In 2009, the city of Portland set an ambitious goal: to double the number of community garden plots in the city. Over three and a half years, with the hard work of dozens of community members and more than 30 nonprofit, private and public organizations, the 1,000 Gardens Initiative met and surpassed its goal. Shovels were sharpened, compost was turned, and neighbors held hands during a celebration of the 1,000th garden plot on October 24 of last year, National Food Day.
Portland’s community gardens supply fresh vegetables to food banks, senior centers and schools, and have increased food access in traditionally underserved neighborhoods. For people without backyards or sunlit land, they offer the chance to grow your own food and meet and collaborate with neighbors. They are a critical, community-based solution to expanding food sovereignty for all. With our trowels held high, we toast the city!
Photo at right: Volunteers help prepare for the April 2012 grand opening of Frazer Community Garden in Northeast Portland. By Holly Wilkalis of Hands on Portland