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GREEN FOCUS: Cool Things That Are Green

Livingscape Nursery: Towards a More Sustainable Portland
3/24/2010

It’s become clear to me that a sustainable future lies in the yards, kitchens and basements of neighborhood households.  

A multifaceted ideal, sustainability challenges all of us with the urgency to change our lifestyle.  Many green Portlanders ride their bikes, compost food scraps, recycle and reuse all types of odds and ends, but in our romantic vision of a truly sustainable Portland, we must provide accessible and affordable resources for everyone.

Lucky for any burgeoning urban homesteader, Livingscape Nursery is an excellent resource for the curious and experienced sustainable-lifestyle aficionado. 

Located on N Vancouver Ave just south of N Shaver Street, this North Portland neighborhood home is a much-needed resource for local folks wanting to grow native and edible plants, raise chickens and bees, or preserve the abundant harvests of late summer and early fall. 

Steve Sullivan, the owner of Livingscape Nursery, recognizes the need for accessible and affordable resources that encourage self-sufficiency.  I recently interviewed Mr. Sullivan to learn more about the mission and vision of his neighborhood store.  Our discussion made clear the profound yet practical goals he has for all Portland residents. 

According to Mr. Sullivan, “we support folks in their effort to live in a more engaged place, be it geographic, growing their own food and fauna, or building community with one another.” His vision is made real by the numerous educational workshops offered at the store, as well as the locally-sourced and affordably-priced products sold in and around the store’s comfy home.

In Mr. Sullivan’s mind, the sustainability movement lacks a crucial piece: education. 

Unlike other retail stores in Portland, he’s not selling native plants or chicken feed or food dehydrators for the sole purpose of making profit.  The products available in the store are equally suitable for classes offered on sustainable living. 

The workshops taught at the store reflect the numerous ways in which you and I can live more sustainable lives.  For the gardener, he offers classes on native plants and growing sustenance from seed.  If you fancy food and fauna, consider the chicken festival in mid-April or an introduction to backyard beekeeping later this month. 

At Livingscape Nursery there are many opportunities to learn the skills, purchase the materials or  engage community members on your search for a healthier or more self-sufficient urban lifestyle.      

As it becomes increasingly clear that today’s challenges are complex and ever-evolving, it follows that a holistic approach will greatly improve our chances of success.  Portland is a unique place for manifesting a passion and this is exhibited best in North Portland’s Livingscape Nursery.

(You can find Livingscape Nursery at 3926 N Vancouver Ave, Portland, OR 97227.  For questions  call 503.248.0104)

(Jared is an educator, activist and food writer here in Portland.  He is the creator of Good-Man-Eats, a blog about food - teaching it, critiquing it, and eating it.  For questions, comments or suggestions, contact Jared at jared@goodmaneats.com)





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