Southern Oregon Food Solutions

Summer 2022 SOFS Newsletter

June 3, 2022



Hoping that everyone in all democracies everywhere stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and that the U.S. will finally find a path to stop the proliferation of senseless gun violence.


    • Rogue Valley Farm Tour is a great event to promote local farms – connecting consumers to where food is produced. There are volunteer opportunities. It’s on Sunday July 17 from 10 to 3pm. Rogue Valley Food Systems Network is one of the sponsors. Here is the link for more information it.


    • Brews, Bluegrass and BBQ is back now after a hiatus during the pandemic. This is a fundraiser for Rogue Valley Food System Network. It will be Saturday June 4, from 4p to 8 pm at RoxyAnn Winery. Here is the link for tickets.


    • A Sustainability Class will be taught through the Parks and Rec Dept. at North Mountain Park on Wednesdays from June 22 through July 27 from 6 to 7:30pm. The class sessions will cover reducing our carbon footprint in the areas of energy, transportation and food. It will also be about building community, disaster preparedness and being fire-wise. It would be greatly appreciated if supporters of SOFS could spread the word and encourage friends and neighbors to enroll. The cost is minimal, just to cover printing and insurance. Here is the link to register.



These are some opportunities to do some good:

  • Voting has started for the Change for Good program at Ashland Food Co-op. If you’re a member, there are many food related groups as candidates. Bellview Grange is among the Candidates. Up to ten may be selected. Members will have received an email May 24 providing instructions on casting your ballot. Voting ends June 6.



  • From May 16 – June 5, our community is being called upon to help raise funds for tuition scholarships to Rogue Farm Corp’s (RFC) Farmer Training Programs for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA+, low-income people, and others who have been historically excluded from agriculture in Oregon. Offering scholarships is one of the ways RFC works to make farmer training more accessible, inclusive, and welcoming to participants with diverse backgrounds and life experiences. We believe that supporting beginner farmers is key to ensuring the long-term viability of a more just and sustainable food system. Funds will be matched by Medford Food Co-Op, Market of Choice, Plant Oregon and others. Here is the link to donate.


  • Oregon Dept. of Agriculture Director Alexis Taylor has been selected by the Biden Administration to be the next Under Secretary in charge of Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs at the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. I see an opportunity to send our congratulations and also urge her to advocate for regenerative agriculture and soil restoration and food system improvement. Agriculture’s impact on global warming is negative and significant, but it can be turned around with interventions. This is her office’s email address: Here is the link to the article.


  • Sign-up to be a Bin Guardian at Farmers Market. It is moving to a new location effective June 7. Covering for a an hour here and there will help raise awareness about community coming together and promoting what SOFS is trying to do. Write to to sign up for a shift.

Bin Harvest by Helga Motley


Developments Around Outreach and Food Waste

The Rotary club of Ashland sponsored program of offering a free food scrap drop off service has grown from two 32 gallon compost collection bins to four bins. It has been very positively received, and the growth and popularity of the program has resulted in engagement with the City’s Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission. It has been an agenda item for discussion and follow up, and subsequently a small group including one of the commission members went on a tour of the Dry Creek Landfill. It is an impressive operation and the tour was very educational. The demonstration of the EcoRich “Composter” machine that was also sponsored by the Rotary Club on May 5th was very well attended.

Having a table next to the bins has been a great way to start conversations and offer encouragement while making sure folks’ questions about the service get answered.


The Southern Oregon Food Solutions Advertisement about reducing food waste and the listing of our organization has been included in the 2022 Rogue Flavor Guide. Page 73 – almost at the end –


What’s Next?

The class on food waste prevention – Everybody Eats; Feed People Not Landfills – has been submitted to OLLI to be included in the Fall Class Schedule. Hopefully, it will be very well attended.


Check out this app and this website:
If businesses are signed up on the app in your area, then when they have surplus food, they will notify others that have signed up wanting the surplus, and they go purchase it (at a discounted price) and pick it up. The business gets an additional revenue stream from food that would go wasted, and folks picking up the surplus get food at discounted rates.The website also has tips for prevention of food waste, and reports from all over on progress being made to reduce food waste. There is curriculum about it for schools, and policy information to advocate for change at the government level. Feel free to weigh in and provide feedback on what you think of the app.


Focus in the coming weeks will be on increasing enrollment in the Parks and Recs Sustainability Class.