At TLC Farm, Portland's sustainability movements are creating one example of how urban density human habitat can coexist with thriving food systems and native ecologies. Our demonstration projects, all of which are workshopped and volunteer-run, illustrate how specific technologies and practices work, and how they can interconnect.
Of course, you're welcome to come and walk through the land, learning from the signs along the self-guided tour. But the best way to get involved and learn about what it's like to build a new world, is to help create it alongside the rest of us!
The areas we're focused on are:
We intend to wean ourselves from city water, and to catch and use as much of our stormwater as possible (while keeping all our inside places dry). Our planning calls for bioremediation for runoff, multiple rainwater cisterns, multiple irrigation/aquaculture ponds, greywater systems, keyline swales, and possibly a nanohydro generation system.
TLC Farm currently manages a flock of chickens and herd of goats, and hosts several honeybee hives. The goats especially offer a wealth of volunteer opportunities: learn to milk goats, tend to their needs, and help them eat our blackberries. The goat working group meets irregularly; contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get connected.
Starting with the edges of the forest, and moving inwards, we are improving the native habitat function of the land. At the same time as we are managing invasive species like ivy, blackberry, thistle, garlic mustard, knotweed, and the like, we are planning long-term perennial plant systems that will create environments conducive to native plants and animals. Contact email@example.com for more details.
Primarily focused on food production using standard organic and permaculture techniques: sheet mulching for weed control, interplanting, insectivories, etc. Primarily annuals and small perennials. Coordinated through the Garden working group, which has regular meetings.
Planning and implementing multi-story food forests both within existing native forest and orchard areas, and from scratch. In the medium-term we intend to establish a Food Forest Research Center in collaboration with local permaculturists, educational institutions, and urban policy planners. The purpose will be to develop experimental trials of various micro-habitat configurations and assess human food productivity, native habitat suitability, and human habitat usability. The goal will be to identify combinations that can be used on both public and private land to create corridors of stacked habitat and function. We are starting to meet on Tuesdays (child care coop!) to plan and implement food forest designs.
Working with volunteer professional architects, designers, and builders, TLC Farm pushes the envelope for regenerative design in Portland: built environments that are fully integrated into energy, water, food ("waste"), and habitat cycles with the rest of the local ecology. This includes a wide variety of demonstration natural building techniques (strawbale infill, cob, light straw/clay, earthen plaster, earthen paint, poured earth, earthbag, etc.). Saturday work parties frequently include a building element.
The easiest way to get connected is to come out to a workparty on Thursday or Saturday. Or contact us. Together, we're building a better world!