Growing Gardens is a non-profit organization in Portland that literally plants the seeds for good food and healthy people. Everyone has the right to nourishing food, and Growing Gardens makes sure that low-income communities have access to the gardening skills and resources to grow their own food. This experience of growing food in schools, backyards and correctional facilities helps cultivate healthy, equitable communities through Oregon.
This year, Growing Gardens is celebrating its 25 year anniversary! To build an inclusive and vibrant food system, we must support local BIPOC and women-led food systems 365 days a year. To support that mission, Growing Gardens Chef In Your Garden dinner (previously Chef In My Garden) series now runs all year long. The dinner series not only highlights some of the best chefs in town, it also fosters partnerships with local farmers.
Growing Gardens Farm Tour, Gresham
Did you know there’s a farm incubator program in the Portland area? I recently had the pleasure of touring Mora Mora Farm and Good Rain Farm in Gresham. Both startup farms are part of the Headwaters Farm Incubator Program and lead by inspiring female farmers. This tour was the second in the Growing Gardens farm tour series; the first tour was on Sauvie Island.
Mora Mora Farm is currently in its fourth year of the farm incubator program. Catherine started the farm with a quarter acre, selling produce at wholesale farmers markets, but pivoted to CSAs during to the pandemic, which offered an opportunity to diversify the produce. Now, Mora Mora has grown to a full acre and supplies produce to a CSA program, refugee care packages, and a couple local restaurants. This year’s Growing Gardens Chef In Your Garden dinner by Mama Dut Foods used vegetables from Mora Mora.
Michelle from Good Rain Farm is of Sinixt ancestry, and x̌ast sq̓it (hast squeit) translates to Good Rain in the traditional language of the sngaytskstx (Sinixt) the Arrow Lakes Peoples. The farm focuses on food sovereignty, community empowerment, and growing indigenous first foods to honor native tribes and cultures. In addition to CSA produce boxes, you can support Good Rain through the Save Our Seeds community seed saving and seed rematriation program.
At the end of the tour, we enjoyed vegan pancit in ube buns, whoopie pies, and butterfly peaflower limeade from Mama Dut Foods. Many thanks to Growing Gardens for organizing this farm tour. And thank you Mustard the Cat for joining us!
I was invited by Growing Gardens to this farm tour. As always, all opinions are my own.