The life story of Margaret's Great Auntie (Zia-zia) Filomena is cloaked in mystery but it serves as an inspiration for what has passed and what is possible. We do know that she lived in a time when her family and community, like many urban enclaves of Italian immigrant groups in the U.S., would have cultivated even the smallest patches of available land to support their lives in some way.
Despite the ongoing expansion of factory farming and industrial food production, the urban nano-farming effort has roots that persist today. It continues in the countryside, suburbs, and even small urban patches like this. Since Auntie Filomena's time, ancestral threads have been broken and stories lost, but we pick up familiar threads and rebuild a long tradition as we grow food at home, trade with family and friends, tinker and make the most of the bounty that's all around is.
By sharing our endeavors at Filomena Farms, we hope that examples of attempts, failures, and successes at urban sustainability, collaboration, and every-day design inspire similar efforts.
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.
Margaret has begun transitioning this small plot, aiming beyond sustainability toward ongoing resilience and regeneration. With the help of friends and family, this tiny homestead-in-the-making has become a gathering point for pollinators, a small flock hens, a young, diverse guild-planted mini-orchard, rainwater, solar energy, neighborly relationships.
With a background in teaching adult learners, craft, and project management, Margaret explores the lens of permaculture philosophy in hopes of sharing ideas and resources that help us all care for each other and the earth, and make the most of our abundant opportunities for rich and rewarding lives.
With 5 different fruit trees, several kinds of edible landscaping shrubs, 4 high-efficiency raised beds, we're currently cultivating 5 types of gardens and counting. In addition the benefits of gardening as exercise, visitors enjoy taste-testing experimental recipes, celebrating each harvest, collaborating on projects, and exchanging ideas and information. There's always another project in the works. For example, plans are being developed for a community Share Shack of sorts, going beyond tiny library to offer produce, plants, and seeds.
If you'd like to stay informed about current projects, produce or goods for share or sale, or have ideas or skills to share, please contact us. Consider connecting via social media links in the footer of this page with the understanding that response is occasional as we're probably out in the garden or working on a project.