Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Food goes green (metaphorically) at Forest Groves town meeting

Forest Grove’s Annual Town Meeting Saturday has a sustainability theme.

It will include a look at the city’s sustainability footprint; an audience survey; local examples of efforts to address climate change; and small-group planning teams.

The groups are important because their suggestions will be considered at the city council’s February retreat, said Elaine Cole, chair of the city’s ad hoc sustainability committee, which is hosting the meeting in collaboration with Pacific University.

Mayor Pete Truax hopes attendees' ideas will spur the city to action. “This is something that’s got to be across the width and breadth of the city. It can’t be a particular committee responsible for that while everyone else does business as usual,” he said.

The meeting will also include free, sustainable finger food — treats that are more than just a tasty reward for attending the meeting, said Robin Lindsley of the Dairy Creek Community Food Web. “It’s going to be an educational thing,” she said.

The education started early. While procuring the food, Lindsley herself received a lesson in the challenge and complexity of meeting sustainable goals.

In food terms, “sustainable” usually means local and organic. But while hunting for local eggs, Lindsley learned chickens produce fewer eggs when the days are short. City Councilor Victoria Lowe offered to increase her hens’ egg production with special feed, but Lowe doesn’t have the required egg-handlers license, so the eggs will ultimately come from Yamhill County.

Lindsley also wanted to get milk from Schoch Dairy in Helvetia, but learned Schoch can’t sell milk off its farm due to various regulations. “We had to go to Gary Dairy in Mulino,” she said.

She had to go all the way to Corvallis for fresh-milled flour from the Bean and Grain Alliance.

For fruit, Lindsley visited New Seasons and asked, “Locally, what do we have?” Apples, pears and cranberries were the only fruits in season.

“We ended up with Washington apples and (Columbia) Gorge pears,” said Lindsley, who was surprised by the roadblocks she encountered.

“It’s not as easy as people think."

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