The Comedy Central animated show South Park had an interesting take on the GREEN movement when they featured the owning of a Prius as the subject of the episode. More and more people were buying the hybrid cars because of the pressure received from their community about fuel use and green house gas emissions. But, the underlying effect was not for seen by the local community. A huge bloom of SMUG covered the town. The locals could hardly breath with so much SMUG being generated by the Prius owners. Granted this is all a simple play on words and is worthy of a chuckle, but it has a good point at its core.
In Portland, GREEN is the scene. It seems that every neighborhood has a solid percentage of its inhabitants who embrace the cause. Some just do it to feel good about themselves. Some do it to show their neighbors that they care. Some are doing it to avoid the looks of disgust coming from the guy across the street who composts in his front yard and collects water from his roof run off in rain barrels and actually looks like an old moonshiner from a distance. Well, at least his yard.
Down the street from my home in south east Portland there is a family who lives next to an undeveloped lot. They have taken the opportunity to build garden boxes and grow some produce. Some of the neighbors have commented that they are plainly in violation of property laws because the land owner was not contacted before the little garden project began. I have noticed the lot in the past 5 years get overgrown and have never seen anyone maintain the land in any way. The family next door rented a brush hog and tilled the ground. Brought in lumber to build the boxes. Added soil and a composting station that they maintain. They are also accepting other families who want to garden along side of them. I think it is great.
I took it upon myself to find the owner of the land. An elderly couple from San Francisco has owned the lot for many years. It was passed to them after the home burned to the ground in the 1980's. They had actually forgotten about this lot as they have other properties and an attorney who manages the taxes and incomes from the trust.
When I sent the couple pictures of the lot and what was happening there, they were pleased. They remembered the houses in the area from the pictures and decided to make the trip to Portland and visit the family who restored the lot to be useful again. The couple will maintain ownership of the lot, but the family next door now has the authority to use this lot as they see fit as long as no permanent structures be built.
The urban farm now developing is called Misty Meadow. A good name for a Portland kind of place.
NW Sustainable Building Products is in the business of supplying products for just such a place. Juniper timbers are so rot resistant that one planter can last for up to 50 years. A once in a lifetime purchase for a garden that will feed you and your family. Juniper is chemical free, organic and beautiful. NWSBP is proud of the Portland GREEN scene and will continue to support the culture of sustainability and solid forest health. Contact NWSBP on the web at nwsbp.com or call 503-775-1025 for information on Juniper, its history and how it is the perfect lumber for building in a sustainable way.