Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Sunday, January 15, 2012
The Growing Importance of Local Farming
In the Portland Metro area, the popularity of farmers markets and local agriculture continues to grow, fueled by small-scale farms that emphasize sustainability. Given Lake Oswego's focus on sustainability, small farms are vital to the local food system that urban Oregonians celebrate every week emphasized by crowding into our local farmer's markets. The Oregon Farmers’ Markets Association estimates the number of farmers markets in the state has grown from 12 to 158 since 1987.
In addition to Farmers Markets there are more than 50 Community Supported Agriculture plots (CSA) located in the Portland Metro area.
Here we are fortunate to have our own CSA located at Luscher Farm associated with over 150 Lake Oswego Community Garden plots for our local citizens. The Luscher Farm Community Supported Agriculture project is a joint venture between the 47th Avenue Farm and Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation. Owner Laura Masterson began the 47th Avenue Farm over 17 years ago in the Woodstock neighborhood of S.E. Portland in order to provide top quality fresh local produce. The CSA project has expanded over the years and now manages land throughout the Metro area including Luscher Farm and the goals and dedication to quality have remained the same.
The CSA model offers a unique opportunity to strengthen the relationship between farmers and consumers. Local residents reap the benefit of each season’s bountiful harvest. Members come to the farm through the growing seasons to pick up their sustainably grown produce. In this way, the farmer and families form a network of mutual support. In addition to the great produce, the CSA offers members a chance to really get to know their farmers and learn more about sustainable farming and gardening. As an addition to the CSA and Community Gardens at Luscher Farm we are also fortunate to have Oregon Tilth. Oregon Tilth is a nonprofit research and education membership organization dedicated to biologically sound and socially equitable agriculture. They offer educational events throughout the State of Oregon plus providing organic certification services to organic growers, processors, and handlers internationally.
Oregon Tilth’s demonstration garden at Luscher Farm occupies over 6,000 square feet of rich, cultivated soil. The garden features a variety of organic food growing demonstrations, from year round gardening to urban composting techniques. This garden is a teaching tool for the public to learn about organic gardening techniques and serves as a hands-on classroom workshop. Their goal is to educate urban gardeners about the ease and abundance of organic gardening and supply them with the resources needed to put organic and sustainable techniques into practice.
With the increasing awareness for the importance of sustainability, growing ones own food, and buying locally it is crucial that Luscher Farm remain a resource for the citizens of Lake Oswego. As a matter of fact the latest phone survey done by the city in November of 2011 shows that 77% of the residents supported the Luscher Farm urban agriculture program over sports fields. Sadly our City Council and Parks and Recreation Department might choose short term regional sports fields over long term sustainability fields. Please let them know how important it is for our community that Luscher Farm remain a farm.
For more information about Luscher Farm please go to the city website http://www.ci.oswego.or.us/parksrec/Luscher/default.htm
or to The Friends of Luscher Farm blogsite
Monday, October 10, 2011
Periodically we need to put our two cents into the public forum.
If we don't do this we run the risk of people forgetting that we face
some serious challenges to the future of Lusher Farm.
Here's the latest Opinion piece sent into the Review and Oregonian:
Since January of 2011 there has been a push to change the basic personality and usage of Luscher Farm.
The Parks and Recreation Department has visions of ball fields overlaid on top of fertile farmland and turning the Community Gardens into a backdrop for public and private events. Parks and Recreation does not recognize that there is a desire not only to have a place to grow one’s own food, but for a respite from the urban noise we all have to endure. We all need open and non-developed spaces to breath. Forested paths to walk along and room for children to explore and stretch their imaginations.
There seems to be a disconnect between Parks and Recreation and what is happening food wise. There is a huge ground swell of local and national support for buying and growing food locally.
In this month’s Clackamas County “Going Beyond Green” publication there is an article about the 2011 School Garden Grant Project. Having children engaged in physical and academic school garden activities.
The Oregonian’s July Homes and Gardens featured Sustainable Bounty: growing your own food at home or in a Community Garden.
Even a New Seasons Market advertisement says “Let’s hear it for Home Grown” and Lake Oswego Review October’s special publication showcases our Farmers Market and Oregon Tilth’s demonstration garden at Luscher Farm.
Meanwhile the Parks and Recreation Department’s latest plan for Luscher Farm would move the CSA and Oregon Tilth Demonstration Gardens. Why would anyone place a ball field on top of land that has been feeding families for the last 7 years? Wouldn’t it make sense to place a ball field elsewhere? We need to keep our CSA fields exactly where they are and we want to keep Oregon Tilth located here at Luscher Farm.
Lake Oswego is located next to cities that are investing in land and protecting their open lands to potential inappropriate development and or destruction.
Here are some fine examples:
West Linn’s Oak Savannah: Grass root volunteers have been raising funds and working on restoring these 14 acres for the last 5 years. 100 Oak seedlings have been planted and non-native invasives are being eradicated .
The city of Tigard recently acquired 43 acres of unspoiled park land. This will eventually help link natural areas stretching from Beaverton to the Tualatin National Wildlife River.
Hagg Lake: owned by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, maintained and operated by Washington County, the Park features numerous picnic areas, two boat launching facilities, a fully stocked lake for fishing, more than 15 miles of hiking trails, and observation decks for wildlife and bird watching.
The Tualatin Hills Nature Park is a 220-acre wildlife reserve in the heart of Beaverton, Oregon. It is made up of evergreen and deciduous forests, creeks, wetlands, ponds and meadows. There are approximately 5 miles of trails. About 1.5 miles are paved, the rest are well maintained soft surface trails.
There are plenty of other places in Lake Oswego to place ball fields if indeed more are needed. The Armory comes to mind along with that stretch of land along Iron Mountain Boulevard past the Hunt Club. Let’s leave our dear Luscher Farm a Farm .
After all- we already have 27 Parks, 13 School Facilities, 9 Recreational Facilities and 22 Natural and Open Spaces but we only have one Farm.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Please attend the Lake Oswego City Council
Study Session July 12th at 6pm
We are not allowed to testify, but we do
need to show up and observe and take notes.
There are many issues within this Master Plan.
Read through very carefully this staff report:
They thoroughly outlined the public process to make it look extensive and complete. And on page 4 it suggests that it doesn't need to go thru the planning commission. And of course since they didn't ask about farming in any of the surveys, then they can now say that farming didn't show up as having much interest...
Friday, July 8, 2011
We are partnering with LOStewards.
Why? Because we share the same
beliefs in "true sensitive lands".
We believe that our city should care
for our public lands as much as we
care for our private property.
It's as simple as that!
Please go to their web site and check it out!
then go to the city's Master Plan for Luscher Farm
and see what damage they plan for our precious farm:
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Hedgerow is just the beginning of restoring wildlife habitat.
This will be demolished with the new plan
Mayor Jack Hoffman firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilor Mary Olson email@example.com
Councilor Mike Kehoe firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilor Jeff Gudman email@example.com
Councilor Bill Tierney firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilor Donna Jordan email@example.com
Councilor Sally Moncrieff firstname.lastname@example.org
We received the following email yesterday from Parks and Recreation Department. After reading and going over it thoroughly we cannot support this plan. Luscher Farm should never be brought into the UGB and shold actually have it's own special code.
Bringing it into the UGB will only enable the developers free access to our beloved Luscher Farm. Notice how Luscher Farm is not called Luscher farm, but rather Luscher Area. Please go online and comment and spread the word. The link is noted below. We are only given until July 10th to comment.
Did you provide comments on the Luscher Area Site Plan Yet?
On June 15, 2011 the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board met to review the refined Luscher Area Site Plan. The meeting included a presentation on the background of the properties associated with the plan, the site plan and on the site design. Public comment was taken after the presentation. The Advisory Board took public comments and findings from system plan needs analysis into consideration and directed the design team to make site plan modifications.
To view these changes and provide your comments please visit the webpage at
The comment period will be available June 27, 2011 to July 10, 2011.
Parks Project Manager