From One Season to the Next

Greetings, friends!

We had our final official garden event of the year on September 23rd whence we did some clean up, and shared a little time together.  The crowd was small, but the work we were able to accomplish together was tremendous.  One of our biggest accomplishments was moving and spreading this giant pile of mulch —

IMG_3709Here we have Jason, Rob, and Allen, working hard…

We had a few of our regular gardeners (Donnie, Mark, and Rob) come to help out.  Three awesome men whom I am glad to have the chance to get to know.   And thankfully, we had some community members come along to help out too — out of the graciousness of their hearts!   We owe a huge thank you to Aaron, Allen, Bruce, Jason, Jenn, Kathey and Vagrant.  We also had a surprise drop in from our very own Vicki and John.  It was lovely to see them in the garden again, even if just for a bit.  And finally, Jessica, our old neighbor also stopped by to catch up.


From Left to Right – Vagrant, Jason, and Mark

In addition to moving the monstrosity of a mulch pile, we were also able to cut down some weeds, beautify the front entryway quite a lot, and give some of our native plants around the perimeter of the garden some much needed TLC.

We ended the day with a small potluck lunch.  During our time together several people shared great ideas for promoting the garden.  One woman, Kathey, is stepping up to care for the kiwi trees.  They didn’t do so well this year, but she has the enthusiasm to carry the dream forward, which is the sort of thing the garden needs.  John had the fun idea of growing pumpkins for fall next year, and having some sort of harvest party.  Jason had the excellent idea of making some garden stickers, and other ‘promotional’ material.

What ideas do you have?  We welcome them.  Or, perhaps you have the heart and energy to make some of these other ideas come to fruition?   In addition to the ideas above, there are opportunities ranging from maintenance/carpentry work, promoting our garden on social media, and of course numerous projects surrounding plant life.  Let us know!






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Introductions & Updates

Greetings Neighbors,

Alas, I sit down to write a little update as the new community garden manager.  I’m Stacey (not Beyonce) — a plain old neighbor with a heart for living things, and the ambition to think she could keep up with the beautiful project born of the imagination and will of Vicki Wilson & John Larson.  The garden is meant to go on, and it is my hope that I contribute to it in a meaningful way.

Admittedly, the first couple of months has been a bit frenzied (due to the way time passes when you are simultaneously planning your own wedding), but the future is very exciting.  I’ve been slowly meeting the gardeners, and learning what works (and doesn’t) when it comes to promoting garden events.  Being more of a quiet type, and less of a promoter type, I have had to rely on a little help from my friends.

The first official event I was able to attend was the 2017 Annual Plant Sale and Fundraiser, which was really fun.  There is more about it in a previous post (from Vicki), but I thought I’d share this colorful photo of Mark, one of the gardeners working on a painting project:


After that, we had the first Community Work Party of the year.  We had the help of a few of our regular gardeners (Amy, Donnie, Gray, and Mark) and the additional support of several members of the fopo run club.  It was pretty incredible to see what could be accomplished when a community comes together.  A special shout-out to my soon-to-be husband, Bruce Obog, for showing up to manage the day.  I couldn’t physically be there because of a commitment scheduled months before I took on this project, but I was very much there in spirit.  They filled up several bins, and we are still working on hauling away all of our extra compost.  Check this out:


(From left to right: Gray, Bruce, Jason, Natalia, April, Brandon, and Mark)

And finally, we have the 10th Annual FoPo Garden Tour on the docket for tomorrow morning!   The community garden is but a stop on the tour, and an excellent place to get information and purchase raffle tickets.  The FoPo Garden Tour is raffling away yet another beautiful piece of pottery donated by Vicki Wilson.  The tour is from 10-2.  Come by and say hello!






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Time To Grow, Time to Glow, Time to Go!

The Foster Powell Community Garden has just hosted it’s 4th Annual Plant Sale and, thanks to our neighbors who donated starts and divisions and the area businesses who donated raffle prizes, we added about $315 to our little garden budget. We also had a fun little egg hunt and a painting project. Just perfect! A big thank you to the neighbors, to Henry Higgins Boiled Bagels who treated us, yet again, to a bounty of bagels, cream cheese and coffee. Thanks to Red Castle Games, another pillar of our community, for some excellent raffle prizes and to Dennis’s 7 Dees for the seed and fertilizer raffle prize. 7 Dees-we are going to miss having you in our neighborhood so much when you leave. Thank you for years of support to the community garden and our annual FoPo Garden Tour. I also want to say a special thank you to gardeners Tom and Becky for the gigantic pots of soup that fed our plant sale goers on that blustery day.

The garden looks better every day and it has never been so beautiful. New fruit trees, new members, simplified plumbing and well established plantings-I could not be more proud of the work that has been done there. It grew so much bigger than John and I ever intended! Here’s just a few of my favorite memories of how it has come along:

And here’s the best part…it gets to live on without us. Now that the baby is up and walking, we get to move on to some other projects.

I’d like to introduce Stacey Keller, the new director of the Foster Powell Community Garden. I don’t have a picture of her so lets go with this one:

It’s up to Stacey and the gardeners if they choose to keep this blog alive. As for me, this is my final post! I’m still around and you will see me in the garden sometimes. Many hugs and kisses to all of the neighbors who helped make this place happen. We could not have done any of this without your support, strong backs and community spirit. Continued thanks to ODOT, the Foster Powell Neighborhood Association and SE Uplift. Long Live FPCG!

with love, Vicki Wilson

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Annual Plant Sale and Fundraiser

Sunday, April 16th (from 9-3)  is the only FOPO garden fundraiser of the year! Get yard sale prices on plant starts and divisions, enter the raffle for great garden prizes, and enjoy some snacks with your neighbors.

The day before (Saturday, April 15th, from 9-3) is plant donation day at the garden. Neighbor participation really drives our annual plant sale, so please start some extra veggies or flowers for us and drop them off at the garden during this time!


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Stretch, Yawn, Shiver


Thank you to the 25 neighbors who volunteered part of a rainy-snowy, Sunday to help wake up our community garden.I didn’t get everyone’s names this time and I only got one image of the day. It was a busy time! We were comforted by the nourishment of coffee and bagels from Henry Higgin’s Boiled Bagels and by neighbor Andy’s fire pit. Thanks also to Donnie, for supplying wood. Nothing makes such a difference during a Portland Winter as coffee and fire.

The star of the day was certainly our Orchard Master, Mark. He had the job of pouring over catalogs, seeking advice from the professionals and choosing the right fruit for our space. We already had a fig tree, a grape, some straggler raspberries and strawberries, and a native cranberry bush for the birds. Now we have added three plum trees, a persimmon, a paw paw, a second grape vine, two blueberries and a pair of kiwi-all in raised beds. Look for the arbor as Spring arrives. It may be years before we see the yield, but we will all enjoy the journey.

Long time supporter of the garden, Rita of the Sellwood Bee, came out to get the scoop and some images. We were also visited by neighbor Kimberly, the owner of Local 66 Bar and Grill (where Dickey Don’tz used to be). Kimberly wants to offer support to her new neighborhood! Always grateful for our friendly neighborhood businesses.

You may notice that we have removed the gate mural. The view inside is so much better than when we started, we hope you like what you see. As Spring finds us, we’ll do a little something with the gate to tie the place together. Now that you can see it better,  you’re probably wondering how you can get involved. Here’s the current lowdown:

  • We don’t have any plots available at this time but we can add you to the wait list if you send an email to:
  • You do not need to have a plot to be a regular volunteer or be on the committee. We meet monthly after the general Foster Powell Neighborhood meeting (second Monday, Foster Burger, 8pmish). We are always looking for leadership and help with our communications, finance and operations committees.
  • We are not looking for wads of cash or donated items at this time. What we need now, and always, are your warm bodies on the site. Come to events and volunteer a bit of your time to keep the place going!
  • Our events calendar is available in many local businesses and on the web and facebook pages. Our next event is our Annual Fundraiser-our only fundraiser of the year. It’s a very neighborly plant sale and raffle. We invite neighbors to grow starts and donate divided plants the day before (drop off is Saturday April 15th, 9-3) . The next day we sell the plants at yard sale prices and hold a raffle of prizes from neighborhood businesses. There may also be refreshments.



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Tomorrow, Sunday, February 26th from 10-2

Please join us for the waking of the garden and the planting of fruit trees. We have work gloves and many tools. Cordless drills w/ Phillips-head driver bits are like unicorns. If you have one, please do bring it! Looking forward to seeing some neighbors, having some delicious coffee and bagels from Henry Higgins Boiled Bagels and enjoying the memory of that time we had sunshine. Rain or shine, as is the way in Portland 🙂IMG_1433.JPG

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Good Apples and Guilds

Happy 2017 everyone. We hope you are warm and happy on these slushy, mushy, NW winter days.We’d like to welcome some new committee members to the garden. Amy, Melissa and Mark (the good apples of which I speak) are each taking a little piece of the garden administration to tame. We’re looking forward to the affects of their energy. Perhaps you will start to hear from them on this website, too!

Here’s something to look forward to as we come out of hibernation:

FPCG-2017-schedule-front You will likely see print versions of this floating around the neighborhood, too. Once you’re in the know, come get in the dirt! You can help us out now by starting some extra veggies to sell at our annual April fundraiser.

You’ve noticed that we are planning to put fruit trees in some of the raised beds. An enlightening conversation with Andrew Land of Friend of Trees has set us on our path to persimmon, fig, hardy kiwi, paw paw, grapes and plums. Do you know what a Fruit Tree Guild is? It’s a group of beneficial plants that are placed in the “drop zone” of a fruit tree to help confuse parasites, attract beneficial insects, add nutrients to and increase moisture at the roots. Some of these plants are: chickory, comfrey, yarrow, chives, clover, oregano and alfalfa. Doesn’t that sound like a lovely way to care for a fruit tree? Here’s a little video about it.

Finally, we are always looking for interested neighbors to join the garden committee or help us out on an event-by-event basis. We are meeting every month, following the Foster Powell Neighborhood Association General Meeting. The general meeting is at 6:30pm and the garden meeting is at 8pm, on the second Monday of each month, at Foster Burger. If you have questions, email us at:

Peace, love and paw paw




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Fruitful changes in store for next year


The Foster Powell Community Garden is changing a bit. In an effort to streamline the oversight for the next director and a newly formed committee, and to waste less food than the individual beds do, we’ve decided to start converting the site to an orchard. This means that instead of seeking new gardeners as we have attrition, we’ll be converting their plots to espaliered fruit trees. It looks like we’ll want to put in 6-10 trees, or more, this coming February. We’re just starting to formulate this plan as the new committee continues to meet monthly over the Winter (after the Foster-Powell Neighborhood General meetings, second Monday of each month, 8pm, Foster Burger-we’re always happy to add you to this committee).

Imagine what this could mean! Garden beds active year-round, less water use and maintenance-eventually, simplified soil needs. It could mean the possibility of coordinated picking efforts that would result in neighbors meeting, getting some fruit and making substantial donations to our nearby food pantry. (By the way, anyone can donate to St Marks Lutheran, here, 3-5:30 every Friday)

Plan on joining us early next Spring for some subtle reinventing and to take ownership of your neighborhood garden.


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We need committee members! Could you be one? Come to the next meeting!

Hi garden friends. A meeting was held just after the September Foster Powell Neighborhood Meeting to try to form a committee to eventually replace me and John (we are ready for new adventures). The meeting was not well attended and a committee was not formed! If we are unable to form a committee within the neighborhood association, we will find ourselves returning the site to ODOT!
Here’s what I had prepared for the last meeting. We’ll try this again after the October NA meeting (Monday, October 10th at 8pm, Foster Burger)


The committee will meet monthly, after NA meetings to shape the mission and activities of the garden. Be prepared to spend an additional 2-4 hours completing committee tasks each month. Committee members may or may not be plot holders. If they are plot holders, committee service replaces minimum volunteer service requirement.


  • PR-Publicizing events, opportunities and work parties. Website updates, Facebook and neighborhood social media. Making posters and handbills and overseeing distribution of advertising materials for all events. Gets info to NA.
  • Community Liaison-Works with SE Uplift, ROSE and PDC to spread information to under-served communities. Get translations for fliers and website in several languages common to our neighborhood (if we have the budget for it). This person works closely with PR person.


  • Site Director-communicates with the plot holders about garden maintenance and leads maintenance of garden structures. This person maintains the garden rules and contracts and is the liaison to the landowner (ODOT). Organizes 1-2 community work parties per year, Spring and Fall, hopefully.
  • Co-director-helps the site director with the intention of taking over director duties in the future.
  • Plot holders-$25 per year, dues and 10 hours minimum of volunteer service to the upkeep of the common areas of the garden. Committee positions counts for volunteer service.


  • Fundraising coordinator-seeks donations and writes receipts, thank you letters for plant donations from nurseries, raffle prize from businesses and food donations from restaurants. Coordinates with the Fiscal Project Coordinator. Plans and oversees the April Plant Sale and Fundraiser. Collects dues from plot holders.
  • Fiscal Project Coordinator-a member of the Foster Powell Neighborhood Association Board that communicates with our fiscal sponsor, SE Uplift, as the “project coordinator”. This person reports on the garden at monthly neighborhood meetings, completes yearly reports and submits all income and expense reimbursement requests to SE Uplift.


  • Charity Coordinator-Coordinates delivery of produce to food charities and tracks donations made by the garden for fiscal reporting.
  • Grant writer-applies for funding for new projects or extraordinary expenses in the garden.
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Fall Forward

Is it too early to say the word “Fall”? I’d like to thank our hot weather volunteers, who gave more time than we could have expected on such a day. Thanks to neighbors and plot holders: Nick, Donnie, Dana, Kyr, Keri, Andy, Cesar and Sebastian. The garden seems nearly ready for Fall and all of the changes that it may hold…

The garden is at a transitional point. I want to speak to you from my heart, now. The garden was conceived from my household, proposals and grants written, construction designed and planned, advertised, with lots of hours and broken body days…but it was never supposed to be for my household. It was supposed to be for the neighborhood. It was always our intention to nurture the garden until it could operate without us. Is there anyone who can succeed us now that the groundwork has been laid? Is there anyone out there who can continue this work and add their own vision? Are there 5 or 6 people who could split the work that we currently do?

This is a great place that was built with many, many hands over the years. It has succeeded, but further success is only possible if others take the reigns. Please join us for a very important committee-forming meeting in September. If you can spare a couple hours a month, have the ability to commit to a year of service and want to ensure the success of the Foster Powell Community Garden, please join us now.

Monday, September 12th, 8:00pm, Foster Burger.

We’ll meet just after the Neighborhood Association General Meeting concludes.


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