This editor’s letter is published in the Spring 2015 issue of Edible Portland, which is Ecotrust’s final issue as publisher.
Have you heard? Ecotrust, publisher of Edible Portland, bought a building on SE 8th and Salmon — a massive 1918 warehouse, once used as an ironworks, that we’re calling The Redd. A redd is a nest in the gravel of a stream where Pacific salmon and trout lay their eggs. A redd nourishes the next generation, as long as abundant, clear, cold, oxygen-rich water flows.
We envision The Redd, opening in 2016, to be a cradle for food businesses, distributors, and educators who are committed to the long-term health of Northwest farmlands, soil, water, and people. Most of Redd campus will be production space and storage. But it will also have public education component. Much as we have used Edible Portland to pull back the curtains on the food movement and show how local sausage is made, so to speak, we intend for The Redd to give the public an open encounter with the inner workings of mission-driven food businesses. Read the latest news on The Redd here.
The Redd is part of an evolution of Ecotrust’s food systems work: We are tackling how to scale up better food so it becomes more affordable but also strengthens communities and benefits the land. Part of this change is letting go of some projects that have been central to our work — such as Edible Portland. This is Ecotrust’s final issue of the magazine. We are seeking a new publisher to carry on the work of covering food leaders behind the scenes and beyond the trends.
Looking back at 38 issues, common themes come to mind. From our first issue, we’ve been writing about Native First Foods, from the annual lamprey harvest at Willamette Falls to the gathering of huckleberries on Mt. Adams to the return of the wapato. We’ve focused on farmworkers’ rights as well as cutting-edge regional farmers. The Oregon coast and its fishermen were always within our sights. And we’ve published so many phenomenal recipes by Ellen Jackson that just perusing them forced us to take a lunch break.
We’ll soon be compiling our favorite stories here, on Ecotrust’s blog. Blow your mind (again) with the story of the rebirth of farming with draft horses. Trace the rise of black cod in the face of the salmon fishery collapse. Meet our regional seed growers. And visit farmworker housing to see a community reborn.
Ecotrust will continue telling important food stories through our beloved podcast Underground Airwaves and at events. Starting March 11, we are hosting three monthly Food Forums focused on breaking through the barriers to reach the next level of a sustainable food system in the Northwest.
We invite you to visit The Redd — long before we’ve given it a facelift — on the spring equinox, March 21, for the CSA Share Fair. Meet more than 20 CSA farmers, taste their early spring harvests, and learn about how you can deepen your commitment to nearby farmers and farmland.
Thank you for the last eight years of support and loyalty. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Laura Ford, Editor
Lola Milholland, Assistant Editor