On Underground Airwaves, we talk a lot about the enjoyment of food. But for many people there are economic and social factors that keep them from the opportunities of enjoying good, healthy food. At the Sisters of the Road Cafe, they are attempting to make eating good food available to all people. Their hot food barter model allows them to serve fresh foods that you would normally not find in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. They also focus on dining with dignity, which creates an inclusive community where everyone’s needs can be served. We have a story from Kris Soebroto who has worked at Sisters of the Road for several years. She has gotten to know the community at Sisters intimately and has seen first hand the humanizing effect of a dignified dining experience. She talks about the work they are attempting at Sisters and how some of the things we take for granted, such as giving a gift, can be incredibly meaningful. The story and interview were recorded at KBOO Community Radio in Portland, OR. Find more information about the Sisters of the Road Cafe at SistersOfTheRoad.org.
If there is one thing that is held sacred in Oregon it is beer. Rarely do you see breweries go out of business, and when they do it is almost never because they were having trouble selling beer. When Brian Yaeger, who wrote “Red, White, and Brew” set out to write his latest book, “Oregon Breweries“, it was an incredibly daunting task; ultimately he would have to visit 192 breweries all over this sprawling state.
We talk with Brian on this episode of the podcast about his journey while writing the book. He talks about a few of the gems he found along the way and why Oregon is such a fertile place for good beer. He also talks about how a donut maker taught him to appreciate the stories of the people behind the food. The story and interview were recorded at KBOO Community Radio in Portland, OR.
Read more from Brian on his website: BrianYaeger.com
Oregon beer aficionado & author Brian Yaeger
When cities formed, they were essentially just groups of people coming together in one place. What we imagine as a city now is a far cry from what they were originally.
Catherine McNeur, a historian and professor at Portland State University, takes a look at New York City during it’s infancy in her book Taming Manhattan: Environmental Battles in the Antebellum City. The book covers a period of time when a politician’s view on the issue of urban pigs could make or break them. On this episode of the podcast, Catherine talks about the book, including the early pig riots, how the city interacted with the nearby farms, and the push away from local foods. She also tells a story about her move to Portland and how she kept running into urban livestock while finishing the book.
The story and interview were recorded at KBOO Community Radio in Portland, OR. Find more information about Taming Manhattan at CatherineMcNeur.com.
At the end of September a number of farmers, plant breeders, and chefs gathered together in Portland, Oregon for the Variety Showcase. The event was put on by previous Underground Airwaves guest Lane Selman. At the event, people could taste a number of different varieties of vegetables and determine the ones they liked best. Not only could they rank the varieties but the farmers and seed breeders were there and ready to talk about all of the vegetables.
One of the plant breeders at the event was Michael Mazourek of Cornell University. He and I found a moment to step out and talk about his work as a breeder. In that conversation he describes a pepper that he has recently bred that will soon be available commercially (see link for the Habanada below). He also talks about how his early gardening experiences influenced him as a plant breeder. The story and interview were recorded at Chris King Precision Components in Portland.
For more information about Michael’s research focus visit cornell.edu
You can find the Habanada pepper at fruitionseeds.com
There is a new quarterly magazine in Portland and it will likely interest readers of Edible Publications. Render and the focus of the magazine is on food and feminism. After a successful Kickstarter campaign this past summer, they have started printing the magazine. The first issue of the magazine takes a look at flesh; from women in the field of butchering to food and issues with weight.
On this episode of the podcast we talk with Gabi de Leon, founder and creative director, and Danielle Knott, executive director, about the origin story of the magazine as well as what they want to accomplish five years down the road. Gabi starts off the podcast with a story about how a butchering class with the Portland Meat Collective enabled her to be more in touch with her own flesh. The story and interview were recorded at KBOO Community Radio.
You can subscribe to Render Magazine at RenderFoodMag.com
If you are interested in reading a new food book, look no further than In Search of the Perfect Loaf: A Home Baker’s Odyssey by Sam Fromartz.
In the book, Sam takes us on a journey around the world where he works with some of the best bakers. He also talks about some of his accomplishments as an amateur baker, including baking for a dinner hosted by local food maven Alice Waters.
Along with the many stories, Sam includes several recipes with detailed instructions that highlight the breads contained in that chapter. It is a captivating and inspiring read. Sam was in Portland to give a reading at Powell’s Books when I got the chance to talk with him. On the podcast, he tells a story about a trip to France, talks about the book, and explains some of what it takes to make good bread. The story and interview were recorded at KBOO Community Radio.
Find more information about Sam Fromartz and his book, In Search of the Perfect Loaf: A Home Baker’s Odyssey at chewswise.com
This is actually take two for this episode of the podcast. Ian Harris and Underground Airwaves host Chris Seigel originally took a canoe trip out on Smith and Bybee Lakes, where they recorded the story and interview. Unfortunately, the audio was poor and they had to invoke the “redo,” re-recording the episode at KBOO.
Ian Harris, who recently wrote an article for Edible Portland, flips the script on the podcast by sharing a recipe from his ever-evolving “The Dutch Lovin’ Cookbook” instead of a story. We talk about dutch oven cooking for a while and scheme up a new Portland food hot spot. Before you get too upset, in the interview he does tell a great story about a time he did not heed the advice of poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Enjoy the episode!
Read Ian’s story, Gifts of the Desert, at edibleportland.com
Read about some of Ian’s trips on his tumblr, Après Ski Instructor
In this episode, we’re replacing a personal food story with a food fable from France. Professional storyteller Brian Rohr, who specializes in unearthing and bringing life to ancient tales and myths, joins Underground Airwaves to tell the story of an ancient apple tree and the woman who owned it. It is a bit longer than the stories we regularly showcase, but we guarantee that when you get to the end you will want it to continue. Listen in, enjoy, and learn more about Brian Rohr’s live story telling performances at the link below.
Find more information about Brian Rohr and his Sacred Storytelling Series at brianrohr.com
Urban farming is on the upward trend but it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to make a living at it. Stacey Givens, owner and creator of The Side Yard Farm & Kitchen, is putting in that hard work running a diversified operation. A recent recipient of a Local Hero Award, Stacey talks about the process of starting The Side Yard and its evolution over the years.
Find out more about Stacey and The Side Yard at TheSideYardPDX.com
Back in April, Underground Airwaves host Chris Siegel set up a story recording booth at Cherry Sprout Produce for their Earth Day celebration. There was live music, a knife sharpener, a small child struggling to push a reel mower – it was a beautiful setting for a day where folks were gathered to celebrate the earth. A variety of stories were told and a few of those are featured in this episode. The stories range from deeply personal to comedic, and there are moments when the event invades the story booth. Our guest storytellers on this episode are Luis Sandoval, Emily Ball-Lumbard, Larry Yes, and a special surprise guest.
Learn more about Cherry Sprout Produce at CherrySprout.com