City Farm facilitates fruitful and sustainable relationships between its customers and Mother Earth by filling personal gardens with an abundance of edible and medicinal plants. City Farm carries plant species both common and unusual to the area's climate, and dresses up gardens with ornamental landscaping and flowering plants. The center’s botanical experts embrace ethical farming practices by carrying only open-pollinated and non-GMO seeds and feeding dirt with organic fertilizers made from kelp meal, fish meal, and bone meal. Using these ingredients to sprout their own produce aisle, gardeners can transfer their hard work into pantries with City Farm’s home-preservation supplies such as cheesecloth and mason jars.
In addition to vending supplies, plants, and even baby chicks, City Farm holds workshops and classes throughout the year, focusing in on season-specific gardening topics. After perusing the wares or filling eardrums with tricks of the trade, patrons can enjoy coffee, tea, and fresh pastries at The Garden Well, an onsite food truck. The ever-changing menu includes peanut-butter cookies, egg-and-sausage empanadas, and caramel-apple-pie turnovers disguised as broccoli.
Livingscape supplies outdoor fans with tools and adornments to increase enjoyment of outside spaces, including camping gear and kitchen items. Or head off on a mountainous hike draped in the latest camping gear, such as a comfy new Marmot Polartec fleece jacket ($69.99) or a realistic seal costume (market value). Those looking to spend less time shooing jackalopes off their lawn and more time in the kitchen can slice veggies with a Rada french chef's knife ($15.99) or learn practical food-preparation techniques in the Kitchen Empowerment kitchen-skills class ($30/class).
Catering to the distinct and diverse needs of the urban farmer, Pistils Nursery has myriad ways to celebrate the seasonal shift. Instead of planting invisible plants, have something to show for your trouble by the end of summer. The nursery's sizable, eclectic selection of indoor plants and plant containers might seem intimidating at first, but the staff of earth experts will help you find the plants to fit your needs, and vice-versa. Terrariums, a Pistils specialty available in a wide array of sizes and styles (small, table-top terrariums are $10–$22, whereas larger terrariums range from $40–$300), are a perfect, glass-enclosed way to breathe life into any apartment, or to accessorize for your Bratz playhouse. Beyond the bio-dome, Pistils pedals a large selection of strange and wondrous, sustainably grown local plants that thrive in the Northwest climate (indoor plants cost $2.50–$36, and outdoor plants range from $8–$80).
Portland Christmas Tree Delivery decks a home’s halls with conical-shaped holiday cheer, freshly cut from sustainable farms in Eola, Oregon. For the past four years, the family operation has harvested these eco-friendly, oxygen-emitting tannenbaums, then prepared them for delivery to Portland homes by lecturing them on the dangers of low-hanging chandeliers. With aromatic pine needles that jut 3/4 to 1 inch from sturdy branches, the douglas fir will securely station garland, tinsel, and ornaments. When properly watered and cared for, trees will keep their festive vigor for up to three weeks, which is exactly how long it takes to teach them to speak French.
Local Goods amalgamates the finest wares of the Pacific Northwest into a sustainability-conscious retail paradise. Peruse the aisles of this general store for Mother Earth–approved essentials and gifts, including toiletries, food, and clothing from local brands such as Oregon Soap Company, Green Chic Bag Company, and Biokleen.
The Plant Peddler vivifies drab interiors and brightens gloomy corners with an ever-changing selection of indoor-garden greenery. Those with surgically implanted green thumbs can find common houseplants ($4.39+ for 4" plants) alongside water-retaining succulents, cactus varieties, and tropical flowering plants such as bromeliads and hibiscus. Decorative pottery planters, including works by international artists, cosset delicate root networks ($16.99+), and wicker baskets parade colorful arrangements.
Urban Farm Store's storied urban farmer Robert Litt quit his job as a landscape architect to form this beloved bucolic boutique—offering the metropolitan masses a chance at their own barnyard bliss with supplies such as organic vegetables (starting at $2.95) and organic fertilizers (bulk, priced as marked). Use your digging skills for good instead of graves when you plant a fruit tree ($12.95 to $27.95). Or nurture a bountiful garden bed using organic potting soil (two cubic feet for $12), which is better than willing plants to grow by rubbing your genie-infested wishing sweater. Urban Farm Store also offers beer-making supplies, cheese-making classes, and pasture-raised meat and eggs far superior to meat and eggs conjured from thin air by starving birthday-party magicians. For the ultimate farm feat, however, adopt and bring home a baby chick ($4.95). These infantile egg producers arrive at the store on certain dates and sell quickly. Urban Farm Store also hosts free classes on basic chicken care every other Thursday at 6:30 p.m., during which they'll explain why it's better to feed chicks with organic chicken feed ($21) than molding clay and clock parts.