All Sustainability History Project Oral Histories


John Witte

Streaming Media

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21 minutes


Sustainable agriculture, Farmers' markets -- Oregon


Interview of John Witte by Steve Rosin at Portland, Oregon on March 1st, 2010.

The interview index is available for download.


John Witte owns and operates Tenino Farms in southeast Portland. He holds a PhD from the University of Oregon, and studied post doc in Sweden. He has taught chemistry at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.


John Witte founded a local, one-acre farm plot called Tenino Farms. John has taken his childhood love of plants and successfully combined it with his knowledge of chemistry, thereby providing the city with delicious, organic vegetables. The yearly harvest can be seen at the Portland Farmer's Markets and throughout many local restaurants. Although this one acre farm may not be “certified organic,” John believes his relationship with the buyers and word of mouth does enough to spread the worth of his vegetables. The business takes effort and determination. He also describes the competition, as well as partnerships, involved in local farming.

This interview is part of “The Sustainability History Project: Documenting Sustainable Development and Practice in the Pacific Northwest” at Portland State University.


This digital access copy is made available as streaming media for personal, educational, and non-commercial use within the parameters of “fair use” as defined under U.S. Copyright law. It cannot be reproduced, distributed, or broadcasted for commercial purposes. For more information, please contact Special Collections at Portland State University Library at: or (503) 725-9883.

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