31 July 2010

Grow Portland, Grow

Guest Blogger, Lauren Morse

You may have noticed the Portland Growers Alliance at recent Monday Pioneer Square Markets. We’re a brand new collaboration between Mercy Corps Northwest’s refugee agriculture program and Grow Portland, a grassroots urban agriculture organization.

Koushila Koirala, Pabitra Dhimal and Kali Dhungel from Nepal and Bhutan

Growing Together

How does this collaboration work? Mercy Corps Northwest’s New American Agriculture Project (NAAP) supports recent immigrants and refugees begin market gardens in the Portland area. These growers must access outlets for their produce in order to create durable farm businesses; however, due to limited English skills and business backgrounds, they often struggle with this marketing and distribution aspect of growing.

Roots, Rock

The Portland Growers Alliance is providing this marketing and distribution support. Our work is guided by the following principles:

(1) Connecting local growers and consumers

(2) Promoting all natural growing practices

(3) Utilizing vacant urban land for productive agricultural use

(4) Harnessing the skills and potential of immigrant, refugee, and beginning farmers

In our first year of service, we are distributing the produce of NAAP farmers through the Pioneer Square Market, local restaurants, and a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. In the future, we hope to provide our services to additional beginning farmers in the Portland area.

To learn more about the Growers Alliance and our CSA program, see our website. Here you’ll be able to view a brochure with details on our CSA, which will run from late August through November. We’re recruiting new shareholders now, so sign up soon!

And don’t forget to print out our coupon for $2.00 off veggies! Stop by the Pioneer Square Market this Monday from 10 am-2 pm to say hello and get some delicious produce.Portland Growers Alliance Coupon