Think Out Loud has two segments on farming today. Comment on the blog now about why you think farmland should be protected!!
9:06am – A Bigger Urban Growth Boundary: I think this piece should be renamed “More Sprawl in Washington County.” Paving farmland is obviously bad for farmers & regional food security, but it is also a waste of money. There is only so much funding for infrastructure to go around. Does it really make sense for taxpayers to subsidize roads & sewers in new developments when we have failing infrastructure throughout our communities inside the UGB?
9:20am – Gravel Mine on Grand Island: After searching for farmland for several years, we bought 40 acres on Grand Island. It is some of the best farmland in the vWillamette Valley and like Sauvie Island it has a long history of u-pick and farmstands. It is truly the agricultural gem of Yamhill County. All that will change if Baker Rock has it’s way. Call in or comment in support of Crops not Rocks!!
If you care about great local food, enjoy walking to farmers markets and eating at neighborhood restaurants then please speak up and tell Metro that now is not the time to expand the Urban Growth Boundary! You can go directly to the Metro Opt-In Panel, join the group and they will email you the UGB survey. Or go to 1000 Friends of Oregon for more information and follow the links to see what else you can do to help. Good jobs and great communities already exist inside the current UGB so lets spend our limited infrastructure dollars here rather than paving more farmland!!
The Lake Oswego City Council will discuss the Luscher Farm Master Plan this Tuesday July 12th at 6pm in Council Chambers, 380 A Ave. This is a work session so there will be no public testimony, but a good turnout is still essential to let the councilors know there is widespread support for the farm. The staff report is available here.
The City of Lake Oswego is working on a Master Plan for Luscher Farm, but the current draft plan would build parking lots & two new artificial turf fields on the organic farm. If you want farming to continue at Luscher Farm please let the City know by filling out a quick online comment card before Sunday July 10th. If Luscher Farm is to continue to provide fresh local produce to the community then THE FARM NEEDS TO STAY WHERE IT IS NOW – on great farmland that has been improved by years of organic production. The draft master plan proposes to relocate farming to the east side of the property (#18 on the map), but these fields are steep, wet & ill-suited for year-round organic vegetable farming.
Other issues that have been raised by the community about the Luscher Farm Master Plan include…
- The study that is being used to substantiate current need for additional sports fields is over 10 years old.
- No analysis has been published to evaluatealternative sites in the community for additional sports fields.
- Lack of consideration for potential costs
- No sustainability analysis of the plan using The Natural Step
- Concerns about zoning
- The open space above Hazalia Field that is reserved for a golf driving range (#24 on the map)
What You Can Do…
- Take a moment to complete the online survey before Sunday July 10th!!
- Spread the word!! Forward this email to your friends & neighbors and encourage them to fill out the survey too. Post your concerns to facebook.
- Write a letter to the editor for the Lake Oswego Review or Oregonian.
- Come to the City Council Hearing on July 12th to support the farm.
Luscher Farm is an incredible regional resource so your comments are important even if you don’t live in Lake Oswego.
If you want FARMING to continue at Luscher Farm speak up now – before it’s too late!!
I was so impressed with this movie!! Thank you Monique & Luscher Farm for hosting us all last week for a preview. It was a powerful story about a group of kids here in Portland that are taken away from their computers and cell phones for a trip into the wilderness. It also includes insightful commentary from a wide variety of international experts. They make a compelling case that the increasing amount of time kids are spending in front of screens has negative impacts on their own brain development and for society as a whole. The movie was produced here in Oregon by Meg Merrill and the next showing is at Lewis & Clark on June 11th.
Watching the movie renewed my commitment to getting kids out onto the farm! Here is a list of classes & activities happening at Zenger Farm & Luscher Farm this summer. You can also bring your kids to our CSA volunteer days & work parties. More info here.
I just came across this lovely article and wanted to share it. Like everyone I sometimes get distracted by shiny new tools that promise to save me time & money, increase efficiencies, and make my life & easier. I’m not going to give up my tractor anytime soon, but definitely appreciate a good dose of Wendell Berry to remind me what is really important.
“Agriculture must mediate between nature and the human community, with ties and obligations in both directions. To farm well requires an elaborate courtesy toward all creatures, animate and inanimate.” from Renewing Husbandry by Wendell Berry
We hope that you can join us at a public Food and Farm Forum this Tuesday from 6-8:30pm at the McMinnville Community Center (600 NE Evans St., Room 103). There will be a meet and greet followed by a panel with Representative Jim Weidner and Susan Sokol Blosser, both candidates for House District 24. This is an opportunity to discuss food and agriculture issues with the candidates to highlight for them your concerns and thoughts, and to hear from the candidates where they stand on these issues. I’ll definitely be asking for their thoughts on the Grand Island quarry!
Tomorrow – Tuesday, September 28th – McMinnville Community Center, Room 103 – House District 24
Free and open to the public. Sponsored by Friends of Family Farmers, Slow Food Yamhill, OSALT
I haven’t been to see live theater in ages, but my friend Karen invited me to see the new Sojourn Theater show On the Table last night and I loved it! Innovative, thought provoking and entertaining – I’d highly recommend it. Only showing for another week I think so check it out here asap.