Friday, May 15, 2009

Portland City Hall Garden

Portland definitely has a bug for urban agriculture. Wherever you look there are community gardens, victory plots in street rights-of-way, rooftop and balcony planters, and farmer's markets. The dichotomy of urban living and productive rural ag space is being redefined as more people grow and raise their own food within the City, cutting down on food miles traveled and shortening the distance from farm-to-fork. I also heard a recent (unverified) account that Multnomah County has the highest per capita population of urban chickens - which if you live hear you would whole-heartedly concur that chickens have been the new urban pet for quite some time.

The local government agencies are getting into the mix as well, with a recent installation of a vegetable garden called the 'Portland Better Together Food Garden', right on the grounds of downtown City Hall. As Mayor Sam Adams points out: "The purpose of this garden is to show that in Portland you can grow food in relatively small spaces,” ...explaining that the food grown in the garden will be donated to Elm Court, a community kitchen operated by Loaves and Fishes that serves 250 meals a day in downtown Portland."

:: images via Flickr

Check out the entire construction of the garden on the Flickr page. And next, Multnomah County is getting into the act - with plans for a large urban farm on County property, as well as a rooftop 'victory garden' on the ecoroof plaza at the Multnomah County Office Building (more to post on this, as we're working on it pro-bono with a group of others). Now if we can just do something about the shortage of real community garden plots, we'll be all set.


  1. Looks like a pretty good landscape idea.

    Any concerns about night time transients taking the crops?

    This idea could catch on in corporate landscapes where marigolds are planted in excess.

    Keep us updated - thanks.

    M. D. Vaden of OregonBeaverton

  2. That's a good point... I'm guessing that City Hall is pretty safe, and I've never heard anything from community gardens or such (aside from a missing tomato here or there)...

    Just think of all the potential land that would be pretty easy to grow crops!


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