Food & Drink Events

Serious Eats and Trash Talk

Yamhill Valley battles Riverbend Landfill/Waste Management with world-class snacks and sips in McMinnville.

By Karen Brooks April 10, 2012

Every holiday, cause, and controversy in Oregon seems to inspire a grand feast. One of the most intriguing recipes for a night of serious eating involves a long-running environmental battle to oust Texas-owned McMinnville Riverbend Landfill from Yamhill County’s farm-rich lands; a who’s who of Portland chefs and Oregon vintners; and—on the silent auction block—a few heritage breed turkeys, CSA certificates, and even a stash of organic hay. And that’s not to mention an original art piece of rats scurrying around a trash heap (a must for every home) by iconic sculpturess-cum-humorist Malia Jensen.

At issue is the claim by some Oregon farmers that the McMinnville landfill company is polluting premium farm land and rivers. The group is fighting to close the landfill. “For the past 20 years a group of Yamhill County farmers, vintners, river keepers, and land conservationists have been fighting to end the steady stream of trash piling 15 stories tall on some of the oldest and most esteemed family farms in the state,” says Ramsey McPhillips, keeper of his family’s 149-year-old McPhillips Farms.

The culinary throw-down known as the Pile Me To the Moon Fundraising Event aims to raise ongoing legal funds for the Waste Not/Stop the Dump Coalition. The event, on April 22, will be staged at McMinnville’s Grand Ballroom (325 NE 3rd Street). Cost is $45 per person, 5:30–7:30 p.m., with sips and samples from a dozen restaurants including Aviary, Beaker & Flask, Castagna, DOC, Park Kitchen, St. Jack, and McMinnville’s Thistle, the feast organizer. Wine has been donated from more than a dozen wineries, including the likes of Brick House and Westry. All proceeds will benefit the group’s legal funds.

Tickets are available at:
Or by mail: Waste Not of Yamhill County, PO Box 1744, McMinnville

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