Refugee Farming in the Greater Portland Area
Photo Bruce MacGregor for Mercy Corps
Our Agriculture Project helps recent refugees start small-scale farming enterprises by connecting them to land, supplies, and markets. Our focus is on helping refugees from Burma and Bhutan improve their livelihoods.
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)
Refugee Farming Programs
Portland Grower’s Alliance and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA): In partnership with Grow Portland, 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. The Growers Alliance CSA allows community members to share in the harvest with weekly pickups of fresh vegetables. Join the Portland Grower’s Alliance 2013 CSA to support and benefit from the Mercy Corps Northwest refugee farming program.
Damascus Training Site: Larry Thompson of Thompson Farm donates land, tillage and mentoring to make this initiative successful. Our new 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: NAAP is working 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.
- Portland Farmer’s Market
- Lents International Farmer’s Market
- Thompson Farm Stand on 242nd Avenue
- Restaurants and community-supported agriculture
David Beller, Program Manager