Nothing quite compares to harvesting your own garden. Imagine stepping onto your porch to clip off a few crisp lettuce leaves for tonight’s dinner, gently tugging ripe blueberries off the stem without disturbing still‑ripening berries or digging into warm soil for a bright orange carrot or a wonderfully earthy potato.
For those who don’t have the time, talent or space for a backyard garden, the local farmers market or community garden can deliver on the same fresh experience.
Farmers markets can be found in most local communities, from Albany to Yachats. Visit OregonFarmersMarkets.org to search for locations.
Community gardens offer the opportunity to plant and grow your own produce in an already‑established bed. Like farmers markets, community gardens can be found in most municipalities. Neighbors gather together to socialize, learn, plant and enjoy the fruits and vegetables of their labor. Rules vary but the overall goal is to encourage resilient, sustainable and local agriculture. Fruits and veggies taste best and are most nutritious when the harvest‑to‑table time is just a matter of minutes.
A grant‑supported community garden project in Lincoln City is focusing on underserved families. Called Juntos en el Jardin, or Together in the Garden, this project is led by staff from Oregon State University, Northwest Coastal Housing and the Olalla Center, with consulting input from Samaritan Health Services. Its goal is to help vulnerable families access community garden spaces.
Oregon’s growing season can be short, especially on the coast. But some believe the mostly mild climate intensifies the flavors of the harvest. Whether you are inland, in the coastal range or at the beach, small farms abound with offerings nearly year‑round, but the main growing season is concentrated in May through mid‑October.
Visit the OSU Extension Service online at extension.oregonstate.edu for great ideas and assistance on all things related to gardening in Oregon.