Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Fax: 503-823-7800

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

More Contact Info


Answering the most frequently-asked questions about urban animals and bees, gardening, food purchasing and other popular topics.

How is Organic different from conventional?

Until the invention of chemical pesticides and fertilizers in the early 20th century, all farming worldwide was organic. Today, food is organic if it is produced without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics, artificial ingredients, irradiation or genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates organic food, and only food that has been produced, handled, and processed following USDA guidelines is given the USDA Organic seal of approval.

Producers who say they use organic methods but opt out of certification may exceed, meet, or fall short of the USDA guidelines. In these cases, ask the producer about the methods he or she uses.

Heartbleed Security Notice

A serious security vulnerability known as "Heartbleed" was recently discovered in OpenSSL, a popular software library commonly used by many websites on the internet to encrypt communication between a user's computer and a web server. is NOT affected by this vulnerability as it does not use the OpenSSL software library. Please rest assured we are dedicated to protecting your security on this website.