Celebrating 40 with 10

A big round of applause to all of the volunteers who turned out for this months garden work parties: December, Mariah, Rey, Nick, Patty, Steve, Rachel, Alex, Kelly, Alex R., Linda, Meg, Eric, Garrett-and a special thanks to Sarah for bringing us cookies! I’m going to go ahead and name Patty and Steve our garden VIP’s this week since they came both full days and were integral to the work that got accomplished.

Some of these improvements come to you courtesy of our “angel donors” who responded to the recent Oregonian article! We couldn’t have done it without you and there is more to come! We also couldn’t have done it without my amazing husband John who has been preparing the donated wood short ends of the beds for the past several weeks in anticipation of the big PARR lumber order. Thanks is also due to PARR Lumber for a very generous discount and delivery. We now have 10 of the 20 planned raised beds built!

The weeding and mulching were a breath of fresh air for me, personally, on those very hot days. I always worry that what we are doing has not improved the appearance of the lot. Keeping the weeds down is extremely important!

There is still weeding to do in the flower beds. More wood chips will be arriving next week and we expect to install the first  cistern at next month’s work parties courtesy of a SPACE grant from East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD). We also expect to have dirt for the 10 beds. Wouldn’t it be fun if you were there on that momentous occasion?

Perhaps you had wanted to come to the work parties this month but it was just too hot. There’s always the August and September work parties. The details are on the Events Page and we would love to see you. Also, you’ll want to start paying close attention to the website, Facebook and email as we will soon have plots available for rent. We expect the fee to be very reasonable: $20 a year + 10 hours of general garden upkeep per year. I suggest following the website, liking the Facebook page and joining our email list to be sure the sign up doesn’t escape your notice. 

This week I celebrated my 40th birthday. I celebrated with a community garden that has sprouted legs, generous people who care and close friends that I love. I regret nothing, and a Sunday afternoon thunderstorm with fat raindrops was the icing on the cake.

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Top 4 pics: Bed installation

Bottom left: Alex plays cupid with an arrow we found in the grass

Bottom right: shed organization

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Another incentive…

The Foster Powell Community Garden has just been awarded a SPACE grant from East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD). We have enough funds right now to see more than half of the garden plan finished this year if we have enough strong bodies to do the work!

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Get your volunteer on, July 11th and 12th, 10-2!

I hope everyone is having a lovely 4th of July weekend.


Hopefully you’ve noticed some of the changes around the FPCG lately. Flowers of all kinds are blooming, bees are buzzing, a raised bed of tomatoes is “bean-stalking” its way to the sky. In the evening new solar lights outline the fence, as does the floral artwork of the neighborhoods finest artists. There has been some cleaning, weeding and planting. Wood keeps disappearing from the lot and reappearing as raised bed ends! Some mulch has been spread and pumpkins are getting ready to spill out of a temporary bed. Keep an eye on them as they grow, you can purchase them in the Fall at our Harvest Festival…

What? You didn’t notice all that? That’s because there is still a ton of work to be done!
I don’t want to twist anyone’s arm here but we really do need your help! We have big projects on the burner for July 11th and 12th and many hands make light work. Also, my 40th birthday is this weekend and help in the garden is the present I most desire!
Kids are welcome (if supervised on our busy street corner), an hour of your time makes a huge difference to us and this garden is for everyone who experiences it, whether or not you wind up growing your own veg here. This place stands as a statement of our neighborhood and of the power of community and that is the best reason to give up a little bit of your weekend to help.
Here are some of the fine plans we have for July:

  • Weed and lay mulch over the flower/natives slope (this has been started but only about 1/4 of it is done). Bring your own weeding tool and gloves if you have them, or use what we have. Also, the sidewalk area always needs weeding and it can be done at any time.
  • Assemble 10 raised beds!(John has been hard at work assembling the ends to make this go quickly. Thanks to our Oregonian inspired angel donors, we have funds to build 1/2 of our beds and purchase our first cistern this Fall. Bring a cordless screwdriver if you can help with assembly!
  • Spread mulch over the asphalt around the pumpkin patch.
  • Continue work on the masonry walls and walkways (we still need lots of broken concrete for this).
  • Shed cleaning and organizing
  • Plastic chair cleaning and painting.

Looking forward to spending time with all my neighborhood heroes this coming weekend, Vicki


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Let me start with the Garden Tour. This coming Saturday, June 21st is the 7th Annual Foster Powell Garden Tour. Please come visit the community garden as part of this 18 yard event.

Next, some retroactive thank you’s. In May we had a work party with Americorp volunteers from Franklin High School. Thank you so much to Peter, Patrick, Megan and Karen. The weeds were flying!


We also had a dirt donation from one of our Garden Tour hosts (Much thanks to the Garden of Earthly Delights). Their delightful dirt, along with those pesky pulled weeds has become our pumpkin patch, some pumpkin plants courtesy of A-Boy (thanks!). Watch it grow all summer and come for a harvest celebration in the Fall. I don’t want to count chics before they hatch but we should have some lovely jack-o-lantern types in white and orange for sale in October and proceeds will benefit the garden.


Speaking of chics, have you met the neighbors? I don’t mean Allyson, Andy or Frank. I mean the ladies:


Then we had more work parties! Friday was a John party. He filled the pumpkin patch with dirt and we got those pumpkins in. Saturday was a big neighborly family affair, though. The very vision of the garden was in full force. While Daniel and Dan pulled weeds, Andy went after the blackberries. John cut boards for beds down at the studio and the kids helped me paint the picket fence. More flower still to come. What a lovely day! Image

And now for some big news. Thanks to that incredible, stirring article in the Oregonian, the garden has received donations: $1700 from Willow & Tigger and $1000 from Elizabeth. Thank you so much to these generous garden lovers. I hope you will know how much this neighborhood appreciates this. We are still up for one more grant from the EMSWCD for a cistern, (more news to come soon) and Dennis’ 7 Dees will be donating a portion of their Fall Bazaar proceeds as a fundraiser, too. Midpoint Cafe is also planning to celebrate the garden with a volunteer appreciation celebration this summer! What does this mean? VOLUNTEERS! We need you more than ever because this vision is becoming a reality! What good is wood or dirt or plants if there aren’t enough people to build beds or put dirt and plants in them? This is a call for people! Now that we have some funds to get some work done, you-the neighbors who will love and cherish this place for years, are what we need most to succeed. An hour of your time, even once, will make a difference here!

The summer schedule is: 6-21 Garden Tour, 7-11, 7-12, 8-8, 8-9, 9-12 and 9-13

Remember, you can form your own work party with your friends or co-workers. Contact Vicki at 62ndgarden@gmail.com to find out how!


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I’m speechless and honored


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Upcoming events

I’m a little behind on my thank you’s right now but I wanted to post the upcoming summer work parties and Garden tour info. We’ll chat more soon…

  •  SUMMER SCHEDULE for Community Garden Work sessions: the second Friday and Saturday of each month from 10-2pm. June 13th and 14th, July 11th and 12th, August 8th and 9th and September 12th and 13th. If you’d like to plan a work party on another day or supervise one of these dates, you would be my hero! Also, weeders are always needed.
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This weekend was important

This weekend was important.

First of all, thank you for the weeding help from two Mary’s and an Al (and welcome to the neighborhood). The front walk is looking incredible and it’s all about to come into bloom!

If you haven’t seen the new mural yet, there is more to come but here is the main gate:


John is still working on some of the painting and we will be adding a picket fence and all of those lovely neighbor-painted flowers just as soon as we can.

Yesterday was all about weeding, but today, we planted vegetables…and watered them with water we collected on site…for the first time:


Congratulations to Tracy Gratto, the winner of our raised bed raffle. A year’s use of this bed is her prize. The bed contains peas, rhubarb, onions, beets, kale and grape tomato-and there is still room for more!

Meanwhile, in the far corners of the garden (speaking of grapes), there’s this:


Yes, that is a concord grape vine and two of them are growing at the community garden. Who wants to have a “jam” session this Fall?

At the end of today, John and I took a moment to be happy with all that has happened in the past year. We had a shed built by Oregon Tradeswomen, collected 700 gallons of water on site, planted lots of flowers and over 50 native plants, started a bed with vegetables. We have an apple tree and grapes, a mural, we’ve been in the Oregonian , the Sellwood Bee and I guess this new piece in the Portland Tribune. We’ve received a small grant from EMSWCD, another from CWSP for more native plants and made lasting partnerships with Dennis’ 7 Dees and Recology Portland and more. We have been loved on by many local restaurants- Lily Day/Midpoint Cafe, Speedboat Coffee, Da Hui, Pieper’s Cafe, The Egg Carton…Also, there’s this blog. This is about the 70th post so if you are just joining us, feel free to browse back to the beginning. I have personally taken course on Naturescaping, Site Planning and Rain Gardens from EMSWCD and I can highly recommend their classes.

So as we marveled at the progress, we wished there were more people around to share the moment. Then we realized we were hungry. And what do we do when hungry? We go to Nayar Taqueria. We shared our triumph with Eliseo and he thanked us for our hard work…


WITH MARGARITAS! Best margarita ever! The burrito was also delicious.

Thanks to everyone who cheers us on, EMSWCD and the Foster Powell Neighborhood Association who funded the last year, SE Uplift who is our fiscal sponsor, our garden committee members, neighbors and businesses who support us, and more than 75 volunteers who we have had the pleasure of meeting and getting dirty with in the past year. Also,a big thanks to the FosterPowellPDX blog who always spreads the garden news far and wide.  The list is incomplete. If I hadn’t just had a margarita I’d be more thorough. Anyway, what was I saying…oh yeah, It’s the support and promise of more community engagement in the future that keeps this project going.


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