Press

With Side Yard Farm, Stacey Givens Invites Her Community To The Table

The Mercury – The Womxn’s Issue 2019
February 28th, 2019
by Jenni Moore

Founded in 2009 by Portland- based chef and farmer Stacey Givens, Side Yard Farm is an entirely womxn- and volunteer-run urban farm, supper club, and catering company located in the Cully neighborhood. What started as an outlet for Givens to sell her produce to roughly 20 local restaurants has since morphed into something else—as she tells me, “It’s not just a farm.”
Over the past decade, Side Yard has steadily expanded to become a sort of community hub. It’s hosted kids’ camps, “chicken retirement classes,” culinary workshops, yoga, bike-in movie nights, and pop-up meals featuring Givens’ produce. Side Yard even sends chefs and farmers to Japan on annual “seed-to-plate” tours, and attracted national attention in 2015 when Givens appeared on an ice cream-focused episode of Chopped.
Givens says that by hosting pricey events like weddings and swanky suppers, she’s able to lend her space to nonprofits and offer affordable programming that benefits her community and beyond, like the Lost Table, a bimonthly dinner for a grief support group.

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At The Lost Table, the grieving gather to honor lost loved ones

​NBC Today Show
December 21st, 2018

As joyous as the holidays are for some, to others, the season is a reminder of those they’ve lost. One unique group, The Lost Table, based in Portland, Oregon, provides a place for people to celebrate together and honor the loved ones who aren’t with them.

Watch the video!

​‘We Created This Village.’ Breaking Bread With the Women Farmers of Portland

TIME Magazine
BY LUCY FELDMAN | PHOTOGRAPHS BY ROSE MARIE CROMWELL FOR TIME
July 27th, 2018

​Harvest starts at 6 a.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays at the Side Yard Farm & Kitchen in Portland, Ore. Stacey Givens, the 36-year-old owner and chef, brews a carafe of coffee in the catering barn where she cooks the produce they grow on site, and assigns tasks to her crew.
It’s unseasonably warm in Portland this July, hitting the 90s by midday, so farm intern Beth Craw drags a hose around to water the crops first thing. Grace Rahn sets to gingerly trimming the colorful heads off marigold, calendula and nasturtium plants, three of nine varieties that comprise the farm’s edible flower mix. Later, she’ll pack orange, yellow and purple blooms into plastic shell containers for delivery. Givens wanders her acre of land hunting for fennel pollen and seeds. She lops off whole heads at a time, spindly bouquets dotted with juicy clusters the color of sunflowers.

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New Northeast Portland food center to unite restaurants, urban farms

The Oregonian
By Zach Middleton
November 21st, 2017

In food circles, Northeast Portland’s Cully neighborhood might be best known for two things: it’s patchwork of urban farms, and the unlikely collection of quality restaurants lining Northeast 42nd Avenue.
A new food center coming to the old Delphina’s Bakery seeks to unite these two elements with a restaurant, a bakery, a green grocer and more.
The business that perhaps most completely encapsulates this new center’s mission is a “community supported kitchen” from “Chopped” Champion and noted urban farmer Stacey Givens, whose goal is to bring neighborhood food producers, chefs and farmers into one economically equitable space.

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Why Oregon Growers Are Collaborating With Japan

Growing Oregon
By Teree Caruthers
September 28, 2017

These special relationships are celebrated on both shores and have resulted in several creative – and delicious – culinary collaborations. Stacey Givens owns The Side Yard Farm & Kitchen, an urban farm and catering company in Portland, and began working with Japanese farmers and restaurateurs about five years ago after a Japanese photographer visited her farm. Since then, Givens has hosted Japanese tourists and farmers, and has traveled to Japan several times to tour local farms and host seed-to-table dinners and events.
“On my first trip, I got a chance to tour four different farms, meet the farmers and use their product. I met bakers, ranchers and people who make cheese. I even helped them with the harvest,” Givens says. “Seeing how seriously they take their craft is really beautiful.”

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How Chef Stacey Givens Transformed a Side Lot in Cully into a Booming Urban Farm

Portland Monthly
by Chad Walsh
August 14th, 2017

In our fondest organic-bucolic fantasies, farmers start on a few pristine acres of land. Chef Stacey Givens, 35, started on a rooftop on East Burnside. While working at Rocket (now Noble Rot), the cook split her time between chef-owner Leather Storrs’s kitchen and the restaurant’s rooftop garden. Givens loved farming that rooftop so much that in 2009 she decided to start her own city farm … by basically begging people in Northeast Portland’s Cully neighborhood to let her plant crops on their open lots. Since then, The Side Yard Farm & Kitchen has become a go-to supplier for chefs—tomatoes and celtuce to shiso and fresh fennel pollen. The farm’s current one-acre lot, which she leases from neighbors, is also a destination for monthly outdoor brunches and dinners, bike-in movie nights, and grief groups. Just don’t expect to find her come Halloween. That’s when Givens and a coterie of chefs, brewers, and coffee roasters make their annual pilgrimage to Japan to try to convince the island’s young people that farming is, indeed, cool.

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Stake Your Place

Oregonhumanities.org
July, 2017
Essay by Zahir Janmohamed and photos by Tojo Adrianarivo

The Cully neighborhood of Portland offers a glimpse at the complex racial, ethnic, and economic factors at play in a community trying to resist the forces of gentrification, displacement, and change. Stacey Givens is the founder and director of the Side Yards Farm and Kitchen, an urban farming project close to Eli Spevak’s office. The farming sector jobs that once dominated Cully have all but disappeared, and today urban farms like hers are the exception, not the norm. She pointed out that if people volunteer on her farm, she will give them fresh produce for free. One of the biggest misconceptions people have about urban farming, she said, is that it is an elitist pursuit done only by white people. Givens, whose mother is a Greek immigrant, pointed out that with rising grocery costs, urban farming is a way to create jobs, to curb food costs, and to promote a healthy lifestyle.

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Portland’s Urban Farms are Blossoming

All Things Real Estate Magazine
May, 2017

We’ve all seen the lush, vibrant gardens tucked neatly into city blocks. Within each is quite a variety: they’re packed with fragrant flowers, vines crawling their way up homemade trellises, and plump fruits and vegetables drinking up the dew. This time of year, these urban gardens are in full splendor and ready for the season’s first harvest. Maybe you have already taken home some locally grown produce from the Saturday Market, dined on them at a nearby cafe, or spent time volunteering in a garden yourself. But what is their story? How did they come to be such an integral part of our city? And what effect do they have on neighborhoods and property values? Let’s take a look.
Urban farming and gardening is thought to have taken root in the US during times of economic depression as a way to supplement food supplies. Starting in 1893, residents of poverty stricken cities were encouraged to plant potatoes in vacant lots and yards. Organized and cared for by neighborhood residents, these community gardens cultivated independence, family income, and stable, nutritious meals for people who might not otherwise have access to them. This movement originated in poorer and more crowded cities like Boston, Detroit, and New York, and then spread rapidly. By 1919, there were more than five million such plots in cities all over the country, and five hundred thousand pounds of produce were being harvested every year.

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Food Town, USA

Alaska Airlines Magazine – ​Spring 2017
By Drew Tyson

To get a sense of Portland’s love affair with food, look no farther than The Side Yard Farm & Kitchen-one of Portland’s most unique eating experiences. This secluded, yet inviting establishment can be found in Cully, the city’s northeasternnmost neighborhood, which was named after an early settler, British stonemason Thomas Cully.

Photo Credit: Shawn Linehan

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Bringing Portland to Japan

Umi Organics
November 25th, 2016
By Lola Milholland​

During the tumultuous first two weeks of November, when (these words still don’t feel real) President Trump was elected, I had the unbelievable fortune to travel to Japan with some of the most inspiring people I know.

Umi Organic is informed by the year I lived in Japan at age 20 when I first fully immersed myself in Japanese food culture and became obsessive about the context behind each ingredient. I lived in Kyoto, the perfect place for jumping off the deep end into a bottomless, context-rich food hole. It’s been over 7 years since I last visited Japan (11 since I lived there), and I have been desperate to return and both lose and find myself again.

I joined a delegation brought together by Stacey Givens, farmer and chef in northeast Cully at The Side Yard Farm & Kitchen. This is Stacey’s fourth year going on what she calls the Seed to Plate Tour. Stacey is sincerely big in Japan — on the news, in major magazines, hit up on her Portland farm by flocks of Japanese tourists in the summer months. During these annual trips, she prepares dinners like only she can (layered, colorful, textural vegetable experiences) for intimate groups using local Japanese ingredients. She also speaks about making the most of small acreage, farming among urban residents, how her work as a chef and event space is key to her success, and what it means to be a young woman farmer. Every bit of this is directly relevant in Japan, where many farms are shoulder to shoulder with urban housing, and where the average age of a farmer is even older than in the United States—at 65.9 to our 58.3. There’s a desperate need for new blood.

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You Can Get Portland’s Best Movie Theater Popcorn At An Urban Farm’s Monthly Movie Night

Willamette Week
July 12, 2016
By Zach Middleton

Getting a taste of the best movie theater popcorn in Portland comes at an unusual cost: You have to climb up on the ol’ 10-speed and go for a bike ride. Every second Wednesday during the summer, urban farmer Stacey Givens holds a bike-in movie night at the Side Yard—the farm she owns and runs on Northeast 48th Avenue just north of Killingsworth Street. And though recent outdoor flicks have included Airplane and Caddyshack, the snacks are the real draw. Givens mixes hot popcorn with powders made of dried lovage and scapes—which, like the marigold flowers, are grown at the farm. She also serves cocktails made with liquor from Portland distillery New Deal.

Givens started the Side Yard in 2009 after discovering her green thumb working in the garden at rooftop restaurant Rocket (now Noble Rot). In addition to brunches, dinners and events on the farm lot, the Side Yard also supplies edible flowers, micro greens, and unusual herbs that are popping up on plates made by some of the city’s best chefs—including Renata and Sweedeedee, along with Old Salt and Red Sauce Pizza just down the street.

The next bike-in movie is at 8:30 pm on July 13—the same day this issue hits the stands. Like the popcorn, it’ll be Some Kind of Wonderful.Read More →

The Evolution Of Urban Farming

Oregon Home Magazine
June 20th, 2016
by Rebecca Shulman

Once confined to the countryside, it’s safe to say that farming has officially put down roots in the city. Boasting benefits for both the environment and the communities that they serve, it’s easy to see why fans and farmers alike advocate for the urban approach.

Crops that are normally out of season can be found stuffed into gallon-size freezer bags at the local supermarket and meals that in the past would’ve taken hours to make now take mere minutes in a microwave. However, within recent years there has been a definitive shift in the culinary sphere towards, what has been coined “slow food”: as in meals prepared by hand and made from fresh, locally grown ingredients.

Those who choose to go the extra step to cut out the middleman and produce their own food are still a relative minority, but the urban-farming movement is growing. Beyond knowing exactly where your food comes from, what gives urban farming its appeal? We spoke to some of our own Portland, Oregon, farmers and farm storeowners about the movement and its aim toward accessibility and fresh produce for all.

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Portland Creatives

Portland Creatives
May 5th, 2016

There is no middle man for the Side Yard Farm & Kitchen. Farmer/chef/owner Stacey Givens is personally involved in every step, from planting the seeds to bringing delicious locally grown produce to your table. Her farm has a diverse assortment of produce including seasonal veggies, fruits, and herbs. She even managed to point out some wasabi which she was inspired to grow after a recent trip to Japan. Each row reveals a new way Stacey has creatively applied her knowledge of urban farming.

​How did the Side Yard get it’s start?
​It started back in Spring of 2009. Prior to that I was working in a restaurant for a few years called Rocket, which is now Noble Rot. It was kind of a high tech American cuisine with a rooftop garden concept. I was a line cook there and asked if I could split my time between the kitchen and the rooftop, and this was right when they were building it. I met the master gardener up there and he’s still my mentor to this day. He pretty much taught me everything I needed to know about farming in small spaces. This gave me a connection between growing the food and bringing it to the kitchen. When Rocket closed down I decided to find my own piece of land. I heard about a neighborhood in NE that’s known for having smaller houses with huge plots. So I started going door to door and asking people if I could farm their side yard. Then I got lucky with a couple that bought a double lot and they pretty much said ‘you can use this lot, we’re not doing anything with it’, and I’m still their to this day. Over time, ‘Sideyard’ just kinda grew. I just wanted land, didn’t have a plan, and I was still working in restaurants. I thought I would just sell produce to my buddies at work who shared the same food philosophies as me. And that’s basically how it started. Now we’re selling to 15 local restaurants and provide for our own catering company.

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Cropped: How to Grow Lovage

Modern Farmer
March 28, 2016
by Alexandra Zissu

Here in the United States, Alice Waters spices up burgers and meatballs with the herb, while Stacey Givens of the Side Yard Farm & Kitchen in Portland, Oregon, purées the leaves into a pesto and incorporates the crunchy seeds into Bloody Marys. The good news for growers in culinary-forward markets: A lovage plant can reach heights of 6 feet within a single year, yielding about a pound of leaves per week from spring into fall.

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How these Farmer Janes are Making Organics Profitable

Rodale’s Organic Life
by Audra Mulkern
February 12th, 2016​

All across America, women are returning to the land and reviving age-old traditions of farming, which, as a business, is often fraught with struggles to turn a profit. But these four superwomen have combined their individual passions for food, organic farming, and feeding local communities into smart business models. And by selling directly to consumers and restaurants, they’ve cut the middlemen, turning a higher profit and bolstering their local economies. Meet the women who are bucking the status quo.

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Equitable Opportunity Radio Episode 020: Portland is a Movable Side Yard Feast

November 5th, 2015
​Listen in here.

Topic: Providing local food to the local community

In This Episode:
1:34 Introduction to this episode.
2:36 Introduction of Stacey Givens.
3:26 Stacey describes how their farm works.
4:43 Stacey talks about the amount of produce that The Side Yard grows.
5:32 Stacey explains how they are staffed and how they depend on volunteers.
6:15 What specifically does The Side Yard grow and how is that unique?
7:41 What is the Nomadic Supper Club?
11:20 How did Stacey end up being a farmer, chef, and innovative entrepreneur?
13:48 How does community play a role in supporting the work of The Side Yard?
15:44 What educational opportunities does The Side Yard provide?
18:19 How does The Side Yard care for its employees?
19:25 What does local mean in context of their operation?
21:14 How can listeners learn more about The Side Yard and support the work?
22:03 If Stacey could sit down with her future self, what would the future Stacey say about the importance and impact of the work she’s doing?

Right at the Fork #61: Stacey Givens, The Side Yard Farm & Kitchen

​October 26th, 2015
Check out the Right At The Fork Podcast with Side Yard’s own Stacey Givens. Talking about food, farming, arranged marriages and her favorite chefs in Portland.

In which a good Greek girl comes to Portland, opens The Side Yard urban farm and kitchen, and kicks ass on “Chopped.”

Listen Now →

Japan Hearts Portland: Side Yard Farm Heads There to Give Urban Farming Lessons

EaterPdx
Article by Chad Walsh
Oct 23, 2015

Farmer-chef Stacey Givens could open a Japanese version of her urban farm on the island in 2017.

Portland, Japan has a crush on you. And why wouldn’t it? You’ve given it Slappy Cakes and Blue Star Donuts, and the folks who inhabit the island are smitten with your beer, too.

And for the last three years, they’ve been inviting one of your own, The Side Yard Farm’s Stacy Givens, to come teach them the ins and outs of urban farming. Givens says they love what she does so much that she just might open a Side Yard in Japan in 2017.

When the Chopped winner lands in Tokyo next week, she’ll put on a 100-person farm-to-table dinner with the help of some friends she’s bringing along, includingJosh Grgas (The Commons Brewery), Corey Schuster (Jackalope Wine Cellars) and what she calls a whole bunch of Chrises–Brady (Extracto Coffee Roasters),Carriker (Bluehour, 23Hoyt) and Starkus (Urban Farmer, and Givens’ fellow Chopped contestant).

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High Tunnel, High Yield — Feeding Local Urban Communities

Natural Resources Conservation Service Oregon
By Tracy Robillard
Summer 2015

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is empowering urban farmers to feed their communities, one high tunnel at a time.

Through its High Tunnel Initiative, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to build high tunnels for producers of all types — from traditional to organic, from rural to urban, from large-scale operations to backyard plots.

“High tunnels are an excellent way to increase crop productivity because they extend the growing season for plant production,” said Kim Galland, NRCS District Conservationist in Multnomah County. “They allow farmers to plant earlier in the spring and later into the fall, while protecting the crops from frost. They allow farmers to get higher yields, better production, hit the market earlier, and provide longer service to their customers.”

ON-THE-FARM BENEFITS
Stacey Givens owns a unique operation in Portland’s northeast Cully neighborhood called The Side Yard Farm and Kitchen. It’s an urban farm with three separate lots within one mile from each other, a supper and brunch club, and a catering company. When she’s not busy farming and cooking, Givens also coordinates weddings, parties and other special events on her farm, including kid camps and education activities. She even dabbles in beekeeping.

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Portlanders Stacey Givens and Chris Starkus to Square Off on Food Network’s Chopped

BY CHAD WALSH
June 25th, 2015

At the end of May, The Side Yard Farm‘s Stacey Givens hosted Urban Farmer Chef de Cuisine Chris Starkus for a joint “One Mile Farm Dinner.” The event, which took place at Givens’ urban farm, offered a chance to give a dozen or so diners a taste of vegetables farmed and foraged from within a mile. What they may not have known at the time was that the dinner also offered a taste of some soon-to-drop news, namely that an episode of Chopped on which both Givens and Starkus competed, was set to air on the Food Network at 10 p.m., Tuesday, June 30.

Naturally, neither Givens nor Starkus could say which of the show’s four contestants survived, nor how many rounds, if any, either of them sailed through, but they did say that the theme that tied the whole show together was ice cream. Tuesday’s episode, titled Scoop’s On!, was filmed about a year ago in New York City.

Prior to the filming of the show, Starkus and Givens had never met, but after chatting each other up for the first time over a cup of coffee in a midtown Starbucks, they realized they knew a lot of the same people and had a similar approach to cooking, namely, growing their own ingredients.

It’s no secret that Givens is a farmer, but Starkus has been tending—and expanding—Urban Farmer’s rooftop garden atop the Nines Hotel in downtown Portland.

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Now Open in Portland: The Side Yard Farm and Kitchen

By Chad Walsh//Neighborhood Notes
April 8th, 2015

Stacey Givens, chef and veteran of many local kitchens, first established The Side Yard Farm in 2009 and began growing lots of vegetables, especially micro-greens and edible flowers, and selling them to local chefs running the kitchens at places like Cocotte, Natural Selection, Ned Ludd and Old Salt Marketplace. Now, she and her team have raised a barn and set up a new and improved urban farm a few blocks away from the original site, which is still in use. The Side Yard Farm and Kitchen will now be home to a monthly brunch and dinner series, DIY animal-rendering classes, cob oven workshops, Bee Local honey hives, once-a-month bike-in summer movie nights, and week-long summer kids’ camps where Portland’s littlest ones will get their own plot to harvest and, once their vegetables have been uprooted, they’ll make their own meals using those veggies for themselves and their parents.

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日本にて Portland Style Beer Supper を提供する女性

By Red Gillen
December 13, 2014

The blog is called “Oshuushu” (which loosely means Oregon Alcohol) and its entirely in Japanese. It focuses on the beer, wine, spirits and cider drinking scene in Oregon. Writer Red Gillen and Side Yard Owner Stacey Givens met up for a cup of coffee and talked about her most recent trip to Japan. 先週、凄く面白い人にお会いすることが出来ました。Stacey Givens(ステーシー・ギヴェンズさん)はポートランドの地産地消ムーヴメントの大物です。ステーシーさんはポートランドのThe Side Yard(ザ・ サイド・ヤード)というアーバンファームのオーナーです。ポトランド市内で育った野菜やフルーツをポートランドのレストランを供給します。そして15歳に レストラン業界で初めて勤めたステーシーさんは「Nomadic Chef」(遊牧民チェフ)です。森の中、人の庭、ホップの牧場などにてローカルフード使用のブランチ、ディナーを提供します。凄い人!

Edible Portland’s Fall 2014 Issue: Renaissance Woman

Stacey Givens of Side Yard Farm & Kitchen can’t keep her hands out of the garden or the kitchen
Illustration by Cassandra Swan

Edible Portland: Where did you learn to farm, and how did that turn into starting your own urban farm and kitchen?

Stacey Givens: I learned how to farm in small spaces on the rooftop of Rocket Restaurant (now Noble Rot) as the garden liaison between the kitchen and roof. Once they went out of business, I knew there was no other way for me to cook than to also grow my own food. I went door to door in the Cully neighborhood looking for land to lease.

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Underground Airwaves Podcast: Surreptitious Foraging with Stacey Givens

August 19th, 2014

Urban farming is on the upward trend but it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to make a living at it. Stacey Givens, owner and creator of The Side Yard Farm & Kitchen, is putting in that hard work running a diversified operation. A recent recipient of a Local Hero Award, Stacey talks about the process of starting The Side Yard and its evolution over the years.

Check out the podcast here →

Taking Local To The Next Level-1859 Oregon’s Magazine

July/August 2014

Check out the latest issue of 1859 Oregon’s Magazine. The Side Yard is one of four farms featured as ‘The next generation of Oregon farmers’. Rad!!!

Edible Portland’s Local Hero Award Nominee for 2014!

The Side Yard Farm & Kitchen is a 2014 Local Hero Award nominee in the Restaurant/Chef Artisan category. Public voting will open on May 9th. Read about the Local Hero Awards here!

Many chefs and restaurants take pride in sourcing local foods from the Pacific Northwest, but for Stacey Givens of The Side Yard Farm & Kitchen, it’s about hyper-local. The urban farm located in the northeast Cully neighborhood supplies produce to 15 area restaurants as well as its own pop-up supper club. Stacey has become beloved for the jaw-dropping, multi-course, family-style meals she cooks out of a small kitchen truck. The ingredients for these nomadic suppers are sustainably farmed, ethically raised, and sourced from within two miles of the farm. We spoke to Stacey about her unique, creative, and community-centered urban craft.

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Portland Chefs: They’re Big In Japan! -Portland Monthly

Portland Monthly Eat Beat
January 2014

The very Nomadic Chef: Stacey Givens, the food-fueled mind behind The Side Yard urban farm and The Nomadic Chef, is self-described “a little crazy”—in an 80-hour-workweek, super-passionate, semi-famous-in-Japan kind of way.

After appearing in the Japanese magazine, HUGE, Givens has been invited to bring farm-to-table cooking to both Kyoto and Kamakura from February 18 to March 1. “I was told to make 100% Side Yard style meals—no Japanese fusion,” says Givens. She’ll be connecting with local farmers, bakers, and butchers for fresh fodder, and to make sure she has all of the Portland-made ingredients necessary, Givens is packing a suitcase full of the essentials. assuming, of course, that everything makes it through customs.

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Faces From The Neighborhood

Faces from The Neighborhood
January 2014

Stacey Givens is simply an inspiration. Through The Side Yard Farm and Kitchen, Stacey has channeled her passion and creativity in the kitchen into something that is so much more than a sustainable urban farm. The Side Yard Farm also contributes to the community with its kids camps and workshops, while the nomadic kitchen offers up truly one-of-a-kind “seed to table” catering and events. In fact, Stacey Givens is in the heart of Portland’s bounty.

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Portland’s Supper Clubs: A Guide To Joining The Roving Feast – Mix Magazine

MIX Magazine
September 2013 issue

The supper club is tailor-made for those who love mingling with like-minded strangers and talking shop with chefs. Here is a look at seven local clubs.

Nomadic Chef– For 15 years, Stacey Givens wandered in and out of kitchens — 15 in all, 11 of them in Portland — and was baptized into several positions along the way (line, grill, pantry, prep, sous) at restaurants like South Park, Lincoln and Noble Rot. It was at Noble Rot (back when it was Rocket), where Givens found a distraction to her restlessness: the restaurant’s rooftop garden helmed by Marc Boucher-Colbert. He taught her everything she now knows about seeds and soil — an expertise she hoped to parlay into growing her vision of Portland’s “chef’s candy shop.” It seems to have worked.

Read the full article →

‘HUGE’ Magazine Of Tokyo, Japan Features 8 Page Spread About Side Yard Farm

‘HUGE’ Magazine of Tokyo, Japan did an 8 page spread on The Side Yard Farm! The issue featured ‘Eating Local. Think Community’ with other U.S. cities Oakland, Los Angeles, Brooklyn. Thank you photographer Yuri Manabe and writer Hitomi Thompson. The Side Yard is honored and I look forward to traveling to Tokyo, Japan soon to talk about Portland’s food and urban farming scene!

Backyard Roots By Lori Eanes: Lessons on Living Local from 35 Urban Farmers

Backyard Roots is a unique project by California-based photographer Lori Eanes that evocatively and intimately explores the lives of 35 urban farmers in Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. In these stories and photos you’ll find people like Laura Allen, the Oakland-based cofounder of Greywater Action, a policy and education nonprofit that promotes the use of greywater systems. In Vancouver, aquaponic farmer Jodi Peters sustainably grows and harvests tilapia in sync with her organic vegetable garden. Or meet Jonathan Chen, a young cancer survivor who now manages the Danny Woo Community Gardens in south Seattle, where a group of Southeast Asian immigrants farm in a vibrant mix of cultures.

The Side Yard Farm is featured in Backyard Roots as one of Portland’s urban farms that is working towards its goal of a CSR (community supported restaurant).

Order your copy today!

Queer Voices Community Spotlight

Published March 13th, 2013
by Aaron Spencer

While some feel the need to choose between farming and cooking, Stacey Givens, 31, couldn’t decide. Instead, she’s made a career of doing them both. “Farming and cooking are my life,” Givens says. “My girlfriend gets so mad at me because I’m either reading a cookbook or a farming book or writing a menu or something.”

Givens’ business, the Side Yard Farm and Kitchen, provides various and sundry services from private catering, farm-to-table dinners, locally grown produce for restaurants, and cooking classes. “It’s always been about food for me,” she says. “I loved instantly the whole family feeling you get from being a part of a kitchen – the fast paced environment and your adrenaline pumping.”

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Unearthing Inspiration

Read the Oregon Wine Press article featuring The Side Yard’s Chef/ Farmer, Stacey Givens.

They have published Stacey’s Beet Pinot Redux recipe!

Published: October 1, 2012 By Oregon Wine Press

Read, cook and enjoy!

Cooking Up A Story

Published: July 18, 2012 By Food.Farmer.Earth

Chef Stacey Givens, founder and owner of The Side Yard in Portland, Oregon, and Chef at Raptor Ridge Winery in Newberg, talks about growing micro greens and selling them to the city’s finest restaurants. Check out the video on Cooking Up a Story!

Edible Portland’s Local Hero Award 2012

The Side Yard is nominated for Edible Portland’s Local Hero Awards, where outstanding supporters of Portland’s regional food community are recognized and celebrated. We will share the results as soon as they are available – we’re honored to have been nominated among amazing local farms.

Thank you to all of our supporters who took the time to shout out for The Side Yard – we can’t thank you enough!

Interview With The Side Yard: Urban Farm Brings Specialty Produce To Some Of Portland’s Top Restaurants

Published: November 9, 2011
By BePortland

The Side Yard also brings the Portland community together with larger events, in which chefs come together to cook good food and enjoy music with like-minded people. Earlier this year the garden had a massive pig roast. “There were nine chefs, a hundred and forty pound pig, and 50 people,” Givens recalls. “I’ll continue to do the brunches until the weather’s nice, and then once that stops I usually do monthly hoop house dinners. I’ll put picnic tables up, lights, and do like six courses.”

Combining specialty farming with quality food and hard-working people, The Side Yard truly boasts creativity and community within a Portland population that is so passionate about its food.

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Growing Portland’s Vibrant Food Scene on Urban Acres

Published: August 23, 2011
By The Oregonian

Stacey Givens is an unlikely farmer, having spent most of her working years tending not soil but simmering pots in a professional kitchen. But now the Portland chef makes part of her living growing food on two urban lots in Northeast Portland’s Cully neighborhood, and selling tiny radishes, beets and culinary herbs to eight local restaurants.

Neighbors don’t complain, she says, about the leafy landscape at Side Yard Farm, or squawk about her chickens, pygmy goats and bees. In fact, quite the opposite: “I get people walking by all the time who say, ‘You need help today?’ I cook them lunch or give them vegetables,” Givens says.

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The Side Yard Micro Crops Growing in Popularity

Published: August 23, 2010
By Neighborhood Notes

“What truly inspired me to start The Side Yard was my drive to be just as creative with growing food as I am with cooking food,” she says. “I don’t want to be just another urban farm, I want to be a chefs’ candy store.'” So Givens decided upon two twists: she’d sell her yields to local kitchens, and she’d think small. In 2009, using some of the money she’d saved, Givens went to work, finding land to lease and then planting it with shoots she started in her Irvington apartment. For the next several weeks (while cooking for Lincoln Restaurant, gardening at Noble Rot and helping open The Original restaurant as a prep cook), she and handfuls of “volunteers” (very good friends upon whom she heavily leans and pays with goods during harvests) helped her clear land. They built raised beds and compost bins. They installed an irrigation system that would water plants from the rainwater caught by the rain barrels they built. Everything would be reused. And then, over several weeks of long 10-hour days, they planted the first crops.

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