Category Archives: Food and the Environment

The Locavore Movement: Why Buy Local?

Laughing Planet and Sourcing Ingredients Locally

Here in Portland, given the wealth of pasture land surrounding us, it’s not that difficult for restaurants and eaters alike to source the vast majority of their food locally. And there’s an entire trend in the food world, regarding locavorism, or sourcing your food and ingredients 100% locally, rather than having frozen food and produce packed and shipped from halfway around the world, just so you can have citrus in winter when you live north of the equator.

Sure, it’s not possible for everyone to do just that. Extreme weather in some areas, such as the drouts that plagued states like Texas this year, can un-do most of the good ideas that eaters may have when it comes to finding food from nearby sources. After all, no water means paltry crops, and no local crops means you’re headed to the store to find something that was most likely grown far away and shipped to your local market. With the pace of the world set at maximum overdrive these days, and the business of doing business run on almost exclusively global terms, what do you think about efforts to eat locally?

Check out the infographic we found, and leave us a comment in the fields below. Continue reading

Winter Crops: What to Plant During the Colder Seasons

Planning Your Backyard Garden Now

backyard winter garden crops

While a lot of experts say that January and February here in the pacific northwest don’t necessarily make for the best planting months, if you remove that “t” and swap it out for an “n” instead, then you have a better idea of how to spend the winter when it comes to the backyard garden. Planning is the best course of action — especially when it’s too cold outside and in the ground to even get your fingers into the dirt.

So what should you be planning for, and what should already be in the ground? Seems like all the root vegetables make for great winter crops. That includes carrots, beets, broccoli, kale, garlic, onions, etc. And beyond that, a wide variety of leafy salad greens are solid bets for successful winter crops. In fact, if you planted seeds in the summer thinking you might end up with salad greens for your summer barbecues, only to discover the opposite was closer to the truth, you likely forgot you’d even planted greens in the first place. Continue reading

INFOGRAPHIC: Composting 101

What You Can Compost, and What You Can’t Compost

These days, and especially in Portland, it seems we’re all (slowly but surely) getting around to composting more. In some cities, small under-the-sink bins have been given out by local authorities, specifically designed for composting. And in other cities, the green trash bins typically reserved for yard waste and leaves have been cleared for food and compost too. Now, home and apartment dwellers are asked to spend a bit of extra time, weeding through the garbage they create, and making sure the right things end up in the right places.

Recycling like glass, paper, tin cans and plastic goes in the recycling bin. Food scraps, compostable take-out containers and the like all goes in the composting bin. Everything else goes in the trash can. Are you following this type of scheme yet in your city? If so, let us know how it’s working out for you, and what you think would make a great improvement if the system isn’t quite working. Check out this infographic we found, which breaks down what can go in the compost pile, and what should be left out. Continue reading

Peak Moment Episode 211: Polyface Farmer Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin on Peak Moment, From April 26, 2012

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Buying Local Produce in Portland Oregon

Partnering With Deep Roots Farm Means Truly Local Produce

deep roots farm in albany, oregon

We work extra hard to ensure that we put our money where our mouths are, and we mean that quite literally. Sourcing local produce isn’t just about reducing carbon emissions from trucks that would otherwise have to bring in veggies from far away. Buying our produce from local farms is also about our commitment to bettering the city of Portland, and the surrounding communities that feed into the systems at work here.

The photo above features Kimberly from Deep Roots Farm, alongside her youngest daughter Arissa and the Laughing Planet Head Chef, Jon Grumbles. In some seriously sweltering heat a few weeks ago, we took a visit down to Albany, Oregon, to spend some time with one of our principal produce sources, and got to see first-hand where our tomatoes, kale and more actually come from. Continue reading