We Heart Local Food: Two new campaigns will connect buyers with producers
Written by Source Staff
Wednesday, 02 May 2012 09:12
Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council launches "Buy Fresh, Buy Local" this Friday with
an early evening kick off at local food haven, Jackson’s Corner. The campaign aims to make it
easier for people to tell what food at a business is locally produced.
A vintagy looking label should start popping up around the area to help identify what foods are
Buy Fresh, Buy Local will also put out a directory. So, if you are looking for goat meat or
locally grown basil, you can check the
directory and know which grocery stores and restaurants are selling that thing.
To learn more or financially support the campaign, go the centraloregonfoodpolicy.org and click
on the Buy Fresh Buy Local tab, or call campaign co-chair Katrina Van Dis at 541-504-3307.
Locavore creating local food hub
Central Oregon Locavore , an online farmers marketplace, and its nonprofit, Local Commerce
Alliance, are looking to raise funds for a permanent location where the 100 percent volunteer
organizations hope to create a "Local Food Hub."
This hub will serve as a central location to buy, sell and store local products, offer classes and
workshops, provide refrigeration for products, offer room for product pick-up and drop-off, and
house the administration of other programs such as Farm Kids and Willing Workers On Local
The permanent location would, in affect, create a year-round, indoor farmers market with
regular business hours. All this will cost about $25,000, which needs to be raised in the next few
Donations can be made at centaloregonlocavore.com, through Kickstarter, or by calling founder,
Nicolle Timm at 541-633-0674. (LK)
Locavore to open store
Business makes locally grown food available to Central Oregon
Published: April 17. 2012 4:00AM PST
What: Central Oregon Locavore
Employees: One employee, five core volunteers
Where: 910 S.E. Wilson Ave.
Website: http://centraloregon locavore.com
If you go:
What: Central Oregon Locavore Campaign Kickoff
When: Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Earth Day Fair 16 N.W. Kansas Ave. Bend
When Nicolle Timm, the founder and owner of Central Oregon Locavore, and her boyfriend eat meals at home, she said they take inventory of the food on their plates.
“We take a mental tour of where our food comes from,” she said. “This cheese comes from Cada Dia; this roast comes from Dancing Cow; these greens come from Redtail Farm, etcetera.”
Timm, 34, makes it a priority to eat locally grown, fresh food. In fact she rarely goes to the grocery store. Instead, she gets her food from local farms.
Eating locally isn’t only about eating healthy, the Bend native believes. It’s also about supporting local farmers and the economy. To promote the local-food movement and provide Central Oregon residents access to locally grown or produced food, Timm began Central Oregon Locavore, a year-round online farmers market. She plans to take the business a step further, opening a retail location this summer.
Since the business started two years ago, she said, sales have tripled. She attributes the growth to the organization’s outreach and educational programs that have made residents aware of local food options and the importance of sourcing locally.
“We work hard to get out there, educate and spread the word,” she said.
“Nationally, local food is becoming more of a hot topic and that’s helping us too.”
With the growth of the business, Timm said the current store, a shared location on Southeast Wilson Avenue that serves as a biweekly drop-off and pick-up location, is becoming obsolete.
“With the growing season rapidly approaching, Locavore needs to transplant its headquarters to a new space that is larger, more convenient and will maintain regular business hours,” she said.
Once the retail store opens, Locavore customers will be able to stop and shop, she said, in addition to ordering online.
“We will have a retail store to expand our offerings,” she said. “But the bigger vision is to have it be a local food hub for Central Oregon ... a headquarters where the community can go to easily access local food and get involved.”
Timm said the retail location will also serve as a home base for educational programs and workshops.
“The idea is shop local first and supplement afterwards,” she said. “We know that this store won’t have everything that shoppers are looking for and they’ll have to supplement their shopping with other stores. But customers can be assured that what we do have is the most local and sustainably produced products available at the time.”
She said it will also be a resource for local farmers.
“A lot of the farms are on the edge,” she said, referring to their financial situations. “If they don’t get (the) support they need soon, they’re going to have to seek off-farm jobs.”
The new location will give farmers a place to sell smaller quantities of crops that would be too small for a local grocer to carry, she said.
The business operates with all-volunteer labor, she said. Any profit goes back into the organization. Timm expects a retail store will help the company earn a larger profit.
“People are so busy (that) thinking ahead to order and then remembering to pick up the order is a lot to ask,” she said. “If there was a retail (location) and they could swing by on their way home from work for last-minute stuff or impulse buys, it would be a lot easier.”
Timm wants to move into a new location by June 1. To start the store, Timm estimates she needs $25,000. She’s starting a fundraising campaign that will kick off at the Earth Day Fair in downtown Bend on Saturday.
“We need the community support to get this food hub established,” she said. “You can’t make enough money to get something like this started through a traditional business model. A community food hub has to be kick-started by the community.”
Q: What kinds of educational and outreach programs does Central Oregon Locavore offer?
A: Locavore has designed, organized and implemented several programs over the last two years that serve to support our mission to create a thriving local economy. These programs include community mixers, Farm Kids!-Kids Dig it, the Locavore Home Companion blog and Meet Your Farmer dinners. The programs are housed under a nonprofit umbrella (organization) called the Local Commerce Alliance, which will launch this fall.
Q: Is the local food movement growing in Bend?
A: It’s picking up, but to sustain farms and a business like Locavore, more people need to get on board. There’s not a lot of food being produced in Central Oregon at this time, definitely not enough to sustain the population. The goal is to boost our food production so we can be increasingly self-sufficient in Central Oregon.
Q: Who will run the retail store?
A: I am expecting to have a store manager and a website manager. There will be a mix of paid and volunteer hours to start with. We are still working on the details.
Q: What do you do to support yourself since you are technically a volunteer?
A: I work as a labor and delivery nurse at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend and Redmond.
— Reporter: 541-617-7818,
Last modified: October 19. 2011 5:29AM PST
Shoppers interested in local goods can now peruse in a new retail space.
Central Oregon Locavore has launched The Locavorium, which will be open every other Thursday of the month, including this Thursday, from noon to 6:30 p.m. at 910 S.E. Wilson Ave., Unit C3, Bend. It features an array of teas, canned seafood, biodegradable cleaning products, beeswax and more.
Central Oregon Locavore links area producers to customers through its website. A yearlong membership is required for online and retail shopping. It costs $10 and can be purchased online.
Contact: www.centraloregonlocavore.com, email@example.com or 541-633-0674.
An edible adventure
Bend gleaning group tours the community collecting leftovers from gardens, yards and farms
By Nick Grube / The Bulletin
Published: October 10. 2011 4:00AM PST
Rowan Lintner, 9, of Bend, works to crank a cider press at a westside Bend home Sunday.
Photos by Andy Tullis / The Bulletin
Morgaine Stalker, 7, of Bend, picks apples during the Edible Adventure Crew’s October Apple Rally on Bend’s west side on Sunday. The apples, picked from various locations around town, were used to make cider.
Photos by Andy Tullis The Bulletin
After helping pick apples during the Edible Adventure Crew’s October Apple Rally, Holiday Barnes, 6, of Bend, tries out some fresh-squeezed cider she helped create.
On Sunday morning Terry Reynolds’ backyard was overrun with strangers taking fruit from her apple tree.
The Bend resident watched as nearly a dozen people, adults and children alike, clambered around the trunk and shook the branches.
Some of them even raked at the tree with homemade apple pickers - built using duct tape and whatever long handles they could find - to help nab the out-of-reach fruit.
While this might seem obtrusive to some, Reynolds appreciated the help. She normally makes applesauce in fall, but because of a broken foot was unable to pick the fruit from her backyard.
That’s when a group called the Edible Adventure Crew approached her asking if they could come take the fruit from her tree on Sunday. They even offered to fill a few tubs for her.
“It’s a great idea,” Reynolds said. “There’s way too much food going to waste.”
The Edible Adventure Crew was created last year and is organized by Central Oregon Locavore founder Niki Timm. Its goal is to travel around Central Oregon to collect leftover produce from people’s gardens, yards and farms that would otherwise rot or go unused.
This concept is known as gleaning, and it’s not a new one. It goes back at least as far as biblical times, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Sunday’s “October Apple Rally” was the first gleaning event Timm organized this year, and she’s planning a couple more outings over the next couple months. Last year, she took small groups on trips to a couple local farms to glean pumpkins and other produce, such as tomatoes.
She said she’s hoping to do another pumpkin outing later this year, probably after Halloween.
“There are a lot of people out there who don’t have the funds to purchase local food,” Timm said. “This is a way to involve those people. ... It’s also a way to educate them that good food is around us and it’s free. You just have to put the time in to get it.”
Sunday’s apple rally attracted nearly 20 people to Mother’s Juice Cafe around 10 a.m. From there, they roved around Bend’s west side on bicycles picking apples and plums from nearly a dozen locations.
They later gathered at a home near the Riverside Market where they ground up an estimated 75 to 80 gallons of cider through a press. Apple pie and other recipes were also available.
For Amy Brewster and her husband, Daniel, it was their first time gleaning, and they both said they enjoyed the adventure. Daniel even made his own apple picker just before the event using a snow shovel handle, a clothes hanger and a 2-liter plastic bottle to catch the fruit.
“I like that it’s a community thing,” Amy Brewster said. “I thought this would be a good opportunity to meet some people and get outside.”
Compared to the Brewsters, Pearl Stark and her husband, Brett Yost, are veterans. They’ve been gleaning for six to eight years.
Stark said most people are happy to have someone gather the apples from their yards because it means they don’t have to rake the fruit up themselves.
In addition to apples, she said there are several other food sources sprinkled around town, from pear and plum trees to edible weeds, like lamb’s quarter.
“There’s all this great food growing around town,” she said. “I’d hate to see it go to waste. It should be eaten.”
More information about the Edible Adventure Crew and Central Oregon Locavore can be found at www.central oregonlocavore.com.
Central Oregon's No. 1 Locavore
Nicolle Timm founded online marketplace that links local residents with farm-fresh, sustainably grown foods
By Anne Aurand
/ The Bulletin
On a recent Thursday afternoon in a small industrial warehouse near Wilson Avenue and Ninth Street in southeast Bend, Nicolle Timm sorted bottles of beer and wine.
“Who ordered wine?” she asked an assistant. “Where's the ticket for this?”
Before she could find the wine's order form, Robyn Rogers, a small-scale farmer with Rogers Roost Ranch east of Bend walked in carrying fresh eggs and Ziploc bags stuffed with fresh greens and radishes. Timm greeted her, flipped through the papers on her clipboard, and checked off Rogers' delivery. As Timm helped Rogers stack her produce in the refrigerator next to a tag bearing its buyer's name, the next farmer arrived to deliver her goods.
This is Central Oregon Locavore in action.
And Timm, the 33-year-old woman shuffling around with the clipboard, is the energy behind its existence.
Central Oregon Locavore
Last year Timm founded Central Oregon Locavore, an online marketplace where fresh, sustainably grown, local foods are bought and sold. Local producers such as Rogers post their items on the website, www.centraloregonlocavore.com. Then, buyers can shop and place orders on the site. The online selection includes everything from vegetables, meat, eggs, dairy, breads and chocolates to cleaning supplies, cosmetics and candles. Shoppers pay an annual $10 membership fee to be part of the buyers club.
Every other Thursday, year-round, it all comes together. Producers deliver their goods to Timm in the early part of the day. Later in the afternoon, buyers arrive to pick up their orders.
“(Locavore) gives me an outlet,” said Rogers. As a stay-at-home mom who has recently started gardening in a “back-to-basics” movement to feed her family with homegrown food, she often over-plants and harvests a surplus. Sometimes she sells it or donates it. She doesn't make much money; a bi-monthly check from Locavore for $30 is a good-size payment for her, she said. But she's glad her food is not going to waste, she said, so it's worth the effort.
Timm's not making any money off the venture either. She spends about 30 hours a week on Locavore and its side projects, but her payback is more of a philosophical nature.
“I do run Locavore on a volunteer basis,” she said. “Someday I may be able to make a modest income with it, but for now it all goes to fridges, freezers, website stuff and marketing.”
She earns her living as a full-time labor and delivery nurse at St. Charles Bend and Redmond. She can't work that job on Thursdays, because it's drop-off and pick-up day, and sometimes she can't take other shifts because of Locavore-related meetings or events.
“I try not to think about how much money I would make if I didn't have this business,” she said. She worries about how much of her time gets donated to her passion for supporting small-scale, local and environmentally friendly agriculture.
“But what's the alternative? Work more, get more money, more time for fitness and less stress,” she speculates. “But what would I be living for? How would I leave the world a better place?”
A hard worker
Those who know Timm through her local food advocacy role describe her with words of awe. Many describe her as “amazing,” followed by “energetic” and “dedicated.”
“I'm all work and no play,” she admitted.
Even on her days off, she's busy. From the cozy west-Bend rental home that she shares with her boyfriend, she's usually dealing with the website. Her coffee table is scattered with homework: magazines about healing arts, health food and lactation research. She had been studying for a recent test she took to become a certified lactation consultant.
She manages three different phones. One of them she couldn't ignore: It was Healthy Start, another part-time job, answering a 24-hour nurse line. In fluent Spanish, she discussed an office problem Healthy Start was having.
And between tasks, she practices what she preaches.
“I love cooking and experimenting with food at home,” she said.
The house smells sweet and spicy. Glass jars of herbs, spices and tea leaves, many grown around the region, line her kitchen shelves. In July, a large kettle for canning sat on the stove burner, next to it jars of canned cherries. When something is in season, it's “time to put it up,” she said.
Not surprisingly, two freezers in her garage are packed with locally raised meat. A small fridge contains homemade fermented foods such as sauerkraut, pickled beets and cider, which she created from local produce.
Timm was born and raised in Bend, where she's still surrounded by a large family.
As a child, she was creative and energetic, according to her mother, Becky McColl, a lactation consultant for St. Charles Health System. She was challenging, McColl remembers. Timm slept less than most kids. She scattered her art and craft projects all over the place. She was such a busy little girl, McColl said.
McColl was an early adopter of the local and organic food movements in the 1970s, when she moved to Bend when Timm was born. They ran a food co-op with friends who would order and share large quantities of organic food. They grew a garden, and Timm loved helping in the harvest. Timm grew up eating carrots out of the dirt, McColl said.
“I always had to wait for her to come home from school to dig the potatoes,” McColl said. “She loved that. It was a treasure hunt.”
So in many ways, McColl set the stage for the person Timm would become — a health care professional and health food advocate. If Timm passes her certification to become a lactation consultant, they'll share that career as well.
“It's really bizarre,” Timm said with a laugh. “I'm turning into my mother.”
McColl couldn't be more pleased.
“There was a time during her teenage years that she rebelled. I didn't see this coming because of that,” McColl said.
Timm dropped out of Mountain View High School before graduating. In her teens, she was difficult and rebellious, Timm admitted. She skipped school, because she hated it and didn't think she was learning anything that mattered. She partied like wild, she said. But after a contentious time of conflict, she and her mother made a deal, Timm said. Timm would get her GED and go to college, and her mother would get off her back.
It worked, by all accounts.
“You always dream and hope your kids will become something you're proud of and she's done it,” McColl said.
Timm went to Southern Oregon University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing through Oregon Health & Science University.
“I wanted to be a nurse to make people healthy, but I realized that was not what nurses did,” she said. “I took nutrition classes and realized that was the health care people needed.”
She had tried various diets such as raw food and vegetarianism. “Scientifically and physiologically, these diets don't make sense,” she said. “And I thought, ‘I don't feel good.' ”
How Locavore started
While she was doing some additional training on labor and delivery in Denver, she discovered the Weston A. Price theory on food, which emphasizes nutrient-dense animal and plant foods, healthy fats and an avoidance of processed food. (She's now the Weston A. Price Bend Chapter leader, for which she organizes monthly potlucks.) While learning about the Weston A. Price theory of nutrition, she developed an interest in raw milk. She found a dairy farmer north of Denver, and ended up working for her for while working as a nurse.
“That was an influential time,” she said. It gave her insight into what it takes to run a farm.
When she returned to Bend in 2008 and started working at St. Charles Bend and Redmond as a labor and delivery nurse, she was already committed to the local food movement. In search of healthy local food for herself, she realized it was hard to obtain. As a customer, she met the farmers from Dancing Cow Farm, near Prineville, which raises livestock and poultry. She saw that they were farming, marketing, and delivering their product to buyers.
“That started me thinking, These farmers need help. They're wearing too many hats and not making it,” Timm said.
She organized a mini-farmers market at a house in Bend, threw the occasional “pop-up farmers market,” she said. That led to the website. She discovered software made in Eugene, specifically for this purpose, and launched www.centraloregonlocavore.com in spring of 2010, with Dancing Cow Farm as its first seller. Now there are more than 100 vendors on the site.
Jerre Kosta Dodson, an owner of Dancing Cow, said the website “allowed us to come in contact with more people.” It increased sales by introducing new customers, and reduced the amount of delivery Dodson has to do. It's also better for her customers, who can pick up a variety of goods at one time.
“She created this, funded it with her own money, time and energy,” Dodson said. “The support she gives to food and agriculture in this area is enormous.”
Dodson said Timm is “an angel” who “gives and gives and gives.”
Mike Duggan, an owner of DD Ranch in Terrebonne, said the same. He sells pork, beef, honey, produce and flowers on the site. Navigating the website's technology — not something he grew up with — can be hard for him at times, he said. In that respect, “she worries about us a lot,” he said. “She'll call me and remind me to look on the website. If I can't get (something to work), she'll help me.”
“I just look on the website and it's all spelled out what I should deliver to the drop point,” he said.
“I've been doing this for over 25 years here in Central Oregon and have never had the response from buyers like I've had over the last six months since Nicolle has become involved,” Duggan said. “She's doing a good job for the community.”
“There are lots of fun people in Bend right now that are excited and enthused about this local food thing,” he said.
Timm says there's still not enough of them.
The true cost of food
One of Locavore's biggest challenges is that the orders for food are generally small. It's almost not worth it for some producers to deliver such small orders at the drop site, she said.
Food and products on Locavore are expensive. Prices are similar to what people pay at the farmers market, Timm said. But that's the real cost of producing healthy food in an environmentally friendly way, Timm said. She said the farmers she supports are not polluting the planet with excessive packaging; they're not guzzling petroleum to ship products long distances; they're feeding their animals grass instead of unnatural feed; and they're avoiding chemicals that control pests and weeds.
Timm believes in supporting the local farmers for economical reasons, too. If the local farmers aren't making it, she said, what will this region do if it's cut off from food imports, in the event of some global or environmental crisis?
Despite her idealism, she gets discouraged. She works hard, and sometimes it doesn't seem like enough people believe in the cause.
“Am I the only one who cares enough to keep this going?” She has a handful of volunteers who help her, but sometimes sellers and buyers don't put that much energy into it, she said.
Timm has been expanding with a variety of services to help local farmers and spread awareness.
Last September she started a monthly “meet your farmer” dinner at the Common Table restaurant downtown. For that event, she connects local farmers with the Common Table chef to plan a menu that highlights the farmer's foods. Timm organizes the events, which include presentations by herself and the farmer.
One other side project, called a Willing Workers on Local Farms, has helped Jim Fields, an owner of Fields Farm in Bend, tremendously, he said. The program, which coordinates volunteers to come help on a farm, has brought some 20 volunteers of all ages to build cool-storage rooms, clean under the raspberry patch and spread compost.
“It made such a difference to me,” he said. “It's so invaluable to the farmer.”
“I have total appreciation for what Niki is doing,” he said. “Her heart is in the right place.”
Anne Aurand can be reached at 541-383-0304 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- MORE INFORMATION -
Locavore:<br>one who eats foods grown locally whenever possible
From bendbulletin.com - published daily in Bend, Oregon, by Western Communications, Inc. Copyright 2005.
Monday, 29 August 2011 16:58 Written by Sydney Leonard
As dusk approached on the day that the front page of The Bulletin featured an article about the financial woes of the Common Table, a line of people formed out the door of the downtown nonprofit restaurant. The room was full, booming with conversation, exclamations, and introductions.
“Apparently people in this town actually read the newspaper,” commented one volunteer.
While the urgency of the article might have played a role, the crowd that Friday evening was lured in by the monthly Meet Your Farmer Dinner, an event that has become increasingly popular since its inception almost a year ago. The event is a dinning and educational experience; a four course meal prepared by Common Table chef Bethlynn Rider using products from one local farm, the farmers of which give a presentation after the meal. The farm featured this month is Bend’s landmark organic produce grower Fields Farm, located just two miles east of downtown.
“The intent is to showcase local producers to the public that they might not otherwise hear about. Basically connecting customer with producer,” explained event founder Nicole Timm of Central Oregon Locavore.
The restaurant’s namesake, a 20-foot walnut table in the center of the room, along with a second row of tables of equal length all lined with vases of freshly picked flowers, bench seats and chairs provide an ideal communal setting. The set-up is casual. Most dinners have purchased tickets online in advance and check in at the front counter next to a small chalkboard displaying this evening’s menu. A situation that would seem to breed chaos—people entering at various times, no common beginning and end to the meal, four courses served in a succession to match the pace of each diner—is handled gracefully by a mostly volunteer staff.
I squeeze between fellow diners at the end of a bench seat where conversation generally revolves around the dietary mania that fuels these events. Tonight’s dinner is raw in celebration of the short window of fresh produce available in our temperamental high desert climate. The first course arrives quickly, a tomato-watermelon gazpacho, refreshing with zucchini adding a nice crunch to the all-to-often soggy gazpacho. Next is a salad with a nice balance of sweet, tangy and nutty flavors. The main course is a beet ravioli with thinly sliced raw beets towering in a spiral with cashew cream sauce between.
Just as dessert arrives for most dinners, a lovely lime mousse in a nut crust, topped with gelato from Bonta (a new ice cream maker in Bend), Debbe and Jim Fields of Fields Farm begin their presentation. Timm introduces Fields as the “godfather of organic farming in Central Oregon,” and rightly so. Jim and Debbe have been at it since 1989, operating as a community supported agriculture (CSA) farm since their inception, a popular model these days, but virtually unheard of 20 years ago.
The CSA model allows the risks and benefits of farming to be shared between grower and consumer. Consumers purchase a “share” at the beginning of the season, giving the farm a guaranteed market in exchange for weekly food boxes.
“We went and asked our friends, co-workers and people we were in co-operative daycare with to join us in this farming experiment. Their small amount of money helped us to do this and allowed us to learn how to be farmers,” explained Fields.
If you’re interested in becoming a CSA member of Fields Farm, the Fields suggest calling in April to get your name on a list that will be invited to join the farm next season. A $620 share will get you 25 weeks of fresh organic local produce. Event organizer, Central Oregon Locavore, is a year-round online market offering a wide range of local food products. Pay a visit to their site (centraloregonlocavore) for information on upcoming Meet Your Farmer Dinners, volunteer opportunities on local farms, and news and events for our thriving local food community.
How To Be A Locavore
by Bette Fraser of The Well-Traveled Fork