Environmentally friendly methods of farming allow for the production of crops and livestock while preserving the health of our watershed and land. Sustainable farming practices mitigate common adverse effects from traditional farming on soil, water quality, biodiversity, and other natural resources. These practices can help protect and preserve the land and our watershed for generations to come.
Large-scale Agriculture is both the largest consumer of water as well as the single largest contributor to nonpoint source pollution. Zenger Farm offers a model alternative by operating a small scale diversified vegetable farm on three acres of the hillside above a wetland. Zenger Farm’s ‘better than organic’ agricultural practices have helped maintain a habitat so pristine that all five of Portland’s native amphibians are seen regularly. The small spring located just below the farm fields contains some of Portland's cleanest water.
Our farmers use high efficiency drip irrigation systems to minimize water loss due to evaporation, and nearly all farm work is done by hand, with tilling done by small walk-behind tractors to minimize fossil fuel use. Stewardship practices are passed on to the next generation of farmers through our annual internship program. 75% of our internship program participants go on to work in the faming field, and act as advocates for watershed stewardship throughout the region.