LRBC Little Known Fact #418

We heard that over 15 million Americans will be planting their first gardens this year. One such American is our friend and yours, Kyle "Hustle" Simmons:

Here's a little about Kyle: He is a 21 year old artist, dj, student, and kind soul. He lives with his two best friends in a modest rental home in North Portland. When he is not on skateboard, he is on bike. Kyle pays his bills, and his way through school with help from working part-time at the Little Red Bike Cafe.

Yes, America. This is the profile of someone who is planting a garden right now.

Not what you imagined? Well, we got a chance to come over and visit the new garden and let me tell you, we walked away feeling very proud to know this man and his roommates, and very inspired to become more active in our own beds. Surely one of the greatest side effects of this recession has been the return to, and support of a localized economy. We, the little guys, are surviving (even thriving) and we are the ones who help support lots of other little guys (like farmers and other small, like-minded, inspiring local businesses), and together with your support, we are all "bringing it back home," as we like to say around here. It's amazing to be a part of this movement. We can feel the energy in the air. We can hear you, see you, and smell you, Portland: Chatting it up with your chickens, swapping seasonal recipes with your neighbor, asking Bobby at your local hardware store what an "s-hook" is, combing through the piles of produce at the Farmers Market, fighting your seasonal allergies by dusting off your bikes, banging at your keyboards in order to Google "CSA", and reconnecting with the simplest of elements around you, discovering that they in fact give you the greatest of pleasures.

Wow. What can I say? It feels good to be alive, here. Home. Portland, Oregon, USA.

I think there's lots of reasons why people are so in love with us and this city. It's not just about the Pearl, Stumptown, and our ever sleek, eco-friendly, fabulously mod(ern) design. We've created a lot more hum and buzz around here just being us. You know, the people collecting eggs from our backyards, insistently getting dirt underneath our fingernails, eating wood fire pizza in a city park, leading a bike revolution, picking our own pie and jam berries, dive-bombing trails in the largest forested natural area within city limits in the United States.

That's why people around the country love us. We're creating the future model for an ├╝ber-localized economic web. And what can we say? It just seems to come so naturally to us. Not to say that there's not work to be done here. There is always work to be done when it comes to something worth fighting for. And we love this city (I think we all do) and I think we can all agree that it's worth fighting for. That said, we have much to be proud about and reason to feel good about living here right now. We are so much more than a bunch of Alphabetized street names, nonsense political gossip, and coffee-worshipping freaks.

Please note, I say that and I own a coffee shop.

I say that because I just ate a farm fresh egg omelet and almost died because it was that good (we hand-picked the eggs). I can say that because I just did a week's worth of spring cleaning in one day and donated nearly everything to some of the best places and causes out there. I say that because we just wrote our hundredth-something check this morning to another local vendor superhero.

While sometimes it's fun and easy to get caught up in the bright lights, I think the thing that grounds Portland is that we are people that know in the end, it's what you do at home that counts the most.


Bromka said...

I might have to stop reading this blog for fear of terminal homesickness.

Elaine Fong said...

Can you get an "Amen?" for that post? Amen! I've been wanting to move to Portland for over 10 years now, and it's finally coming to fruition. I only visited Portland for the very first time last fall, to make sure my instincts were in the right place. Before I went, I did some food research, and your cafe popped up, which led to me Courier Coffee Roasters, which led me to Half & Half, Pine State Biscuits, and the list goes on and on. I don't know a single soul in Portland, but everyone was so friendly, the vibe was right on, and the food— impeccable. I purposely saved dining at your cafe on my last day, left a horse on the sidewalk, and have been following your blog since. Chicago is great, but I can't wait to move to Portland. Keep cookin' and postin'!

Unknown said...

Can I get an 'Amen'? Great post, I was thinking the same exact thing this weekend.

MK said...

What a great post! I haven't seen a vegetable garden in 4 months...damn this city life!

Kendal said...

I agree with Bromka there. Has it really been less than a year since we left Portland? It feels like ten. Keep on doing what you do, Portland, and we'll be back to admire your chickens soon.