Hazelwood garden plots snapped up by neighborhood farmers

Wow! The only way to get a plot at this outer NE Portland Community Garden is to hope a farmer there drops out! See what all the fuss is about …

In the shadow of the “famous” Hazelwood water tower, Sharon Ducy tends her garden.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
At one time, the property under the Hazelwood water tower was a fenced-off field, sitting unused.

Then, along came Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard, who transformed the unused Hazelwood Water building into the neighborhood coalition’s headquarters – and the field behind it into a park-like setting called the Hazelwood Hydro-Park.

Now, in cooperation with the Portland Water Bureau, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) has opened a Community Garden on the site.

Leslie Pohl-Kosbau, Community Gardens Director for PP&R, and parks advocate Linda Robinson welcome people to the new Community Garden in Hazelwood.

Plots snapped up quickly
On opening day, a couple of weeks ago, we learned from PP&R Community Gardens Director Leslie Pohl-Kosbau that all of the 27 plots had already been spoken for.

“But, there may be some people who drop out during the year,” commented Pohl-Kosbau. “Some people move away; others find it’s too much work. Citywide, there over 750 people waiting to get into a community garden.”

Naomi Olin waters plants on her Community Garden Plot in Hazelwood.

Neighbor Naomi Olin said she lives close by, and likes the idea of a community garden. “It’s fun to be a part of the community, and share some involvement with of our neighbors.”

Sharon Ducy, who lives near Glendoveer Golf Course, said she was happy to have gotten one of the 27 20′ x 20′ garden plots. “I’m planting Swiss chard, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, peppers, and hot peppers. It’s much better to grow food yourself; I love to garden.”

Painting the new “barn” at the Hazelwood Community Garden is Darcy Cronin, Portland Water Bureau Facilities Services Specialist.

Pohl-Kosbau said the Parks Bureau is working to develop more capacity in outer East Portland. “We’re developing gardens; the demand is huge. It’s harder to find land in the inner core of the city.”

Find out more
If you want to get on the waiting list, or learn more, call PP&R (503) 823-1612.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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