David Beller launched Grow Portland to help communities grow healthy food. His organization has seed clubs, community gardens, garden workshops, and through their Growers Alliance, they offer produce through a CSA and at PFM’s markets.
Grow Portland’s newest project, The Portland Fruit Tree Guide offers budding (sorry) fruit tree enthusiasts an introduction to pomology. Imagine your backyard containing apples, pears, cherries! The overrated apricots,
severely under appreciated plums or something everyone can agree on, peaches. And what’s better than a big, ripe, juicy peach? Growing your own, that’s what! It’s an hobby where one can have hundreds of peaches, peaches for a minimal amount of physical labor and a small threshold of technical knowledge.
Tending an orchard, even an orchard of one, is an activity that ties people to the production of food, a pursuit that’s both fundamental to society and increasingly mysterious – especially when you’re at the store staring at a 2 pound bag of red delicious apples; trucked in hundreds of miles and priced for less than gas and labor it took to get them on the shelf. Plus that bag of apples, the cheap one, don’t always taste good. Fortunately, for people who wonder how sustainable our current model is, there are organizations like Grow Portland working on how to grow food in a changing environment.
You can pick up a copy of The Portland Fruit Tree Guide at Powell’s, or learn more about Grow Portland by visiting their website, take part in one of their affordable classes, classes that can save a new (or experienced gardener) the heartache of learning the hard way. Tonight’s Soil Testing, is not only practical, it’s far more exciting than it sounds…Stay with me; did you think Downton Abbey would be addictive the first time someone explained to you? Other classes offered in 2013 – Crop Planning, Community Gardening and a Urban Garden Bike Tour just to name a few – you can visit Grow Portland offerings here.