The Alpine Avenue Edible Landscapes Project of McMinnville was started in the Spring 2021 by Edible Landscapes of Yamhill County. Edible Landscapes’ mission is to promote and encourage personal and community organic edible gardens in Yamhill County.
The original development of Alpine Avenue was funded by an Urban Renewal Grant to re-envision Alpine district as a modern, mixed-use and pedestrian-friendly environment that still reflects the area’s history. The street’s reconstruction is part of the city’s Northeast Gateway Plan, the state’s largest shared-use roadway and redevelopment project. Eventually, the project aims to transform 75 acres of the city into a unique destination that accommodates future growth.
The street was designed so that it could be closed to traffic for street fairs and festivals. The steel grids, drainage planter boxes and harvest boxes are a part of the theme. The City installed the planter boxes and rounds, added planting soil, and encouraged local businesses and residents to begin using them.
Edible Landscapes had been looking for a local area to start a demonstration garden for over a year. Bettie Egerton found the Alpine Ave. boxes and rounds and started by planting a box or two with tomatoes while initiating communication with the City of McMinnville. The City Council wanted to develop the area for tourism by drawing people to Alpine Ave. businesses such as Mac Market, Grain Station and Flag and Wire. Bettie persisted and with the help of the board of Edible Landscapes, finally got a contract started. It took almost 2 years of effort and dogged determination to finalize a contract with the City.
When Edible Landscapes received the formal contract with the City of McMinnville, we started making our presence known to the businesses and homeowners. Board members started weeding the boxes and talking to the residents. A survey was sent out stating who we were and what our plans were. Most residents had been unaware of the project, were glad to be informed, and supported the Edible Landscapes plan.
Volunteers were recruited and “themes” were developed to create an interesting walking tour up and down Alpine Ave. We have a tea garden, salsa garden, aromatic herbs, culinary lavender, and a compost experiment that demonstrates how different uses of soil, compost, and biochar can affect the same plants. We are always open to more themes to encourage education of our local area and history, as well as working with local businesses to promote the unique character of Alpine Avenue.
The City of McMinnville has designated public works supervisor Larry Sherwood as a contact person. He has acted as liaison between Edible Landscapes and city planners, and actively worked to find a better distribution of the boxes along Alpine Ave. The boxes were moved, compost was added, and all nearby businesses and residents were notified of changes to the project. The following donors have contributed their support:
- Visit McMinnville – $1000
- RB Ultimate (Carlyle Co.) – $1000
- Granary District Group – $500
- Rhodes Construction – $500
Zero Waste has been a supporter and engineer of this project from the beginning and has contributed start up funds of $500. Several Edible Landscape members have also contributed $100 each as sponsors of an individual box.
Ramsey McPhilips has met with Nick of the Flag and Wire to start a garden and a coffee grounds bin for recycling coffee grounds to be used as compost. Zero Waste has been a supporter and engineer of this project from the beginning. A spot has been identified where the bin for coffee grounds could be located and made available to the public to share.
Watch for signage explaining what is planted in each area and the significance of this project.