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George Fox University “Serve Day” 2016 Downtown Newberg



It’s the sweat of the brow that my camera does not show you. The heavy breath of young and old lungs alike. The twitching muscles, as pound after pound of softened beauty bark is heaved across the city streets of Downtown Newberg.

Wide shovels loaded down with the shaky-tree skin of tall earth lungs, lain down for another purpose, are heftily lifted by these “bull of the woods” George Fox University volunteers and locally involved citizens. The dry beds scattered about town will soon all be plumped by the cush of the arbor matter.


Bark dust flies from the scaling end of these scattered-about-town piles.


The “Patriarchs of the Bark“, many long-time Newberg residents, such as Allyn Brown, Dennis Lewis, Mike Ragsdale, NDC President Rob Felton, and many others whom I have not enough space to list, are the backbone of this undertaking. These gentlemen are true leaders in the organizational details of the ongoing beautification of Newberg. Let us mentor beneath their guidance to develop the next generation of strong local leaders.


Rob Felton, President, Newberg Downtown Coalition




Mike Ragsdale, Executive Director, Newberg Downtown Coalition

For 17 years strong, George Fox University has been recreating “Serve Day” annually to keep our Historic Downtown a clean and aesthetically pleasing canvas. Young students readily volunteer their tree-like limbs of stable backs and athletic legs to this forest of effort, happily running forward when called upon by the simple need of numbers.


George Fox students annually volunteer more than a quarter of a million hours to service.



The community center hive is buzzing like a chainsaw with eager workers, giving freely of their precious time, between studies, between the experience of new friends and places, between working hours, to nourish Newberg as a growing seedling on the woodland floor of Oregon Wine Country.



Community Center RoundUp VIDEO



Even in witness to the hustle of the beautifying moment, we still fail to grasp the effort applied beforehand with the preparation of maps, bark logistics, and the analytical aspect of precisely where we need a touchup.




Wheelbarrows, rakes, and trash pickers are organized and supplied. The weed whackers are gassed up and ready to clear-cut any overgrown fields around the neighborhood.





These young swampers of bark, scatter through the city streets working in a furious manner to beat the heat of the day.



They know there is an ice-cold Popsicle waiting courtesy of Social Goods: A Newberg Family Market at the end of the “long logging road” through town.


GoodPop, A Truly Charitable Popsicle


Sender sneaks a cold treat with Robin Sikkens of Social Goods: A Newberg Family Market and Wine Lockers.

Thank you George Fox University, and the Newberg Downtown Coalition. Thank you fine young students, men and woman both, in your laborious efforts. Thank you local citizens young and old for serving on this day.



Turning back, we just see excellence in landscaping. In the midst, is a freezer full of cool pops. Gazing into the future, we view well rounded leaders with a bit of dirt under the nail, a taste for the chilled fruits of labor, and a deep understanding of the teamwork and time sacrifice it takes to truly make a community thrive.



img_3538George Fox Serve Day

September 2016

GoodPops Story

Farmer’s Market- Lucy in the Sky with Steaks


An ethereal wavelength of voice cascading from the throat of Melaiah Echo glides along the misty, drizzly afternoon of the Newberg Farmer’s Market. Her sweet inflections add a mysterious layer to the markets ambiance. What goodies will we find in the light fog of the day? Melaiahs’ streaming and poignant melodies are a wonderful pairing for the delightful fare at hand.



I am enchanted by the endearing disposition of Annie from Dolce Farm & Orchards. Just like her pickles, I can tell she is the bread and butter of this family operation. Her warm eyes emit rays of golden lights of love across the grass at the Farmer’s Market Square. These lights penetrate me and fill me with warmth much like a farmhouse oven full of warm, baked treats. I gravitate to her instantly and can decipher that this women infuses her jams with a deep sense of passion. Homemade and uncertified organic, these simple jars of goodness and their fun labels are a must to be had.


I instantly decide on the Caramel Pear Butter. I ponder how anyone could possibly resist this concoction and immediately add it to my bag. It has since become my secret elixer, sparingly added to homemade oatmeal or grits it never ceases to entice little Sendy-Bo into another heaping spoonful of warm breakfast. I will be adding more fun flavors to my collection of dainty, jam-magical potions.



Annie is so kind as to give me a gluten-free brownie before I make my way along the tents of the fruits-of-the-farmer’s labor and local artisan wares. She invites my loved ones and I to her splendid family farm, and we will be taking her up on this cordial invite.


Twitter-pated young couples and friendly families hang around for an afternoon of coolness, while the ever-life-giving summer sun takes a fortnight nap. I have to agree with this little guy that Cream Northwest is good to the very last drop, even on a cloud-embellished day.


Saint Joseph Acres never fails to stop me in my tracks at the first glance of their picturesque harvest spread. Strikingly red peppers reach out to grab me, as I fiddle with my camera settings in the adumbral day.



Fresh picked, iridescent orange chanterelle mushrooms line the tables of Eleventh Hour Productions & Gift Shoppe out of Lafayette, Oregon. I have fancied morels from them on previous visits to this quaint canopy of flourish.


I turn sharply and there stands the vivacious Jodi Pierce of The Pierce Ranch in Sherwood, Oregon. This woman is strong and straight to the point. She strikes me as the type to kick the bull right back into the ring without even flinching. A tell-it-like-it-is smile, and a strong arm are just the silken-edge of the cornfield when it comes to having a down home chat with this hearty lady. I like her. She is substantial.


She proudly shows off her two ready-to-help Granddaughters and introduces me to her table.



She showcases The James Gang BBQ sauce collection and has known Jesse for years. That has got to be an amazing kick of a time, hanging out with those two fine folks, in a future party conversation I could only hope to be privy to.


Jodi opens a white cooler with a surprisingly gentle hand and tells me all about the available cuts of precisely wrapped meat in clean white butcher paper like something straight out of the “I Love Lucy” episode when Lucy accidently orders a side of beef and stuffs it in every possible crevice of her apartment before Ricky gets home and displays his typically irate Cuban fit.

Steaks, steaks, and even more steaks are shown, as I call for my husband to take a mental inventory. This is his territory. I reluctantly part ways with Jodi, as it’s the end of the afternoon. Branded by her strength of character, I am hoping to brush some off onto my own sense of self.

Watch Lucy Video


It has been another culturally fulfilling day of working on my life degree in the Farmer’s Market, and I am excited to come back next time around. Thank you all for your efforts on repeatedly bringing us the best the earth has to offer.


On a final note, Sender Bodhi sneaks a few of his sister Melaiah’s tips from the near full jar when he thinks she is too busy singing, but she sees….


Farmer’s Market August 2016

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