•  Hand for scale comparison of Mustard greens, Maggie Garden, 2012
  •  Ally garden, 2013
  •  Rock garden after landscaping, 2013
  •  Fintan amongst the mustards, 2013
  •  More mustard, Maggie Garden 2012
  •  Ruby Orach and Sunflower at Everstone, 2012
  •  Tomatoes from Maggie Garden, 2012
  •  Tomatoes from Maggie Garden, 2012
  •  Tomatoes from Maggie Garden, 2012
  •  Tomatoes from Maggie Garden, 2012
  •  Mustard greens mix at Fintan Garden, 2012
  •  Mustard greens mix at Fintan Garden, 2012
  •  Mustard greens mix at Fintan Garden, 2012

Urban Agriculture

The Σ Project finds people with land, people with materials, and people with skills... Then we put them together in the same space and time, to share our goal:

To grow together, so that none of us will have to go without.

We use organic methods to grow all manner of vegetables, fruit and herbs, free of artificial fertilizers, free of persistent pesticides, and most importantly free of charge.

We eat some of the food to fuel our endeavors, and the rest we give away to our friends and neighbors.

We would like to see all of the food for the people in Portland Oregon grown in the city of Portland, and we only need 1/13th of the land to do it, so we're working to make that a reality.

It might seem alarming to suggest that our agriculture is on the brink of collapse, but this is in fact the case. We haven't passed the point of no return yet, but we're teetering dangerously close to the edge.

It's only a matter of a few years before our population passes the point where big agribusiness can keep up production to feed all the hungry people out there. Indeed, in some places it already has. This is certainly due cause for alarm.

However, despite the numerous failings of modern farming practices, the Earth is actually quite capable of supporting twice the numbers we have now. Perhaps even more.

Polyculture crops can outproduce monoculture crops at a rate of approximately 66%. Not only are such methods more resistant to disease, they produce much healthier and better balanced plants, and do a marvelous job of sustaining topsoil ecosystems.

Efficiency can be even further improved by eliminating ineffective chemical fertilizers and replacing them with natural preparations, augmenting topsoil with mycelium and mycorrhizae, and applying in ground irrigation systems that minimize loss to evaporation.

The technology available to modern farmers has improved dramatically in the last century, but for every step forward, money hungry agribusiness takes two steps back.

By outsourcing food production farther and farther from population centers, not only have we increased our dependence on foreign and toxic energy sources, we've reduced the freshness and quality of products available to our people, while simultaneously increasing their total cost; at the market and to the environment.

 

The Sigma Project is a 501(c)(3) Portland nonprofit corporation founded to grow sustainable local produce for the disadvantaged community while creating independence through teaching the process...

Land cultivation and profit are not incongruous, however, the current methods of maximizing profit have the opposite effect with regard to the maintenance of soil biota and ecology...


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