EUGENE, Ore. — When you drive down Green Acres Road in Eugene, you might notice one front yard more than the others.
A woman turned hers into a plentiful garden, overflowing with produce.
When you see Christina Clark knee deep in her garden. She looks like a Eugene native, but when you listen to her talk, her southern drawl gives her away.
“A lady looked at me and said, ‘Are you from around here?’ I had to laugh,” Clark said. “I moved here from Louisiana. I spent 30 years in the Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana area.”
It was in Arkansas where she tended to a 128-acre produce farm.
When she moved to Eugene, she didn’t know if she’d ever get the chance to garden like she once did, especially living in a rented house off of a busy suburban road. But then her green thumb started to itch.
“I started hearing about urban farming and I thought (gasp) that sounds fantastic,” Clark said.
So she got to work in her front yard, growing cabbage, beans, peppers, berries, all sorts of produce. Clark was back to the basics, living sustainably, again.
“The flavors are so much better than what you’ll find at the grocery store. Homegrown food is healthier. I will do it for that reason if nothing else,” Clark said.
Clark isn’t just utilizing her front yard for urban farming, she wants to share her goods by selling them here, too.
“I have yet to see a stand with no-spray or essentially organically grown vegetable,” said customer Danae Spencer.
Clark took advantage of her garden’s visibility and the constant traffic down her street and built a produce stand. It’s getting noticed.
“We’re in a stone’s throw of three grocery stores here that have the exact kind of material. Still people are beating the trail to right here,” Spencer said.
And while her working space might not be as large as it once was in the South, her passion and motivation to share her way of life with other is.
“I’ve had people stop and say I’d love to do something like this, but I don’t know how. The awesome thing is if you have an interest, you can,” Clark said.
Clark’s using the profits from her produce stand to start a community garden at Eugene Christian Fellowship.