Our vegetables are grown in your neighbors’ back yards in North Portland. We convert lawn and patches of weeds into healthy soil growing healthy vegetables. First, we make sure that the ground is very wet (usually not a problem in Portland), and then lay a black tarp over the grass to smother it and help it begin to decompose. When the ground is ready – the amount of time depends on the time of year – the dead grass can be incorporated into the soil and we can proceed with forming the growing beds.
We prepare beds by hand with a spade to help maintain existing soil life, and rake out any persistent weeds, rocks, and clumps of grass hanging on. No herbicides or pesticides are used. After applying a mix of natural soil amendments like rock lime, a lot more raking, and a pass with the broadfork for deep tillage, we’re ready to plant.
Want us to use your yard?
For our first season, we’re gardening on six plots totaling about a quarter acre. We’re all set for the 2017 season, but are hoping to add a few more sites to our network for the 2018 season. In exchange for use of their land, we provide landowners with a basket of vegetables every week during the growing season. Here are some characteristics we’re looking for:
- At least 1,200 square feet.
- No major shade obstructions
- Within 2 miles of Cesar Chavez Elementary (I live right around the corner)
Interested in learning more? Email mark at marksmarketgarden dot com!