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This may be of interest to those of you in the Portland area:<br><br>
The Winter Cache Project<br>
A cooperative effort to increase year-round access to locally grown food in Portland, Maine.<br><br>
Primary goals:<br>
Increasing year-round food security.<br>
Implementing sustainable agricultural practices.<br>
Raising awareness around agricultural issues by educating ourselves and our community.<br>
Preserving food for the winter by storing, canning, drying, and freezing.<br>
Making nutritious, fresh food more accessible for all Portland residents.<br>
Connecting as a community to provide for our own needs.<br><br>
What we do:<br>
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, where the farmers have agreed to allow WCP to grow food on their land in exchange for help with farm tasks. 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 done during Sunday work parties from April to November. At the end of October, many vegetables are put into storage in urban root cellars. Bi-weekly throughout the winter participants can pick up their shares of vegetables.<br>
The second aspect of WCP is our educational campaign. Workshops led throughout the harvesting season teach members 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. We are also planning to publish an educational newsletter.<br><br>
Upcoming Events: (Feel free to come to these events late, contact us for<br>
directions)<br>
Sunday, 4/25: Work party at the farm preparing beds for planting, harvesting carrots and parsnips, planting peas, and making plans for the upcoming season. Meet at 10am at the People’s Free Space (PFS) at 144 Cumberland Ave in Portland to carpool to the farm.<br>
Thursday, 5/3: Organizational meeting at the PFS at 5pm.<br>
Saturday, 5/5: Potato planting day at Rippling Waters Farm in Standish from 9-1. Meet at the PFS at 8am.<br>
Sunday, 5/6: Work party at the farm planting potatoes. Meet at the PFS at 10am.<br>
Thursday, 5/10: Organizational meeting at the PFS at 5pm.<br>
Saturday, 5/19: Sheet mulching work party. We will collaborate with the Portland Permaculture Group to implement permaculture techniques to increase efficiency and productivity. Meet at the PFS at 8:30am.<br>
A Tuesday evening in May: “The Future of Food” video showing and discussion.<br><br>
How to Get Involved:<br>
Join our email list to receive activity updates.<br>
Attend a Sunday work party and/or help out on the farm on other days of the week.<br>
Attend an organizational meeting.<br>
Trade your skills for winter shares of locally grown, organic vegetables.<br>
We are always looking for help writing grants and press releases, improving our agricultural practices, and organizing workshops and events.<br>
Donate used or new supplies. Our wish list includes books, tools, and canning supplies.<br>
Store vegetables through the winter. Please contact us if you have cool basement space available.<br><br>
Contact Information:<br>
Winter Cache Project<br>
PO Box 1303<br>
Portland, ME 04104<br><a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a>
 
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