Archive for January, 2010

Introducing our new school garden interns!


GROWINGGARDENS’ Youth Grow Program is currently partnered with three Northeast Portland schools in offering after-school garden programming and support for establishing sustainable edible school gardens and programs.  To help with Youth Grow’s work at these schools, the Program  recently took on two amazing interns to help at two of our partner sites.  We are very excited to introduce you to these two amazing women!

Andryce Anderson was born and raised in Alaska, the Land of the Midnight Sun.  She remembers helping as a child at home in the garden, harvesting the super-sized rhubarb, cabbage, and carrots that Alaska’s extended summer sunlight produces.  She now experiments in her own urban plot here in Portland. Watering is one of her many favorite activities in the garden, as it is a great time to check out new growth and discover what the harvest will bring.  She enjoys turning the compost and watching the worms squiggling through the dirt, magically transforming rotten food and organic matter into beautiful dark soil.

As Garden Intern at Shaver Elementary, Andryce looks forward to helping inspire the Garden Committee design and plan their future school garden.  Shaver Elementary is in the beginning stages of implementing a garden and has great possibilities with a lot of available sunny space.  The Garden Committee includes enthusiastic teachers and supportive principal, as well as a SUN coordinator and Growing Gardens involvement.

Andryce is excited to watch Shaver Elementary grow!  She plans to help connect and incorporate even more of the Shaver community by translating parent forms and student activities into Spanish. Equally, she is eager to grow as well, by learning more about gardening and working within the community.


Colleen Connolly moved to Portland more than a year ago, after falling in love with the lush environment and perfect gardening opportunities that Portland offers. She remembers harvesting from her grandmother’s enormous garden in her youth and the amazing rhubarb and berry pies that came from it! Colleen desires to share the joy of growing edible gardens with everyone, especially youth. Colleen has a growing love for farm animals, dreaming that one day she will have a pair of alpacas and a goat!  If she isn’t helping in your garden, you can find her in her own backyard watering her carrots or trying to hug her three chickens, Eleanor, Sadie Ann, and Penelope John.

As a Garden Intern at Faubion Elementary, Colleen looks forward to her involvement with the After School Garden Club, helping to develop materials and teach the Faubion youth.

The School Garden at Faubion is growing bigger with help of a dedicated and hardworking committee of teachers, parents, and Growing Gardens contribution. Supporting the garden committee and community is essential to Colleen’s role as Garden Intern. You can pick up a shovel and meet Colleen at a Faubion Elementary garden work party!  Also, she will be on hand to help install home gardens with Youth Grow families from the community.


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A little work goes a long way

GROWINGGARDENS Youth Grow Program is currently in its second year of its partnership with Faubion K-8, located in the Concordia neighborhood of Northeast Portland. This past fall,  Youth Grow Staff worked with the Garden Committee at Faubion to develop a plan for improving the visibility of the school’s garden space. The group decided to plan a work party in early December to bring together the school community.  The Garden Coordinator and School’s Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) Manager, as well as several parents, teachers, and GROWINGGARDENS staff offered to help with preparations, including obtaining materials (such as wood chips and wood to use to frame the garden paths) as well as connecting with a nearby church to get access to an indoor space for parents and kids to use during the work party. And, most admirably, Lily, a very committed Faubion SUN Garden Club student, offered to go with the SUN Manager to meet with the principal to request bulletin board space in the school, and she and her sister offered to help at the work party.

The work party took place on a  chilly Saturday in early December, and despite the foggy winter weather, the party was a great success.  Ten parents, students, school staff, and community members attended.  The work party participants helped rake and remove debris, removed asters, dug and replanted native plants, and built new garden paths.  There were also many chances to drink cocoa and tea, color butterflies, and snack on treats made by the Faubion Garden Coordinator (and baker extraordinaire). In the end the group was surprised at how much work they were able to accomplish-and how much better the garden looked after only a day of work!

The winter term of Faubion SUN School Garden Club is just getting started, and the students and teachers are getting excited to learn and grow in their new and improved garden space.  Stay tuned for more updates!

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Just Sprouting…

Welcome to the GROWINGGARDENS’ Blog!

We will be using this space to share stories about our work addressing hunger and food insecurity in Portland, OR.

GROWINGGARDENS digs at the root of hunger by:

  • Building organic home gardens in urban backyards,
  • Collaborating with local schools to establish edible school gardens and garden clubs, and training teachers and community members to serve as school garden coordinators,
  • Providing workshops to families and the broader community covering gardening, cooking, preserving, urban chicken-keeping, and more!

Check this space regularly for Home Garden and Youth Grow updates, stories, recipes, gardening tips, and much more!

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