Gratitude for this land and it's people

Filomena Farms, llc honors and respects the diverse indigenous peoples connected to this region historically, in the present day, and for future generations. This tiny urban plot in North Portland plays a big part in all we do at Filomena Farms and is part of a distinguished regional legacy. This fraction of an acre is part of the traditional territories that served as Multnomah, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Chinook, Tualatin Kalapuya, Molalla and many others' village sites and summer encampments along the Columbia and Willamette rivers for thousands of years. 


Relationships are everything.

What is most immediate through every day of our lives is how we relate to each other and our environment. It can be challenging and complex to craft a way forward that honors the best in each other and our world. It helps to consider the work of David Holmgren and Bill Mollison who co-originated the concept of permaculture. Many have contributed to their work and have continued the ongoing conversation of resilience and regenerative design. Permaculture is founded on three core ethics out of which come thought tools to support the movement toward a more resilient, regenerative culture, and these form the foundation for 7 areas of action using 12 sustainable design principles.

care for people + care for the earth + fair share

7 domains of action

  1. land and nature stewardship

  2. tools and technology

  3. finances and economics

  4. land tenure and community governance

  5. health and spiritual well-being

  6. education and culture

  7. building

12 design principles

  1. observe and interact

  2. catch and store energy

  3. obtain a yield

  4. apply self-regulation and accept feedback

  5. use and value renewable resources and services

  6. produce no waste

  7. design from patterns to details

  8. integrate rather than segregate

  9. use small, slow solutions

  10. use and value diversity

  11. use edges and value the marginal

  12. creatively use and respond to change

As an experimental urban nano-farm and creative studio, this is a place of innovation, tinkering, projects large and small, and the hope is to contribute a small collection of ideas and resources to the conversation about resilience, inspiration and agency in our lives and communities.

Operated by Margaret Gardner with help from friends and family, the mission is to share both material and conceptual harvests through ideas, resources, and learning experiences.

Filomena Farms, llc - What's in a name?

The story of Margaret's Great Auntie (Zia-zia) Filomena is cloaked in mystery but we do know she lived in a time when urban enclaves of Italian immigrant groups in the U.S. cultivated even the smallest patches of available land to support their lives in some way. Since Auntie Filomena's time, ancestral threads have been broken and stories lost, but many of us continue to grow food at home, trade with family and friends, tinker and make the most of the bounty that's all around is.

Despite factory farming and industrial food production, the urban nano-farming effort has persistent roots. It continues in the countryside, suburbs, and even small urban patches like this.

By sharing our endeavors, we hope that examples of attempts, failures, and successes at urban sustainability, collaboration, and every-day design inspire similar efforts.