Episode: 020: Portland is a Movable Side Yard Feast

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020: Portland is a Movable Side Yard Feast

Organization:The Side Yard is an urban farm, supper club and catering company located in the NE Cully Neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. Since 2009 they have provided local restaurants with creative organic produce and the community with food, education and opportunity. The farm is largely operated by volunteers and interns who gain hands on experience with the urban seed to plate movement. The Side Yard offers urban farm suppers & brunches, private catering, nomadic pop-ups, educational DIY workshops, farm tours and grief groups. Their focus is to provide local food for the local community, from the seeds they sow, animals they raise, and to the craftsmanship they embrace.

Topic:Providing local food to the local community

In This Episode:1:34 Introduction to this episode.2:36 Introduction of Stacey Givens.3:26 Stacey describes how their farm works.4:43 Stacey talks about the amount of produce that The Side Yard grows.5:32 Stacey explains how they are staffed and how they depend on volunteers.6:15 What specifically does The Side Yard grow and how is that unique?7:41 What is the Nomadic Supper Club?11:20 How did Stacey end up being a farmer, chef, and innovative entrepreneur?13:48 How does community play a role in supporting the work of The Side Yard?15:44 What educational opportunities does The Side Yard provide?18:19 How does The Side Yard care for its employees?19:25 What does local mean in context of their operation?21:14 How can listeners learn more about The Side Yard and support the work?22:03 If Stacey could sit down with her future self, what would the future Stacey say about the importance and impact of the work she’s doing?

Guest:Stacey Givens is the farmer, chef and owner of The Side Yard Farm & Kitchen in Northeast Portland, Oregon’s Cully Neighborhood. Givens grows diverse organic produce for Portland’s top restaurants and provides food, education and opportunity to her community. Givens was raised the youngest of seven children in a large Greek family in Redondo Beach, California where she was instilled with do-it-yourself values from a young age, farming in their backyard garden and small orchard, foraging with her mom, picking and brining olives and helping prepare large Greek family-style suppers. Givens has been in the food industry since age 15. She worked her way up the West Coast, including at the nationally acclaimed Millennium in San Francisco, before landing in Portland in 2006. Givens established The Side Yard Farm in 2009. The Side Yard Farm & Kitchen currently consists of several urban farm lots maintained by Givens and her team, a farm-to-table private catering company, and the ‘Nomadic Chef’ supper club where she features her urban-grown goods. Givens also organizes invaluable community services at The Side Yard like DIY workshops, grief support groups and kids camps. While The Side Yard has a hyperlocal focus, Givens’ drive to build a strong community and make lasting connections with talented and passionate people is globally-minded, traveling around the world to meet fellow organic farmers and chefs. In 2014, Givens was the recipient of Portland’s Local Hero award in the chef category, and continues to give back to the community she loves through volunteerism and her indispensable work at The Side Yard. In 2015, she competed on the Foodnetwork’s ‘Chopped’ and brought home the win for Portland.

Stacey Givens Twitterhttps://twitter.com/thesideyardpdx

Take Away Quotes:“It’s all about the experience of seed to plate. All of that was harvested the day before, the day of. You can just taste the freshness and that connection of hyper local.”

“After I lost my father I decided I’m done with going to grief groups in hospitals- why not have one at the farm. It’s such a beautiful place and I think it’d be easier for people to share the loss of their loved one…and we just become this big ole family.”

“I hope that what we’re doing is we’re teaching people that being local is really important, being organic is extremely important, and I guess that’s what I would hope for is that we’re doing our job educating people and bringing them closer to their food.”

Resources:The Side Yardhttp://www.thesideyardpdx.com/

Presidio Graduate Schoolhttp://www.presidio.edu


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Equitable Opportunity Radio – weekly conversations with visionary leaders who are building a more inclusive economy
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