plates.

“An important part of food and culture is the lost art of sitting together at table and enjoying food and conversation. The long table, the relaxed outdoor setting, and inviting the girls to sit and be served, offers the Chicas time to focus on their food and each other during their lunch.” Charlene

(clockwise from top left) (l to r) Daniela Garcia, Brianna Garcia and Emma Aguilar spread mulch on the bush beans; Janette Santiago with Richard working in the field: discussion time for one of the groups; exploring soil and worms!

After lunch the Chicas helped mulch some of the crops as they learned about water conservation. Then they got a look, and feel, of composted soil complete with the worms. Nana Cardoon gets all the senses involved in the learning process.

(clockwise from top left) Charlene and Elena Rasmussen after a happy day with the Chicas; a thank you signed by all; 3rd-5th graders from the Chicas Program with Charlene, Richard, Adelante Mujeres program staff, and volunteers.

The many smiles express the delight of all!

“Can I come back to Nana Cardoon?” Chicas comment after farm visit.

Thank you to our partners: Adelante Mujeres Chicas Youth Development Program and EdenAcres