Ian Wilson was born and raised right here in Portland, OR. From his deep fascination with the natural world, and an equal love for large scale projects in the kitchen, he developed an intuition and passion for growing food. He has spent much of his life building a wealth of this experience. After working on farms, gardens, and orchards in Vermont, Oregon, Hawaii, and Argentina, he attended the Organic Farm and Garden Apprenticeship Program at UC Santa Cruz, where he received an Advanced Certificate in Ecological Horticulture.
Following a long time calling for home, Ian returned to Portland and spent two years managing Portland’s 47th Avenue Farm, one of our city’s first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farms, overseeing production of 18 acres of organic vegetables, and growing food for over 200 Portland area families.
Ian launched Portland Edible Gardens in 2013 after talking to one too many people who wanted to grow their own food but didn’t know what to do about it.
A naturalist at heart, Jessie grew up traveling through many of the Country’s National and State Parks; reading the likes of Emerson, Thoreau, and Wendell Berry along the way. Shortly after moving to Portland over a decade ago, she began her journey into growing her own food. It was on a whim, to see how much she could feed herself. This led to a curiosity for what was possible in our climate and experience growing in many yards across the city, with all sorts of vegetables and herbs.
Over the last few years she has honed in on farming as a passion and teaching as a way to become involved in her community. She is a certified Master Gardener and Permaculture Designer; completed a Beginning Urban Farmer Apprenticeship in 2017, and interned at the Side Yard Farm in NE Portland. She also volunteers teaching in school gardens, and farms a small CSA. She has an excited, whimsical expression for all things growing, and dreams of edible plants in all backyards. She wants nothing more than to share her excitement, knowledge and tools as you start the journey of connecting to your food, self, and planet!
Matthew Grafton has a duel passion for growing food and restoring habitat. Over the past ten years he has worked on organic farms spanning from the size of a small backyard up to 15 acres, and everything in between. He also has experience in many aspects related to growing plants, such as installing irrigation systems, managing large-scale habitat restoration projects, and creating food forests.
Matthew spent 2016 as a field hand for Sauvie Island Organics, a large CSA and supplier to many of Portland’s beloved restaurants and natural groceries. This experience helped grow his roots in the Willamette Valley and achieve his long-time dream of buying a house with his partner and their cat, “Mr. Blackycat.” Matthew spends his free time planting to his heart’s content and watching his garden grow and change.