Taking Root #40

Mar. 9, 2016
By Gini Bramlett
For the Calapooia Food Alliance


Exciting Future for CFA

By Gini Bramlett

During an all day retreat in February, the Calapooia Food Alliance outlined some positive and forward thinking enhancements for the Brownsville Community Garden and the newly dubbed Brownsville Thursday Market.

The market’s new name, Brownville Thursday Market reflects the change from Saturdays to Thursdays last season, as well as to encourage participants who are not local food growers to bring their locally produced non food items to sell at the market.

The Thursday Market, held from 3-7pm beginning May 5 through October on Main and Park streets in Brownsville, will kick off the season with plant starts, container plants and perennials, early season veggies, fresh locally-produced eggs, breads, jams and other jarred items, as well as locally produced nonfood items. The previous years’ “starts” market and produce/crafts market that followed are now merged.

If you would like to sell your own home grown, locally-produced food or nonfood items at the Thursday Markets, contact market manager, Diane Remior at 541-359-5898. If you’d prefer not having your own booth and/or have only a small amount to sell, the CFA can sell it for you. The fee to sell your wares is low and the support from the CFA is high. Give Diane a call.

The purpose of the Community Garden includes providing garden space for gardeners who may not have adequate space at home, or for those who need additional space. The low rental fees include use of tools, water and soil amendments. It also offers gardeners the opportunity to learn and share information with other like-minded people.

The community garden will also be used as a gathering place and community center for social events and garden demos. Hosting monthly events during gardening season is being discussed.

Another important purpose of the garden is growing produce to help support the food alliance’s mission, which is to facilitate and promote healthy, local, sustainable food production and consumption. The CFA grows fresh produce which provides organic, locally-grown fresh fruits and vegetables to sell at the market which helps support its mission, as well as to be donated to various organizations within our community, including our local food bank and Meals on Wheels.

Education is another important component to the CFA’s mission; teaching potential gardeners who live in our community to grow their own and be sustainable as an alternative to buying long-stored chemical-laden produce shipped from outside our local communities.

The CFA participates in activities such as pruning apple trees to assist Rod and Sarah Fielder at their Brownsville orchard which offers teaching opportunities to the public as well. The alliance also offers free garden advice from local Master Gardeners at the Thursday Market, coordinates garden-related activities for children, as well as holding Seed Swaps and the monthly “Munch Night,” a CFA fundraiser, which offers films that educate participants on healthy eating and living. The event includes, for a small donation, a full, healthy mostly plant-based meal before the film. It is held the third Friday of the month. Check our website at gocfa.org for details.

The CFA website has been upgraded to provide up-to-date local CFA news, CFA activities, and an online calendar of events, back issues of Taking Root, as well as links to other local sites.

FREE Seed to Supper Classes are started now! You can register on-line now for a FREE six-week beginning vegetable gardening course held Wednesdays from Mar. 9 to Apr. 13 from 6:30-8:30 pm at Fisher Hall (Brownsville Council Chambers behind City Hall). Classes are taught by local Master Gardeners, Louise Fassio and Donald Lyon and include a free textbook, tips on cooking what your grow and a tour of a local garden. Register at extension.oregonstate.edu/linn/seed-supper or call 541-967-3871.

The CFA is actively encouraging members of the community to participate in activities to help promote its mission. If you would like to help by donating even an hour in the garden, or at the market by helping set up, sell, or take down at market’s end, contact Peg Purkerson at 541-466-5563.

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