things and places for homes and gardens

Signs of urban farming

Friday 11 June 2010 - Filed under Gardens + Plants

gated garden
I stopped a couple weeks ago to get a closer look at a plant that had been catching my eye on a busy North Portland street on my drive home. At a pedestrian’s pace, I couldn’t turn around without seeing irrepressible gardens behind bars.

gated garden
I take it as proof that gardening is contagious, to see so many jailed Cardoons in a few block radius, surely it can’t be coincidence.

no trespassing
The sign says no trespassing, but surely that doesn’t mean no enjoying the view.

urban garden
What I assumed was an empty parking lot bed, on closer inspection, is densely planted up with crops.

compost bins
And a full compost operation. In a business parking lot.

urban farm
What looked like a mud hut in a vacant lot from the street, up close looks to be some rather serious gardening efforts.


Chicken coop

Eco roof

urban farm

ProjectGrow North Portland Farm
Honestly, everywhere I turned, there was more, it’s mind blowing how much is happening around here. A previously vacant lot has been replaced with a rather professional looking operation. Right off that same busy street I started out on.

ProjectGrow North Portland Farm
I’ve not often appreciated the beauty of vegetable gardens, but this is really nicely done.

Sure enough, this is the work of an organization, not an individual. Around the corner I noticed a building which I have somehow driven past for a year without noticing. It turns out it is the North Portland Farm of ProjectGrow, a community operation that aims to enrich the lives of developmentally disabled adults through art, farming, and yoga. The garden is their North Portland Farm, from which they run a Community Supported Agriculture program that bike-delivers fruits and veggies, herbs, eggs, goat fiber (!!), and flowers to restaurants within a 2 mile radius. Right here in the neighborhood. Very impressed.

2010-06-11  »  megan

Talkback x 5

  1. Loree / danger garden
    11 June 2010 @ 11:21 am

    I have always meant to stop and see what that mud hut was all about. Thanks for the doing the leg work! Have you ever grown Cardoons? I’ve always meant too…

  2. Laura
    11 June 2010 @ 12:02 pm

    Love it! It’s great to know organizations like that are out there helping green up our concrete jungles! There are a couple of buildings on a main stretch of industrial near my home that are growing their own veggie gardens. I love seeing company’s get so involved!

  3. megan
    11 June 2010 @ 12:26 pm

    Loree – I have had cardoons, one I planted years ago but then took out with a redesign, and then a few that come up from near the compost bin ever since. Pretty easy care if I remember right.
    Laura – Gardens in industrial areas are such a welcome surprise. It’s nice to get clues that there are humans working in there.

  4. tina
    13 June 2010 @ 7:24 am

    Awesome! Community gardens are sprouting up everywhere and very hot right now in the gardening circles. We have one here in my little town and after two years it is really coming together for the folks involved. They donate all their food to the local shelters. I spotted that cardoon right away. It is such a cool plant.

  5. Grace
    14 June 2010 @ 9:46 am

    I love this, Megan. This might sound kind of gushy but it inspires a hope in me. With all the electronic gadgetry and fast-paced living of today’s world, there is a time and a place for getting back to basics. I think that the more people realize and take advantage of what nature has to offer, the more balanced, mentally and physically they’ll be. Hooray!