FAN fun

Foster Art Night is back this Saturday. If you have the energy after a day of Garden Tour bliss, we urge you to take the FAN stroll and pick up your Foster Street Card.

CoverCard-01The discount card is free for neighbors and friends to frequent and discover shops, services, and restaurants along the Foster Strip. Salon Mojo is generously hosting our open house to kick off the FAN season. Stop in for refreshments, chit chat, and pick up your street card while you're at it. 

We are looking forward to another great Summer of neighborly fun, art, and inspiration.

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The future of FAN, fun stuff

Foster Art Night  needs your help in 2014. What began as a simple stroll down Foster road in 2012 has now become a night of neighbors making friends amid live music, libations, and art.

 

fanIn the great fashion of supporting one another and promoting our Foster district community, we have decided to take FAN up a notch in 2014. If you would like to assist in coordination, idea making, fundraising, and/or art making, we’d love to hear from you. Planning is underway now. Please contact us here at info@fosterunited.org for more details. (more…)

Join the club

Another great read from Angela Cortal, ND

I like good food.  And I like deals.  What I really like are good deals on great food.  So in my quest for better food at a better value, I bring you the food buying club.

Surely you’ve heard about food buying clubs.  They’re usually organized with one or more homes being the locavore hub.  Others join as members, and everyone goes in on large orders of bulk food.  Usually the kind that costs an arm and a leg in the grocery.  Key words being organic, grass-fed, local, farm-fresh, but that’s no requirement.

What I’d like to do is provide enough information so that if you’ve ever been curious or interested in getting food through these avenues, a few of the “but what about…”s are already taken care of.food_club

First off, the when, where and how much.  There are more than a dozen organized food buying clubs slinging the mega orders of quinoa and collards throughout Portland.  One of the closest to us is Lents Grocery, just blocks off Foster in Lents.  Currently housed in one of its organizers house, all extra funding raised through orders (5% added to purchase cost) goes towards the future creation of a brick-and-mortar Lents Grocery store.

Although I mentioned that food buying clubs are usually run out of someone’s house, a few have now or are planning on transitioning into food co-operatives, such as Know Thy Food (storefront on SE 12th ave in the Brooklyn neighborhood), the Montavilla Food Co-op (in the store planning stages) and Lents Grocery. (more…)

What’s Your Soap Made Of?

Over the past few months, I’ve been writing about health-promoting events, people and tips for better health. Maybe you try to eat healthy.  Maybe you try to exercise.  One area of healthy living that’s often overlooked are household products and cleaners. Why should you care?  I’m glad you asked (and even if you didn’t, I’m going to answer anyways).

Snuggle-Fabric-Softener

The most common cleaners around the house are soaps- for the body, dishes and laundry.  And believe it or not, the ingredients extend beyond rays of sunshine, flowers and butterflies.  To understand what’s in our products, let’s begin at the beginning.  What’s a soap?  It’s a surfactant, producing micelles to encapsulate soluble materials to be removed from you, your dishes and your clothes. (more…)

Meet Your Local Acupunk

Written by Dr. Angela Cortal

Over these past two months, I’ve been sharing my own experience, knowledge and perspective on keeping healthy in the neighborhood.  This time, I thought I’d turn it over for of the “acupunks” at Working Class Acupuncture (WCA) to tell you a little about their operation.  I figured I would bother him for you, ask a lot of questions that others might not so we can all know more about this community resource. (more…)

February Greetings from Terraccord Landscapes

Please welcome our newest Contributor, John Movius of Terraccord Landscapes. John will be checking in with us time and again to share his green thumb wisdom. 

February, you freakin’ Flirt!

Swollen buds, sprouting bulbs, and the occasional honeybee taking stock during our fleeting explosions of sun.  And then…back to dark winterish days. It can be exciting, but as with any flirt, can present some confusion on what to do next.

witch-hazel 1

Are you noticing some unusual things going on in your garden?  Me too. It’s not just the usual stirrings this time of year.  It’s the result of the milder winter we had. For those of you who launched new gardens last year, our milder winter was a gift for all those tender new plants.

The biggest challenge this winter has been, not surprisingly, heavy rains and winds.  How bout those whistling night winds?!  Makes one grateful to have a home to go home to. This time of increased dormancy is a gift as it allows us to observe some of the larger cycles at play. Take stock now of which areas in your yard or garden collected water in the heavy rains.  Are there some places where the plants look like it was never winter, while other areas look completely dormant?  There might even be some places that are dry to the touch, even in February.  Make note now before all the growth of spring and summer makes it harder to access the soil.

Because of the mild winter, it can be confusing to know which plants to cut back and which to leave be.  For example, your perennial geranium or even a fuschia might look fantastic right now.  It would seem harsh to cut it back. What to do?  The short answer is, don’t worry!  It’s not a huge deal.  If you cut them back now, you’ll get a more typical bloom season.  If you let them be, you might get 2 or 3 bloom seasons out of them this year, assuming you cut them back after bloom, but the bloom times might be different than you are used to, which could lead to some interesting new combinations in your garden.  For edible fruiting plants, it’s a different story, and is better off left on a case by case basis.

This is a great time to work another round of bone meal into the soil near your spring bulbs.  I like to mix some alfalfa meal in as well for a gentle nitrogen boost. Be careful as most bulbs have begun sprouting and it takes barely the swing of a pinky to snap off the new sprout. They’re tough buggers, but still…I like to pay some respect.

Another thing to keep on the radar is weed control. You might just be battling grass shoots, or you might have some more interesting, valuable, and/or edible weeds like peppercress, plantain, dandelion, or henbit.  Mulch is the way to go. You’ll really f*ck with the head of that neighborhood squirrel, whose exact coordinates for that buried chestnut will be gone for good, but she’ll still outwit you in the end. Use a blend of soft compost with harder woody debris such as fir or hemlock chips.

It’s also not too late to apply dormant spray to your fruit trees. Make your own at home to avoid the excess petroleum in most commercial grade products. I like this free handout from the Sierra Club of Canada on homemade sprays – check it out here.

wild-rose-hips

Lastly, I have to mention roses.  2012 was a fantastic year for roses, amen? You might notice yours beginning to leaf out with new leaves after taking a brief rest in December and January.  Now is a good time to cut them back, especially if you didn’t cut them back earlier in the season. The prize for that thorny work is rose hips! It’s still a great time to collect rose hips for tasty tea, or just to snack on raw (including the seeds – eat those nutritious seeds inside the hip meat too). The best hips taste much like a sweet, ripe persimmon. Give them a shot. Tell em I say hi.

Peaceful wishes from Terraccord Landscapes. And remember- there’s no rush, even if February makes us feel motivated to ‘do’ more than ever before.

See you soon.
John

 

 

TERRACCORD LANDSCAPES
www.terraccord.com
In accordance with the Earth.

 

 

 

 

Meet your Neighbors: Michael Schildmeyer

7457549Michael Schildmeyer
Defense Arts Northwest
6420 SE Foster
www.defenseartsnw.com

Who are you?
I am a Third Degree Black Belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate; hold rank in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and practice Muay Thai Kickboxing and various other arts. I love the martial arts, helping people feel better about themselves, teaching self defense, and positively affecting as many lives as possible. I am the owner of and chief instructor at Defense Arts Northwest

What do you do?
I teach several forms of martial arts, self defense, and workout programs. I believe you get what you give in this world and I am determined to help build a strong community for everyone, one person at a time if I have to. The lives I have helped in my time as a martial arts instructor (and all that goes with that including: life coach, counselor, mentor, personal trainer, friend) have truly inspired me and shown me that what once was only a personal passion has now become a tool to affect great change.

What is your inspiration? (Why do you do what you do?)
I may be repeating myself a bit…sorry :) I love teaching, passing on knowledge. I am passionate about helping people, weather its gaining confidence by learning self defense, improving health and happiness by losing weight, introducing someone to a new group of amazing people in our classes, giving a kid the tools to control his/her energy and improve concentration in school, or simply teaching someone a fun and exciting form of martial arts. I always wanted to make a difference with my life, and while I won’t likely gain international fame or immense riches with my chosen profession, I will be able to help a few people at least lead better, more fulfilled lives. And its fun!

What brought you and/or your business to this fine community?
I like the people here. I learned Foster was a great neighborhood but still had a few rough edges here and there and I figured this would be a great community to make my own and to affect some positive influence on. I love watching the empty buildings come back to life with new businesses; it has been especially enjoyable to watch the old theater across the street become active again.

3 Ways to unite the Fine Folks of Foster and it’s neighboring communities
I love the idea of planning regular neighborhood parties at local restaurants or businesses. Community build day. Not sure the logistics of something like this but let’s take one of these old building, one that has a big history in the community, the owner pays for all the materials and buys some food maybe. Invite everyone from the community to come out, pitch in to renovate the place, or just hang out and talk and have a good time. (Not too feasible I know but wouldn’t it be great to say you helped to build this community…literally!) Spread the word on the resources for preventing graffiti. Then organize some events centered on creating more murals in the neighborhood. Maybe even put an invite out for street artists (taggers) to come together and create a pc, socially acceptable mural showcasing their skills.

How do you envision the future of your neighborhood?
I see all these empty building filling up with new businesses. New paint, new signs, new attractions and shops coming into the neighborhood. This is a great little part of town and as more and more friendly people move into it they will attract their like. Right now there is great opportunity for growth for any new business here and the further we get into the economic recovery the more people will see that.

Some top fives to appease the list lovers Your Top 5 Songs to get you through a life?
Anything by James Taylor, Tom Petty, or Neil Young; love those guys. Anything with a fast beat to work out to. Anything positive; no need for depressing music.
Tom Petty – Last DJ
Neil Young – Harvest Moon
James Taylor – That’s Why I’m Here
David Wilcox – Farthest Shore
Anything by the Decemberists

Your Top 5 Haunts in Portland
Los Gorditos food cart on Division and 50th.
Ecole De Budo martial arts and tea on Chicago in St Johns
Bar Carlo on Foster (best burgers ever)
LA Fitness in the Eastport Plaza
Mississippi Ave.

 

If you or someone you know would like to be featured on this here little site, we’d love to have you! Please click HERE or drop us a line at info@fosterunited.org.