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Advice from the Oregonian: Get a CSA with MCNW

April 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Photo by Juan Carlos Delgado

The Oregonian FOODDay gave Mercy Corps Northwest a mention in their Small Bites series today. We agree, the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscription is a steal of a deal. Plus, in addition to a bounty of fresh veggies, you are supporting refugee farmers. To learn more, go here: http://www.mercycorpsnw.org/what-we-do/community-supported-agriculture/.

Full Oregonian article, excerpted here.

2011 CSA Memberships

Vegetable boxes brimming with squash, peppers and melons might seem like a kale-induced dream about now. But if you want a weekly cache this summer from a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm, you’ll have to wake up and act fast. Area CSAs are now accepting members, and the more popular ones fill up quickly. In case you’re not familiar with the idea, you sign up, pay for 20-plus weeks of produce, and come May or June, start reaping the bounty of your farm. CSA farm shares have changed with the times, with more growers offering half-shares or extras, everything from wine and cheese to eggs and meat. Most deliver weekly produce shares to farmers markets or pickup points around the city. Among the new farms offering memberships this year is the Growers Alliance CSA, a collective of 10 refugee farming families in the Portland area supported by Mercy Corps Northwest. For more information, contact David Beller, 503-896-5076. For a list of CSA options in Oregon and southwest Washington, go to localharvest.org.

– Leslie Cole

IDA Client Jessie Smith and her marvelous macaroons make a splash in The Oregonian MIX

February 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Sourced from The MIX, see original here.

Jessie_smith_Confectionery.jpg
Motoya Nakamura

By DEENA PRICHEP
Photograph by MOTOYA NAKAMURA

This time last year, Jessie Smith (left, in photograph) had a dream, a business grant from Mercy Corps and a nascent baking business keeping her up until 4 a.m. (after working her three day jobs). Now, she’s a full-time baker about to bust out of her Southeast Portland kitchen, has hired on high school friend Nicole Trueblood as a partner and will deliver breathtaking Parisian macarons to your door.

Smith is the founder (or, as she prefers, “sugar mama”) of Confectionery. She’s self-taught and has built a following at farmers markets with infused caramels, inventive cupcakes and adorably wee candied apples. But macarons quickly became the favorite. This year Smith added them to Confection Club, a subscription service where she’ll deliver a dozen macarons to your door every month for $15. This is a phenomenally good deal.

Smith, a painter, finds inspiration from concepts and color schemes, as well as seasonal herbs and berries. Her “Sunny” macaron brings warmth to April with rich sunflower seed butter playing off the slightly grassy herbal notes of chamomile flowers, and July’s “Frilly” riffed on the complementary colors of purple and green to discover the natural affinity between pistachio and lavender. Next up for March: “Maritime” pairs luscious coconut cream with a bright hint of lime.

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