Get to know your garden: Some important things that make the FPCG so special.
1) The garden is sitting on top of an asphalt lot. We believe there are gas tanks below the pavement from a gas station that was on this site in the 1950’s. ODOT owns the property and is allowing the neighborhood association to use it indefinitely. ODOT purchased it in the 1980’s when the idea of widening Powell was on the table (The Mt. Hood Freeway). When that fell through, they had no use for the property. They currently have no plans to sell or use the site. Our agreement with ODOT stipulates no de-paving, no digging down into the original earth on the site or planting food directly in that soil, no planting trees and no permanent structures.
2) All of our water is rain collected on site in cisterns. We do not have running water but we are collecting enough to support a very water conservative garden. Water is hand pumped and transported in buckets.
3) We do not have electricity on site. Our lighting is solar and we borrow power from our lovely neighbors on very special occasions.
4) We do not have trash or yard debris service. We try to take yard debris and garbage to our home cans when we are able. When the yard debris builds up, we load up a truck and take it to the waste transfer station.
5) There are currently 9 beds available to rent. By mid summer we will have 10-12 more beds built but we will not rent them until we have the second cistern full of water. We need to be sure we are not planting crops that we do not have the water to support.
6) The garden was started by Vicki Wilson and John Larsen, two neighbors who wanted to spend some of their time and particular talents to improve their neighborhood. They first approached ODOT in June of 2011 and were given access and a permit to use the lot in April of 2013.
7) The garden is funded by small grants that were written by Vicki on behalf of the Foster Powell Neighborhood Association. The garden has received 2 grants from EMSWCD ($1500 each) for native plants and the cistern and shed, two anonymous cash donations (total of $1700). We have raised about $1000 on site with various fundraisers. We got a mini-grant from the city of Portland CWSP program for $500 to spend on native plants at Bosky-Dell natives. Dennis 7 Dees has donated over $1000 in plants and $1000 cash. We now have a $2500 grant from Southeast Uplift’s Neighborhood Small Grants program which should get us very close to finished with the building of beds, cisterns and meeting areas. The Foster Powell Neighborhood Association provides $200 of their yearly budget to help with communications and neighbors have donated all of the tools, lots of dirt and other amenities. After this summer, the garden should run on the plot rental fees, donations and annual fundraising profits.
Updated: March 16, 2015
The Foster Powell Community Garden is a project of the Foster Powell Neighborhood Association and we are fiscally sponsored by SE Uplift. We have received a SPACE grant from EMSWCD and are still working to secure the funding to finish the garden. We are a committee of neighbors but we are always in need of more help, especially on the labor side. The property is owned by ODOT and used to be a gas station. It was purchased for the widening of Powell Blvd. in the 1980’s that did not happen so it became an unusable property. The gas tanks are buried under asphalt and there is no water or electricity connected to the site. Our ODOT agreement allows no digging in soil, no permanent structures or trees and no depaving, period. We have developed a plan to have a raised bed community garden for vegetables with water cisterns catching roof water from a shed and community gathering area. Solar panels will provide evening light to help with safety and crime issues in the area. We are planting NW native bushes and ground covers along a terraced slope as well as pollinator attractant flowers. The Oregon Tradeswomen built us a wonderful shed in 2013, we have temporary water cisterns and are adding our permanent cisterns as we receive funds for them. We are building 4’x8′ raised beds at 30″ and 24″. The site is inherently ADA accessible so we are working to keep it that way. We have had donations of mulch, soil, wood, tools and other items and are still accepting some items (see the DONATE page). In the end we hope to have an ADA accesible, 20 raised bed garden that beautifies the neighborhood and gives apartment dwellers, shade dwellers, and others in need, a place to grow vegetables for either a small rental fee or no cost-if we can make that happen and a few hours of volunteer work around the garden. We should be announcing that beds are available in Fall 2014/Winter 2015. We hope the garden will become a community meeting place, an educational sustainability model for growing food on an un-gardenable site, and a beautiful landmark of our neighborhood. Please take a moment to follow our website, like us on Facebook and send an email to join our mailing list: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the original approved proposal to ODOT: FP_ODOT_Comm_Garden_Proposal_06_12
Before (April 2013):
During (April-October 2014):