Project Growing in alldirections

Project Growing in alldirections Celebrate the history of Jazz on Williams Avenue: King Louie and Sweet Baby James


Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012


8:00 pm – 10:00 pm


Project Grow
2156 N Williams


Join King Louie and Sweet Baby James on Wednesday the 22nd at 8 pm for a night of music.  Sweet Baby James, a living legend, used to run a 24 hour jam session/barbecue on Williams Ave and perform for Hollywood stars at their private parties. Today, King Louie and Sweet Baby James make up one of the hottest jazz duos in Portland.

All events are free but your donation will be gratefully accepted and appreciated and it will fuel our dreams at Project Grow.

The North Portland Farm

The North Portland Farm of Project Grow is a .75 acre (1.5 acres beginning Summer ’11) urban farm.  The North Portland Farm runs a bike-delivered CSA, raises chickens and ducks for eggs, goats for fiber, vegetable starts for sale and for the farm, provides community garden space for rent, hosts workshops, and participates actively in the small/urban farm community in the area.  idn live

Farmers and artists in Project Grow are invited to work on the farm, earning minimum wage, learning, harvesting, working, playing, teaching, delivering, washing, building, cleaning, selling, tending, planting, clearing,  and the myriad activities that are part of the reality of urban agriculture.

The North Portland Farm is a functioning and productive farm, as well as a community resource and research tool into the development of an integrated urban food system.  We use all organic techniques, use as much salvaged materials as possible, and maintain several concurrent styles of cultivation on our separate plots. slot88  

We focus on plant nutrition before output, employing large spacings, water-wise gardening, and non resource-intensive but nutritious fertilization techniques.  Volunteers are invited to join us while we’re out in the field, planning, building, and delivering, sharing in the process and joy of the North Portland Farm.  Come learn and share. slot gacor

Central Lot

The Central Lot  abutts Port City/Project Grow between Tillamook and Thompson Streets. The lot was developed in 2009.  This site had formerly been an EPA Brownfield, the result of the former owner, Wagstaff Battery’s lead-acid battery production.  oxplay

The site was remediated by a brute force method of deep excavation of the offending soil 8 feet deep, capping deeper soil with packed gravel and backfilling with clean fill.  While the soil as it stands tests free of lead, we choose to primarily plant in raised beds above ground in soil mixes from trusted sources.  toktokbet

The wheelchair-accessible raised beds for the farm are on automated drip irrigation, and primarily used for greens and for isolating varieties for seed saving.  The shed provides vegetable processing and packing space, as well as tool/feed storage, an in-progress aquaponics bioshelter for tilapia and fertilizer production, and trellising space.  

The chicken coop has an attached run that includes a three-bin composting system.  We compost our chicken bedding, goat bedding, vegetable waste, as well as the community’s.  

The Bridge (aka “Food Church”) provides several cases of undesirable (for humans) vegetables and fruit per week for our chickens, who promptly convert it into manure and fantastic compost.  This compost is used for amendments, growing our own vegetable starts, and making compost tea.  The lot offers 5 keyhole-shaped raised beds, oriented to the magnetic north for community gardeners.  Community gardeners can expect mentoring, free starts, fertilizer, and cover crop.

Annex Lot

Annex Lot

The Annex lot consists of 3 lots just south of Tillamook Street in NE Portland.  This site had previously been illegal dumping grounds, destructive illegal encampments, and host to several hundred cubit yards of opportunistic plant debris.  

Thanks to the generous access to the land by smart development/transportation champion Jim Howell.  After initially clearing the land by hand, machine, goat, and thousands of volunteer hours, we tilled the soil, removed blackberry roots and concrete chunks of former sidewalks, and tested the soil.  

The soil is clear of lead and other heavy metals, and has since been entirely sifted through one-inch mesh to remove any bits of glass, rocks, or more blackberry roots.  We reused the concrete to build a retaining wall around the centerpiece choke-cherry trees, now planted with dozens of blueberries.  

The lot is 1/2 acre, and now houses a large hoop-house (generously donated by Pistils Nursery), new perennial food plants, one of the larger sheet-mulch endeavors in Portland, and a yurt for and artist in residency program and outdoor workspace.

North Lot

Annex Lot

The North lot of the farm is a unique situation in the city: inheriting a piece of land that is not only not neglected  or disused, but one that has actually been stewarded and planted in food plants.  

Formerly the school garden for the fantastic Trillium Charter school (now located at Killingsworth and Interstate), the garden contains established and productive raspberries, grapes, apple, pear, and cherry trees.  There are vegetable beds, a cob shed and oven, and a second chicken coop and compost.

Future Lots

We are working to develop a new lot for community gardening and farming alongside some wonderful neighbors.  More on this as details are finalized.  We’re always interested in land for cultivation, but at the present we are happy to stay at 1.5 acres and concentrate on efficiency before expanding further.

Project Grow is a space for community collaboration where people can engage in conversation and action to advocate for human rights, the value of art in society, urban farming, and the pursuit of passions.

Team Together meetings are incredible, these are the conversations that really keep Project Grow the collaborative magical experience that it is.

Below are notes from out last one on November 4th. We have them every Friday so should you ever be available and curious, drop on in. We’d love to hear your thoughts too!

Love, Project Grow.

Good news:
1. Kristin: No longer has to take a pill that made her lethargic! Yay!
2. Patsy: Has a badge for the Washington County Sheriff! Wow!
3. Kelly: Kimmy is out of the hospital and she did Kelly’s nails and hair! Yippee!
4. Tim: We have a tour at Columbia Gorge Model Train rides! Rock on! (QT said,’I want to go!!!’)
5. Chanel: She is going to go to Colorado for 2 weeks in December!
6. Scott who we miss a lot is back in town!

Bekka is going on some exciting adventures to Thailand!
1. Eddie would like her to bring back volunteers.
2. Kristin is already afraid she’ll miss her too much.
3. Patsy would like to go all out and celebrate her! She wants us to have potato salad and macaroni salad at the party.
4. Bekka’s favorite cake is chocolate with berries. We will celebrate Thursday!

Chanel reminded us that it was two years ago that her mom died in a nursing home.
1. we all took a moment to celebrate the memory of the wonderful person that was Denise and to offer our support to Chanel.
2. Chanel thanked Denise for watchign over us.

Eleanor would like to organize a trip to Tiny’s today!
1. Eddie is interested.
2. Zach is into it.
3. Babs is totally down!

Caitlin knows of a place where you can get free chips and dip with your meal.
1. Kelly thinks that is keepin it real for that arugula!

Tim is excited about today’s potato lecture.
1. Thanks to Tanya and Tina and Jamond and Kelly for helping prepare the space.
2. The walls and windows look amazing.

Sonya wanted to share with us that her church is selling Christmas trees if anyone is looking for any.
Andres is looking forward to Thanksgiving.
1. We are going to have dinner here together on 26th if anyone is interested.

Today is dance day at Polaris.
1. Chanel is going
2. Kristin and Sonya are exctied
3. QT can’t wait to rock.
4, Viola’s in, and so is David.
5. Teresita quiere bailar!

Eleanor is excited about Valentines
1. So is Tanya and Tina
2. they look it up, it is on a Tuesday this year

Eleanor wanted to brainstorm about some issues she is having at New Seasons
1. We talked about how challenges are opportunities for learning
2. It will get better, misunderstandings happen

Viola loves watching babies being born.
2. So does Kristin and Sonya.

Ginger’s birthday is coming up!
1, She’d like to celebrate with coffee.

Eleanor wanted us to take a moment of silence for unjust treatment from law enforcement
1. James mentioned this is happening everywhere
2. Eleanor added that it is happening in Chile
3. What can we do?

Human rights celebration in December for the 63rd anniversary of the UN Declaration!
1. Patsy said if stuffs is your it’s yours
2. We will be making tiles if anyone is interested and speaking at City hall!

We brainstormed about the December people party being a hawaiian theme! Ooh lala.
Tim wanted to lay down the law, no Xmas music until after Thanksgiving.
1. Kristin thinks it doens’t matter, we should play it whenever we want. She loves christmas music. debate to be continued.

Tina Y reminded us that we have the day off Friday!

Eleanor is really pleased that she opened her Organics to You box and found out that starting next week produce from the north portland farm will be included in it! Yay!

Zach is going to miss everyone when he goe son vacation. But he will be back on the 30th. Leaves next Friday, 11, 11, 11 on his amazing birthday!

David C wants to share tons of love with all. Have mercy!

Our Vision is a World Where

Meaningful connection to one another, to the land, to the community is not limited but supported, appreciated, and celebrated.

We Believe That

  • Meaningful work accompanied by fair wage is a human right.
  • All people have gifts to contribute to the community.
  • Everyone deserves a supportive environment, regardless of one’s challenges.
  • A sense of purpose, offered by a valued activity, is essential for all.
  • Art making is both a valid path in life and a valid career choice.
  • Everyone is unique and deserves a tailored, supportive environment so that they may thrive.
  • Everyone is an artist, student, and a teacher.
  • The relationship with one’s food source is essential for a healthy life.
  • Learning is a life long task and privilege

Our Goals Are

Project Grow is a progressive program for adults of all mental diversities that aims to:

  • Advocate for the rights of all to meaningfully connect with the community.
  • Establish careers in farming and the arts where there previously was no opportunity for fairly compensated labor.
  • Allow everyone to experience self-satisfaction and growth through farming and artistic expression.
  • Move away from a culture of segregation to one of integration and appreciation.
  • Support everyone in exploring their passions and experiencing growth by providing an encouraging and appreciative environment.
  • Embrace the unique gifts and challenges that each individual possesses.
  • Share the art work and harvested produce with the community and fairly compensate the artists and farmers involved.
  • Collaborate with other artists, fostering meaningful connections within the art community.


Natasha Wheat, an internationally exhibiting interdisciplinary, socially engaged artist, proposed Project Grow to Port City Developmental Center, a vocational day program in Portland, Oregon, in January of 2009. Project Grow was founded on the principle that adults with developmental disabilities deserve the right to create and share meaningful art, establish a closer relationship with their food source, and lead a physically healthier life.

Within nine months, Project Grow saw the launch of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) from its thriving farm, had several gallery exhibitions, focused on general wellness, and developed strong and persistent relationships with the neighborhood and the community around it. The artists and farmers of the program have earned paychecks from art sold, lessons taught, and as recognition of their efforts and contribution to the farm.

As an innovative and progressive program, Project Grow continues to lead a dynamic existence. Today, the North Portland Farm established by Project Grow has developed satellite locations and continues to seek more opportunities to do so in order to accommodate the demand and offer fair wage to more farmers. Monthly events hosted by by Project Grow, such as lectures, concerts, and workshops, are establishing the studio and farm as a radical and inclusive cultural center for the community.