Imagine a farm where you can sign up for a plot in an organic community garden, receive sustainably grown produce through a Community Supported Agriculture program, take organic gardening classes taught by Oregon Tilth, sign your children up for classes and camps to learn about gardening, cooking, and farm life, or just spend a day exploring this beautiful working farm. This is Luscher Farm, a unique urban farm and park owned by Lake Oswego and open to the public.
On Saturday, under a warm spring sun, I toured the grounds with Monique Terner, coordinator of the classes and camps for the Children’s Garden. As we walked over the soft fertile land, we had a wonderful conversation about things close to our hearts: sustainability, local economies creating strong communities, and education about raising awareness of where our food comes from. Monique is passionate about offering a place where children can dig in the dirt and discover the bounty that the earth can yield. To that end, the Children’s Garden offers classes and camps as well as opportunities for school field trips.
Monique showed me the greenhouse where tiny plants are bursting out at the start of their growing season. In partnership with Luscher Farm 47th Avenue Farm grows produce here for their CSA program.
Before long, these seedlings will be planted in the surrounding fields where they will turn into food for the lucky people who sign up for their CSA shares. There is something deeply satisfying in investing in farmers who grow food right where we live. And when we invest in locally grown food, we take the food system back to our communities where it belongs.
After Monique and I finished the tour, she introduced me to Amber and Brice Anderson who are the caretakers of the farm. Amber also works for a new online venture called FarmMade, a marketplace where farmers can sell their handmade crafts and goods. It made me appreciate how much farmers are an integral part of our communities, not only for the food they grow, but for all the products they craft and sell. They connect us to the earth and land around us, and when we buy locally grown and handmade products, we start building the foundation for strong communities that are sustainable and healthy. These are the gifts of our farms.
Thank you Monique and Amber, for sharing your time and passions with me. It’s a real joy to connect with people who are working to make our communities vibrant places to live.