NRCS Oregon Announces Portland’s People’s Garden, Our Village Gardens – Low Calorie Diets Tips

press release

NRCS Oregon Announces Portland’s People’s Garden, Our Village Gardens

Approval No.: 06/03/2022

Contact: ORInfo@usda.gov

NRCS Oregon Announces Portland’s People’s Garden, Our Village Gardens

Portland, Ore., June 9, 2022 – Today, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the US Department of Agriculture in Oregon announced the location of Portland’s People’s Garden in Our Village Gardens’ Seeds of Harmony community garden.

Our Village Gardens in North Portland build food resilience and community leadership with residents, communities of color, and refugee and immigrant families affected by economic and nutritional inequality. Our Village Gardens has three properties in North Portland: Seeds of Harmony Community Garden, Fruits of Diversity Community Orchard and The Village Market grocery store.

USDA People’s Gardens are models of what local gardens can do to build community, grow local and nutritious food, nurture green spaces, and inspire people through the experience of growing from seed to plant. People’s Gardens nurture and build community, incorporate sustainable practices and are collaborative by nature.

“We are excited to announce Our Village Gardens as Portland’s People’s Garden,” said Ron Alvarado, Oregon State Conservationist for the NRCS. “The People’s Garden Initiative is focused on creating strong, resilient food systems for local communities, and Our Village Gardens embodies that commitment.”

Our village gardens
Our Village Gardens currently operate programs in Apartments New Columbia and Tamarack, a 100-acre, low- and mixed-income community in North Portland. This neighborhood is home to a vibrant community with deep roots in the area, as well as a growing number of families arriving as immigrants and refugees. The area also has some of the county’s highest poverty rates and limited access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food.

“We are delighted to have been selected as Portland’s People’s Garden,” said Kris Soebroto, director of Our Village Gardens. “Our community leaders built this garden from the ground up, and 12 years later it continues to nurture and nurture our neighbors.”

In 2001, community leaders and a local youth program, Janus Youth, joined forces to create Our Village Gardens in the homes of St. John’s Woods in North Portland. The group wanted a community garden to support neighbors and connect them to local, healthy food sources.

The garden quickly became a success, with a high demand for lettuce leaves, grown by youth in the community and sold at the Portland Farmers Market. The garden is often credited with reducing crime and vandalism and increasing the neighborhood’s sense of security in the local community.

In 2005, the project expanded to the communities of New Columbia and Tamaracks, several miles from the original site. In July 2021, Our Village Gardens became an independent nonprofit to more authentically center the organization’s leadership with BIPOC, immigrants and low-income leaders.





Map showing the three locations of the Our Village Gardens organization: The Village Market, Our Village Gardens’ Seeds of Harmony community garden, and the Fruits of Diversity community orchard.

Today, Our Village Gardens operates on approximately 1.5 hectares of land in the Seeds of Harmony community garden and the Fruits of Diversity community orchard. The Seeds of Harmony community garden has more than 70 garden plots available for neighbors to grow fresh, culturally relevant food and to network with others in the community; The Fruits of Diversity orchard is home to over 50 fruit trees.

Most recently, in March 2022, Our Village Gardens staff and volunteers installed a greenhouse on the property that will help extend the growing season and cultivate starter plants earlier in the year.

In the height of summer, some of the produce grown at these community sites is sold two blocks away at the Village Market, a small grocery store that focuses on affordable fresh produce, healthy and culturally relevant pantry staples, and homemade foods.

Fresh garden produce is sold through the Village Market grocery store produce for the people Program. Additionally the neighbor to neighbor The program provides free deliveries of fresh, community-grown vegetables to neighbors throughout the growing season.

The gardens regularly host community work days and volunteer days to help with the management of the property and the nearby orchard. The village market supports hundreds of local shoppers daily and promotes the Good Food Program, which offers discounts and incentives for households to buy fresh fruit and vegetables.

“One thing we’ve learned during the pandemic is that as we reach out to each other in uncertain and scary times, we find innovative ways to deeply care about our larger community,” says Soebroto. “We are grateful to be here today and to be celebrated as Portland’s People’s Garden.”

NRCS Oregon, Our Village Gardens and other partners will commemorate the People’s Garden with a ribbon cutting ceremony later this summer. See photos from the garden here.

About the public gardens
The USDA originally launched the People’s Garden Initiative in 2009. It is named for the “People’s Department,” former President Abraham Lincoln’s nickname for the USDA, which was established during his presidency in 1862.

Recently, the USDA expanded People’s Gardens to 17 cities across the country, including one in Portland, Oregon. The USDA plans to expand the initiative to other communities later this year.

School gardens, community gardens, urban farms, and small farming projects in both rural and urban areas can be recognized as “Public Gardens” if they:

  • Benefit the community by providing food, green space, wildlife habitat, and educational space.
  • Are a community effort. This may include groups working with USDA agencies, food banks, Girl Scouts, master gardeners, conservation districts, etc.
  • Integrate conservation management practices, such as B. the use of native plant species, rain barrels, integrated pest management and xeriscaping.
  • Educate the public about sustainable gardening practices and the importance of local, diverse and resilient food systems that provide healthy food to the community.

To see these gardens growing, visit our People’s Garden website or follow the hashtag #PeopleGarden on USDA’s social media channels.

More information
The USDA touches the lives of all Americans in so many positive ways every day. Under the Biden-Harris administration, the USDA is transforming the American food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities, and building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers who adopt climate-friendly food and forestry practices, make historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capacity in rural America, and advocate for justice across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce that matters to America is more representative. To learn more, visit usda.gov.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

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