Herbal Infused Syrups for Winter Wellness

By Brita Zeiler, Bulk Herb & Tea Buyer and Comanager

Herbal infused syrups are concentrated herbal teas, preserved in sugar or honey. Historically, herbal syrups were used to sweeten the taste of bitter medicinal herbs to make them more palatable and prolong preservation. They are a versatile alternative to alcohol-based tinctures for children or people avoiding alcohol. The classic herbal syrup many of us employ during cold & flu season is elderberry syrup, used to stimulate immune function and fight infection. 

Herbal infused syrups can be made for both medicine or for flavoring. Syrups can be added to teas, cocktails or mocktails, made into herbal sodas, or simply eaten by the spoonful with delight. It is a fun and creative process: let your favorite sweet flavors guide you!

For adults, add a tablespoon of this syrup to hot tea, a hot toddy, sparkling water for an herbal soda, spoon over ice cream, or simply eat by the spoonful. Adjust dosage to 1 teaspoon for children. 

Herbal Sore Throat & Cough Syrup

This herbal syrup can be used to prevent a cold, or used during an acute cough or sore throat to soothe and increase recovery time. Syrups can be a great alternative to alcohol-based tinctures for children and people avoiding alcohol. They are also fun and delicious! 

Elecampane root is an expectorant, supporting the respiratory tract move excess mucus out of the system. It is also rich in inulin, a prebiotic that supports beneficial gut flora. Other herbs & spices bolster the immune system while adding a delicious earthy spiced flavor. 

  • ¼ cup dried rosehips

  • ¼ cup red clover blossoms

  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon chips

  • 1 tablespoon dried ginger

  • 1 teaspoon dried elecampane root

  • 3 whole cloves

  • 1 quart water

  • 1-2 cups sugar or honey, depending on your preferred sweetness/sweetener

Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a medium size pot. Add the herb and spice mixture to the pot of water, and reduce heat to a simmer. Maintain a simmer while stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to about 2 cups. Strain herbal infusion and return it to a clean pot. Add 1-2 cups of sweetener to the pot with strained herbal infusion. Dissolve the sugar or honey on low heat, stirring to ensure the pan doesn’t scorch. Once the sugars are completely dissolved, transfer syrup to a jar or bottle. Store herbal syrup in the fridge for up to 6 weeks – but it is unlikely it will last that long!

Endless Grey Days Creativity-Inspiring Syrup

This heart-opening blend is both delicious and tonifying to the heart and circulatory system. The sweet and spicy flavors of peppercorn, damiana, fennel cardamom, rose, and vanilla open the senses to joy, pleasure, and possibility. Together, these herbs open energetic and circulatory pathways to allow creativity to flourish. 

  • ¼ cup rose petals

  • 1 tablespoon hawthorn berries

  • 1 teaspoon damiana

  • 1 teaspoon whole fennel seed

  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

  • 5 cardamom pods

  • ¼ teaspoon ground vanilla bean, or vanilla extract

Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a medium size pot. Add the herb and spice mixture to the pot of water, and reduce heat to a simmer. Maintain a simmer while stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to about 2 cups. Strain herbal infusion and return it to a clean pot. Add 1-2 cups of sweetener to the pot with strained herbal infusion. Dissolve the sugar or honey on low heat, stirring to ensure the pan doesn’t scorch. Once the sugars are completely dissolved, transfer syrup to a jar or bottle. Store herbal syrup in the fridge for up to 6 weeks – but it is unlikely it will last that long!

We've Reduced Our SNAP Match to $5 & We Are Really Sad About It

By Ashley Todd, Farmers’ Market Coordinator and comanager

Nearly four years ago I started working with Farmers Market Fund to secure federal funding to increase our Farmers’ Market SNAP Match from $5 to $10. This program gives folks using SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program formerly known as food stamps) extra money to spend at the Farmers’ Market, which helps both folks on low incomes and local farmers and food producers. Doubling our match from $5 to $10  seemed like a total long shot, and I wasn’t sure how the more restrictive benefits required by the federal grant would be received by our shoppers. But I figured we had nothing to lose, so I gave it a go. 

When we received the funding, the impact on our community was immediate. Customers lined up each week, eager to spend their additional food dollars on local produce and handcrafted foods. Vendors benefitted too, watching their market earnings steadily increase as people spent more each market day. Over the 3 years we offered the $10 match, hundreds of families spent their additional food dollars supporting dozens of local farmers and producers. While all the work we do here at People’s is driven by our values, The Farmers’ Market’s SNAP Match program is one of the clearest ways I have seen us working toward our Ends of “access to healthful foods our customers can trust” and “thriving cooperative & local economies.”

Unfortunately, in late 2017 we found out that our federal funding was drying up, due to the Federal Government’s increasing demand that programs be “innovative” and tech-driven, rather than simply being helpful. But it felt so important – and so good – to provide such a tangible benefit to the community, so we decided to continue funding the program in 2018 ourselves. We worked out a plan to keep offering the $10 Match, using a combination of People’s money, round-up drives at the register, and a generous donation from Farmers’ Market Fund.

In late 2018, as we neared the end of our fiscal year, we were again faced with the question of how to continue funding the $10 SNAP Match. Alas, the outlook was not as good as it had been the year before. While the success of the program was certainly a boon to our shoppers and vendors, it was fantastically expensive for People’s; in 2018 we distributed nearly $24,000 in SNAP matching funds. 

In addition to not having adequate cash available to  continue funding a $10 match ourselves, we also can not afford to pay staff to work on the intensive fundraising campaign that would be required to cover the nearly $12,000 budget shortfall. We are super bummed to have cut a benefit that we know really impacts people’s lives. More than 60 families per week have been using the SNAP Match program, and spending nearly $24,000 in matching dollars alone with our vendors. The impact of reducing the match to $5 is not insignificant, and we know some folks in our community will really feel that loss.

We still believe, deeply, in the power of communities to support and take care of each other. And we believe that the Co-op has a role in building that kind of community of support & care. In 2019, we hope to find a way to bring the match back up to $10. If you have ideas or fundraising skills you’d like to share, or if you’d like to make a contribution to our SNAP Match fund, please contact me at

On Sale: Wreaths by the Mujeres Luchadores Progresistas

We are thrilled to be able to sell wreaths made by the Mujeres Luchadores Progresistas this December! The wreaths are on sale for $40, with $35 going straight to the Mujeres Luchadores Progresistas who make 1000 wreaths each year.

The wreath-making project employs at least 10 women part-time during three months in the winter, when farm work is rare and families struggle to pay for basic necessities. The money made selling wreaths goes to families’ household expenses like rent, utilities, warm clothing, food, and holiday expenses, as well as to support the year round efforts of the Mujeres Luchadores Progresistas.


Since 1992, the Mujeres Luchadores Progresistas (or Women Fighting for Progress) have been making wreaths every winter to support work of the nonprofit. The organization of farmworker women, born out of Oregon’s farmworker union PCUN, creates economic development opportunities and promotes leadership for women in their communities, as well as advocates for improved living and working conditions. Their goals include:

  • Developing stronger women’s leadership within the farmworker movement and larger community through plans created and carried out by farmworker women to address their needs and reality;

  • Creating a vehicle for mutual support among farmworker women;

  • Developing an organized, collective response to home and workplace issues and conditions which discriminate against or oppress women;

  • Continuing their radio program “Mujeres de la Comunidad” on 95.9FM Radio Movimiento: La Voz del Pueblo in order to share basic health information for women;

  • Creating paths through which farmworker women can provide themselves greater economic independence.

You can read more about the Mujeres Luchadores Progresistas and their work by visiting their website.

Supporting Indigenous Communities This Thanksgiving

While many of us take time every November to see family and friends, share a good meal, and express thanks, the Thanksgiving holiday has a past that is mired in the violence of colonization. Support Indigenous people this week by donating to and sharing information about these organizations doing incredible work to support native communities:

This might even be an opportunity to pass the hat at a gathering that you attend and start a conversation about the different causes each of these organizations seek to address.

Apply for the Winter Craft Fair!

Every December, we invite artists, crafters, and artisans to help us put on a winter craft fair in the Community Room! This year, the fair is on Wednesday, December 12th from 2-7 pm during the Farmers’ Market. We’re hoping for a diverse array of offerings, and are inviting potential vendors to apply for the Winter Craft Fair by Wednesday, October 24th. If you are interested, please apply!

We’ve had a wide array of vendors in the past, including:

  • Woodworkers

  • Clothing makers

  • Zinesters, card makers, journal crafters and other paper product creators

  • Candle creators

  • Folks that make body care products

  • Ceramicists

  • Knitters

  • Stained glass makers

  • Jewelers

  • Jam makers

  • And more!

If you have any questions or concerns, please email

Invest & Win: Bags from North St.!

This Co-op Month, we are thrilled to be offering a few special prizes for folks that become a Member-Owner or make an investment in their share throughout the month of October. There are already some great incentives for investing this month (you can read more about them here), but in with the chocolate bars, reusable produce bags, and other prizes will be three golden tickets: one for a skillet from Finex, another for a People’s tote bag stuffed full of our favorite fall essentials, and another for a pair of bags from North St. Bags.

North St. Bags are made a quick bike ride away in Ladd’s Addition near Hawthorne Boulevard. Owner Curtis Williams started the company from his basement in 2009 with one industrial sewing machine and the desire to make a super functional pannier that could be converted into a backpack. Without any significant sewing experience, it took a while to get the design right, but since then Curtis has grown the company and the product line to include a range of panniers, bags, backpacks, and more.

A tour of the North St. Bags show room and work space.

While the company has grown, the commitment to making bags in house from predominantly materials made in the USA has stayed the same. Bags from North St. are also made to order, and customers get to pick their color schemes and other details whether they’re ordering a fanny pack or a pannier. North St. bags also carry a lifetime guarantee, and the nice folks there can handle all kinds of repairs.

During Co-op Month, one lucky Member-Owner will find a golden ticket in with their other incentive that is good for their choice of either a pair of Gladstone Grocery Panniers or two Tabor Totes with a matching Pittock Pouch.

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The Tabor Totes in the large and regular sizes make the best diaper bag, gym companion, or grocery shopping tote. They are super durable, made from 1000 Denier CORDURA® nylon. The matching large Pittock Pouch help to keep your bag organized and small items from getting lost in the bottom of your bag.


The Gladstone Grocery Panniers are perfect for running errands, picnic rides, and trips to the farmers market. Made with 1000 Denier CORDURA® nylon, these panniers can stand up to the Portland rain and look great doing it.

Come by the Co-op to become a Member-Owner or invest in your share, and with any luck win some of these terrific bags!

Invest & Win: A Finex Cast Iron Pan!

This Co-op Month, we are thrilled to be offering a few special prizes for folks that become a Member-Owner or make an investment in their share throughout the month of October. There are already some great incentives for investing this month (you can read more about them here), but in with the chocolate bars, reusable produce bags, and other prizes will be three golden tickets: one for bags from North St. Bags, another for a People’s tote bag stuffed full of our favorite fall essentials, and a cast iron pan from Finex!

Finex was founded by Mike Whitehead in 2012 after his wife started throwing out all of their nonstick cookware. He couldn’t find a suitable, healthier replacement on the market, but became obsessed with vintage cast iron skillets from the 1940s and ‘50s and decided to start making the pan that he had been looking for. Finex set out to recreate the classic 12-inch skillet and tried a lot of different designs, ultimately settling on a unique octagonal shape and coiled handle. The octagonal shape a big advantage: it eliminates the need for a pour spout on the side of the pan. You can easily pour from any of its eight corners, while a lid will still fit tight without releasing steam or heat to help your cooking. The squarer sides can also make flipping food over easier if you use the corners for leverage. The coiled stainless steel handle doesn’t get hot and cools faster, making the pan easier to handle.

The finishing and seasoning of the Finex pans also makes them something special. They are crafted in a way that gives them the same nonstick sheen of old cast iron pans, and lightly seasoned with organic flaxseed oil for a perfect cooking surface and an almost golden sheen. The pans are all polished by ceramic stones (check out the video on your right), and then tossed in oil-coated birdseed for the perfect application.

Finex pans are made in the USA of pure iron, just like the vintage cast iron that Mike was originally ogling. Each pan passes through the factory here in Portland to be polished and assembled, with most of the components coming from within 25 miles of the Portland factory. Each 12-inch pan has four parts that have to be assembled by hand.

A tour of the Finex factory in NW Portland.

Another great thing about this special cast iron is that you can really beat it up and still return it to fantastic working condition. Scorch it, scratch it, or even leave it to rust, but with some good oil and a little elbow grease you can fix it back up and have it ready for cooking again in no time. Finex pans also come with a lifetime guarantee, and are made to be passed down from generation to generation. The helpful folks there will help you with any pan challenges that you come across.

Come by the Co-op to become a Member-Owner or invest in your share, and with any luck win a lifetime of cooking with this awesome cast iron!

Skillet Baked Savory Cornbread


I enjoy cooking in cast iron on the stove top, but I also love baking in a skillet. This cornbread recipe makes use of delicious local fresh corn that we currently have in the produce department, as well as the terrific cornmeal and polenta from the bulk section. I love this cornbread with the savory flavors of jalapeño and onion, but leave them out if you would rather slather your cornbread with honey or jam.

  • ½ cup of polenta or grits

  • 1 cup buttermilk, or vegan milk or regular milk with a teaspoon of lemon juice added

  • 1 cup cornmeal

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ cup or 2 ounces grated cheddar cheese (optional)

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten, or 2 flax eggs (recipe follows)

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar or maple syrup

  • 1 cobs worth of sweet corn kernels or ½ cup frozen corn kernels, thawed (optional)

  • ¼ cup thinly sliced chives or green onions (optional)

  • 5 to 6 tablespoons butter, or substitute olive oil or other vegan option

For the topping:

  • ½-1 jalapeño thinly sliced (red or green is great!)

  • ¼ of a red onion, sliced as thin as you can!

  • ¼ cup cheddar cheese

Heat your oven to 400°. In a medium bowl or 2-cup measuring cup, stir the polenta and buttermilk together. In a separate, large bowl, whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. If you are adding the cheese, stir it into the dried ingredients. Stir the eggs into the buttermilk and polenta mixture, along with with the sugar, corn, and/or chives.

Meanwhile, melt your butter in your 12-inch skillet in the oven. Once it is melted, add all but 2 tablespoons to the polenta-buttermilk mixture. If you are using olive oil, add 3-4 tablespoons of room temperature oil to the polenta-buttermilk mixture, and heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix carefully until the dry ingredients are just moistened – don’t overmix it!

When the butter or oil in the skillet is hot, pour the butter into the skillet. It should sizzle a bit! Sprinkle the top with jalapeño, onion, and cheddar cheese. If you want a spicier cornbread, add the whole jalapeño or mix some into the batter with the wet ingredients. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean out of the middle and the cornbread is firm. Slice the cornbread and eat up!

For Two Flax Eggs:

  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal

  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon water

Stir the water and flax meal together in a small bowl. Let rest for five minutes, and then use in this recipe!

Invest & Win: People's Fall Essentials!

This Co-op Month, we are thrilled to be offering a few special prizes for folks that become a Member-Owner or make an investment in their share throughout the month of October. There are already some great incentives for investing this month (you can read more about them here), but in with the chocolate bars, reusable produce bags, and other prizes will be three golden tickets: one for a skillet from Finex, another for a pair of bags from North St. Bags, and another for a People’s tote bag stuffed full of our favorite fall essentials.

Here’s what’s in that bag:

Montinore Estate 2016 Pinot Noir

(For winners 21 and over!) Montinore Estate makes fantastic wine from grapes grown biodynamically in the Willamette Valley.  This Pinot Noir pairs perfectly with the rich soups, stews, and cheese that you might be eating as the days get colder. You can read all about Montinore here.

Triple Berry Granola

This delicious, organic granola from our bulk section is loaded with raisins, cherries, cranberries, and mulberries which make it a very nice way to start the day. Sweetened just with maple syrup, this granola is just sweet enough. The oats are gluten-free, too!

Golden Lotus Herbs Lung & Throat Herbal Lozenges

These cough drops are essential any time I have a cold or are congested. They are super tasty, sweetened with honey, and have just enough of a menthol touch to clear out the sinuses. It wouldn’t be fall without a few of these kicking around the bottom of my backpack.

Camamu Laranja Chamomile Shampoo

This bar shampoo, made by Camamu in Sellwood, smells delicious and has the nice tingle from added citrus. Bar shampoos are great for travel (they aren’t liquid, of course) and are beloved by zero waste folks for being plastic free!

Rose Black Tea from Two Hills Tea

This keemun black tea is highly scented with fresh organic rose petals. It has a wonderful rosy fragrance and a subtle and rich taste. It is good both hot and iced and should not be missed!

Rooibos Chai Tea from PlantSpeak Herbals

A lot of my time in the fall is spent drinking tea. I always crave the warming spices of chai when the weather gets colder, and this rooibos chai is caffeine free so I can drink it all day without getting the jitters! It’s also delicious.

Winter Squash!

It wouldn’t be fall without a few winter squash-filled meals, and these local, organic squashes are super delicious. We’re including a couple of varieties that are particularly delicious roasted, but also make awesome soups, salads, and pies.

Sprouted & Salted Pecans

Pecans are usually delicious, but these are something else. They are extra crunchy and salted just right. The pecans make an awesome snack by the handful but are also delicious on salads (or anywhere else you can imagine them).

Ayres Creek Loganberry Preserves

Ayres Creek is a very special farm located in Gaston, Oregon. All of the crops that they grow are incredible but they are particularly well known for their fruit crops. Ayres Creek partners with local Sweet Creek Foods to turn their delicious fruit into very delicious preserces. I love a dollop in my morning oatmeal this time of year, and of course its terrific slathered on toast. You can read more about Ayres Creeks preserves here, from farmer Anthony Boutard himself.


  • Weleda Sea Buckthorn Hydrating Hand Cream

  • Fire Brew Citrus

  • Casper Candle Company Candle

  • Source Naturals Vitamin D-3

  • Thai Home Red Curry Paste

  • Jem Cashew Cardamom Sprouted Almond Butter

  • Theo Chocolate Bars

The bag is also super cool! It’s sewn and printed by women's cooperatives in India by Re-wrap with an awesome design from local artist Lettie Jane Rennekamp. It’s sturdy enough to carry all of your groceries and even has a pocket! Learn more in our Spring 2018 Grassroots.

Come by the Co-op to become a Member-Owner or invest in your share, and with any luck win an extra terrific prize!

Elections Results Are In!

The winners of our 2018 Board of Directors Election are Liz Robertson, Vishal Dhandia, and Chris Eykamp (pictured from left to right). Welcome to the Board! You are welcome to come see them in action at the monthly Board meetings on the 4th Tuesday of every month from 6-8:30 pm, with a free vegetarian meal at 5:30 pm. Board meetings are held at the Co-op in the Community Room.


Our community voted for Green Acres Farm Sanctuary to win the People's Cooperative Community Fund prize of $1000! The mission of Green Acres Farm Sanctuary is the prevention of cruelty to, and the commercialization of animals, especially farmed animals. They provide shelter, care and board to abused, abandoned, and unwanted farm animals. They look to inspire change through creating a place where members of the public can have positive interaction with farm animals by providing for their care and the animals can, in turn, educate them about the abusive use of farmed animals.

Thanks for casting your ballot, and participating in the democratic governance of the Co-op!

Take Our Survey!

Your voice really matters here. 

Every few years, we ask our Member-Owners and shoppers to tell us how we're doing. We take these surveys super seriously and they really help our staff to figure out what's going well and where we need to do better. Especially as we approach decisions about our long-term plan, your voice is critical in shaping our grocery store and our community. Plus, you'll get a free bar of Equal Exchange chocolate for weighing in and might even win a $100 gift card! 

Lil' Starts: Our Latest Farmer Loan Recipient!

By Serina Hamilton, Operations Manager & Co-manager

I’m delighted to announce that People’s Food Co-op was able to give Lil’ Starts, a local urban farm in NE Portland, a $1000 loan through our interest-free farmer loan program! This is something we offer to those who may need a little help getting started launching their new farm or new project. We reached out to Lil’ Starts and asked the two owners (Lilly and Luke) about their gorgeous lil’2-acre farm so we all can get to know them better. Here is the conversation I had with Lilly about their practices on the farm and where they are offering their starts and produce this season.

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I read on your site that you are passionate about natural and sustainable growing methods, as well as how Lil' Starts uses permaculture and biodynamic principles. Can you tell me a little more about that? What sort of methods do you use for natural and sustainable growing? What sorts of principles go into permaculture and biodynamic growing for Lil' Starts?

At Lil’ Starts we wholeheartedly believe in growing clean, healthy, sustainable produce and plants for our community. Our farm is 100% free of GMO’s, pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. We feed with compost teas made with compost and worm castings from the farm and fish fertilizer we ferment from salmon scraps given to us from local fishermen friends. We buy amendments from local farm stores to supplement our field soil and to use in our potting mix- fish bonemeal, alfalfa meal, sea kelp; the only mined amendments we use are azomite and dolomite lime.

Our compost is a good mix of chicken straw and droppings, plant material and leaves, and kombucha and fruit scraps from our friends at Lion Heart Kombucha – they are located just around the corner from us and the SCOBY culture, ginger and fruit pulps, and green and black tea leftovers definitely keeps our compost piles heated up, decomposing and loaded with probiotics. We’ve always loved the smell of good compost but this stuff makes it absolutely divine, when we turn the pile or add more Lion Heart material the whole farm smells good.

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For pest control, prevention is key and that is why we encourage healthy soil by limiting the amount we till (we only use a small BCS tiller when we are breaking ground or have let a bed go fallow otherwise it’s wheel and hand hoes and broad forks), limiting our use of amendments and allowing flowers and seed heads to grow all over to encourage beneficial insects. We also spray our crops weekly with compost tea in the early part of their lives. We also spray with a farm made mix of hot pepper, garlic, rosemary, lavender and sesame oil tea at the first sign of pest infestation. We do keep a bottle of organic plant-based neem oil around in case of emergencies but luckily we hardly ever need to use it. Slugs can be a big problem and we have had to resort to using organic Sluggo in super wet springs.

We have a small flock of chickens and regularly add food grade diatomaceous earth to both their feed and sprinkled in their coop to kill off mites, lice, and internal parasites. Apple cider vinegar gets added to their water once a week for the same reason. Our flock has a rotating pasture and we also feed them high-quality Union Point feed from Brownsville Oregon.

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Do you offer a CSA program? If so, what CSA programs do you currently have available for people to sign up for the 2018 season?

We offer two CSA programs. Our Veggie CSA is sold out for 2018 (thank you community!). We have a few spots left for our Gardeners CSA. This is a live plant CSA designed for backyard gardeners that supplies you with ready to plant veggie, flower and herb stars once a month during the growing season.  The Main Season option runs April thru July for $150. The Late Season option will make sure you have a late fall, winter, and early spring harvest and runs August thru October for $65.

Spring has sprung! Which means that farmers' market season is here! Where can we find Lil' Starts this season?

This market season you can find us selling plants at Montavilla and St. John’s Farmers Market in May and June. We will be offering our produce all season long at Woodlawn Farmers Market, Hawthorne Farmers Market, and Kenton Farmers Market.

Without Women, We Wouldn't Have a Co-op!

When the Co-op first opened in 1971, the first all-volunteer crew running the store was also all women. Since that time, women have played an integral role at People's: as shoppers, as vendors, as farmers, as Member-Owners, as Hands-on-Owners,  as Board members, as staff, and as a part of our community. We wouldn't have a co-op without them. 

Today, we're taking an extra moment to thanks all the women who have had (and continue to have) a hand in building this community. Thank you. 

It's Back! Grow Your Own Produce Series

Have you been wanting to start a garden, but don't know where to start? Are you a seasoned gardener looking to incorporate some more permaculture techniques? Either way, you're in luck! Marisha Auerbach of Permaculture Rising is back in the Community Room this year with a full series of permaculture class. Each of the ten monthly class focuses on a seasonally relevant topic, from planning to growing to maintaining to harvest. 

You can register for each class individually for $25 each, or get in on five classes for $100. Better yet, People's Member-Owners get 20% off classes -- just be in touch with Marisha to get the discount code. 

About the Course

This workshop series is designed to help you maximize your yields and endeavors in the garden by providing an overview of key activities to engage in at the right time each month from February through November.

Facilitator Marisha Auerbach has spent many years observing and interacting in her garden and in the greater bioregion. She has been growing most of her own produce year round for the past decade. Each month, she will provide you with a checklist for the month ahead. We will discuss different subjects that are pertinent to the garden each month with supported handouts.

These classes are available as a five class series ($100) or as individual events ($25 each).  20% off discount for People's Food Coop members -- just be in touch with Marisha to get the discount code. 

For more information, or to register, email Marisha Auerbach or call (503) 454-6656

Planning, Design and Framework

Tuesday February 14th 7-9pm

This opening session will focus on garden planning and design.  From the Macro perspective to the microclimate, we will discuss Permaculture design strategies that can maximize your yields and diversity of crops throughout the season.  Fruit trees, berry bushes, and other large landscaping elements will be discussed as the framework for creating the context for your space.   Each participant is encouraged to come with a base map of their site. Please contact Marisha if you need support before class to have this available.

Indoor Seed-Starting, Early Plantings and Perennial Crops

Wednesday March 22nd 7-9pm

In March, it is time to begin planting seeds both outdoors and indoors.  This session will focus on those early plantings and the varieties that perform best for our climate.  Perennial vegetables can be transplanted at this time.  Since many perennial vegetables are new to gardeners, Marisha will share about growing and cooking some of her favorite types.  Seed catalogs and other resources will be available as references for each participant to make a personalized planting calendar.

Cole Crops, Greens and Soil Building

Tuesday April 11th 7-9pm

April is a key time for all of the Cole Crops, such as Broccoli, Kale, Cauliflower, Collards, and Cabbage.  It is also a time of planting greens.  As many plants are being planted in the garden during this month and the months to come, we will highlight soil building strategies in this class. 

Warm-season Crops, Edible Flowers and Attracting Pollinators

Tuesday May 2nd 7-9pm

In May, the weather typically gets warmer and many flowers begin to bloom.  We will discuss reliable varieties of warm season crops to grow in your garden and ways to maximize microclimate and production.  Many of these plants require insects for pollination. You will learn about pollination, pollinator insects, and flowers that are useful for attracting these special critters.  Many of these flowers have multifunctions. We will highlight edible flowers, their functions in landscapes, and recipes. 

Maintenance and Harvest 

Tuesday June 6th 7-9pm

June completes our planting of the summer vegetable garden and then it is time to focus on maximizing the harvest.  For the urban gardener, this may mean optimizing a small space to produce as much food as possible.  We will discuss strategies for optimizing yield of your vegetable crops throughout the growing season.  We will highlight the best types of trellises for plants that like to grow up. 

Berries, Herbs and Water Catchment

Tuesday July 11th 7-9pm

This workshop will focus on different types of fruiting crops that are available right now. We will taste different varieties and discuss recipes and ways to put up the harvest of berries. We will talk about water catchment and how to determine what type of system would work best for your household. Handouts will include a to do list for the month, herbs for tea, and other pertinent information. 

Seedsaving and the Winter Garden

Tuesday August 9th 7-9pm

In August, it is time to save seeds.  The weather has been dry and many plants are ripening their seed.  This workshop will cover the basics of saving seed and offer you the opportunity to gather some hands-on experience.  August is a key month to get many starts in the ground for harvest in the winter and early spring.  This class will highlight what is happening in the garden in August, how to preserve your harvest, and prepare for the coming month. 

Putting Up the Harvest

Tuesday September 5th 7-9pm

The abundance from the garden and orchard is coming in and it is time to put it up for storage in the winter.  In this class, we will discuss the key ways to store food for the winter including:  canning, dehydration, fermentation, & freezing.  A key component of this class will be focused on how to assess what your family will eat in the winter and the space that you have available for storage.  The last of the winter crops should be in the garden by Equinox so we will cover the last of the plantings.  As always, this class will highlight what is happening in the garden in September, how to preserve your harvest, and prepare for the coming month.  Handouts will include a to do list for the month, information on canning and food preservation, and other pertinent information.

Garlic, Cover Crops and Compost

Tuesday October 3rd 7-9pm

October is a time for returning inward and thinking about nourishing the soil for the future garden.  This class will highlight soil building method including mulches, composting, leaf mold and more.  We will discuss types of cover crops for building soil tilth and fixing nitrogen.  Garlic goes in the ground this month for summer harvest. We will talk about the different types of garlic and best varieties for our region.  As always, this class will highlight what is happening in the garden in October, how to tend to your garden, and prepare for the coming month.  Handouts will include a to do list for the month, information on soil building methods, and other pertinent information.

Wildlife in the Garden, Nourishing Soups and Planning for the Coming Year

Tuesday November 7th 7-9pm

In November, the weather has become cold and the garden has been put to bed.  However, the birds, insects, and other critters still need habitat to keep them around.  During this class, we will discuss ways to encourage these allies to stick around in your garden.  By having active food webs in the garden, we invite collaboration and enhance fertility cycles on site.  As this is our final class for 2017, this class will provide juicy information to help you begin planning for the 2018 garden season.  We will also highlight nourishing soup recipes from local herbs, veggies, and stocks. As always, this class will highlight what is happening in the garden in November, how to tend to your garden, and prepare for the coming month.  Handouts will include a to do list for the month, information on wildlife, soup recipes, and other pertinent information.


Craft Fair Applications Are Now Available!

craft fair call for vendors.jpg

Applications are due Monday November 21st! 

We're excited to be hosting the Holiday Craft Fair again this year on Wednesday, December 7th from 2-7pm in the Community Room. 

Vendor spaces are available in two sizes:  Large (~6ft x 6ft) for $30 or Small (~ 3ft x 6ft.) for $15. Tables are not provided, but chairs are available.  You will be required to stay within your allotted space.   

Spaces are limited.  For the most part, vendor applicants are accepted on a first-applied, first-placed basis.  However, we like to provide the community with variety at the Fair, and our Craft Fair Coordinator will have the final say on which vendors participate.

How to Apply

  1. Review the Reminders, Rules, & Guidelines below before filling out the application. Please be sure you feel confident you can fulfill them before applying.
  2. Complete the application below, or pick one up in the store. Payment needs to be included to secure your application. Checks are preferred and can be made out to People’s Food Co-op. You can mail them to: 

People's Food Co-op

attn: Sofie Sherman-Burton

3029 SE 21st Ave

Portland, OR 97202

If you are selected as a vendor, Sofie, the Craft Fair Coordinator, will contact you no later than Friday November 25th to discuss next steps and placement.

If all spaces are filled, you will be placed on a Wait List. In the event there is a cancellation, we will call vendors on the Wait List.

Reminders, Rules, & Guidelines

The fair begins at 2pm, Wednesday, December 7th, and ends at 7pm. 

All vendors are expected to participate for the entire 5 hours.


  • You can begin setting up your booth at 12pm, but no earlier.
  • Set-up must be completed no later than 1:45pm.
  • Tables are not provided, but chairs are available.
  • Tear-down and clean-up should be completed no later than 8:30pm.


People’s does not provide change for artists or craft vendors. Each vendor is responsible for bringing enough cash to complete transactions with your patrons.

We strongly, strongly encourage vendors to:

  • provide patrons with receipts,
  •  provide patrons with business cards or some other format communicating your contact information (this can be on the receipt).


  • Should you need to cancel, please notify us as soon as possible by emailing
  • People’s Food Co-op will retain booth fees for cancellations occurring less than 24 hours before the event.
  • Vendors on the waitlist will be notified should cancellations occur.

EXPECTED BEHAVIOR: People’s Safer Space Policy

People’s Food Co-op strives to create a safer and accessible space that values everyone.  When present on Co-op property, each person is expected to respect all aspects of people’s identities including their ethnicity, sex, gender expression, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, religion, political affiliation, nationality, size, age, and ability. 

Physical or verbal abuse, sexual or any other form of harassment, theft, or damage of property is simply not tolerated.  Someone who is unable to meet these expectations will be asked to leave the property. 

If you feel that someone is in violation of this policy please talk to a staff member. 

Thanksgiving Baskets

All the baskets are called for, but you can still fill out the application to be placed on the waiting list. 

For those in our community that need support this November, People’s Food Co-op and some of our vendors have partnered to provide 80 free vegetarian food baskets. 

Basket pick up will be on Wednesday November 23rd from 4-7pm.

Only 80 food baskets are available. Baskets are limited to one per household.  After the 80 are spoken for, we will start a wait list. You will be notified by Thursday, Nov 17th if you will receive a basket.  Sign-ups are recorded in the order they arrive. 

Basket pick-up will be in our Community Room, located up a flight of stairs. There is an elevator available if you need it – just let a cashier know that you need to use it and they will help you.

Food baskets are designed to feed about 4 people and will likely include:

  • Organic produce: yams, potatoes, winter squash, yellow onions, garlic, greens, apples
  • Pumpkin Pie Fixings: 1 pie crust, 1 can pumpkin pie mix
  • $10 voucher for the People’s Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays 2-7pm
  • Other food items: 1 can cranberry jelly, Vegetable bullion cubes, 1 Dave’s Killer Bread Powerseed Thin Sliced Loaf, Three Sisters Nixtamal Tortillas

Basket contents may change slightly. 

Big thanks to our generous vendors that donated! We couldn't do this without them. 


October is Co-op Month!

What is Co-op Month?

Every year, we celebrate Co-op Month in October, as co-ops all around the country do. We offer incentives for folks to invest in their co-op share or to become a Member-Owner, decorate the store, host co-op related events in the Community Room, and take a minute to celebrate our Member-Owners, our store, and the somewhat miraculous thing we’ve built together.

And there are great reasons to invest! Employees at food co-ops make almost a dollar per hour more, on average, than at conventional grocers, and more get health insurance through their workplace. Co-ops work directly with more farmers and producers, and sell way more organic and local food – almost eight times as much as a percentage of sales. They also recycle more, and are more energy efficient. Plus, their owned by the people that use them, rather than individuals. We share in the wealth that we create, and create wealth beyond profits. 

This October in particular, as we nail down our long-term plan, the dollars that you invest in your Co-op go toward growing our store and the positive impact that it has in our community. So thanks for investing, shopping, and supporting – together, we own it! 


Become a Member-Owner, or invest in your share! In October, there are a few extra incentives for your investment. 

$15: An Equal Exchange chocolate bar

$30: A limited edition People's mug + an Equal Exchange chocolate bar

$60: A Chinook Book + a People's mug + an Equal Exchange chocolate bar

Plus, every investment made during Co-op Month enters you to win an awesome gift basket from Equal Exchange, a worker-owned co-op!


During Co-op Month, we're offering special sales to show appreciation for our Member-Owners and co-op community!

All Hard Cider is 10% off, all of October!

From Finnriver to Cider Riot, all hard cider is 10% off for all of October! Stock up on your favorite brands and flavors, or try all the others we have in stock! 



Looking to learn more about the Co-op and connect with more with your co-op community? 

Pick up a Co-op Passport!

Portland's food co-ops - People's, Food Front, and Alberta - have teamed up to offer a special coupon to anyone that visits all three during Co-op Month! Pick up a passport at a register at any of the co-ops, and get it marked when you visit each one. When you've filled it out, enjoy $10 off of a purchase of $30 or more at the co-op of your choice! And relish in the feeling that you've shopped at all of these community institutions. 

Why Black Lives Matter

Why Black Lives Matter

By: Rebecca Jamieson, Substitute Staff

The woman standing across the cash register from me was starting to cry. As I had begun to ring up her groceries a moment earlier, our conversation had started in the usual way: “Hello, how are you?” But instead of responding to that question with the routine “Fine, thanks,” we had each told the truth: our hearts were hurting. This was the week that two more unarmed Black men, Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, had been killed by police. This was not a week for “fine, thanks.” What had happened was not fine, and neither were we. In our brief conversation, the woman shared that she was terrified her two young sons would be in danger their whole lives, simply because they were Black. As tears filled both of our eyes, all I could do was ask her if she wanted a hug. She said yes.

Hugs are a good start, but they aren’t enough. The magnitude of the racism our country is grappling with is apparent to anyone who reads the news. Racially influenced, state-condoned shootings of innocent people continue, with no justice for the victims or their families. Unfortunately, these larger systems of oppression are the repercussions of the often-unconscious racial conditioning that we all receive as people living in the U.S., with its long history of genocide, slavery, and oppression. As a White person, I’ve come to realize over and over again that if I want real change, I have to work not just to heal racism on an institutionalized level, but on a very personal level as well. And that personal healing and unlearning of racial conditioning is a lifelong process.

Something I deeply value about working at People’s Co-op is our commitment to anti-oppression work and social justice. Two of our Ends statements directly address this, striving to be: “a safe, welcoming community where all are valued,” and “a passionate community working together for human rights and social justice.” People’s has been working to address issues of oppression in many different areas for a long time. In the last few years, we’ve been working even harder to address the systemic forms of oppression that affect our community, our store, our staff, and shoppers, whether they show up in obvious or more subtle ways. We’ve brought in speakers, held anti-oppression trainings for staff, and formed ongoing “caucus” groups that serve to educate staff around issues such as White and male privilege. Caucus groups also exist to support staff who deal with oppression on a daily basis, including groups for those who are women-identified and people of color.

The reason People’s has been working harder to address oppression is that we’ve seen how our own oppressive conditioning, if left unaddressed, creates an environment that is not “a place for all people” - another thing we strive for. Our increased effort to address how privilege and oppression affects us was largely spearheaded by People’s staff who face the most oppression, even though it is not their responsibility to educate those of us who have more privilege, or are less aware. Just like me, People’s still has room to grow in learning how to address these painful patterns. But this work can’t be done alone. We need each other - for learning, for healing, for support, for inspiration, for change.

In the spirit of learning from and supporting each other, and taking meaningful action in alignment with our Ends, People’s will be holding several events and actions coming up soon:

  • During the month of August, we’ll be holding a donation drive at the registers to support the Portland chapter of Black Lives Matter. Just tell your cashier you’d like to make a donation, or round up your purchase. More information about Black Lives Matter can be found here. This article is a good place to start if you are wondering why saying “All Lives Matter” is so upsetting to many who are working for racial justice.
  • People’s will host letter writing sessions in support of Campaign Zero to end police violence. The sessions will take place on Friday August 12th 5:30pm-7:30pm, and Sunday August 21st 3:30pm-5:30pm in our community room. Snacks will be served. Everyone is welcome.
  • People’s will be partnering with the Portland Underground Graduate School to offer a class in our Community Room called: Elegizing Black Lives. This class will explore how African American poets elegized victims of lynching and state violence, as well as celebrating acts of resistance. The class will run on Wednesdays August 10-31, from 6-8pm in the People’s Community Room. Space is limited. Read more and register here.
  • Starting in October, People’s will offer an ongoing yoga class for people of color. Details to come.
  • Also in October, People’s will start a White privilege discussion group. Details to come.
  • Black Lives Matter buttons are available for all shoppers at the registers!

2015 Patronage Dividends are here!

2015 was a landmark year for People’s Food Co-op.  In 2014 we did not post a profit and so were unable to pay out patronage dividends.  Faced with significant competition and increasing costs all around, would we be able to turn the tide in 2015?   What did this mean for the long-term health and viability of our co-op?  Well, this past year our Collective Management was able to tighten belts, get creative, and end the year with positive net income and sales growth!  This has positioned us well for 2016 as we begin in earnest to craft our Long Term Plan.

With the recent release of our 2015 Annual Report, active Member-Owners also received a Patronage Dividend.  If you did not receive your Annual Report and Patronage Dividend - it is likely that we have the wrong address (click here to update your address).  There are a number of dividends at the co-op that were undeliverable, stop by and ask a cashier to see if yours is here. 

What is patronage?

Patronage is the amount of our store's net income that came from Member-Owner sales.  As a consumer-owned co-op, when the co-op makes a profit, we are required by law to pay out at least 20% of that patronage to Member-Owners; we can choose to pay out 100%.  This year, your Board of Directors has chosen to distribute 60% of 2015 patronage back to Member-Owners.  This is the highest percentage ever paid out since the beginning of the patronage system in 2007!  

Due to a modest amount of profit made in 2015, this equates to each household receiving about 0.83% of their 2015 total spending back.  When deciding if and how much patronage to pay out, the Board of Directors balances many factors.  This year we wish to celebrate our financial turnaround, distribute as much profit back to owners as is financially responsible, and recognize the increasing economic pressure many among us face.  We also wish to safeguard the long-term health of the co-op, keep the amount of profit in perspective and remain mindful of the challenges we are likely to face together in the coming years.  Retained patronage helps the co-op build collective wealth for use in years to come.  

Your dedication to People's and steadfast patronage of our store are the reasons we are here.  As Member-Owners of People's we share in both our successes and challenges - we are in this together and WE OWN IT!  


Better Business: Earthly Gourmet, Natural Foods Distributor & Social Change Activists

Better Business: Earthly Gourmet, Natural Foods Distributor & Social Change Activists

By: Jenna Chen, Marketing & Design Co-Manager

Earthly Gourmet is a vegan, gluten free natural foods distributing company based out of SE Portland, OR.  Heman and Marlena Bhojwani started Earthly Gourmet in 2006, and in a short 9 years now supply many of the top vegan, organic restaurants and businesses in our city including Laughing Planet Cafe, Sip Juice Cart and Canteen, Harlow and Prasad Cafes, Next Level Burger (a vegan burger joint that just opened on 4121 SE Hawthorne) and your very own People’s Food Co-op.  

People’s Food Co-op was Earthly Gourmet’s first customer.  In 1996, former Grocery buyers Melody Anderson and Sarah Barnard bought fair trade chocolate syrups and ginger chews for the store. They also worked with Heman and Marlena to inaugurate Earth Balance into our bulk section.  Earth Balance did not sell 30 lb boxes of their product until People’s and Earthly Gourmet expressed high demand and guaranteed an order.  This is an example of how values driven businesses can use their collective power to directly impact how something is produced, sold, and distributed – for the better.  

People’s commitment to buying in bulk not only reduces wasteful packaging but is more cost-effective for the consumer and producer.  Now, Earthly Gourmet distributes a wide array of almost exclusively vegan and gluten-free products to the greater Portland area, Olympia, and Seattle, and almost 95% of these products are produced on the West Coast.    

In addition to being a growing, values driven food distributor, Earthly Gourmet is working with Immigration & Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) to employ refugees from Afghanistan, Syria and other places.  They currently have five full-time employees working for them that have come from overseas to seek asylum in the US.  These staff members often were employed as engineers and in other highly skilled trades in their homelands and now work at Earthly Gourmet.  Earthly Gourmet goes through rigorous and thorough questioning and investigation by the IRCO before being permitted to hire.  After they are hired, Earthly Gourmet trains them extensively on job tasks and serves as a resource as they adjust to living in the US.   Heman and Marlena’s willingness to open their workplace and hearts to those less fortunate than us and use their business as an example of how social justice can be actualized is truly inspiring.   

When asked what is next for Earthly Gourmet, a company that is meeting growing demand for vegan and gluten-free natural foods, Heman replies “The question is not how can we grow bigger - it’s how can we grow better”.  As People’s embarks into a future yet to be written, the idea of better growth rings clear and relevant.  How can we stay connected to our roots, our community, support the farmers and food producers around us in a sustainable way and thrive in our city?  The answer is up to us. 

A delicious lunch of vegan, gluten-free pizza, made in Earthly Gourmet's on-stie commercial kitchen which houses the headquarters of gluten-free bakery  Sift .  All ingredients on the pizzas are ones that Earthly Gourmet distribute.  

A delicious lunch of vegan, gluten-free pizza, made in Earthly Gourmet's on-stie commercial kitchen which houses the headquarters of gluten-free bakery Sift.  All ingredients on the pizzas are ones that Earthly Gourmet distribute.  

For the Love of Bulk

For the Love of Bulk

By Kahadish Wa'adabisha, Bulk Buyer, Collective Manager

The History of Bulk

The bulk section at People’s Food Co-op offers a wide array of foodstuffs that are in alignment with values that began in the late 1960’s and early 70’s. Around that time, the number of farms were declining and access to healthy, organic and pesticide-free food was not a primary focus. As a result food cooperatives were established by groups of people who wanted to make decisions about production and distribution of foodstuffs and the quality of food we eat. 

Food co-ops were on the front line of creating what are now known as “health food stores”. And between 1969 and 1970 approximately 10,000 food coops were established throughout the United States (People’s Food Coop being one of these co-ops).

The food cooperative movement, specific to the foundation of People’s, is different than the general health food movement in that it is very intentional. It is based on values, as seen in the Rochdale principles which guide the co-op:

  1. Voluntary & open membership
  2. Democratic Member control
  3. Member economic participation
  4. Autonomy & independence 
  5. Education, training & information
  6. Cooperation among cooperatives
  7. Concern for community

Making Bulk Part of your Everyday Life

In our bulk section you’ll notice a wide variety of organically grown grains, beans, seaweeds, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and even so called “super foods”, many of which are locally grown (noted by the Foodshed logos in the store). These items are significant in our co-op history, in that at co-ops used to be the main provider of these items to our community. 

Yet, lifestyles have changed over the last fifty years. People are busy and have so many obligations that they’re running between. Food options have been created that fit this lifestyle—there’smore eating out, grab and go, snacks and prepared food. There is less time given to and available for preparing food at home. 

But preparing food as it was originally intended grounds us in the movement that led to the founding of People’s Food Co-op and other food co-ops. Eating food in its whole form helps to fertilize the garden of our own bodies by honoring food preparation, eating the food we prepare, and returning to sharing food as a community.

Where to Start

There is something intentional in the action of preparing food in its most basic form. It connects us with the community it serves and the earth it comes from.  For example, try making beans instead of buying them canned. Through the process of making food from its whole form, you may find yourself having time to enjoy the beauty and colors of the food you eat. You’ll be honoring the fact that many of us have access to healthy, kindly planted and harvested food. You may be using your own containers and bags andtherefore reducing waste (statistics from the EPA show we generate approximately 80 million tons of waste fr om packaging and containers annually). And you’ll be supporting farmers and taking part in a legacy of food preparation that dates back to generations long before us.

Here's a recipe to get you started.


  • 1 1/2 cups onion 
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons (or more) curry powder and garam masala
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 cup fresh tomato or 1, 15 oz canned tomatoes drained
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • 4 cups water
  • Lime wedges
  • Cilantro


Saute onion, garlic, ginger and spices in olive oil. Add squash, lentils, tomato and salt. Then add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, stirring until the squash is tender for about 20 minutes. Stir in coconut milkand simmer until heated through, about 1 minute. Serve with lime wedges and cilantro and enjoy as this dish makes you comfy cozy