Urban Farm Collective

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Hey all-

We have a big work party coming up this Saturday, April 29th, starting at noon, at our Fertility Garden on NE Garfield and Failing (behind Nedd Ludd restaurant). We will work until the work is done, re-covering and repairing the greenhouse, leveling the floor so it is wheelchair accessible, tending to the chicken coupe, weeding and tending the garden beds...SO MUCH TO DO! We'd love all the help we can get! So, if you have any time to give this coming Saturday, please join us! We'll be having a big "thank you" party after with free food and beverages! All are welcome! Please bring gloves and water!
Thank you in advance and we hope to see your shining faces there!ūüėĀ
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Manage a Garden

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Garden Managers: Garden managers are the life-blood of the collective and we could not be more impressed by the folks who have given their time, energy and spirit to propel this project forward.

Click here to download a Garden Manager Application. Download and send your application to urbanfarmcollective@gmail.com. We are currently seeking garden management leadership for the Going Rouge and Greeley Food Forest gardens.

Garden Goals: Our hope is that each neighborhood garden will be a catalyst for building community by bringing neighbors together to grow and share food. Additionally, our mission is to provide folks who come to the gardens with a meaningful garden-based education, especially those accepted to our garden apprenticeship program. We believe that with a critical mass of neighborhood run food gardens, we can make a dramatic difference in the way our community gets their food and engages with their neighbors. We are entirely volunteer operated and depend on experienced and educated gardeners to help us succeed in making local, healthy food accessible to all people, regardless of income. All produce harvested from UFC gardens are exchanged through a barter exchange system. What is not exchanged is donated to the local food pantry making a positive impact on food security and improving the health and vitality of our community. Come help us realize this critical mass.

Commitment:  The commitment is one year, starting in January with planning and ending in December after garden has been winterized and planted in cover crops. The number of hours it takes to successfully accomplish this goal is typically 4-6 hours per week in the garden and another 30 minutes per week for straight forward administrative work; namely entering working member hours into the barter system and publishing web-based calendar announcements of your work party schedule. We also ask each garden manager to conduct one garden workshop per year. Lastly, there are  monthly garden manager meetings for coordinating the collective harvest, sharing resources and connecting with your peers.

How much autonomy do I have in my UFC garden? Garden designs and apprentice ciriculums are determined autonomously by each garden manager with the understanding that the garden meets the following standards:

  • Not-for-profit
  • No practice or technique will prevent the garden from being certified organic in the following season.
  • Coordinates with other UFC garden managers to insure produce diversity and bounty at barter market.
  • Brings harvest to barter market every Monday from June 1st-October 31st.
  • Provides a garden-based education to folks who participate in your garden.
  • Works toward a closed-loop system where each garden generates compost, saves seed and takes full advantage of the urban waste stream.

How much support will I get from UFC in managing my garden? When you manage a UFC garden, you have a team of people working behind the scenes to help you succeed. Administrators work diligently to raise funds to pay for the operating costs of your garden. Dedicated organizers field inquiries from interested people and direct them to your garden. There is a greenhouse team that can assist you with plant propigation and a compost crew that works very hard to ensure that you have compost when you need it. This is not to mention the countless community partners that have offered a helping hand to the collective; from our generous discount at Portland Nursery to the Oregon Tradeswomen who continually come through for us by building tool sheds, kiosks, signage and whatever else we can throw at them to the St. Andrews church who have opened up their facilities for us to meet and barter our produce.

What do I get in exchange for managing a UFC garden?¬†In exchange for your commitment to one garden, you receive a weekly share of neighborhood produced produce.¬†Typically, folks who make regular, weekly contributions to the gardens earn enough barter income to purchase one week’s worth of veggies for their household throughout the growing season. It functions much like a CSA share, except you are paying with your time and energy, rather than cash. You also receive a tremendous amount of satisfaction when you ¬†witness the community building that happens when neighbors grow and share food and the learning that takes place in the bright-eyed and eager gardeners of tomorrow.

Where are the gardens? We currently have 14 gardens in NE Portland, 2 on the Peninsula and one in SE, for a total of just over two acres of land in cultivation. 2013 was the first year that UFC volunteers helped to incubate new collectives in other communities. SE and the Peninsula have broken ground on gardens in these communities for the first time in 2013. NE Portland has been actively building gardens and building the collective model since 2009.

Who pays for the gardens?  We strive to remove ourselves from the market economy of cash for goods. We advocate for and hope to add value to the sharing economy of Portland. We strive toward a closed-loop system, wherein all the inputs required for the gardens, can be provided by the gardens. We encourage all collective members to take advantage of the urban waste stream; re-use, recycle, borrow, trade, share, partner or otherwise participate in a sharing economy. Even so, real costs do occur. For these costs, we have a dedicated group of working members who actively raise funds to pay for such costs. And if you have folks in your gardens with fund raising ideas, by all means, join us in raising funds to operate our gardens. Bravo to garden managers who procure their own funding or are savvy scavengers!

Click here to download the Garden Manager Application. Download and submit your application to urbanfarmcollective@gmail.com.