Nightwood Society’s Farm 2 Turntable

Have you heard of The Nightwood Society? They are a Portland collective of women makers – artists, bakers, butchers, chefs, cocktail mixologists, event directors, farmers, food photographers and stylists and more. Nightwood Society has taken over the space on NE Broadway that was previously Chesa and is using it as a women-owned and operated event space and creative studio. They’ve been holding private events for its members and supporters in the industry as a community and class space, but recently started scheduling events open to the public as well. One of these first events was Nightwood Society’s Farm 2 Turntable, promising farm to table food and dancing beats.

Nightwood Society's Farm 2 Turntable event Nightwood Society's Farm 2 Turntable event, bountiful farm to table board of cheeses and vegetables
I loved how the vegetable and cheese board instead of all fresh raw vegetables also included roasted Cauliflowers and Broccolis and squash. Purple Cauliflower added an extra unusual color to the spread, and if you look carefully you can see they used both regular and romanesco broccoli.

The event sounded like an odd setup – limited seating, with most of the space open for a dance floor and what I think I saw referred to as “social dining”. An aperitif hour was then followed by serve yourself dining. So what did this mean? It turns out food was placed on some communal tables by the front with small plates next to them in a semi-family style fashion, and they kept the board and salad bowls full throughout the night.

Nightwood Society's Farm 2 Turntable event, Chicory Salad with Apple, Fennel, Green Goddess, Fried Foccacia Nightwood Society's Farm 2 Turntable event, Beets and Parsnips Salad
Chicory Salad with Apple, Fennel, Green Goddess, Fried Foccacia / Beets and Parsnips Salad

Back by the kitchen individually plated dishes could be picked up too, though some women helping to serve also would walk with trays to hand these out and make sure everyone had some, or leave a few dishes at those front buffet tables. And DJ Sanju was totally old school – with records literally on a turntable (and quite the collection of records to choose from), no laptop glow to be seen which is what I usually see, and he came out and even danced it out too on the dance floor.
Nightwood Society's Farm 2 Turntable event, bountiful farm to table board of cheeses and vegetables, chicory salad and a beet salad  Nightwood Society's Farm 2 Turntable event, mushroom sugo  Nightwood Society's Farm 2 Turntable event, Cauliflower soup with chili oil Nightwood Society's Farm 2 Turntable event, Cauliflower soup with chili oil
Mushroom Sugo over polenta topped with crunchy breadcrumbs and grating of cheese / Cauliflower soup with chili oil

When I heard about the formation of this collective and it’s vision to provide a space for women in what has professionally been a male dominated field, I was ready to be at whatever event they had to support them. In a previous job, I was part of a team doing research on various franchise offices, and some were all male, some were a mix of male and females, and then there were the ones that were female owned and operated.  The ones that were woman or women owned were completely different in feel and how they ran the business then the male or male and female partners owned businesses.

Nightwood Society's Farm 2 Turntable event, Persimmon Glazed Pork Belly being plated by Sarah Schneider Nightwood Society's Farm 2 Turntable event, Persimmon Glazed Pork Belly being plated by Sarah Schneider
Nightwood Society’s Farm 2 Turntable event, Persimmon Glazed Pork Belly being plated by Sarah Schneider

It wasn’t just a couple examples either – we saw through multiple woman owned agencies that even across different cities and states, all the woman owned business operated the same way. They were more open, more collaborative, were much more ingrained in the community, even the feel as soon as you walked into the door felt different. The only other small businesses that were similar were those usually owned by minority owners who specifically were serving their minority community. It was enough that our research and design team classified the woman owned businesses as their own type of customer profile with its own model of operating. It makes that much of a difference, and it was eye opening for me.
Nightwood Society's Farm 2 Turntable event Nightwood Society's Farm 2 Turntable event, Pacific Northwest Oysters
Oyster whisperer

But don’t just take my word for it – come attend one of those events and see for yourself what it’s like when the whole operation is women. That means women greeting you and signing you in and giving you an overview of how the event works, a woman providing your welcome drink, women keeping the food table stocked with food, clearing your plates, offering you passed food, cooking and plating in the kitchen, making all the drinks behind the bar.
Nightwood Society's Farm 2 Turntable event - Leah Scafe handling the rush at the bar like a boss The powerhouse women who kept the food coming and coming from the kitchen for Nightwood Society's Farm 2 Turntable event
Leah Scafe handling the rush at the bar like a boss / The powerhouse women who kept the food coming and coming from the kitchen for Nightwood Society’s Farm 2 Turntable event

Maybe you’ll see it’s like a modern mini-version of Themyscira (the home of Wonder Woman and the Amazonians) too.
Nightwood Society's Farm 2 Turntable event - Squash Dessert Nightwood Society's Farm 2 Turntable event - Squash Dessert
Squash Dessert

The Nightwood Society’s next events are December 2 a FREE public pop up market featuring local women artists and makers (light lunch options and beverages will also be available) or an Afternoon Tea Party with mini-pies and champagne cocktails and more on December 3. They also recently started a Kickstarter that includes some interesting rewards.  Make sure you like them on Facebook to keep up with their events calendar.
Nightwood Society's Farm 2 Turntable event Nightwood Society's Farm 2 Turntable event, beverages like wine, beer, and cocktail specials were available for purchase
Nightwood Society’s Farm 2 Turntable event, beverages like wine, beer, and cocktail specials were available for purchase”

Have you heard of The Nightwood Society? Have you ever experienced how a woman owned business may be different?

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