Category Archives: local economy

Portland Roasting

portlandroasting

It’s National Coffee Day, and here in Portland, coffee is taken seriously. In fact, not surprisingly Portland is ranked the 2nd best city for coffee snobs.

Our households buy our coffee through a school program with Portland Roasting Company that contributes $4 out of ever $10 purchase directly to the school. Now if you ask me, that is beats a bake sale any day!

Most of us drink coffee, so this way we can do so and support our local schools at the same time. If you live in Portland, or even if you don’t, drop us a note and we can connect you with the organizers of the program and hook you up with some awesome coffee for a great cause.

350 bakery

I also have to share about the newest and most fabulous 350 Bakery & Coffee Bar in Washington, DC. Conveniently right across the street from where we just moved from, 350 Bakery is a fabulous addition to the neighborhood. I typically stay away from pastries, but if you are going to have one, it might as well be delicious! Plus the staff cannot be beat on the friendliness factor. It isn’t surprising, since Andy, their head barista, was actually trained in Portland. Stop by and check them out!

Enjoy a cup!

Miel

Family Friendly Farmer’s Markets

Despite the fact that I froze this morning when daring to wear a skirt, I am determined to believe that spring is finally here. For me that means the return of my ritual visits to the Portland Farmer’s Markets! 


I mark dates on my calendar, and try to make at least one a week. This year I plan on buying much more produce, since we no longer have organic home delivery.


Not surprisingly, Portland made the Apartment Therapy’s Top 10 List of Farmer’s Market. But they don’t share that the PSU Saturday market is really one mostly for visitors, and locals visit the others all across the city on different days of the week. Here are my favorites:

Here are some tips for saving money at Farmer’s Markets:

  • Buy in season – pretty simple, but you’ll pay more if you get impatient
  • Bring a list, but be flexible – it’s obviously harder to predict availability and sales, so flexibility is key
  • Buy in bulk – freezing fresh produce is a great way to save and eat healthy out of season. But there’s a caveat…
  • Don’t buy more than you have time to eat/store – nothing worse than wasting food!
  • Shop at the end of the day – no vendor wants to schlep home wares, so deals are to be made…and don’t be afraid to negotiate, but remember market etiquette 

While it won’t likely reduce your grocery bill, I think bringing kids to farmer’s markets encourages lifelong healthy eating habits. We’re lucky that our kids go to the market almost every week with their childcare classes. The kids pick out veggies that the cook uses on healthy pizzas, and as you would guess the kids come up with some really creative combos. Portland Farmer’s Markets even offers cooking lessons for kids, which reminds me of my niece, Kid Foodie 🙂 


Do you frequent farmer’s markets with your family?


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Economics of Happiness

The Economics of Happiness is a new documentary film with virtually all of my favorite social/environmental/economic revolutionaries (…minus Paul Hawken;-)


While we haven’t seen a total about face, I truly think that the lasting impact of the economic crisis will be a cultural shift away from materialism and toward sustainability. It may not happen over night, but the pendulum is shifting.


The film isn’t on Netflix yet, but I’ll post a comment when it’s available.


Here’s quick blog post on the film from a parents perspective.


Here’s the trailer to The Economics of Happiness:





What do you think of the Economics of Happiness?


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Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.



Kid Foodie

Today’s post is a shameless plug: 


My adorable niece is making a name for herself as “Kid Foodie.” She does live interviews with farmers at the Chappaqua Farmer’s Market, and writes a column about her experience of learning about where her food comes from. Our family is so proud of her, and it’s exciting to see a new generation that cares about where their food comes from and how it’s produced.


While specialty food can get expensive, I agree with Amanda about how important it is to support local farmers. We buy as much organic and local food as possible. Spud really makes it easy. Even during the winter our food related carbon footprint is much less than the average household, and I love how Spud tracks it for you.


A co-worker of mine is very passionate about food, and has a “hobby farm” where she raises and butchers her own animals, and naturally has an organic garden and puts away much of her produce for the winter. Although she not as extreme as the Portlandia couple, she does ask which farm they got the meat from and if they don’t know she’ll go veggie. If you are a foodie/farmer, you should definitely check out her Hobby Farm blog.


Here’s Kid Foodie’s interview with Big Girl Bakery:





Can’t you just see her as the next Katie Couric?!


Do you try to buy local?
Do your kids care where their food comes from?


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Supportland Card!

A few months ago I shared my excitement about a new rewards card for shopping local, Supportland – Part 1


I was psyched to pick up my card at one of my favorite kids shops – Milagro’s.  Instead of needing to run out and buy disposable diapers, I find myself running to Milagro’s or Mother Nature’s every few months to buy more poo liners for Girly’s cloth diapers (yes, they capture most poo to drop easily into the toilet). I also happened to be running errands and sold $25 worth of clothes as credit at Bella Stella (apparently you need an appointment at Milagro’s).


Supportland is still expanding their business network, and I can hardly wait until my favorite local shops and restaurants are on board.


If you really must get your holiday shopping, many communities are offering special incentives to shop locally this Saturday.


Do you think shopping locally matters to the environment and your wallet?


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.