Join the Winter Cache Project this Sunday for a workparty at Pleasant Valley Acres in Cumberland from 10-2, followed by a skillshare potluck at noon. Ian Toal from /bettie the Bus Initiative will be teaching skill share on making solar dehydrator and he is happy to give tours of his waste veggie oil bus and talk about his travels on the bus.
The mission of the Winter Cache Project (WCP) is to free ourselves from a dependence on industrial agriculture and to increase our community food security by developing sustainable local food systems. By growing and storing our own food to last throughout the winter and educating ourselves about agricultural issues, we aim to create a working example of how we can come together as a community to provide for our basic needs by employing the principles of mutual aid, equal access, and self-determination.
Increase year-round food security.
Implement sustainable agricultural practices.
Raise awareness around agricultural issues by educating ourselves and our community.
Preserve food for the winter by storing, canning, drying, and freezing.
Make nutritious, fresh food more accessible for all Portland residents.
Connect as a community to provide for our own needs.
What We Do:
The WCP grows, harvests, and preserves fruit, vegetables, and herbs to build a food cache for the winter months. The bulk of our cache is grown by members of the project at Pleasant Valley Acres Farm in Cumberland. Gene Weir, the farmer at Pleasant Valley Acres, allows the WCP to grow food on their land in exchange for help with tasks such as planting, weeding, harvesting, and cleaning out the goat barn. The WCP also participates in work-trade relationships with other local farmers--exchanging labor for an opportunity to glean their fields.
The majority of the work is accomplished during Sunday work parties from April to November. Work parties serve a dual purpose: first, to carry out the necessary labor to grow our own food, and second, to build community and share knowledge with neighbors and friends. At the end of October, many vegetables, such as potatoes, onions, carrots, cabbage, and squash, are put into storage in a basement root cellar in Portland. This food is then re-distributed to project volunteers on a bi-weekly basis throughout the winter.
The second major component of the WCP is our educational campaign. We offer workshops throughout the harvesting season for community members to teach each others how to preserve food in various ways, including canning, freezing, and drying. Educational events feature speakers, panel discussions, and educational videos to spark discussion around food security, sustainable agriculture, and social justice.