March 30, 2020 Newsletter
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Addressing the need
There’s never been a better time to garden
Historically, gardening has been a way that our nation has come together to help in times of need, dating back to World War I.  Americans were asked to grow their own fruits and vegetables in personal gardens or any available location so that more commercial harvests could be exported to our allies.  Initially called the war garden movement, these gardens later became known as victory gardens that generated nearly one and a half million quarts of fruits and vegetables from more than five million new garden plots. The victory garden movement was revived in the 1940s during World War II, when the US Department of Agriculture estimates that 20 million garden plots were planted, producing 9-10 million tons of harvest - an amount equalling commercial vegetable production at the time. 

With the recent economic impact of COVID-19, the local food banks including the Tualatin Food Pantry have seen a surge in need.  We can all help to meet this growing need as well as contribute to our own food security through gardening.  As our victory garden history demonstrates, collectively, our home gardening can make a big difference. If you or someone you know is in need of food assistance, or are able to donate to help meet the growing demand, please see links to a list of resources below.

We are hearing from local seed companies and nurseries that seeds and starts are in high demand, indicating an increasing interest in gardening.  That’s great news, as we are always looking for more Neighbors Nourishing Communities (NNC) gardeners to help provide nutritious produce for those in need, while simultaneously growing produce for their own families.  We provide the seeds, plant starts, and instruction, and ask only that you donate 20% of your harvest to the Tualatin Food Pantry or local food bank of your choice. 

This is a great time to garden, as it is something that can be done at home, provides relaxation and stress relief, as well as a source of moderate exercise – in addition to the satisfaction of growing your own great produce! If you or someone you know are interested in gardening with us, please contact us at Don't miss our seed handout on Saturday, April 11th.  See below for details.
Save the Date

April 11 
11:00 am - 1:00 p.m. Seed Handout at 17660 SW Shawnee Trail, Tualatin. (Onion starts, seed potatoes, and many types of vegetable seeds will be offered for those interested in gardening and donating 20% of their harvest). 
We will be ensuring spacial distancing of at least 6 feet, and are therefore asking that if there are two people picking up seeds, you remain in your car until at least one person leaves.  We typically only have a few people at a time during our seed handouts, so this should be an easy accommodation. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

May 16 
Plant handout - tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and some flowers to encourage pollinators.  Save the date - more information on location and timing coming soon.
Food Assistance Resources & Ways You Can Help

To learn how Oregon families can access
meals during this pandemic, visit Partners
for a Hunger-free Oregon's website
They include links to resources for finding food, as well as ways you can help those in need of assistance during this situation.

Additional Resource Links

Earl Blumenauer's COVID-19 Emergency Relief Resources for PDX (and beyond)

Packed with Pride: Family Food Donations

Tigard Tualatin School District Family Resource Center

Oregon Food Bank: Food Finder

Tualatin Schoolhouse Pantry

How to Get Meals While Schools Are Out

Meals on Wheels

211 Food Resource Information: Oregon DHS

PDX Mutual Aid During Covid-19

How can you help?
In addition to growing your own garden, here are some other considerations.
  • If you are not in a high-risk category, consider volunteering for a local food bank or another of the resources above.  They are in need of volunteers to assist with food distribution.  If you are able to make a donation, consider that option as well.
  • Check in on elderly or disabled neighbors and consider shopping or cooking for someone you know who is at risk.  Many seniors typically receive meals through senior centers or are unable to get out to get groceries.
  • Support your local farmer and supply chain.  Many local farmers are ramping up for online ordering.  Buying local supports our community while reducing the number of touchpoints on your food.  COVID-19 is not a foodborne illness, and it is extremely unlikely to be transmitted in this way.  Following is a link to information from the Oregon State University Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems.
What Can I Grow in Partial Shade?
A common barrier for home gardeners is the lack of sun exposure in their yard.  Many vegetables do need full sun exposure such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and squash.  However, there are some vegetables that do well with only partial sun. Seed packets will note some varieties as requiring “partial sun” or “partial shade”.  Partial sun varieties typically will require six hours or more of direct sun per day and will tolerate more.  Varieties labeled “partial shade” will prefer shade and can typically handle a maximum of six hours of sun.  When growing in areas with less sun exposure, vegetables may take longer to mature.  Following are some vegetables that will do well without full sun.
Root Vegetables including potatoes, beets and carrots will grow in areas that have at least a half a day of sun and will tolerate some shade.
Leafy Greens such as lettuces, spinach, chard and kale do well in partially shaded areas with less direct sun.  They will appreciate at least 4 hours of sun. 
Brassicas such as Cabbage, Cauliflower, Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts like cooler weather and will do well in partial sun. 
Onions and Leeks are tolerant of shade and can do well in areas that are cooler and moist.

Shaded areas are also a perfect habitat for slugs, so you may want to be extra vigilant.  Crushed eggshells lining the perimeter of the garden can be a great deterrent. 
Newsletter Signup

Please forward our newsletter to others who may be interested in gardening with us.  If you are interested in receiving our newsletters and not currently on our subscriber list, please contact us at

In the next issue: 
  • Fast growing crops
  • Ways to get more out of small garden spaces
Neighbors Nourishing Communities (NNC) is an organization of neighbors gardening to raise fresh produce for local families in need of food support.  We provide plants, seeds, instruction and site consultations in exchange for 20% of the produce raised. Visit our website at
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17660 SW Shawnee Trail, Tualatin, OR 97062

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Neighbors Nourishing Communities · 17660 SW Shawnee Trail · Tualatin, Or 97062 · USA

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