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Food Gardening


Dr. Tolman in the Washington Post

Washington Post article | PDF of article

The Sustainable Sites Initiative (http://www.sustainablesites.org/) is an interdisciplinary effort by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the United States Botanic Garden to create voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices. The Initiative seeks to achieve for landscapes what the U.S. Green Building Council has accomplished in the design and construction of ecologically-friendly buildings, commonly called LEED buildings (Leadership in Energy and Efficient Design). Working with volunteer experts, the Initiative’s staff is preparing the report with prerequisites that professionals would use to design, build and maintain sustainable landscapes. Some of these practices include using recycled rain and household water for irrigation, improving soil health with compost, choosing plants suited for the site and its climate, avoiding chemicals that contribute to water pollution, and using vegetation to reduce the heat island effect of cities. The enterprise’s website features selected case studies from across the U.S. on how ecologically-sustainable gardens might be built. Dr. Deborah Tolman was the imaginator, designer, implementer, and educator for one such case study: the Malolepsy/Battershell Residence in Portland, Oregon.

Check out our new web store!

Available soon: copies of The Guide for $15 and our new 'got worms?' t-shirt! Click here to check it out!

Keep Portland Weird!: A Community Festival

Join us November 8th from 11am - 4pm at the Multnomah County's Central Library for the Keep Portland Weird Festival.  We'll be seated on the 3rd floor in the Collins Gallery showing you how to make paper lint and handing out other weird tips from our guide!  See you then! Download the flier PDF here.


Muddy Boot Organic Festival

September 5-7, 2008
St. Philip Neri Church

Mark your calendars! The 3rd annual Muddy Boot Organic Festival will take place September 6th & 7th and the keynote address will take place Friday, September 5th, and will feature agricultural visionary Dr. Wes Jackson.


Brian Rohter, CEO of New Seasons Market will make opening remarks. Tickets are $15 and are available here.



The festival is held at St. Philip Neri Church at 2408 SE 16th Avenue (near 18th & Division) in Portland, Oregon.


5th Annual Portland Tour de Coops

Tour De Coops 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008. 11am-3pm

This year's tour includes over 20 coops, a bicycle tour of the chicken coops in cooperation with Shift, and a raffle to win your very own chicken coop! 

Tickets/Tour Booklets:

Tour Booklets pre-sales will start at People's Coop and Garden Fever! on July 18th. Day-of Tour Booklets will also be sold on July 26th from 10:30am-1pm at both locations.  The tour booklets are $5/person or $3/biker and contain all information necessary for taking the tour.

Go By Bike!

Arrive at People's Co-op at 12PM to fill out a waiver & get snacks, the ride will leave at 12:30.

T-shirts and raffle tickets for a chicken coop will also be on sale during the tour!

Garden Fever! is located at 3433 NE 24th Ave (just South of Fremont).  People's Food Coop is located at 3029 SE 21st Ave.


Make your own bottle path!

  1. Use the whole bottle, flat-bottomed ones only

  2. Pound with a rubber mallet into partially dug out hard soil

  3. Fill to the top with pea gravel

  4. Exactly one year from completion, every bottle will have a native fern inside
  5. It's the nature of spores and the right conditions for germination

Now Available at Multnomah County Library!

May 12, 2008


Due to popular demand, the Tolman Guide will be available for borrowing from Multnomah County Library.  Two copies were delivered to the library the past month, and will be available soon for Portland residents.  Tolman, Lasley, and Parker are continuing to research publishers for wider distribution. 


Press Release: The Tolman Guide to Green Living in Portland

February 26, 2008


Is it possible to eat healthy and organic on $7.00 a day? A new resource guide on living green in Portland says “Yes It Is.” To get you started, The Tolman Guide to Green Living focuses on Portland’s area neighborhoods and offers over 230 tips on simple, sustainable, and affordable do-it-yourself projects in the categories of water, air, energy, food gardening, biodiversity, and processes. The guide is a compilation of many sources such as books, peer-reviewed journals, popular journals, magazines, newspapers, technical manuals, brochures, and websites with photos of examples from Portland neighborhoods. A Natural Resource class offered through Portland State University’s Geography Department initiated the effort in spring of 2006 and Michelle Lasley and Joe Parker have packaged the final form. The project prompted Portland State University Professional Development Funds to provide printing materials while the Geography Department at PSU provided the printer and as a result of the grant money, the authors want to give away the first 100 hard copies. The Tolman Guide on green living practices in and around the home is now available to the first 100 people who request it. You can get your free hard copy at one of three places: Metro’s Solid Waste and Recycling (600 NE Grand Ave.), Ecotrust (721 NW Ninth Ave., Suite 200), or Portland’s Office of Sustainable Development (721 NW 9th Ave., Suite 350). A free PDF is available online at www.tolmanguide.geog.pdx.edu. You may also contact us at tolmanguide@pdx.edu for more information.


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Cover:  Illustration by Dianne Tolman, a small business owner of Big Pine Native Plants.

© 2008 Deborah Tolman, Ph.D., Michelle Lasley, and Joe Parker