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TRIBUNE PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Sara Tetreault, co-founder of Just Freshy, holds one of her chickens next to a planter box with new vegetable shoots.Sara Tetreault grows padrón peppers in her Mount Tabor backyard garden — the kind you can put over a fire, blister till they bubble, and then just eat by the mouthwatering handful.


She has rows of apple trees and raspberries, blueberries and strawberries, tomatoes and arugula, basil, dill and lettuce.

That’s nothing special in her neighborhood and others throughout Portland, where “we have all these artists, artisans and backyard growers,” she says.

But while it’s commonplace in Portland to put a bunch of extra zucchini out front with a “free” sign on it, there’s no other way for everyday folks to share or sell or trade their food-related goods — short of being a vendor at a farmer’s market.

That’s why Tetreault co-founded Just Freshy, an online marketplace that launched in Portland two months ago with a groundswell of support from neighbors, farmers and other local artisans and growers (justfreshy.com).

She and co-founder Chris Holland see it as a combination of the best parts of Craigslist and Etsy, the latter that features handmade goods like artwork, jewelry, clothing and furniture for sale.

“We’re total believers in the sharing economy,” says Tetreault, who has traveled at least 10 times with her husband and two kids, 16 and 18, by house-swapping. “We all have these resources right in our homes. Why not share our talents, share our gifts, share what’s cooking. It’s all readily available. Why not leave big companies out of the loop?”

Both Tetreault and Holland are fans of Craigslist and Etsy, but see Just Freshy as filling the gap in between. “Craigslist is (selling) used items,” Holland says. “We’re about items grown or crafted by hand.”

And while Etsy is about handmade goods, that business model charges a seller fee. Just Freshy does not.

Etsy also involves shipping of goods from seller to buyer. Just Fresh does not. Its micro-local approach lets users arrange their own pickups as well as search by ZIP code, so they make connections with like-minded neighbors and walk down the block to pick up some raw honey and fresh eggs rather than drive to a store.

Users can create a wish list and be alerted every time their favorite seller posts something for sale or trade.

Two months in, there’s a bounty of food items for sale: strawberry honey in Beaverton listed for $5; arugula seeds from Portland for trade; pasteurized, organic chicken eggs from Lake Oswego for trade; fresh organic horseradish for $7; and wheat beer from Portland for trade.

There’s homemade shortbread cookies, fresh goat milk, raw honey, vegetable starts, sourdough starter, kefir grains and kombucha starter, called SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast).

The homemade, non-edible items include crocheted scarves, woodwork plaques, handcrafted birdhouses and goat feeders, candles, goat milk soap and more.

TRIBUNE PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Although a bit earlier than normal, raspberries are starting to ripen in Sara Tetreaults garden, perhaps in time for market at justfreshy.com.“Listing stuff like that, it’s kind of a no-brainer,” says Tetreault, who’s written about clean food, recipes and green living on her food blog, Go Gingham, for the past five years.

Holland, a former investment manager who lives in the small community of Bath, Pa., tends to Just Freshy full-time.

He says the site will always remain free to sellers and buyers, but they’ll be exploring ways to monetize it in the future. He and Tetreault say if it takes off in Portland, they’d love to see it expand to other cities.

“I just come from a family of gardeners,” Holland says. “My wife and I just got to a point where we had 300 cucumbers, but our tomatoes wouldn’t ripen. What could we do with our cucumbers? We love Craigslist, but it’s such a vast amount of stuff there. Things can get missed. We thought it would be great if there was an online destination where people could list things they grow locally or craft with their hands.”

After a year in development and now the Portland launch, he imagines that when it spreads to other cities, it’ll be like sharing a little bit of Portland culture with the world.

“We’re just really excited,” Holland says, “I feel like it’s something people will

appreciate.”

@jenmomanderson

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