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Get the dish on news, events and announcements related to sustainable food.

BPS seeks proposals for food production on City of Portland Property

Proposals due no later than 5 p.m. on July 15, 2016.

RFP coverThe City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) seeks proposals from individuals, groups or organizations for the agricultural use of a 27,878 square foot (.64 acre) vacant property in S.E. Portland.  The property is owned by the City of Portland and managed by BPS to provide a community benefit.

The project goals for the property include:

  • Food Production: Through the growing of annual vegetable crops or perennial fruit and nut trees.
  • Compatibility: For the project to complement the neighborhood character and incur minimal impact to the surrounding residents.
  • Timeliness: For the project to be carried out as expeditiously as possible and to commence by the end of 2016, if not before.
  • Community Benefit and Equity: For the project to align with the objective to reduce the consumption of carbon-intensive foods and support a community-based food system. (See page 100 of the City’s 2015 Climate Action Plan for more details.)

The applicant selected through this RFP will enter into a long-term lease agreement with the City of Portland for a fee of $1.

Download a copy of the RFP as a PDF file.


Responses to Submitted Questions

June 15, 2016 

Q: Will any selection criteria or lease terms pose a disadvantage to individuals with limited English proficiency?

A: No.

Q: Can applicants receive outside assistance in submitting their RFP?

A: Yes.

Q: Can bees be kept on the site?

A: Yes.

June 14, 2016

Q: How long is the long-term lease?

A: The term of the lease is totally open-ended and will reflect the needs of the lessee and use of the site. The City prefers a long-term use that is sustainable over decades or even longer in the case of perennial crops. Historically, annual crops have been grown on the Sherrett site under a lease term of seven years with renewal options. The City is currently leasing a property for the creation of an orchard and the lease term is for ten years with two options for 10-year renewals.

June 16, 2016

Q: Can the site can be used for a non-profit program?

A: Anyone is eligible to apply including individuals, non-profit organizations, or for-profit groups. 

For further information, contact Steve Cohen, 503-823-4225 or

To help ensure equal access to City programs, services and activities, the City of Portland will provide translation, reasonably modify policies/procedures and provide auxiliary aids/services/alternative formats to persons with disabilities.  For accommodations, translations, complaints, and additional information, contact me, call 503-823-7632, City TTY 503-823-6868, or use Oregon Relay Service: 711.

April is Community Orchards Month

Local partners celebrate start of growing season at community orchards

Some of us think of April as the first full month of spring, when the rains slow (okay, just by a bit) and the trees sprout new leaves. Some of us also think of April as Earth Month and find a way to make our corner of the planet healthier. Now, for the second year in a row, Portland Fruit Tree Project is growing a new tradition by promoting April as Community Orchards Month.


Portland Fruit Tree Project is partnering with The Home Orchard Society and Green Lents to host nine events throughout the month at seven different locations, each celebrating community orchards and publicly accessible fruit trees. The events will include orchard clean-ups and work parties, the establishment of an edible mushroom bed, a "work & learn" party about pollinators, and a third-anniversary celebration of the groundbreaking at the Fruits of Diversity Community Orchard.

One of the newest orchards, the Malden Court Community Orchard, is on city-owned land and blossoming thanks to a dynamic group of Lents neighbors. They’ll be hosting a work party on the morning of April 16.   

More information is available at Portland Fruit Tree Project.

Find Your CSA Farmer at Fair Share and on BPS website

Support your local farmer and feast on fresh, seasonal food

The Portland-Area CSA Coalition is hosting the second annual Share Fair on Saturday, March 19 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at 831 SE Salmon. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, where households become “shareholders” or “subscribers” and provide financial support for the season’s farming by purchasing a share of the harvest. Once harvesting begins, shareholders typically receive weekly shares of seasonal vegetables, fruit, eggs, dairy, meat and poultry.

Share Fair is free and will include over 40 CSA farmers, fishers, and ranchers, cooking demonstrations from local chefs, a cookbook swap, and fun and games for kids. 

All the Share Fair events are listed on their website.

BPS makes it even easier to begin your CSA search with a map that shows all the CSA drop-off points in Portland and information for each farm. Check out the map and put your family on the road to better eating with fresh food that also supports local farmers and our regional economy. 

Two Chances to Stock Up on Storage Crops

Grow Portland and Friends of Family Farmers offer bulk-buying in time for winter.


Stock your pantry with food that lasts for months, save money, and help strengthen our regional food system with two programs that connect you with area farmers.  

Grow Portland offers 80-pound shares of storage crops — winter squash, potatoes, onions, garlic, and others for $99. The organic produce comes from their community farms in East Portland, with supplemental  products coming from other local farmers. Storage shares are available for pickup on Saturday, October 24th, from 10 - 11:30 a.m. Register and pay in advance (SNAP is available) on their website.

Friends of Family Farmers brings their Fill Your Pantry program to Portland on Sunday, November 8th from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Rigler Elementary School. The program helps Oregon family farmers sell fall crops by connecting them directly with consumers who want to save money by buying healthful, local food in bulk. Offerings will include dry beans, grains, flours, nuts, honey, root vegetables, garlic, onions, winter squash, and more. Ordering online between October 17th and 31st is the best way to get what you want and more information can be found at the Friends of Family Farmers’ website.

Orchard Bee Association Hosts Public Symposium and Expo

Learn about the critical roles of lesser-known local pollinator species and how you can support their work.

bee on flower

Information about the sudden decline of honeybee colonies is everywhere, but much less is heard about solitary, non-social orchard bee species that make remarkable contributions to the pollination of our gardens, crops, and native plants.

As part of their 2015 International Meeting, the Orchard Bee Association will hold a public symposium and expo on Saturday, October 3rd, from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM, at PSU’s Smith Memorial Student Union in Room 296/8. Registration opens at 9:30 AM.

The day will feature presentations on creating backyard habitats that support native pollinators, sustainable solutions for crop pollination, the orchard mason bee, and a researcher’s unique experiences studying native bees in Western Oregon. The Expo is an excellent opportunity for networking with bee boosters and learning about local projects like BEEnergy.

A complete schedule and advance tickets for Saturday’s public symposium and expo cost $15. (Lunch is included in the ticket cost.)