About Us


At Growing Gardens, we believe:

All people have the right to healthy, culturally appropriate food.

Trust, honesty, open-mindedness, and accountability are essential to building meaningful relationships.

Quality of life is improved when we respect and honor our environment and realize the interconnection of all things.



We facilitate...

garden-based learning opportunities that encourage curiosity, honor lived experience, incorporate sustainable practices, and deepen understanding of our local environment. 


We foster...

connections between people and the land, food and health, education and job opportunities that improve quality of life. 


We practice...

critical self-reflection and constant un-learning of racism and internalized oppression, making the unconscious conscious, and shifting power towards groups that have been historically marginalized.


We build...

long-lasting relationships, bringing people together over shared food and culture, meaningful dialogue, and collaborative action.


We are committed to undoing racism

From early settler-colonists that enacted violence, assimilation, and removal of the Indigenous communities, to the “black exclusion laws” that made it illegal for black people to live in Oregon, to the internment of people of Japanese descent in WWII, Oregon has a long history of racism and discrimination against people of color. Likewise, the City of Portland has enacted its share of racist laws and practices that have served to disenfranchise communities of color and separate them from the land. This history and context is important as it informs the trauma that communities of color have experienced, and deeply rooted racism that must be addressed in order to shift power and develop real solutions to family health and food insecurity. 

We use the Anti-Racist Principles developed by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond to guide the decisions and direction of the organization to be in alignment with undoing racism. These are:

  • Analyzing Power
    Developing Leadership
    Identifying and Analyzing Manifestations of Racism
    Learning from History
    Maintaining Accountability
    Sharing Culture
    Undoing Internalized Racial Oppression
    Undoing Racism

Our Mission

Growing Gardens uses the experience of growing food in schools, backyards and correctional facilities to cultivate healthy, equitable communities.

Our Vision

Growing Garden’s vision is for everyone to have equal access to healthy food and to be stewardesses of our own communities through sharing of resources, educating each other, and learning new skills.

Our Story

It all started in 1984 with Dan Barker’s home gardening project. As a result, more than 1400 home gardens were built between 1983 and 1996. Soon after, it became the Portland Home Garden Project in 1996. However, it was soon apparent that our mission was much bigger and more diverse, so in 1998 we officially became Growing Gardens.



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