Refuge Gardens in Greater Portland

You can buy our fresh vegetables, locally grown without synthetic inputs, at the following markets:

Wednesday 10-2pm 
Shemanski Park Farmers Market

Saturday 8:30 - 2pm 
PSU Farmers Market

At Refuge Gardens recent refugees are connected with land, supplies, and markets they need to improve their livelihoods through small-scale farming enterprise. We currently work with refugees from Burma and Bhutan.

Refuge Gardens from Dan Sadowsky on Vimeo.


We provide refugee farmers with:

  • Land access
  • Business planning and market development
  • Financial assistance
  • Infrastructure, equipment, and supplies
  • Agricultural skill development (classes, hands-on workshops, and mentoring)

Refuge Garden Programs

  • Portland Grower’s Alliance and Community Supported Agriculture: We provide marketing support for new and refugee farmers. This effort is designed to help growers reach profitable direct market outlets like farmers markets and restaurants. Produce is available for purchase in the summer and fall on Wednesdays at the Shemanski Farmers Market and Saturdays at the Portland State University Farmers Market..

  • Damascus Training Farm: Larry Thompson of Thompson Farm donates land to make this initiative successful. Refugee farmers work their own plots of land ranging in size from one-half to one acre. Mercy Corps Northwest and Thompson Farm are jointly investing in the infrastructure and equipment needed to develop the site.

  • Nepalese Gardens—Southeast Portland: We work with recent refugees from the countries of Nepal and Bhutan to develop urban market gardens.  These productive and profitable gardens are grown on reclaimed, overgrown land that is donated by private owners or vacant City of Portland lots. MCNW is the first nonprofit to secure land through Portland’s “Diggable Cities Project,” an effort to utilize vacant public land.   

  • Staff Contact

    Seth Belber, Program Manager
    P: (503) 896-5076  
    E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)