These are the resources that we have relied upon or are popular sources of excellent information for urban gardening and urban homesteading in the Portland, Oregon Metro Area.
Portland Oregon Specific Resources
Concentrates is an excellent local business for all things urban homesteading or growing a market garden. They are an agricultural products distributor in the Portland, Oregon metro area and have been serving the community since 1938. Concentrates has everything you need to feed your animals and plants in the garden. In addition to their local showroom, the catalog on the website is huge. The showroom is stocked with all the basics that an urban gardener would need for a small garden to a full-sized market garden. We get our duck food and the in-house organic fertilizer blend from Concentrates. If you want a Steve Solomon type organic fertilizer for your gardens, this is the perfect solution without needing to mix up ingredients. Above all, they are a go-to location for all the amendments, cover crops, and tools necessary for keeping a healthy garden.
5505 SE International Way
Milwaukie, OR 97222
One Green World
This nursery and garden center located in Portland, Oregon that specializes in having very diverse offerings. They have a huge selection of fruiting trees, shrubs, bushes, and vines. In addition to the temperate climate plants, One Green World has a heated greenhouse with many atypical varieties for the pacific northwest. For instance, if you want citruses like oranges or lemons or something that requires a much warmer environment they are the best bet in town. One Green World is unique in that it is highly specialized in edibles and plants that are often discussed in permaculture circles that may not be easily found at other garden centers in the area. Therefore if you are hunting for anything unique check out their website or take a walk through the nursery.
One Green World is the best source in the Portland, Oregon metro area for bare root fruit trees. Many people might not care and want to plant a big tree in a pot from a box store. However, if you want to plant a tree, chop it short, and carefully manage its growth into a beautiful small or large fruit tree in your yard it is best to go with a dormant bare rootstock tree.
6469 SE 134th Ave
Portland, OR 97236
The most well-known nursery in the area and often referenced nursery when people ask about a place to get plants for their garden. For this reason, they are often more expensive than other nurseries in the area. However, the quality of the plants is good for both edibles and decorative. The Portland Nursery vegetable calendar is an excellent resource for planning your annual vegetable garden.
Individuals focusing purely on landscaping may really enjoy this premier garden center as their go-to destination. For instance, their varieties of flowers, grasses, and other ornamental plants are extensive. We have purchased trees and annual vegetables from Portland Nursery as they are close do maintain a large inventory. Portland Nursery is well-staffed and the individuals are knowledgeable and nice in the interactions we have had. Therefore, if you want a garden center that you can get a lot of conversation time out of and talk about your landscaping needs check them out.
Portland Nursery has two locations:
5050 SE Stark
Portland, OR 97215
9000 SE Division
Portland, OR 97266
We have only visited Tony’s Garden Center location in Portland, Oregon. Although, there are locations in both Happy Valley and Damascus. Tony’s Garden Center has a good selection of blueberries and other fruiting shrubs and trees. We have purchased many berry bushes and several trees from their location and everything has grown well. They also have a discount section like most nurseries, but we have seemed to really luck out in the early spring getting fruit trees for cheap and then grafting other varieties on to them. Tony’s has a large selection of flowering plants, ornamentals, and natives as well as all the typical vegetable garden annuals during the appropriate times of the year. Therefore, I certainly recommend them as a place to get a good deal and another local nursery worth visiting.
10300 SE Holgate Blvd.
Portland, OR 97266
Echo Valley Natives
We first found out about Echo Valley Natives by participating in the Backyard Habitat program with the Columbia Land Trust and The Audobon Society of Portland. This nursery is a partner nursery and supports these programs and participants. They occasionally have special offerings available, for instance. Echo Valley is located in Oregon City. They have both a wholesale and retail operation out of their nursery. If you are interested in planting out a small or large section of your garden with native trees and vegetation they are an excellent source.
Many of the nurseries in the area have a natives section. We found that Echo Valley had in stock harder to find species and was very helpful in understanding nuances with working with natives. Check out the detailed plant list and general pricing guidelines on their website. However, I would contact them ahead of time if you have a very specific plant in mind before making a trip to the nursery.
18883 S. Ferguson Road
Oregon City, OR 97045
Foster Feed and Garden
Foster Feed has all the basics for caring for your animals. They always seem to have straw and hay available and inside all the traditional grain feeds for animals. We have only picked up straw and some snacks for the animals from here, but the guys at the counter are friendly and will take care of your needs. However, they do carry chicks, ducklings, and poults and all the essential supplies that you will need to raise backyard birds.
10307 SE Foster Rd,
Portland, OR 97266
Naomi’s Organic Farm Supply is an excellent local shop for all your animal and gardening needs. They are the only location that I have found that consistently will have organic straw and hay available, which can be difficult to source if that is important to you. Naomi’s has chickens and other farm animals available throughout the year and have lots of books and other resources. They are well stocked with organic feeds. They also carry a decent selection of plants for the garden and backyard landscape.
2454 SE Powell Blvd,
Portland, OR 97202
Pacific Northwest Books
Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades: The Complete Guide to Organic Gardening
Written by Steve Solomon this book is a complete guide to organic gardening for vegetables, herbs, and flowers. He covers everything you need to know to encourage healthy soils, making compost, seed selection, and more for our climate in the Pacific Northwest.
Pacific Northwest Month by Month Gardening: What to do each month to have a beautiful garden all year
By Christina Pfeiffer, this guide will help you overcome the learning curve of what needs to be getting done each month of the year in order to have a beautiful garden. Designed for any gardeners living between Northern California and British Columbia it covers growing annual and perennial flowers, trees, groundcover and flowering shrubs. Perfect for a person just getting into maintaining their own landscape and want to ensure it looks great during all seasons.
Urban Gardening Books
Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times
Written by Steve Solomon this book helps understand what is needed to grow lots of food for a family in a small space or with other constraints. Steve goes into details regarding preparing soils for success and how to manage crops to grow depending on soil conditions and availability of water. The charts showing the space a plant takes up above and below ground is an eye-opener into what is going under the ground and why plant spacing is important.
Grow a Little Fruit Tree: Simple Pruning Techniques for Small Space, Easy Harvest Fruit Trees
Written by Ann Ralph this book is an excellent guide for urban gardeners aspiring to have a backyard orchard. Although having an orchard in a backyard may seem difficult due to space constraints, the techniques she outlines work. It is possible to keep fruit trees small through specific pruning and limb training practices. As a result, your backyard may be capable of growing many different kinds of fruit trees and varieties despite having only a small footprint of land. It’s hard to make that first big harsh cut after planting a bare root fruit tree, but if you follow Ann’s suggestions you will be surprised at how your trees take shape.
Forest Gardening / Permaculture Resources
Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture
Written by Toby Hemenway Gaia’s Garden was our first book covering permaculture topics. In addition, to being a good place to start it is a resource that you can refer back to as you put your garden plans into action. The book includes many charts, diagrams, and tables. Through, these it can help you make sense of concepts related to permaculture zones and building successful plant guild polycultures. Many permaculture books focus on big land ideas and this one is geared for the urban homestead. To summarize it is written in a way that many home gardeners can relate to.
The Edible acres channel is a joy to watch. They operate a permaculture nursery that shares stories and ideas about how they manage their land. If you are interested in small-scale, human-powered swales their videos are amazing. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg of the topics covered throughout various episodes. In short, their chicken compost videos and overall system are a wonder to see and learn about.
David the Good
David the Good is a great resource for low-cost gardening that matters when you are trying to feed a family. His techniques are always practical and down to earth and his jams are pretty entertaining as well. If you like long-form conversations he has hours of streams covering every topic under the sun. While most of his videos are focused on tropical, or Florida, and other southern locations his strategies and techniques can be used everywhere. If you want to make some cheap compost tea, then give his swamp water a try, it’s what our plants love to drink.
The Justin Rhodes channel is a well-rounded homesteading youtube channel and if you have any interest in animal husbandry on a small scale he has a video for you. In short, he is well known for his chick shaws and mobile grazing for cows, sheep, pigs and has a wealth of knowledge for anyone that is trying to emulate the Joel Salatin methods of raising animals.
This is a local Portland Oregon based permaculture channel. Overall the channel includes videos on specific plants and the success she is having in her backyard garden.
Disclaimer: The Amazon links for books are affiliate links.