Sunshine, Water and Love

We’re off to a great start. The plots are growing vegetables, plot holders and volunteers are looking after the place and getting to know each other, and we are poised to finish construction in the coming months. I even here we have a Frankenstein tomato/potato graft growing here! That’s some amazing stuff and I can’t wait to see how it goes! We are, of course watching our water closely in this first year of veggie production, the natives and flowers are doing fine on their own. I found a great resource with some water saving tips. I’ve shared them and this great website with our gardeners, here they are for you, as well:

WATERING TIPS FROM A PRO (printable PDF): info consolidated from

We are thinking, also, of how to use the garden to strengthen the community. We are working on refurbishing a little produce stand and have reserved one bed to be grown for community food donations (where we donate it will depend on how big the harvest is). You will see the cart and community bed come together as the summer comes on. It occurs to me that our little cart may be just the start. I think it would be amazing if there was a free produce stand on every block, where neighbors could share their extras. I’ve whipped up this little sign with some clip art (and translations we had done professionally). Here it is, printable, in case anyone else wants to make a free produce stand for their block.

Free produce (Printable PDF)

Free produce

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The garden tour is just around the corner (June 20th) and the weeds are starting to win again in the community garden! If you can spare some time this weekend, we need you! Please bring gloves and tools as we are always short! We’ll be in the garden today, Friday and tomorrow, Saturday from 10-2 (or longer). The front walk needs weeding badly and is accessible at any time. We also have building projects to work on. Hope to see you soon!

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May flowers

As we go into this lovely first May weekend, I bet most of us have green on the brain. Here are a few of the lovely scenes in the Foster Powell Community Garden right now. These images come courtesy of a great work party that happened last Saturday. Thanks to all of our volunteers that day, we got so much done. I’ve lost my list of volunteers but I remember about 8 people. I’ll revise this post if I find their names. The next work parties will be at the end of May. We’ll be preparing for the neighborhood garden tour which happens on June 20th this year so we’ll be finishing off some building projects as well as the usual weeding. Join us for some volunteer garden work and good-neighborly fun on Friday, May 29th and/or Saturday May 30th from 10-2pm.


a blurry shot of our first apple


community donation plot

a plot for growing food donations, thanks to neighbors Matt, Vicki, 7-Dees for the contents



look who’s home in the mason bee house! Thanks Jessica, for the bees and the knowledge!

may_flowers mayflowers2 pinwheel

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Plant Sale and Fundraiser: that’s a wrap, now back to work!

The plant sale fundraiser and raffle was a success! We raised $361 for garden projects! It was a beautiful day and lots of neighbors strolled through, picked out plants, and sipped coffee donated by the Spritely Bean. At the end of the day, young neighbor, Adrianna reached into the raffle box and pulled out the winners: Neighbor Sarah was on hand to receive the ceramic platter. Congratulations to Sarah, and to Erica who won the Lucky Larder class gift certificate, to Katy who won $20 in gift certificates at the Spritely Bean, to Emily who won the Meadowlark Medicinals gift basket and, finally, to Shannon who won the use of garden bed #1 in the community garden for a year! Welcome Shannon!

It’s already the last weekend of the month so we will be working in the garden from 10-2 this Friday (today) and Saturday, please volunteer some of your time to weed, plant, help build and more.

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The annual Foster Powell Community Garden raffle and plant sale fundraiser is this Sunday, April 19th from 9-3.

We will have some excellent raffle prizes (tickets are $1 each):

  • One years use of Bed #1 in the community garden
  • A ceramic platter made so locally you can see the artist’s reflection over your shoulder as you look at it!
  • Gift certificates for our newest coffee shop, the Spritely Bean (also providing donated coffee refreshment at the sale because they are just that nice)
  • A gift certificate from The Lucky Larder at the Portland Mercado (good for admission to an introductory canning or fermentation class). You can check out The Lucky Larder FB page or website,

And don’t forget the PLANTS! It’s like a plant yard sale. Many neighbors have contributes starts, bulbs, trees and bushes. I understand some of our plants even came from Hillsboro (thanks for the love, Hillperson Carol!) If you’re in the mood to support your community garden, we are in the mood to make a deal and send you home with the plant of your dreams!

Got something to donate but didn’t make it in to the drop off? Aw, ok. Just bring it tomorrow, we don’t mind. Thrifty shoppers might consider an early and a late day trip to see what has shown up later…

I won’t really know until tomorrow but I expect there could be some baked goods and trinkets for sale, there will be neighborhood info available, sidewalk chalk for drawing on the cistern and who know what else…

Come! Walk around and look at the garden, hang out and chat with neighbors, admire the community meeting area, head home with good stuff!

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Some important stuff…

I have two things to talk about today so I hope you will read both parts of this email.

exchange-flyer-finalFirstly, I want to remind you of the Annual Spring Plant Sale and Raffle Fundraiser. It happens in the Foster Powell Community Garden this coming weekend! If you want to donate plants to the sale (starts or divisions from your yard, a bush you don’t want anymore…) please bring them on Saturday between 9 and 3pm. The sale and raffle will take place on Sunday April 19th from 9-3. We have a garden bed in the community garden and a ceramic platter to raffle but we are still open to tax deductible donations of raffle prizes and refreshments from any area businesses who might want to show their support. Looking forward to seeing you then for family fun, plant scores and support for the garden.

Secondly, the Foster Powell Neighborhood Association needs you.                  The Foster Powell Community Garden is a project of the Foster Powell Neighborhood Association. I started attending meetings about 4 years ago after being invited to be a host on the garden tour, another of the FPNA’s projects. I have served officially as board secretary for the past two years. These past years of neighborhood service, my first as a homeowner, have been enlightening. This time has changed my life. I have met so many people, received their encouragement and had opportunities to understand what makes a neighborhood tick. I, like many of the board members of the FPNA, have found myself deeply engaged in the neighborhood by choice (perhaps over-engaged for my own part). We love our neighborhood but we are due for change. That is where you come in…

In addition to the community garden and the garden tour, the FPNA organizes the National Night Out Celebration, the Neighborhood Clean Up, the Foster Window Project (the Phoenix Pharmacy Mural), and the Movie in the Park you have enjoyed for the past few years (though not this year, as we did not have a volunteer to lead the event). At our monthly meeting we discuss an agenda of transportation issues (one board member has diligently served for 13 years on the Foster Streetscape committee), communications, crime and safety, local events. We have the answers to the questions that are posed daily on Next Door and Facebook groups and we do it face to face, as neighbors should. We are the access point between neighbors and the governmental agencies and what we say matters. Isn’t that just a little exciting?

Our neighborhood association board is turning over. Those who have served well need a break and it is time for us to be replaced. Perhaps you have just moved to the neighborhood, just retired, looking for a way to be involved…we need you. Perhaps you are studying government or city planning and would like some hands on experience for your resume…we need you. Perhaps you are starting a family and intend to stay in Fo-Po. You are going to want to be sure the neighborhood is safe and healthy…we need you. The time commitment of each position is small and the more hands we have, the lighter the work will be. We need four of our board positions filled at all times. There is a chance we might not make that requirement and the neighborhood association will have to disband. Our voice in local government will no longer be heard.

This is your neighborhood, whether you rent an apartment or own a home or business. You have noticed that the area is changing for the better, surely. How do you thing that happens? It’s us…it’s you. If you have an interest in becoming a board member of the Foster Powell Neighborhood Association (or just attending the meetings without obligation), please join us at Foster Burger tonight, Monday, April 13th at 6:30 pm for our general meeting. If you can’t attend tonight, please contact the current co chair, Li Alligood at or Tracy Gratto or myself, Vicki Wilson at

Board Positions coming open soon:

  • Chair (open in May)
  • Co-Chair (open now)
  • Secretary (open in May)
  • Treasurer (open in May)

Thank you so much for your time, we look forward to seeing you soon.

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All of our beds have been assigned!

Please check back with us, join the mailing list, like our facebook page and watch for our “plots available” banner to fly again when the rest of our beds are ready. Join us for events this Spring, Summer and Fall:

  • Spring and Summer Work Parties: Work party times are based on the availability of John and Vicki (we could expand this if others are willing to take the lead). This Spring and Summer we intend to hold work parties from 10-2pm on the last Friday and Saturday of each month (March-September). Anyone can come out and help. You don’t need to be a plot holder or even live in the neighborhood to help us beautify this little corner of Portland. March 27th and 28th, 10-2 Work Parties: It’s time to get a jump on the weeds, spread some mulch and, most importantly, Garrett need help raising the covered meeting area roof. We need some strong bodies for this task!
  •  April 19th, 9-3 Spring Plant Sale/Raffle/Fundraiser: We will be holding our annual Plant Sale and Fundraiser on the 3rd Sunday in April (April 19th) from 9-3pm at the garden. We rely on neighbors to bring us their extra divided plants and starts the day before so please start thinking about what you can donate and drop it off on Saturday April 18th between 9-3pm. We usually sell everything for $1 minimum donation per plant (unless they are super tiny or gigantic plants)
  • The 7th Annual Foster-Powell Garden Tour is Saturday, June 20th from 10-2pm. If you are in the neighborhood, please come to a neighborhood association meeting to find out how you can help and participate. Foster Powell Neighborhood Association Meetings are the second Monday of each month at 6:30pm. They are held at Foster Burger.
  • The Foster-Powell Community Garden hosts an annual Fall Fest on the Saturday before Halloween (October 24th) from 4-8pm

Thanks to everyone for your interest and support of the garden.





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