Slow Food USA president

From Fish to Farm: Looking Back on 2013

By Cheryl Brock

Carlo Petrini’s vision of supporting good, clean, and fair food for all creates the foundation for our actions. Guided by those three principles, we built a series of events and activities for the community this past year.

Here are just a few highlights.

Advocacy & Action

With the state legislation in session we teamed up with Friends of Family Farmers to present a workshop on how to effect positive change at the state level for our small family farmers. We learned what bills were being presented, what actions we could take to help ensure their passage, and how our involvement can make a difference in the future of food in our state.

Tuna Canning & Slow Fish

Tuna CanningSix whole tuna. 19 workshop participants. Presentations on sourcing, knife skills, filleting techniques, and canning procedures. Results: 114 half-pints of prime Oregon tuna, plus canning and preserving skills for a lifetime. (Watch the video.)

As a west coast community we want to broaden the conversation around fish, so we created the “School of Fish” series this past year, including a Fish 101 presentation, the tuna canning, and a workshop on smoking salmon. We also are engaged in the efforts to bring Slow Fish, a Slow Food International program, to the US. More to come in 2014.

New Partnerships

We partnered with the World Affairs Council of Oregon and their Setting the Table Series: Global Food/Local Perspectives. From the economics of coffee to the Colony Collapse of bees, we discovered more about the world of food and how our local actions can affect global change.

Helping Outgrowing Hunger create their first fundraising dinner brought out volunteers to cook and participants to attend. What a success! A full house, great food, lively conversation, and a worthy cause — all in support of developing neighborhood gardens where they are most needed.

Slow Food USA Leadership

Slow Food Portland gave Richard McCarthy new Slow Food USA Executive Director (pictured at top), a warm welcome at a reception at Good Keuken and Old Salt Marketplace. Richard shared the vision of traditional and heritage foods, the Ark of Taste, school gardens, Slow Meat, and getting back to the basics of good food.

Olive Farm Tour

Can olives grow in Oregon? What does an olive right off the tree taste like? How is olive oil processed? We discovered the answers to these questions and many more at Red Ridge Farms on our Olive Farm & Mill Tour. The olive oil tasting offered an intense and flavorful learning experience, too.


Slow Food Portland Steering Committee members, all volunteers, serve at the core of our local activities. We continually reach out to others in the community, from farmers, chefs and food activists, to those involved in social and educational organizations. We believe that by working together our grassroots efforts power the change needed to create a just and healthy food system. Thank you for supporting the slow food movement and making a difference each time you raise your fork!

And a toast to 2014 . . . may you take pleasure at the table, and take action when and where you can to support good, clean and fair food.

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Cheryl Brock is past chair of Slow Food Portland. With a long history in marketing and nonprofit cultural leadership roles she is now turning her attention to consulting in program management, fund development, and community relations. Cheryl also produces videos involving art, food and education. She mixes and matches fruits, vegetables, meats, and spices as if curating an edible art exhibit. 

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Thanks for sharing