‘Hoedown’ celebrated at Urban Grange

Again this year, the Zenger Farm Urban Grange was the focus of late summer revelry. Find out what happened there, and why …

Hundreds of people gather in outer East Portland at the Zenger Farm Urban Grange, for their second annual Hoedown.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Hundreds of folks from all over the greater Portland area were drawn to Zenger Farm for their now-annual “Hoedown” on the lovely evening of August 6.

After guests checked in, they were treated to a grilled sausage dinner with picnic side dishes, cool ice cream, and fresh pressed-on-site apple cider.

Guests have a good time at this year’s Hoedown.

“This has become an annual celebration for Zenger Farm,” affirmed the non-profit organization’s Development Director, Andrew Hogan

“It’s a great way to use our new Urban Green space, at which we can host a community event for all of our neighbors,” Hogan told East Portland News.

These ladies, Suvi Mirka and Madeleine Edwards from Salt & Straw Ice Cream, delight in serving cold treats on a hot summer afternoon.

Members of the “Tri Squares Square Dance Club” demonstrate their Terpsichore.

In addition to being one of largest parties in outer East Portland, the event is also a benefit for the farm,” explained Hogan. “All of the money that we raise from the Hoedown, hopefully about $10,000, benefits our scholarship program – which allows everyone to access our programming, even if they otherwise couldn’t afford it.

“Our educational program teaches about 10,000 people every year about healthy food, how it grows, the land from which it comes, and how to cook the food that’s grown here,” Hogan added. “Many of the folks that come here are from lower-income families, here in the neighborhoods surrounding the farm.”

People of all means, all incomes, and from all over Portland, come to visit the farm, Hogan went on. “People involved in our program are as young as preschoolers – and we also hosted a 99-year-old on a tour, just a couple of weeks ago.”

Event photographer Patrick Smith caught between shots.

Most of the staff of Zenger Farm – a working urban farm located in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood that models and educates about sustainable food systems, stewardship, and access to good food for all – was helping out at the Hoedown. “We have about 50 volunteers pitching in this year,” said Hogan.

He smiled as he watched the some 400 guests have a fun, down-on-the-farm evening. “The best part, for me, since I like throwing big parties, is that this is a big, fun party, and I love to see people enjoying themselves.”

From sponsor Portland Nursery, Bill Wild pours fresh-pressed cider into a jug held by Marketing Manager Sara Ori.

The Hoedown party continues on the deck of the Zenger Farm Urban Grange.

Find out more about Zenger Farm, and their upcoming classes and events, by visiting their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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