PORTLAND — Finding locally grown fresh foods in Oregon just became easier.

Oregon Taste, a public service project of nonprofit James Beard Public Market, announced the launch of OregonTaste.com, a searchable online directory of the state’s locally grown fresh food.

The website allows area consumers to connect to Oregon’s local fresh foods and food businesses, providing a reliable source for information on Oregon food, food products, food systems programs and food events.

The directory initially is focusing on Oregon’s local producers that sell fresh foods directly to consumers. Listings include sellers of fresh, local and direct-to-consumer food, as well as information on farmers, fishers, ranchers, roadside stands, u-pick fields, farmers markets and orchards.

The directory, so far, lists 11 ag-related businesses in Eastern Oregon, including Bellinger Farms and Gourmet Shoppe in Hermiston, Evergreen Family Farm in La Grande, Almosta Farm in Cove and Mountain Beef in Enterprise.

Consumers can search the directory for fresh food producers across the state, find specific food products, link to a producer’s website and learn how to connect with producers and their products. In collaboration with Oregon Farmers Markets Association, the website also provides consumers links to the websites of farmers markets across Oregon.

Lori Warner, development director for Oregon Taste, said in the press release the COVID-19 pandemic revealed how much local food systems matter.

“The idea for Oregon Taste was born out of this increased need to connect Oregonians to more local farms and the foods they create,” she stated.

Oregon Taste also soon plans to expand the directory to include links to food products manufactured or processed in Oregon; wine, beer, spirits and other beverages created in the state; and listings of local food events. Future plans include listings of the state’s food-related nonprofits, agencies and food organizations.

As a public service project, the directory is free to consumers, as well as local farmers and sellers who want to appear in the directory.

Organizations statewide are collaborating with James Beard Public Market to help connect consumers to Oregon-grown foods, including the Oregon Farmers Markets Association, Travel Oregon Food Trail Program and the High Desert Food and Farm Alliance.

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