One of my favorite stories about my brother when he was little was one day the kindergarten teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up.
He proudly responded “a firefighter! … or a dog!” Adorable, right?
I feel like I’ve always had a large number of various career aspirations (though I don’t think I ever wanted to be an animal…). Some of the odd ones include architect and musician, definite no-go’s since I’m pretty artistically challenged.
Later in life, my job interests were narrowed down to three options: accounting, baking and teaching. While I decided to become an accountant professionally and I bake as a personal hobby, I still love the idea of teaching and little kids interested in learning are just too cute.
So recently I got involved with the Sauvie Island Center, a really great nonprofit organization that teaches kids about food, farming and the land. As their Treasurer and a volunteer for their field trips, it is the perfect combination of all three interests.
Sauvie Island Center’s main program is field trips for Portland-area elementary school classes, from mostly low-income/Title 1 schools. The students come out to a piece of the Sauvie Island Organics farm/Metro land to learn about plants, wildlife and pollination. They even get to do some planting and harvesting of their own.
Volunteering on these trips has been a total blast and really rewarding. Having a child ask if they can eat more of kale after having told you minutes earlier that they hate vegetables is pretty awesome.
To celebrate National Farm to School Month, Sauvie Island Center had their fall fundraising event, Farm to City last week. Held on the beautiful rooftop of the Ecotrust building in the Pearl, it was a really great event…despite the rain. Remember that crazy rainstorm where there was record rainfall? Oh yeah, that’s when the event was happening. Once again, the event was outside, on the roof…
But no fear, Oregonians are brave and we powered through! With the tents up, a fire going in the fireplace, and drinks still pouring, it all was ok!
The folks from Food Front generously donated all of the food, which was prepared in conjunction with the curriculum of the Sauvie Island Center. The Soil Investigation table had spinach and kale spanakopita to represent the importance of healthy soil for produce. Plants Parts featured a fig and walnut tapenade to highlight the different edible pieces of plants.
There was also lots of cheese – really great goat cheese, aged cheddar, gouda, and plenty more. I’m pretty sure 80% of my dinner that night was cheese. Not that I’m complaining.
Ruby Jewel‘s Honey Lavender Ice Cream and cookies were a perfect pairing for SIC’s Pollination Station as an example of how pollinators contribute to our food supply.
Drinks included seasonal beer from Widmer Brewing, NW wine and a fantastic cocktail mixed by Merit Badge, a local bar catering company.
Called the Apiary, it even featured cucumber, rosemary and mint planted by the students in the Sauvie Island Center’s garden. Mixed with vodka, fresh lime juice and local honey, it was really fresh and not too sweet. Definitely would be a perfect drink for a hot, summer afternoon.
Regardless of the weather last week, it was a really fun evening filled with lots of delicious food, cocktails and laughs with good friends, and all supporting a great cause!
Want to donate, volunteer or just learn more about the Sauvie Island Center? Let me know or check out their website for lots of great information.