Gorge Grown sponsors CSA Farm Open House April 17

Gorge Grown Food Network invites the public to come meet local farmers and ranchers at the second annual CSA Farm Open House at Dog River Coffee in Hood River, Wednesday, April 17, from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

CSA — community supported agriculture — is an innovative way to purchase local food that has risen in popularity in the last decade. By operating with the CSA model, farms invite their customers to become “members” for the season. CSA members are subscribed to weekly boxes of whatever is seasonal and fresh.

The upfront subscription fee provides farmers with early season cash flow, and it makes local food easily accessible. The average CSA cost is about $30 per week for a week’s worth of produce.

There is a complete list of CSA farms in the Gorge at www.gorgegrown.com, but the CSA Farm Open House allows the community to meet multiple farmers face-to-face before signing up for a 2013 farm share.

Live music, food and door prizes will be part of the afternoon, and anyone is welcome to join Gorge Grown and farmers for the CSA farm celebration.

The growth in CSA farms in the last six years has been tremendous; only two or three were available when Gorge Grown was founded in 2006. Today, there are more than a dozen CSA farms in the Gorge, including meat CSAs and year-round CSAs. Some CSA farms deliver to your doorstep; others invite you to visit the farm.

The CSA Farm Open House and Gorge Grown’s website are two opportunities to learn more about CSAs in the Gorge.

Gorge Grown Food Network acts as an information clearinghouse for local food and farms as a part of its mission to support locally grown food and local farmers. Promoting opportunities to purchase food directly from a local farmer is one way they do this, and CSA farms are a fun and easy way for a customer to buy local food. Visit www.gorgegrown.com for more information.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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