Farm Market Promotion Program

FMPPThe United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded NeighborWorks Umpqua a two-year grant to promote five farm markets in Douglas County.  These include Canyonville, Lookingglass, Old Town, Sutherlin and Umpqua Valley Farmers Markets.

Our goal is to create a thriving network of Farmers’ Markets in the Umpqua Valley that provide an abundance of fresh local foods to consumers and businesses while supporting our local agricultural industry. Goals will be accomplished through technical assistance, coordinated marketing/branding strategies and integrating community resources. Besides uniting the 5 markets, the main goal of the program is to increase public awareness of the offerings of the farmers markets. Through an intensive branding/marketing campaign, consumers will become aware of what produce is available, when and where they can access it and be educated as to the many health and economic benefits of buying local produce.

Click the link to read the press release.

 Click on this link to view our upcoming workshops: FMPP Spring Workshops.

Queens of the Umpqua

February 01, 2013
Reposted with permission from Oregon Wine Press 


Story by Nancy Rodriguez | Photography by Gary Leif

This is the land of “A Hundred Valleys.” It’s also the land of numerous wineries and wine varieties, too. The Umpqua Valley is the oldest wine-producing region in Oregon, crafting quality wines for more than 50 years. Now with the birth of the Southern Oregon Wine Institute in Roseburg, there’s a higher level of sophistication in this appellation. Add to that the increase in women winemakers and growers, and Oregon has a story in the making. 

HillCrest Winery & Distillery 

At the helm of the area’s flagship winery, HillCrest, Susan and Dyson DeMara continue to build on the tradition started by Richard Sommer in 1961. After working and teaching in the industry on three continents and 17 countries, the couple put down their roots in the Umpqua by acquiring Oregon’s oldest estate winery in 2003. 

As I drive along the road leading up to HillCrest, a circle of carved Native American heads surrounding a fire pit comes into view, invoking a sense that I’m on sacred ground. For Susan, this hallowed place is her stomping ground. It’s also where she blends family — children include Hanna, Parker and Tucker — and winemaking, in hopes of ensuring the winery’s continuing success and legacy as well. 

The DeMaras reflect Sommer’s philosophy by producing wines reflecting a sense of place or what the French call “terroir.” While growing their own Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Chardonnay, Susan and Dyson insist on natural methods and low yields, giving HillCrest wines intense flavor and complexity. In addition, the winery’s patented concrete fermenters further solidify the winery’s homage to the Old World.

Their love of Europe shows in the tasting room, too, where they sell gourmet French salts and olive oil from Spain. Inspired by the wine and impassioned by Susan’s love of cooking — she’s a professionally trained chef — these culinary offerings are part of what the couple calls “Our Family’s Table.” What an appropriate name for this family-oriented business that welcomes guests as if they were part of their own.

Abacela Winery

A passion to match varietal to environment brought Hilda and Earl Jones to the Umpqua Valley. Their dream was to produce a world-class Tempranillo in the style of the Rioja region of Spain. After an extensive search and research, they found property at the southern end of the Umpqua Valley AVA in 1992. The land was the perfect pairing of a unique micro-climate to clone. In 1995, they planted the first Tempranillo grown in the Northwest. They named the estate Abacela, an Iberian phrase meaning “to plant a grapevine.” 

Fast-forward to today, and the Joneses now have 20 grape varietals, including other types such as Albariño, Syrah, Merlot, Dolcetto and Grenache, planted to 77 acres of vineyards. 

They also built a Vine & Wine Center at the winery with a stunning panoramic view. The new tasting room is a reflection of Hilda. She’s a woman of dignity and stature just as the building displays. As I stand in the sophisticated space, I realize how this accomplishment took time, dedication and, most of all, hard work, which Hilda notes is the ultimate driver in their business and has kept her “nose in the dirt,” she says. 

From her and Earl’s wine adventure thus far, Hilda says her greatest advice is to “Keep your eyes open. Keep your mind open. And see what is on the horizon.” 

After visiting with her and tasting the wine, I am once again reminded of the Valley’s promising future. 

Glaser Estate Winery & Distillery 

Leaving the South Umpqua Valley, I travel to the Glaser Estate, located on the North Umpqua River. 

During a previous trip, co-owner Sandy Glaser gave me strawberry plants she had thinned from her own garden. I planted them, and they survived despite the best efforts of the deer, who apparently consider them a delicacy, and my rather haphazard approach to gardening. 

The drive to the winery is short. It is just on the outskirts of Roseburg, but as you turn on to the road leading to the estate, you feel you have been transported to another country. The vineyard gives way to a bountiful garden next to a yard with chickens and baby goats wandering about the pen. The tasting room is reminiscent of a charming, European farmhouse. Off the back of the building, a deck overlooks the river, and this is where tasters tend to gather. This is where I landed and stayed for hours on what would become the perfect day. 

From Sauvignon Blanc to Baco Noir, the Glasers produce wine that speaks of the region. On this day, my choice is the rosé — perhaps because I began the morning with the promise and memory of strawberries. 

Sandy is warm and welcoming, a classic beauty with mesmerizing blue eyes. Her passion and love for her work is evident in the details of her life. Sandy and her family moved to the Roseburg area after discovering a feeling of belonging in this family-oriented community — the Glasers are friends with other producers, including the DeMaras. They bought th-eir property in 2003, eventually turning a cow pasture into a vineyard.   

Sandy is the first woman graduate of the Southern Oregon Wine Institute at Umpqua Community College. In bringing the pioneer spirit to this wine region, she has proven herself to be a winemaker and has won awards for her talent — the most recent being the Best of Class and Gold for her Pinot Gris in the Women’s International Wine Competition. As times goes on, she is sure to garner many more.

Brandborg Winery

The story of Sue and Terry Brandborg began like a message in a bottle, tossed into the ocean of circumstance and washed up not on a beach but 25 miles inland from the Oregon coast in the town of Elkton. 

Sue is soft-spoken, sincere and tells her story with a belief in purpose. Her adventure begins with a wine tasting in Jackson Hole, Wyo. It was her first taste of Pinot Noir, a wine made by Terry.. Eventually they met, and a dinner date led to correspondence that began their partnership in life and business. 

Believing they were predestined to work together, they put themselves on a ferris wheel ride, of sorts, searching in circles for the perfect place to grow grapes. In 2001, they found a property in Elkton perfect for planting Pinot Noir. It also had a house at the top of a hill with a view of the Coast Range. 

They named their first five acres Ferris Wheel Vineyard, and Sue named the vines after her children, depending on how each grew, and raised them from bud break to harvest. She compares the love of the vineyard as the love a mother has for her children. In addition to Pinot Noir, the Brandborgs grow Pinot Gris, Riesling and Syrah. 

She defines her role as one of fostering relationships, and to spread the word about Umpqua Valley wines. She wants others to know how this is a region of diversity, including the grapes and the people working behind the wines.

Chris Lake, director of the Southern Oregon Wine Institute on the campus of Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, speaks of the impact of women on the region as it changes and evolves. There is a parallel between the growth of the industry and the increasing number of women in the program. The daughter of Sue Brandborg has been a student SOWI and will be carrying on the family legacy as the next winemaker.

For Sue, family comes first, and the winery is their legacy, a feeling shared by all these women of wine.

Love Your Locals Facebook Contest. You could WIN!

LYLocalLove is in the air and we need your help to influence the public to Share the Love with local business in Douglas County this Valentine’s Season.

We are offering one free year of membership to one lucky TLU member who helps us spread the most love via facebook.

How to participate:

1. You must be a current TLU member

2. You must have a facebook page for your business

3. You must “like” TLU facebook page from your business page

4. Share the following status update on your business Facebook page (Copy and paste with appropriate tags)

<Tag Your Business Name> is a proud member of the <tag Think Local Umpqua>. We are encouraging you to “Love Your Local” businesses this Valentine’s Season (and all year round). To share your local love, like this status. When you shop local, THREE times the amount of money stays right here in Douglas County (verses shopping at national chains). To find out specials and deals from locally owned businesses all around Douglas County, “like” Think Local Umpqua.

5. The winner will be the business with the most fans “liking” their status.
Contest runs from Thursday, February 7 to Friday, February 15, at 10:00pm.

The business with the most fans who like their status will win one year free membership with Think Local Umpqua (a $120 value). 
Must be a current TLU member. Not a member yet? Join here

You may post the status as many times as you would like, we will add the totals from each of your posts. You MUST tag TLU facebook page in your status update to qualify. The winner will be notified via email & announced on facebook on Monday, February 18.

Share the Love. Spread the Love.

Love Your Locals.

Good Luck!

Local Testimony

“We need to support local business and keep revenue flowing locally. As a small soap maker we sell locally and buy everything from the closest vender here in Canyonville and spreading in the smallest radius from here possible.”   ~M. Anderson

Buying Locally Creates More Local Wealth and Jobs

Numerous studies have shown each dollar spent at a locally owned, independent businesses creates far greater community wealth. The most recent, published by Civic Economics and Local First Utah in August of 2012, Locally-owned retailers were found to spend 52% of their revenues in the local economy, compared to just 14% with chain retailers. Click the graph for the full story.

Shift your Shopping

Go Local: It’s a Gift for the Whole Community!

Challenge yourself to do your holiday shopping at locally owned businesses in Douglas County this season. Sign up to pledge to do your holiday shopping locally 10% or whenever possible below!

When you shop at locally-owned businesses, 45% more of your money stays circulating in our community. With the challenges facing our local economies, your holiday purchasing can help make a difference to the vitality of Douglas County. Just a 10% shift in spending annually keeps $70,000,000 in our local economy with the potential to create 2,170 jobs!

The Shift Your Shopping challenge is a fun and easy way to help our community and feel good while doing it.

Pledge below and make a tax-deductible donation here.

I pledge to Shift my Shopping this season



Small Business Saturday® is November 24th

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is another day, one dedicated to the businesses that boost the economy and invigorate neighborhoods across the country.

It’s Small Business Saturday, and this year, it’s happening on November 24th.

Shop Small this November 24th, and let’s make this the biggest day of the year for small business.

To learn more, visit

Umpqua Valley Food Day a Success!

Thank you all for coming to the potluck and seed swap last night. We had about 50 folks come out to eat good food and learn about seed saving!

Highlights of the night included:

  •  a seed swap table FULL of seeds from Lighthouse Retreat Center, Liberty Seed Company and backyard gardeners.
  •  a potluck table FULL of delicious Douglas-Grown food including kale salad, carrots, pickled asparagus, apple pear berry pie and more.
  • announcement from Tammera Karr that the Douglas County Commissioners are the first in the country to proclaim a county-wide Food Day!

Thank you to those that attended and shared all of the exciting work you’re doing for food systems, helping Douglas County become a happier, healthier place! If you would like to have your project or perspective included in the Community Food Assessment being conducted, you can contact Laura at the information below. She’d love to talk with you! All it takes to be included is a bit of time to sit down and chat.

Thanks for all of the great things you do and all of the delicious food you make! See more pictures by clicking here.

Laura Stroud

Douglas County Food Assessor

Think Local Umpqua and NeighborWorks Umpqua

Resource Assistance for Rural Environments AmeriCorps member

cell: (514) 643-3931

Featured Member: The Dental Health Center

Dr. J. Lee Sharp DDS, PC, and Associates

1683 West Harvard

Roseburg, OR 97471


Short History of your business

J. Lee Sharp, DDS, solidified his Roseburg general dental practice before he even graduated from the University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry in 1984.

During dental school, Dr. Sharp met a colleague who owned the Roseburg practice and told him that he would buy the practice if it were ever up for sale.  The opportunity arose just as Dr. Sharp was embarking on his professional career.

In the ensuing years, Dr. Sharp built and grew the practice in to what is today – The Dental Health Center.  With 14 operatories, one associate, 4 hygienists and a myriad of services The Dental Health Center has become the premier dental practice in the Douglas County area.  . Dr. Sharp is a member of the Umpqua, Oregon and American Dental Associations and the Academy of General Dentistry, and serves on the board of trustees of the Oregon Dental Association. 

About the product or service

At The Dental Health Center we are committed to providing complete dentistry for every family member including children and we personalize our care to each patient’s needs and comfort level.  We offer various levels of sedation and serve patients with a wide range of needs including those with disabilities, dental phobias, anxiety, and a fear of shots, severe gag reflexes and complicated medical histories or those who may need advanced relaxation or delicate care.  We provide lifetime preventative care and guarantee our dental work. The general dentists at The Dental Health Center offer treatment to the entire family from young children to seniors.  For the convenience of our denture patients, we have an excellent in office denture team.  We strive to reduce patient stress with a pleasant and comfortable experience at every visit.

About the business philosophy

The Dental Health Center is dental TLC.  To many TLC is tender loving care – and we agree.  But we think it is a bit more.  To us it is also Technology, Longevity and Complete Care. 

We strive to help patients, relieve their anxiety, help them smile again and feel good about how they look.  In our over 30 years of practice in Douglas County, we have perfected our system and learned that treating our friends with the best products, the best services and using the latest advancements in dentistry is about the best way to show we care. 

Why did you join TLU

We believe in our community. Whether it be Roseburg, Douglas County or our circle of friends – To us community is giving and service.  Joining a project like Think Local Umpqua helps give a framework for our dedication to building strength where we live, serve and work. 

National Food Day – Oct 24

Food Celebrate national food day with Think Local Umpqua on Oct 24th! We will host a potluck and seed swap at the Lookingglass Grange at 7426 Lookingglass Road, Roseburg OR.

Come celebrate the abundance of Douglas County! Learn how to save, store and start seeds, enjoy a home cooked meal, and hear from local farmers, producers and processors about when and where to buy local foods. Bring a covered dish and seeds to share!

Download the flyer.

To RSVP visit or call Laura at 541.673.3931

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