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.
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.
There was a great write-up today in the Oregonian about the Oregon IDA (Individual Development Account) program. Mercy Corps Northwest administers IDA accounts, and has served over 500 participants to date. Our clients use their matched savings accounts to invest in their business and grow long-term income.
(excerpted below, click here for full article)
IDAs help teach Oregonians good savings habits
Paula Barreto keeps an old wine jug in her bedroom where she plunks loose change.
Rajdeep Kaur swore off Starbucks and buys nearly all her nursing-school texts used.
Louie Chavez is dreaming big. The part-time cook and full-time nutrition-sciences student is mulling launching his own food cart.
They are among more than 1,600 Oregonians who’ve learned better savings habits by completing the Oregon Individual Development Account program. The 9-year-old initiative, supported mostly by state tax credits, helps lower-income individuals build savings to buy a home, go to college, or start or expand a small business.
It’s part of a nationwide effort to foster wealth by developing savings acumen and greater assets. Studies nationally suggest participants in the program are less likely to get into bad mortgages or lose their homes to foreclosure, though it’s not clear whether the good habits are long lasting…
Participants must meet income limits — generally speaking, no more than 80 percent of their local median household income. In the Portland area, that’s less than $40,000 for a single person and less than $57,000 for a family of four. Their net worth — total value of assets owned minus all owed debt — can’t exceed $20,000, though their home’s value and one vehicle aren’t counted.
Neighborhood Partnerships distributes the money to seven “fiduciary” nonprofits, including CASA of Oregon, Mercy Corps [Northwest] and the Portland Housing Center. They oversee the money and make accounts available through dozens of organizations statewide…