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In the City of Portland there is just ONE community garden built on an asphalt surface!

RITA A. LEONARD - At the entry tent at the Foster-Powell Community Garden were Garden Coordinator Stacey Keller and garden volunteers Dana Schmidt and Erika Bailey. On April 15th, the "Foster-Powell Community Garden" held its annual plant sale fundraiser. The garden at S.E. 62nd Avenue and Powell Boulevard is not your typical garden plot. Instead, it grows in raised beds on an asphalt pad, site of a former gas station. The garden uses rainwater from two 2,500-gallon cisterns on the lot. In spite of obstacles, the Garden continues to flourish, providing the neighborhood with a place to meet friends and garden.

Despite cold rainy weather, about a dozen volunteers arrived to assist the scores of shoppers who turned out. Donations included veggie starts, herbs, flowers, rose and berry bushes, cacti, bamboo, and indoor and outdoor landscaping plants.

Garden volunteer Dana Schmidt remarked to THE BEE, "We sold half our stuff before noon. People were showing up in spite of the rain, which points to the strength of our Foster-Powell community."

Local merchants also helped out. Henry Higgins Bagels donated bagels and coffee, while volunteers Gray Ayer and Dana Schmidt provided snacks. "Our local merchants are great at donating things to our garden and our raffle," smiled volunteer Erika Bailey, who also donated a portrait. Raffle items included games from Red Castle Games, two cubic yards of soil from Mt. Scott Fuel, and two gift certificates from Bamboo Grille Hawaiian Restaurant.

Garden founder and artist Vicky Wilson contributed a variety of ceramic items from her studio, which were offered free to buyers with each plant purchase. She also brought a wagonload of dry wood to prime the small fire piton site which warmed shoppers and volunteers. Wilson was on hiatus from the garden for six months last year, working as an artist-in-residence in the eastern United States, but now she's back.

Garden volunteer Gray Ayer announced the successful propagation of fig and plum trees, and a kiwi vine planned to shade the "meeting shack". "Unfortunately, our persimmon tree didn't make it, but we'll replant that," he said. "Many of the fruit trees we planted last year didn't make it through last year's hot summer, but we learn something even from the failures."

Shoppers made many selections, and stayed to exchange horticultural information and local news items. Others toured the garden, scouting out the availability of raised beds.

The next event scheduled there is a community work party on June 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Garden Coordinator Stacey Keller commented, "This is also a great time to learn about Northwest native and invasive plants." For more information on this "garden on asphalt", go online – www.fb.me/62ndgarden

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