Zenger Farm Loves You

July 21, 2011 |  by  |  Vendor Profiles
Photo courtesy of Zenger FarmAccording to Sarah Cogan, the farm manager of Portland’s sweetheart urban farm, Zenger Farm, there are two major challenges for Zenger these days, “Weeeeeeeeeeeds! And also geeeeeeeeeeese!”. 

For those of us whose challenges look more like returning important phone calls, and getting to work on time, Sarah’s answer may need a little more context to make sense.

Zenger Farm operates on city-owned land, adjacent to a 10-acre protected wetland in southeast Portland. Being close to protected wetland has its benefits, like water storage and wildlife habitat, but it also has its downsides, “it can be a tense relationship between farm and wetland, when flocks of Canadian Geese help themselves to the buffet of tasty items on the hillside,” Sarah clarifies.

Zenger’s location is not only important for the geese, but also for the neighborhoods of Montavilla, Lents, and Powellhurst-Gilbert. Zenger believes in staying close to home when selling their delicious, community-grown produce, so Montavilla was a natural fit, “we are dedicated to keeping our food as close to the farm as possible. So, located only 4 miles from the farm, the Montavilla Market was the obvious next market for us,” says Sarah.

Walk up to the Zenger vendor stall at the Montavilla market on Sunday, and you’ll see more than just freshly harvested produce. You’ll see the work of dozens of community members and volunteers who treat Zenger Farm as their own. With multiple opportunities to get involved, Zenger Farm truly makes an effort to bring food and farm education to the Portland masses.

If you’ve always been curious about seeing where your food comes from, or want to get involved in the farm to fork movement, Zenger’s doors are wide open. Every Friday from 2-5pm, Zenger Farm opens their large, southeast Portland space to the community. There is a volunteer work party from 2-4, a Farm Tour from 4-5, or you can take a self-guided tour anytime during those hours. The most important thing? Come ready to learn.

Zenger loves introducing new produce to kids and adults alike, and offers plenty of opportunities to learn what to do with that bizarre looking brassica you just picked up at market. And in the end, that’s what makes it all worth it; happy people getting involved with their food at the farm.

Geese and weeds included.

-Nicolette Smith


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