Portland’s ‘Kindness Farm’ producing fresh veggies for needy

Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 5:14 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - A small, nonprofit farm in southeast Portland is doing big things for community members who are food insecure or living in poverty.

Kindness Farm launched in January of 2021, with a mission to grow produce for donation and teach about sustainable, permaculture farming.

Founder and executive director, Lou Le is a self-described “entrepreneur” who, up until recently, mostly ran their own marketing and design companies, but was rooted in a passion for food and sustainable farming.

“I come from a long line of farmers and generally feel very connected with food and the power food has to not only in our ecosystem but just people being connected with it,” Le said, Friday, in an interview with Fox 12.

“I really wanted to create a place where everything was donated,” Le added. “We don’t sell anything and particularly, underprivileged members of our community – people experiencing houselessness and people in low-income situations -- wouldn’t necessarily have this access to this produce that was just grown and harvested.”

Kindness Farm staffs one paid head farmer and the rest are volunteers who grow produce on roughly an acre of donated land in southeast Portland.

The group planted Asian greens in the fall and started harvesting the produce at the end of January.

Six harvests later, the greens are still producing strong.

“We’ve donated over 300 pounds, not counting what we’ll get today,” Le said.

Kindness farm then donates the haul to other nonprofits that either cook up nutritious meals for the hungry or distribute the produce in free boxes or food pantries.

“They are going to take all these greens and distribute them to a community of Asian seniors then who will get to enjoy these throughout the week,” Le said, adding that it’s important to the farm to grow culturally-specific foods to help people prepare the dishes that are important to them.

“Last year, we were able to feed over 7,000 community members through these partnerships, so even in a small space a lot of impact can be made,” Le said.

Kindness Farm is looking for more volunteers as well as funding donations to sustain and grow the nonprofit.

If you are interested in helping or contributing, you can find out more information HERE.

To celebrate Earth Day throughout April, Kindness Farm has been selected by Earth Day Oregon as one of 70 nonprofits that the organization highlights to amplify environmentally friendly and climate-related causes.

Money raised by Earth Day Oregon this month will be split among those nonprofits, including Kindness Farm.

For more information about Earth Day Oregon visit: https://earthdayor.org/