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August 07, 2007

climate convergence in skamokawa this week

In the midst of global climate change and with the lack of a sane energy policy at the front of many people in evenTinierTown's minds, there is a bit of hope on the horizon - or at least a great weekend.

The west coast Climate Convergence is slated for this week in Skamokawa, WA (yep, evenTinierTown is on the map!). During this event, a lot of crunchy granola folks will converge on evenTinierTown, talk climate change, party and listen to people like Starhawk speak. (hmmm, are there people 'like' Starhawk?)

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March 30, 2007

Washington and Oregon wine and cheese pairings

One of the sweet things about living at the confluence of the Columbia River and Pacific Ocean is that I get to claim Tillamook Cheese as my local cheesemaker. The factory is close enough that I could drive down for the afternoon and still make it home for dinner. Since Tillamook cheddar is one of my all-time favorites, this is a real stroke of luck for me. It also means that when a local burger place needs a local cheese, they can go to the source of some very nice stuff indeed.

But the Tillamook folks aren't content to just promote their own fine cheeses. They have created a couple of wine and cheese pairing lists that highlight selections from local wineries, and even other cheese producers.

I have had a number of the listed cheeses and they are very nice indeed - Cougar Gold, for example, is a  longtime regional favorite and it was nice to see it on the list. A number of the wines were less familiar to me, but there are a few I am looking forward to checking out.

If you live in the area and want to expand your options for locally made sips and nibbles, you really should check these lists out!

White and Sparkling wines
Red wines

April 04, 2006

NAIS Informational meeting

(grok'd from the Gray's River Grange site)

There's been a bit of information floating around lately about the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), a new program of the USDA.From the USDA website:   

“As part of its ongoing efforts to safeguard U.S. animal health, USDA initiated the implementation of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) in 2004. NAIS is a cooperative State-Federal-industry partnership to standardize and expand animal identification programs and practices to all livestock species and poultry. NAIS is being developed through the integration of three components—premises identification, animal identification, and animal tracking. The long-term goal of the NAIS is to provide animal health officials with the capability to identify all livestock and premises that have had direct contact with a disease of concern within 48 hours after discovery.”

It sounds good on paper, but it raises some significant red flags in my mind, seeming to place a huge logistical and financial burden on small farmers. Farmgirl has been talking to me about it in mail recently and she pointed me at NONAIS, a portal for all things NAIS (Yes, they have a position, but you could tell that from the name, right?)

Carrie Kennedy, our local WSU Extension Agent, will be hosting a meeting at the Grays River Grange on May 9th at 7:30 pm to talk about NAIS and answer questions that you may have about how it will impact you. The grange hall is at the west end of the hamlet of Grays River on SR 4. Hope to see you there.

December 02, 2005

Feeling the doubletall love

Our Sam may be a star, but Sambuck's is not Starbucks's...and I doubt anyone would confuse the two. Well, anyone other than a corporate attorney, that is. Just down the road in Astoria, a hole-in-the-wall has fought the (strip)mall and the mall won. Sam Buck, the owner of Sambuck's Coffee House in Astoria just lost a court decision in which a federal judge ruled that she was willfully infringing on the coffee behemoth's trademark by naming her coffee shop after herself. Note that she did this in 2000 before there was a single coffeeBehemoth store in Astoria. Apparently when they arrived in town in 2002 they decided to care about Sam's little place and sue her.

Let me pause for just a moment to say that any business that names itself after a character in a classic book that was written long before they were incorporated and then claims that character's name as if they'd invented it needs to take a good look at itself. Whats next? No more Moby Dick readings because they say the word? I've hung in there with coffeeBehemoth through a lot of stupidity--even when they responded to criticism of their inclusive stance on coffee cup quotes by adding one that was anything but. (For some reason I thought that it might get a homophobe to think, "well, the coffee's good, maybe being gay is okay too" and lighten up. Silly me.)

I must admit that I haven't been into Sam's place yet, even though I get espresso everytime I go to Astoria, sometimes at coffeeBehemoth. Not anymore. Next time I will go to Sam's coffee house and I shall avoid coffeeBehemoth like the avian flu. Although I may stop by, cup of Sam's coffee in hand, to tell them why I am not shopping there anymore.

Odd that a company that claims to support small business in the form of farmer's overseas does its best to squish small business here at home. Fair trade, indeed.

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