Join the Community Gardens in La Grande or Ontario!

Calling all Gardeners! Help us spread the word (if not the manure/or compost). Springtime across our region is prompting the re-opening of Community Gradens in several counties, and there are garden plots available for you, your friends, neighbors, local food pantries, 4-H clubs or Master Gardeners. There are also "open garden" times scheduled all season at the garden in Ontario. Read on!

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Solarize: A Positive Action to Address Climate Change Locally

Have you been wondering what you can do about climate change? Here’s a good idea: Join Solarize Union County! Community solar projects like Solarize Union County lower the overall cost of installing a system through a bulk-purchasing program, making the systems available at wholesale prices.

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ORA Organizer to Sow New Seeds

Oregon Rural Action Organizer, Nella Parks, announces her departure from ORA, but not her beloved Eastern Oregon. "It has been my great pleasure and passion to work with all of you on the front lines of grassroots action for over the last 3 1/2 years. I am writing to tell you that, with mixed emotions, I'm leaving ORA June 1 to focus on my agricultural enterprises and rural business endeavors locally."

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New Food Safety Rules: Do they Protect Small & Medium-sized Farms & Processors?

Update: FDA has granted the 120 day comment period extension! New deadline to make comments is Sept 16, 2013. ORA and folks in the WORC network are continuing to read through the new rules and assess what they will mean for growers. Remember all the hard work you did on the Food Safety Modernization Act in 2009-2010? ORA members' hard work helped keep FSMA from effectively shutting down Farmers Markets and small-scale producers with one-size-fits all regulation. Now the Food & Drug Admistration has (2 years later) released 1,000 pages of rules governing FSMA. We have until May 16th to comment on the rules and understand how they may effect fruit & vegetable producers and processors. Read on to learn about the exemptions for direct sales and smaller scale folks and other implications of FSMA for local fruit & vegetable growers and processors.

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Good News on Health Care Reform!

The Health Care Funding Study bill, HB3260, has passed out of the house. ORA members met with legislators to push for passage of the bill last week. The bill would solicit a comparative study of health care models for Oregon. Another bill, HB2922, the Affordable Health Care for All Oregon Plan Act, will have its hearing May 13. Read on for more on these bills an ORA member's citizen lobbying work in Salem.

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Solarize Union County Kicks off a 2nd Year!

Solarize Union County is now offering solar electric systems in addition to solar hot water systems to local residents and businesses in 2013!   What is Solarize Union County? Solarize Union County is a program spearheaded by Oregon Rural Action and Union County in collaboration with partners including Union County and the Union Wallowa Baker Federal Credit Union. The goal of the program is to help the residents of Union County overcome...

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