Clackamas County has a long agricultural history, going back to the holly farms that used to dot where McLoughlin runs to strawberry fields in Milwaukie to family farms that still dot the urban growth boundary.
That agriculture theme never really left the area and has seen somewhat of a renaissance in recent years with buying local or organic produce direct from the grower. Generally, people have become more aware of where their food comes from and the importance of supporting local growers and farmers.
We’ll be exploring and profiling the different farms, farmers markets and family owned produce stands around the area this summer as we enjoy the local bounty that is offered us.
First up on the list is Recycled Gardeners.
If you’ve ever driven down River Road in Oak Grove, you might have noticed the signs, lush green gardens and the fenced-in goats and chickens. That’s where you pull in. Located at 15401 SE River Road, the business offers parking and lots of room to roam.
What makes this place unique is that they don’t sell produce to eat, they sell starts for both the budding gardener as well as old pros. And if you grow it and eat it they probably stock it. Since they’re seasonal, they have tomatoes, lettuce greens and onions, as well as flower starts, ready to plant and will be offering more warm-weather herbs soon.
But the business is more than just a place to pick up garden starts, it’s become a gathering place for area neighbors and is building a community. River Road is increasingly becoming a shortcut for McLoughlin and has become a high speed zone for many cutting through the neighborhood. Businesses such as Recycled Gardeners get people out of their homes, walking up and down the road and will hopefully make drivers more aware that, yes, pedestrians use River Road as a route, too.
OK, off the soapbox.
In a nutshell, community building aside, Recycled Gardeners is a great place to pick up starts, chat with neighbors and get some outdoor time.
Owner Debbie Edlund (who owns the business with her husband) doesn’t do any advertising and says the business is there for the neighborhood. She found herself unemployed a couple years back, took up hobby farming, and now though full-time employed she’s keeping at it – even more so.
Some of the animals on the farm include chickens, ducks, two goats and a couple of large geese that “help keep the coyotes and dogs away.”
Most starts [including edibles and flowers] are $1 a piece and all are organically grown. Other sundries for sale include chicken poop manure and custom-made trellises.
Hours are 10:00 am until 6:00 pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm.