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Planning and Sustainability

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Phone: 503-823-7700

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

Peak Season for the Portland Fruit Tree Project

Got Fruit? Portland Fruit Tree Project helps share summer’s bounty.

plumsSummer means fruit season is in full bloom for the Portland Fruit Tree Project (PFTP), a non-profit that gathers volunteers to harvest peaches, plums, pears, figs, apples, and more from registered trees across the city. PTFP salvages fruit that would otherwise go to waste, donating half to Portland food banks and dividing the rest among “harvest party” volunteers. PFTP channeled over 58,000 pounds of fruit to families in need last year.

During a recent harvest party, an enthusiastic team of volunteers, young and old, plucked plums from two Southeast Portland sites. First, they collected 379 pounds of bright yellow Shiro plums from a majestic tree in Brentwood-Darlington’s Green Thumb Community Orchard – and with over half of the fruit left on the prolific tree, another team will be back soon!

The team then traveled to Carmen Piekarski’s home to gather 86 pounds of juicy purplish-red cherry plums from her two trees towering over the sidewalk. “I come from a family where things were never wasted, and to watch anything go to waste is really difficult,” Carmen said. “There’s too much for us and too much for the neighbors, and the Portland Fruit Tree Project allows people who are truly in need to access healthy fruit.”  

With 465 pounds of plums in tow at the end of the evening, each volunteer took home a generous 12 pounds and the remaining 235 pounds went to area food pantries. PFTP hosts several harvest parties a week and provides additional opportunities to get involved and learn new skills from tree care to food preservation. Don’t miss out…it’s summertime and the time is ripe for sharing the harvest. 

Make a Beeline to the Tour De Hives on Saturday

Portland Urban Beekeepers presents third annual tour on Saturday, June 20.

tour posterPortland Urban Beekeepers (PUB) present the third annual Tour de Hives on Saturday, June 20, from 1 – 4 p.m. The self-guided tour of urban apiaries is a sweet opportunity to learn about the craft of keeping bees while supporting a non-profit that promotes our Portland pollinator partners.

And it’s not all honey and beeswax. Over the course of the event, Tour de Hives participants will learn about the importance of bees to the environment and the problems they face. The plight of bees has garnered a lot of attention of the years and the Tour offers a unique opportunity to learn firsthand how local beekeepers are rising to the challenge.

The event is an excellent opportunity to learn more about Portland’s beekeeping community in a relaxed and casual setting. PUB’s President, Bill Catherall, notes that “It's a casual, social event to meet others and learn how we can get involved in helping honey bees, native bees, and other important pollinators and beneficial insects.”

So buzz over to the event’s website as it might bee the perfect way to spend your Saturday. To get in the mood, check out this amazing time-lapse video of a honeybee’s development.  



Find Your Farmer

map imageThe City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s website makes it easy to find local farmers, ranchers, and fisherman. You’ll discover over 50 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms and more than twenty neighborhood farmers markets that serve up the best of Oregon’s bounty.

CSA farms sell shares—or memberships—to households who typically receive weekly boxes of seasonal vegetables delivered to their neighborhood. Many CSAs also provide a wide variety of additional food, including fruit, eggs, dairy, fish, meat and poultry. And some farms deliver all year or directly to your house.

To find your perfect farm match and a convenient pick-up spot, check out for detailed information on farms that deliver to Portland and over 150 neighborhood drop-off points.

If you’d rather pick your own produce, Portland boasts a strong web of farmers markets that can be found all over town, every day of the week. And farmers markets are more than peas and cukes. You can talk to the folks who produce your food, visit with your neighbors, taste delicious prepared food, and learn culinary skills at cooking demonstrations. And don’t forget, almost all the markets accept SNAP benefits and many have matching-dollar programs. Find all the farmers market information you’ll need at   

Find Your CSA Farmer at Fair Share

Saturday, March 21, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

CSA PosterThe Portland-Area CSA Coalition is hosting their first-ever Share Fair on Saturday, March 21 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at 831 SE Salmon. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, where the community (households that are “shareholders” or “subscribers”) provides the financial support for the season’s farming by purchasing a share of the harvest or becoming a member of the farm. Once harvesting begins, shareholders typically receive weekly shares of seasonal vegetables, fruit, eggs, dairy, meat and poultry.

You can meet 33 farmers, fishers, and ranchers at Share Fair and sample their wares, watch cooking demonstrations, and participate in a cookbook swap. Kids can make and fill a seed packet and commune with chickens.

You can get detailed information for Fair Share and if you’re looking for a map that shows all the CSA drop-off points in Portland, we’ve got that for you too with information on each farm.   

Portland (and West Coast) Chickens Rule!

It's good to be a chicken in Portland

chickensIn Portland, it’s easy to feel like chickens are taking over. As it turns out, they (sort of) are!

Real estate website Redfin recently declared the five best cities to be a chicken, and it’s no surprise that they rated Portland King Of The Coop. What makes us special? Our DIY ethos, our accommodating zoning code, and our enduring love for all things local — especially eggs.

Filling out the top-five list are three Californian cities (Venture, San Diego, and Sacramento) and, of course, our frenemies up in Seattle.

So why did the chicken cross the road? To hitch a ride to the West Coast.