80: Albert Kaufman from Farm My Yard
Albert is a long time Pacific Northwest activist. He’s worked on urban farming, forestry, quality of life issues and more since moving to the region in 1994. Albert is a huge proponent of helping people find their way to the garden. You can learn more about him at AlbertIdeation.com and FarmMyYard.org.
Listen in to learn about his experience on a kibbutz community, the beauty of the gift economy and freecycling, how he’s helping Portland neighborhoods get growing, and the implications legalizing marijuana in Oregon has on the future of growing food.
Albert is a well-traveled food- and tree-planting rockstar. He’s lived in New York City, Munich, Seattle, Portland (his current home since 2002), and even a communal farm/kibbutz community in Israel! Albert has volunteered with local organizations such as Friends of Trees coordinating tree planting efforts in Portland neighborhoods. After attending Burning Man in 2003, he developed fondness for the “gift economy” which led him to help spearhead the “freecycle” movement in its early stages. He finally started Farm My Yard to connect aspiring farmers with land to farm on – their neighbors’ yards.
How does Farm My Yard work? FarmMyYard.org says:
- Print out or create a “Farm My Yard” sign
- Place sign in a visible place
- Potential neighbor/farmer is attracted to farming your yard
- Use agreement which comes with sign, or use one provided below
- Your yard gets farmed, everyone wins!
- If you’re an urban farmer – use the Iamanurbanfarmer document and offer your services to your neighbors!
- Find us on Facebook!
Words of wisdom from Albert:
Tikkun Olam – A Jewish concept regarding healing the world
“Do something today to write the world.”
An important book for Albert: Food Not Lawns by Heather Flores. “If everyone in the world would just take one square foot of their yard… and put one tomato plant, we’d be a healthier world.”
He ends with this advice: Find people that are young, excited and enthusiastic to mentor. Invite them to come join you in weeding or invite them to a tree planting so you can show them what excites you about urban farming. It’s time to mentor the next generations and empower them to mend the world.
Awesome sites and organizations mentioned in the interview:
CityRepair.org – learn about the Village Building Convergence, a week-long event in Portland, OR
Where can you find Albert?
FarmMyYard.org – join his email list or write to him here!