Mission Statement

The Urban Farmers of SE Portland hope to create, through distributed and collaborative effort, varieties of crops that are well-suited to our soils, climate and farming methods in adequate quantities to meet the demand of local food security.

Why Seeds are Important

For those who use sustainable, organic methods to farm in urban areas, seed saving is something deserving of a bit of reverence.  It is, after all, how we have some measure of control over there being a next year’s crop, no matter what happens with the finances or the winter.  Both of those things have become more volatile as of late, and it’s just the beginning of a larger change.  Making sure you’re prepared is always a good idea, and saving seed is the most fundamental way to ensure that Urban Farmers can continue and improve their Art for the next year.

Farmers are able to shave a significant amount off their budgets when able to propigate seed during the lean months of early spring.  It takes a large amount of seed to manage cover crops.  When the power of distributed networking is employed to increase seed, farmers are able to spread it around to people and places that can use it.

A Call to Growing

Let’s face it, Portland: we’re behind the times.  We should have started farming this town like mad 5 years sooner, but we can do our best to catch up in 2010.

Your Urban Farmers want to show you how to grow food and save seed, too.  Totally unscientific estimates based upon farmer-reckoning would suggest that 2 out of every 3 yards in Portland would have to be “farmed up” to make a serious dent in our total food needs, including the use of small-scale grains and pulses.

This is, of course, totally do-able.  You can help by planting up even a few containers with soil and growing out some seed.  From the average packet of seed suitable to an average-sized plot of ~200sf, letting 10% of the “crop” go to seed should result in anywhere from 4-100x the seed you started w ith.

Imagine growing the seed that got 100 more people involved in growing seed (and food) — we could get up to speed in just a few years, but NOW is a very good time to start.

Get Involved

On this website, you’ll be able to find all the resources you’ll need to support your really hard-working, purveyor of Ultra-local food, including:

Some non-profit organizations ask if you can help — we want to help you save town from your own yard, eat well, get well-intimate with your food and, by association, improve your health and the larger community around you.

This is the kind of project where everyone benefits, regardless of how they choose to participate.  Most can learn how to grow her or his own food (and save money to eat better), but even the brownest thumbs can find a farmer in the neighbourhood who will grow food for them.

Sellwood Garden Club - Saving Tomatoes - Aug '09

The second part of any seed saving operation is the harvest and preparation of the cleaning process. Fruits are cleaned wet and then dried, while all types of "naked" and dry-encapsulated seed are separated and sorted after a humidity-controlled dessication.