New Portland shop takes regenerative approach to gardening and business

Sustainable, natural farming has been the usual observe of nature-conscious gardeners for many years.

However there’s a brand new/previous strategy to landscaping and gardening on the town, and it has a just-opened residence on Powell Boulevard in Southeast Portland.

Regenerative ecological gardening, which takes the sustainable mantra of “do no hurt” and advances it to “do no hurt and in addition do good,” has been round since historical civilizations started the observe, and it’s nonetheless utilized in many Indigenous communities world wide.

It’s solely not too long ago that the observe has began to change into extra mainstream, although, and SymbiOp Backyard Retailer, which opened Oct. 1, is a vocal champion.

Nearly all the pieces in regards to the backyard retailer is in line with regenerative gardening and design practices.

There are books on the themes, an enormous choice of native crops (180 and counting) and native, artisanal gadgets reminiscent of soaps, lotions, salves, tonics and edibles.

JT Yu, the pc system engineer turned enterprise developer behind SymbiOp (quick for Symbiosis Cooperative), which is run as a employee co-op, mentioned the enterprise has what he calls a “triple backside line” when deciding what to hold within the backyard retailer.

“Does it make monetary sense? Is it socially useful? Is it good for the surroundings,” he defined, including “not essentially in that order.”

“We’re worker-owned, value-led and mission-driven,” he mentioned. As for that mission, the corporate’s mantra is “For folks and planet.”

What folks will discover within the 10,000-square-foot backyard retailer displays that, repeatedly.

There’s the in depth native plant choice, with all crops grown inside two hours of the middle; a bigger providing of home crops; handmade gardening instruments by Crimson Pig Instruments of Lake Oswego; biodegradable nursery pots; livestock feed, instruments and bedding; and numerous gadgets, Yu mentioned, “you possibly can’t discover anyplace else.”


Sustainable gardening and design, Yu contends, is predicated on the premise the most effective folks can do will not be hurt the planet, however, he mentioned, “We are able to and have been useful to nature.”

The SymbiOp web site lists these examples of how the regenerative strategy applies:

— Planting supplies which are each much less poisonous and supply well being advantages;

— Merchandise that each break much less and could be simply mounted, upgraded or decomposed;

— Individuals who each do much less hurt and extra good.


Along with the backyard heart, SymbiOp additionally affords panorama design (https://SymbiOp/landscaping), set up and upkeep companies.

Designer Nutmeg Minneboo, who has greater than 10 years’ expertise in ecological design, mentioned regenerative landscaping makes use of fewer fertilizers and produces the vitamins the crops must thrive, replenishing and reproducing their very own sources of power.

As soon as established, SymbiOp explains, the gardens not solely emit much less carbon, however can really take away carbon from the ambiance.

Don’t search for any manicured rye grass lawns, although. As a substitute, SymbiOp installs eco-lawns, consisting of clover and strawberry floor covers that fertilize the soil.


Yu and the opposite 20 staff at SymbiOp have massive hopes for the fledgling enterprise’ future.

It begins with a fundraiser the day after Thanksgiving for the Native American Youth Affiliation, with 10% of all gross sales going to the group in what Yu envisions being the primary of a collection of fundraisers for nonprofits.

And SymbiOp is looking for grants to get electrical vans for deliveries and the panorama aspect of the enterprise to eradicate what Yu mentioned is “our largest supply of carbon.”

There are additionally plans to supply lessons and workshops on ecological gardening within the coming yr.

Stated Yu: “We’re all wanting ahead to spring.”


A large group of men and women (and a dog) pose for a photo in a garden shop, with plants all around them.

SymbiOp Backyard Retailer opened Oct. 1 in Southeast Portland.Courtesy of SymbiOp Backyard Retailer

What: A enterprise devoted to a regenerative strategy to gardening and design.

The place: 3454 S.E. Powell Blvd.

Hours: Each day, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Tuesday, 12-6 p.m.

On-line: Https://

A few of what you’ll discover there: Ecological items, native crops, indoor and edible crops, animal feed, natural soil and instruments.

— Dennis Peck, for The Oregonian/OregonLive

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