I’m just beginning to work with the Urban Farm Collective, based here in Northeast Portland, but I’m already blown away with the level of organization and knowledge sharing they have. They currently grow food on 11 lots, are implementing a summer Youth Gardening Program, and have a work trade and surplus donation system for their farmer’s market distribution of the produce, which kicks off in May. I’m going to be volunteering at Turner Garden, located on Rosa Parks and Rodney, and am really looking forward to growing a “tres hermanas” plant guild – corn, peas, and squash planted together in the same bed. Check out their website or come by the garden on Fridays for a work party!

I worked with Urban Tilth, which empowers Richmond, Ca residents to grow their own food through 3 community and 2 school gardens, as a Garden Manager for their Summer Apprenticeship Program in 2011. They are a great example of a small, focused non-profit organization that does a whole lot for the community without much funding. Check out AdamsCrest Farm, the site I worked at, sign up for their newsletter, or come by one of their sites for a 2nd Saturday work party!

Planting Justice is another lean and mean non-profit organization in Oakland, CA that promotes food security and justice by transforming lawns into edible food forests, creating a jobs program for San Quentin inmates to help their re-entry, and making sure Permaculture and Urban Farming stays accessible to people of color and economically disadvantaged communities. Gavin, one of the founders, first introduced Permaculture to me in 2009, and I spent a few days canvassing with them. It’s been amazing to watch them grow into a fully blooming food justice machine! Check them out, sign up for the newsletter, or if you’re in the East Bay Area, hire them to transform your yard!

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