Monday, December 30, 2013

Oregon School Garden Summit 2013!

Our next presentation will be at the Oregon School Garden Summit!
We are excited to share our work, growth and knowledge with the rest of Oregon's gardeners. Furthermore, we look forward to learning from others as well to see how we might grow as an organization too! 
Information for the event is below!

We hope to see you there!

Please join us for a day of learning, sharing, and networking:
First Annual Oregon School Garden Summit
Monday, January 13th, 2014
Time: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Cost: $55 for advance registration
Loation: 4-H Conference Center in Salem, Oregon

We made it on the cover!

Planting Communities summer reading program at the Woodburn Public Library made it on the cover of Out and About! Pretty sweet! Out & About is Woodburn's Park and Recreation's guide to local activities.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It's Official!!!

Today Planting Communities received a letter from the IRS saying that we are a recognized tax exempt organization!!!! A full on 501c3! Thanks everyone for your help, contributions, efforts and encouragement on our way to becoming an organization we desire to be. Keep us in your mind as you go about making tax-deductible contributions this year.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Thank you After School Club volunteers!!

Thanks to the wonderful, hard working volunteers in the After School Migrant program the Mrs. Isabel Montemayor Memorial Garden is looking good again. Although it is far from complete, the garden is starting to take shape and look good again. We worked one hour after school for nine days! Each day the volunteer/students worked in the garden with enthusiasm, vigor and in respectful cooperative groups. Over the course of our time we covered, some math, soil composition, soil life, reusable materials, some carpentry skills, seed planting, and natural gardening practices (plus a lot of hard work). The volunteers were also participating in school during the morning hours, working on their education. In the afternoon, they would donate an hour of their time to update the Mrs. Isabel Montemayor Memorial Garden to prepare it for the elementary students that will be returning to school this fall.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Our next adventure...

We have ten or so 7th and 8th grade volunteers changing the looks of The Mrs. Isabel Montemayor Memorial Garden at Nellie Muir. Day 3 of 12! Pictures soon to come.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Grant awarded to After School Club! PC to help with programming.

The word is in... Planting Communities will be working with the Woodburn After School Program to establish a community/school garden at every school in Woodburn! Thanks to the hard work of the ASC folks and their efforts in getting us to be part of their grant we will make this dream a reality. Not only will there be a garden at every school but also a garden educational program at every school with a garden! Lots of work coming our way, let us know if you are interested in helping.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The reading of "The Curious Garden"

"The Curious Garden" was a hit! The Summer Reading Program: Dig into Reading has begun. We had a couple dozen children participating, getting their minds turning and their hands working. After reading aloud "The Curious Garden" we all went outside to plant the public library's very own curious garden. Everyone got to partake and plant their own little flower outside the children's section of the library. Hopefully this will keep them engaged in their own plants as well as take a little pride in the public space and their local public library.
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown, read aloud by Ian Niktab from Planting Communities.

Sprouting into action!

Giving some direction.

Planted and ready to grow.

Next up, Vermiculture with Brad Agenbroad and Planting Communities! This Wednesday, July 31st at the Woodburn Public Library.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Adult Summer Reading Program

Today at 3 p.m. Planting Communities will be at the Woodburn Public Library presenting for the Adult Summer Reading Program! Check out the info below...

 Planting Communities Gardening Workshop
Thursday, July  18, from 3-4 pm in the Multipurpose room

Planting Communities will be offering an informative gardening workshop to inspire you to get into gardening. Planting Communities is a non-profit organization that is helping the community of Woodburn enhance its ability to grow their own food, as well as provide a way to fight hunger and increase education about environmental justice issues. This workshop will be offered in English and Spanish. Sign-up at the Reference Desk.

Taller de Jardinería de Planting Communities  Jueves, 18 de julio, 3-4pm en la sala Multipurpose
Taller de Jardinería de Planting Communities  Jueves, 18 de julio, 3-4pm en la sala Multipurpose
Planting Communities está ofreciendo un taller de jardinería informativo para animarte a cuidar el jardín.  Planting Communities es una organización no lucrativa  que ayuda a la comunidad de Woodburn mejorar la capacidad para cultivar su apropia comida, así como proporcionar una manera de luchar contra el hambre y aumentar la conciencia de justicia ambiental. Ofrecido en inglés y español. Inscribirse en el escritorio de Referencia.

Monday, June 24, 2013

"Dig Into Reading"

Planting Communities will be working with the Woodburn Public Library this summer to help with their "dig into reading" program. We will be starting this year off with an amazing read aloud of "The Curious Gardener", then we will start our own public library garden! The children will also have some resources to take home that day. See you Wednesday, the 26th from 10:30 - 11:30 at the Woodburn Public Library. See you there, but until then enjoy the rain and happy gardening!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I, Ian drew this on my home desk about five years ago when dreaming up this non-profit!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Hurray for sunny garage sale weather!

Okay folks here you go! Sunday, June 2nd we will be having a Garage fundraising sale for PC! It will be from 10 - 3 at 683 N. Second Street, Woodburn. We hope to raise enough funds to help with our PR campaign, a website (an official one) and also buy some fine soil for our community gardens.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Garage sale postponed

The garage sale will be postponed until next weekend due to the heavy rains headed our way. However, we are sure the recently planted gardens will love another long week of rain. Check back later for details on time, place and day.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Garage sale fundraiser

Monday, May 27th we will be having a Garage fundraising sale for PC! It will be from 10 - 3 at 683 N. Second Street, Woodburn. We hope to raise enough funds to help with our PR campaign, a website (an official one) and also buy some fine soil for our community gardens.

Tomorrow!!! May 25th.

Community Garden work party tomorrow at the First Presbyterian Church. We will be planting the food bank side of the garden. In years past this side has donated roughly 3,500 pounds of produce to our local AWARE food pantry. Plant starts will be available grown by our own high school students, plus food and more. 8 - 12! 

Also, Erubiel will be working at the Radio Movimiento/PCUN/CLI complex in honor of veterans, like himself for Memorial Day. As Erubiel said "I am a US Veteran and if you could give me a memory, give me this one.. Come and work with me on a Saturday shoulder by shoulder". You can find Erubiel there from 9 - 1.

Come prepared to get muddy and come prepared for rain. Dress accordingly please.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Radio Movimiento update

Erubiel has been working hard at Radio Movimiento. The greenroof is blossoming and starting to look good. The bio-swale is weeded and growing back strong. Plus the veggie garden has some new updates! Erubiel will be having work parties at Radio Movimiento, Capaces Leadership Institute and PCUN every Saturday through June. Until then, check out the pictures.
Why not put a veggie garden there?!

Looking good!

The Trumpet vine trellis/arbor. Thanks Lazaro for the idea and work.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Thanks everyone!!!

Thanks to all the hard working families and volunteers for your work on Saturday! The Family Plot side is looking amazing and we accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. Still work to do but we have an amazing start. We are looking forward to seeing the plots blossom and grow with healthy food, beautiful flowers and new relationships.
Here are a few pictures from the day...

Our amazing families!!

On our way!
All in a days work!

Hope to see everyone and more this Saturday at our next work party! Same garden place, same garden thyme! We will be planting the food bank side of the garden and providing the finishing touches to the family plots side.

PS. Our thoughts go out to families in Oklahoma.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

This weekend! May 18th.

Reminder: Work party this weekend for the Family Plots at the First Presbyterian Garden on the corner of HWY 214 and Boones Ferry Road. 8 a.m. - Noon. 
Also this Saturday, Erubiel will be working with folks at the Capaces Leadership Institute (CLI) from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. This may include greenroof and bio-swale work. The CLI is located on the corner of Young and B Street. 

Whichever garden you go to please dress for the weather. Cool with a slight chance of rain, so they say. 
Gloves, boots, water, shovel, seeds ... check!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Up coming events for our largest garden!

Hello everyone,
Here is our next run of events. The following events will all be focused towards our largest garden, the First Presbyterian Church garden. It is roughly an acre in size, has provided space for 30 families to grow their own food (unfortunately on 15 or so families last year), a volunteer hot-spot and approximately 3,500 pounds of produce donated to the local food bank last year alone!

Hope to see you on one of the following dates!

May 9th, 2013 - Family plots meeting
Time: 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Where: The First Presbyterian Garden; 950 N. Boones Ferry Rd.
We will meet in Room 2, the Library, to discuss our garden policies, plot availability and work parties. We have around 35 spaces available this year and they are 8' x 16' size plots. 

May 18th, 2013 - Family Plots Work Day!

Time: TBA
Where: The First Presbyterian Garden; 950 N. Boones Ferry Rd.

Bring your gloves, shovels, seeds, plants and water bottle! Prepare to get dirty and transform space into place. We will be preparing the family plots, laying down cardboard and placing mulch in the pathways!

May 25th, 2013 - Planting!!!

Time: TBA
Where: The First Presbyterian Garden; 950 N. Boones Ferry Rd.

We will start the day by planting the food bank side of the garden. Please bring gloves and water. The list of plants to go in the ground include: tomatoes, peppers, beans, corn, gourds/squashes, flowers and more!!! See you there.

Please contact Ian or Nanette if you have any questions.
Nanette (971) 338 - 3413
Ian (503) 544 0401
or at

Join us to help build and feed ourselves as well as the community!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Washington Elementary in Honor of Earth Day event!

A job well done! Thank you community members, parents, students and teachers for helping revamp and beautify the Washington Elementary school garden. Thanks Al's Garden Center for the amazing soil as well. Thanks to the PSU students who lent a helping hand. PC could not have done this without all the help. Thank you all, once again. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Tomorrow!! April 20th!

One day left until our first event of the year! We will be turning a vision into something tangible. A dream into reality. A school into a community. A patch of grass into an outdoor classroom and garden, teeming with life, action, and growth. Even including decomposition! What a better way honor Earth Day?!

Where: Washington Elementary, Woodburn OR
Time: 9 - 12.
Date: April 20th, 2013
What: Building up and putting in a new garden. Moving mulch and soil. Constructing raised beds. Weeding. Planting. Talking. Knowing. Learning. Conversing. Growing Good!

Take care.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Washington Elementary Garden Earth Day Event!

Our first event of the year!!! We will be working in the Washington Elementary garden from 9 am -12 pm on Saturday the 20th. This event will be held in honor of Earth Day. We will be constructing beds, filling and topping-off the raised beds, mulching the pathways, weeding, planting, and having a good time turning vision into reality! Join us!

Day: April 20th
Time: 9 am - 12 pm
Where: Washington Elementary: 777 E. Lincoln Street Woodburn, OR 97071

Looks like we should be in for some decent weather. However, please bring gloves and dress appropriately.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tax-exemption?! Keep your fingers crossed!

Good news! Our tax-exemption paper work should be done soon and in the mail. Thanks to the hard working folks of the Willamette Law Center! We will make sure to keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A work schedule for Nuestra Zemlya Garden!

Here is a work schedule for Nuestra Zemlya Garden, located between Lincoln Elementary and French Prairie Middle School. 

Task For April - August
~Weeding & Pruning - twice per month - 2 hrs each
~ Planting & Watering - four times a month - 1 hr
~Construction projects (sign board, trellis, pathways, etc) - project dependent

Please contact Brad at

Happy volunteering. More to come as the season starts to take off, stay tuned!

Friday, March 29, 2013


Found this video on not too long ago. I thought I would share it with everyone. Gives me inspiration, a dream and vision for some of the work Planting Communities could do for our own town.
Enjoy and see you in the gardens.

PS. Stay tuned for volunteer opportunities. Coming soon!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Rain Garden app for iPhone users!

Hello everyone! With the rains upon us we just wanted to remind people about rain gardens. Not only is it another form of building community but rain gardens can also help revive local aquafers, help bring back native plants and provide multi-functional uses for the fauna and the family. Here is a link to an app that iPhone users can use to help with this process, As of now, none of us have personally used this app, but please let us know your thoughts. Happy gardening!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

"A Place at the Table"

Planting Communities is excited for the new movie "A Place at the Table". The latest newest film about our broken food system in America. No one should be hungry in a country of abundance. 

It comes out March 1st and will also be available on Itunes and On Demand. Check it out! We will.

PS. Even if you cannot see the film, we should all do our part to educate and help make sure everyone has equal access to healthy food. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Getting started

San Juana took some student out today to enjoy the sun and fresh winter air. It was an amazing 54 degrees fahrenheit today and the students were busy keeping themselves warmer by turning some soil. San Juana said they were intrigued with the plentiful amount worms and soil life already in the soil. This garden will blossom greatly with so much love and attention.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Your thoughts?

What would people like to learn about in the gardening world? Let us know your thoughts for it will help us in our goals for workshop ideas. For example: lasagna gardening? Compost? Vermiculture? You get the idea.
You can also follow this thread on Facebook. If someone has posted one you would like to learn about go ahead and "Like" it! We will tally the "likes" too. Here's a link if you want to go there,


What to do on such nice winter day....?

Over the next week or so here is what can be planted now: 
Garlic (cloves), shallots, peas, onion sets, radishes, asparagus crowns, arugula (tasty greens), and fava beans (soak over night prior to planting for better germination). If you cannot plant these it is also a good time to weed and turn the soil (if you do that). Happy gardening and start your year round garden now!

PS. Ian planted tons of garlic on sunday! He was hungry all day from the delicious smell emanating from the cloves.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Our first big grant proposal is done! Wish us luck. This would be a huge bonus and push forward for our organization.

Thanks and stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Here is a link to an event at Willamette University. The main speaker will be Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm Inc. Joel is a sustainable farmer that is challenging as well as pushing the food system towards a more local food culture. He is also known as the "lunatic farmer". Join us on February 12 at WU!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

It about that time!

With spring approaching, the days becoming longer and the sun shining I thought we could share some ideas with you all. The nice weather this weekend will allow you to go out and turn that soil, unless you practice no-tilling methods or lasagna gardens.

If you have chickens this is a good time to let them peck around the garden and do the work for you. They do a great job of turning up the soil, making a tiny mess, eating all those small shinny slug eggs and other bugs but most of all they will be much happier running around.

To start planning for planting this season, I am attaching a couple links below. The first is for the OSU extensions monthly gardening calendar. The second is a nice, one-page spread for planting dates produced by Portland Nursery.

Hope this helps, especially to those new to gardening!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

There's fungus among us...

Over the past few weeks, Ian has been growing some gourmet mushrooms. This is a trial run project for Planting Communities to see how we can provide another source of sustainability and nutrition to our families and community.

The adventure started with a Back to the Roots mushroom starter kit (see if interested). The process is simple and straight forward: take out the bag, cut a "t" into it, submerge the bag in water for 12 hours, put the bag back in the box and mist twice daily. Although you are supposed to have mushrooms in ten days, this bag took longer to form mushrooms. Ian believes it is due to the cooler temperature of his house, based on his research in some Paul Stamets books. However, they are in full force after 14 days, and will be ready for consumption in the next day or so.

Once these are harvested the process can be repeated at least one more time from this same bag. Ian claims when the bag is finished he will look into the possibility of using the "waste" as chicken feed or solely as compost.

Just days before Ian started his Back to the Roots mushroom kit, Brad stopped by his house with a special delivery...two shiitake blocks donated from a local grower!!! Brad thought Ian would know what to do with the blocks and Ian was excited to take on the challenge. In the past Ian grew shiitakes in his living room as a coffee table center piece. You can only imagine the conversation this conjured up with his guests. So now he is be doing again, years later.

The process is similar to that of the Back to the Roots mushroom kit: submerge the block for 12-48 hours, remove and place the block on a wire rack, mist and keep the humidity levels high to force pinning (the formation of the mushroom itself), and wait 10 or so days.

Both kits have been a success and Ian looks forward to cultivating more mushrooms and encouraging others to do the same as a supplemental part of ones diet. Many gourmet mushrooms are said to have medicinal properties and also be a good source of protein. After all, many indigenous nations claim it is closer to meat than plants, and amazingly enough years later fungi were actually found to be closer related to the animal kingdom than the plant kingdom.