Zenger Farm seeks $1.9M fund raise for 'Urban Grange'
By Andy Giegerich
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Zenger will break ground on its Urban Grange next spring.
The operators of Portland’s premier urban educational farm are doubling the facility’s educational capacity.
Zenger Farm will soon feature a new 7,760-square-foot structure dubbed an “Urban Grange” at its Southeast Portland site. The $1.9 million grange will be built with money that Zenger’s leaders hope to raise before breaking ground on the project next spring.
The Grange will help inform students, families and community members in general about the advantages of eating healthy food.
Zenger Farm sits along the border of the Lents and Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhoods. The area is considered one of the city’s underserved sections in terms of grocers and retail food outlets.
“People see Portland as this food mecca, and they don’t realize how big the need is in East Portland for access to healthy food,” said Jill Kuehler, Zenger Farm’s executive director.
“Where we’re located, it’s the best and worst thing. It’s where we need to be for our mission, but a lot of people who donate to us don’t even know we’re out here.”
Kuehler did say the Farm has strong support from local restaurants, many of which dedicate one day a year in which part of their proceeds go toward Zenger’s educational programs.
DECA Architects is designing the Urban Grange, which will feature a multi-purpose classroom, commercial kitchen and work space for the four-acre working farm. Kuehler said the space could also help incubate businesses and be available as a rental venue.
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