Monday, December 14, 2009

As the winter months approach...

The weather may be getting colder, but students at Vestal are still busy at work in the garden. 7th and 8th grade students spread compost and marked out where our raised planters will be located. We will begin construction of raised planter beds in January after winter break. More information about a raised planter work party coming soon.

Chad Honl, a 7th grade teacher at Vestal and a driving force behind the garden, recently received the Bill Naito Community Trees Award.
You can read more about it here:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bring your gardening skills to the classroom!

Every class at Vestal School that gardens needs volunteers, and one of them could be you. This is a great opportunity to learn more about gardening or put your gardening knowledge to good use. Teachers will be working on several different projects that require a variety of skills, materials, and time. Whether it be weekly, monthly, or occasional visits to the garden, we appreciate all you can do.

All volunteers must pass a background check. Please contact Laura Benjamin, NWSA Americorps Garden Coordinator at for more information.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sign-up for a community garden plot!

A 20'x20' plot costs $75 per year. Financial assistance is available.
If you are interested in a plot or more information please contact the
Portland Community Gardens office at 503-823-1612 or with the following information: your full name, complete mailing address, and current phone number(s). And you can learn more at

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Vestal students are working to make our garden grow.

The Student Garden Committee finished construction on the greenspace kiosk under the guidance of Tim Hahn of Learning Gardens Institute. In the coming weeks, students will paint the kiosk and create fliers and brochures to inform students, parents, and community members about our work to bring natural spaces to Vestal.
As winter approaches, we put the garden to bed and bring our work indoors, saving seeds and planning for spring planting.
And the first shed is complete. Thanks again to Women in Trades for their construction expertise.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

We Have Water!

Our garden now has a fantastic irrigation system. Soil and compost are currently being delivered and Vestal students will be busy making planter beds in preparation for our winter planting. The students are eager to start working in the garden and the newly formed Student Garden Committee has been brainstorming on possible garden activities for the whole school. Keep an eye out for our garlic and cover crops and stay tuned for a new video update.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The first shed is nearly finished.

We have witnessed the great work Women in Trades has done on the first shed and it looks great.
What is next?
This week we introduce our new garden coordinator. Her name is Laura Benjamin and she will be a regular at Vestal School and in the Montavilla neighborhood. Welcome, Laura.
She has a very exciting and unique opportunity helping us get the Vestal Garden up and running. Making our dream a reality.
If you are interested in learning more about the garden and the impact this project will have on the students in the community please check out this video.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wow! Can you believe it!

For years Vestal parents, students, and teachers have advocated for a gardening space. What started out in raised beds on the south side of the building will now have a bigger space in the northwest corner of the playground.

This year the gardening committee raised roughly 110k in grants and in-kind donations to create Vestal Community Gardens.

Vestal Community Gardens will be a space for families and community members to cultivate gardens and relationships.