Food Works CSA is not available for the 2018 season.
We grow 2 acres of organic greens for cooking and salad, roots like carrots, beets, and potatoes, hot weather veggie classics like tomatoes, eggplants and cucumbers, plus herbs, melons, and more!
By joining our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, you can support our farm, support our youth leadership programming, and enjoy fresh, organically-certified vegetables all summer long.
This summer, Eva joined the Food Works community as one of 10 new Summer Program youth hired by a peer hiring committee. After a successful summer, Eva was hired on as a member of the Academic Year Program, which meets weekly throughout the school year to plan the farm for next year's season, build community and youth leadership, and explore food and social justice issues.
We sat down with Eva to learn more about her story...
"At Food Works, we grow food from seeds, it is all organic food. We have a CSA and sell to Village Market. We provide organic, sustainable food for the community. People can really get a sense where their food comes from and I think that's really cool.
I work alongside a lot of other youth. A big part of my job is being open to experiences, learning a lot, and taking a step back. Another big role I have is to listen and learn and teach. Just because some people are older than me doesn't mean I can't teach them and they can't learn from me. I think that is a cool part of the job.
A big gift that I learned from my grandma was empathy. She would help other people because she knew the struggles of these people and she could empathize with them. She was one of my biggest role models. Even in my hardest and weakest moments I want to be able to recognize what other people feel and try to help them.
When I was in third grade, I wrote a poem because I was so in to my culture and learning about who I was. I was so inspired by the dancers, and I was having so much fun at the powwows. My grandma would take me to powwows and she would be so excited to see me dance."
A small pot of beef stew.
“Dance,” cries my close people and they get their wish.
I slip on my moccasins.
Native dancing is a dream.
The loud shouts make me feel at home.
Just a native song makes me feel like I belong.
So close to god I pray it will never go away.
In a true powwow
when I dance and my feet go off the floor
I never want to leave.
My hair smacks me in the face
and reminds me that I can’t stay forever.
So I enjoy dancing as much as I can.
I can’t believe that one night at the powwow could set me for life
But I can never get enough of my culture.
We want to give a BIG thank you to Eva for sharing her story and her poetry with all of us! The stories that we share are the building blocks of the relationships that make us a stronger community. In 2017, Food Works supported 24 youth leaders like Eva to grow themselves, their farm, their business, and their communities through Food Works programming! To hear more stories from Eva and others in the Village Gardens community this month, follow us on Facebook and Instagram!
In March of 2011, Chelsea noticed a job posting at Village Market, a brand new non-profit grocery store in her neighborhood of New Columbia in North Portland. As one of the first employees at Village Market, her task was to help build the shelving that would eventually hold all our market goodies. Six years later, Chelsea is still providing warm customer service, helping out her community and has taken on management of fresh produce for the store. Whether she is ordering from Food Works youth farm or our supplier, her personal values support her commitment to meeting the growing demand for fresh produce in the neighborhood.
"I am most proud of changing my eating habits. Seven years ago, my sister in law was the first person to get me to try something she cooked that I don't really care for, but from then on I kept trying things. Now I eat more fruit and vegetables in my diet, and am learning how to cook with them and learning what is good for you. My toddlers really like to copy, so whatever I do...they do. They follow me around and I try to make eating exciting. So I say" Let's eat carrots kids!!" and they say "yay!". The more I am excited about a healthy snack, the more they are too. Peppers, I did not like for a long time and then I learned lots of ways to cook with them or to put them in my food and now I like to add them to a rice bowl with black beans, shredded chicken, taco seasoning and lime juice. I get my peppers by eating them like that.
My job lets me build relationships with people and get to know people, you never know when you might need help or someone might need you. I like to help people - whether its my kids, my family, people at my church, my neighbors or customers...when you help somebody it does a lot for you. It makes me feel good as a person. Like for a day or something...do something little for someone else that just makes you feel good..and then it comes back to you."
At Village Market, we are simply removing the biggest barrier to choice - affordability. For the past few years, Village Market has been using "Good Food" models to figure out how to level the playing field so that all people can choose fresh fruits and vegetables. We rely on supporters like you to make sure we all have authentic choices for how to feed ourselves and our loved ones. Your donation helps to support Good Food and employment for North Portland neighbors.
We had such an amazing time with you all at Farm Feast. Check out all the photos
A huge thank you to all our guests, volunteers and sponsors. See you all next year....same time, same place, another great party.
A big thanks to @PoorforaMinute and Medium for highlighting Happiness Family Farm's story, perseverance, and success. We feel honored to be part of the Hezumuryano’s journey.
We are excited to announce that New Columbia Farmers Market (Village Gardens) and St Johns Farmers Market (St. Johns Center for Opportunity) are partnering up for the 2017 farmers market season. The partnership will strengthen efforts of both markets to support local farmers and hot food vendors, provide a space for weekly celebration, support accessibility to fresh and local produce, and meet the needs of our vibrant North Portland community. We are co-hiring a Farmers Market Coordinator to be the lead on both markets for the 2017 season and to build the bridge for our farmers, vendors and communities to grow together. We think it is a great opportunity for New Columbia Farmers Market to work with emerging vendors and prepare them for a mid-sized market like St. Johns Farmers Market. Check out our employment page for more info.
By purchasing a portion of the season’s harvest, CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) members develop a partnership with our farm, the youth employed at Food Works and the Village Gardens' community. All funds from our CSA go back into the program to help employ youth from North Portland and to operate our 2.5 acre certified organic farm on Sauvie Island.
What can you expect from your share?
- A weekly pick up of a diverse assortment of at least 8 types of vegetables for a total of 23 weeks.
- It’s a great size for a family or a couple hungry adults.
- The weekly Food Works newsletter keeps you up to date on what’s in season, our favorite recipes, youth writings, and Food Works program updates.
How much does it cost?
A full Food Works CSA share costs $600. You can choose payment in full or two installments. We have a limited number of shares available to SNAP participants for $400, thanks to the Double Up Food Bucks Program. Get in touch to find out more. The cost of your CSA goes directly towards supporting youth employment.
As the soil at Food Works farm is getting tilled, as the cover crop is being planted, and while the van is continually getting stuck in the mud due to the fall rains, we at Food Works are reflecting back on the successes, learning moments, and beauty that defined this past season on the farm. We had two successful farmers market booths, an account at the University Park New Seasons, and the biggest, longest CSA we’ve ever had.
An exciting addition to our CSA this year was our participation in CSA Partnerships for Health, a CSA prescription program that provides affordable vegetables and fruit to folks in the community. For those that don't know, CSA stands for "Community Supported Agriculture," which means a farm takes a certain number of members for the whole season and provides them with a full box of produce each week at a fixed price. We are at the beginning of a multi-year partnership that includes Zenger Farm, Adelante Mujeres, OFB Community Farm, Portland Fruit Tree Project, Rose CDC, OHSU Family Medicine at Richmond, Multnomah County Health Centers and Portland State University. For this particular program, Food Works provided organic vegetables to 11 CSA members who are patients at North Portland Health Center and whose wellness plan include healthy eating and cooking with fresh whole foods. This is easier said than done when your food budget is limited, so the partnership covered the marjority of the cost of each share and SNAP benefits covered the remaining, making locally grown, organic, fresh produce truly accesible.
Each week we would bring that week’s produce to the clinic and set it up farmers market style with the colorful produce billowing out of baskets for each person to pick from. This gave them an opportunity to have agency in their food choices and to ask and learn about each thing. It was so inspiring to see folks mystified and unsure about something like celeriac one week, then come back the next with their mouthwatering descriptions of the amazing soup they had made with it. We also partnered with Village Gardens’ Community Kitchen program so that almost each week there was a cooking demo with samples for an easy, nutritious recipe that uses the produce in that week’s CSA share along with a recipe written out for folks to take. This created a weekly community gathering time where the patients, healthcare providers, and staff and youth from Village Gardens all had a chance to hang out outside, eat together, and connect about recipes, preferences, and experiences. We had a chance to ask the members about this experience and this is what they shared “[My favorite thing about the CSA was] learning about vegetables that I’ve never seen before. My favorite was the fresh big green beans. They’re so different from the grocery store. I really learned the difference between fresh and store bought vegetables- it’s astronomical.” Another listed the health benefits he’s experienced this past season, “[The positive effects of the CSA were] that I’m off my diabetes meds, my hemoglobin levels are where we want them. My mental health is better with the pre and probiotics I’m getting from the vegetables and supplements and I’m having less anxiety and depression. I’m more physically active and have higher energy levels!”
A big thanks to the generous funders of this revolutionary program; USDA-NIFA Community Food Project, Kaiser Permanente HEAL, Knight Cancer Institute, and Oregon Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. And to Bob’s Red Mill for donating a dry bulk item to each weekly share. Food Works is already doing farm planning to do this again next year, we look forward to it.
As a community and a family we say farewell to Barbara Angel, an active leader and passionate community member of Village Gardens who passed away last month.
In addition to her position as a Community Health Worker, over the years Barbara volunteered much of her time at the Seeds of Harmony community garden. Barbara was involved in every aspect of planning and organizing the Seeds of Harmony garden when it first began 12 years ago. As a graduate of the Oregon State University (OSU) Master Gardener Program, shecontributed so much knowledge and skill to the garden and to her neighbors. About seven years ago, Barbara had the great idea to start a Peace Garden in the community garden. She thought a peace garden would fit perfectly with the goals of Seeds of Harmony, in which community members strive for “things to run harmoniously,” using conflict resolution to ensure that "everyone feels safe in the garden.” With the help of fellow community members during a work party, a 20 by 50 foot area was dug up and cleared for the Peace Garden. Barbara wanted this to be a safe space for people “to come and sit for some peace of mind; a place to be quiet, to hear the birds, to listen to the leaves of the cheery trees blowing in the wind.”
Many diverse plants, flowers, and medicinal herbs grow in the Peace Garden- all planted intentionally to create a tranquil environment. Goldenrod, a tall wild flower that can grow up to five feet tall, lines the perimeter of the garden to keep the space more secluded. Fragrant lavender and colorful succulents are found throughout the garden, as well as alyssum, bamboo, and strawberry bushes. The herb beds grow low to the ground with mint, echinacea, lemon balm, chamomile, yarrow, and St. John’s wort. Barbara, a huge tea enthusiast, made her own tea using the mint and lemon balm that grew in the garden. In one corner of the garden is a patchwork of small pebbles, which Barbara called “soft rocks.” She said this was designed to provide a space for people to do yoga in the garden. In the middle of the Peace Garden is a stone bird bath, and on either end are wooden benches. Barbara said she found it “really calming to come and sit on the benches.” This calming energy in the garden inspired Barbara to teach her meditation classes here. Barbara’s vision of the Peace Garden has become a reality. The Peace Garden remains a space of reflection, solitude and memories.
We are hiring for a couple of awesome positions;
Food and Nutrition Coordinator (closes October 9th)
The Food and Nutrition Coordinator works to promote healthy eating at the Village Market through the production of healthy prepared foods items and coordination of nutrition and health education programing. The Food and Nutrition Coordinator position will work as a community organizer to coordinate cooperative efforts with customers and New Columbia residents to promote the food and nutrition needs of their community.
Shift Lead at Village Market (Open until filled)
The Shift Lead position leads efforts to ensure Village Market customers have an exceptional experience by making sure they are treated to excellent customer service in a store that is clean and well stocked. The Shift Lead position focuses on setting the pace and tone for the day by role modeling positive energetic leadership, supporting and coaching Grocery Clerks to complete daily operations tasks, and leading the open, operation, and close of the Village Market store. This Shift Lead position will perform the full range of duties at the Village Market including: excellent customer service; accurate cash handling; efficient inventory maintenance; safe food preparation; and maintain a clean, organized and positive work environment. The Shift Lead is also expected to provide basic training and supervision of volunteers and interns in the store.
I have been a Market Gardener for 4 years, a refugee from Burundi, Africa, and have a family of 8. I lived in the refugee camp in Tanzania for 12 years without hope of life for all my generations. My family and I arrived in the USA in 2007, the land of opportunities. We lived in Beaverton, OR for two years, and moved to New Columbia in December 2009.
In April 2010, I met Wasongolo, Community Organizer at Village Gardens who also is a refugee, he asked me if I can join the Seeds of Harmony garden in New Columbia. Remembering the job I have done 16 years ago in my country of origin, I agreed to become a gardener to get fresh, and organic vegetables for my family. From there on, I started producing tomatoes and vegetables for my family from my small 12X12 foot garden. And I do remember with other gardeners we started requesting more land to produce more food, and gain an income. We started discussing the possibility to get more land.
We got our first land donated by the Martin family on Sauvie Island in 2013. For our first year, my family decreased our food expenses by 10%. For the second year 15%, third 17%, and the consumption of vegetables were increased gradually for the same amount, and income increased too. We are encouraging other refugees, and community around us to eat vegetables.
At our first Village Gardens Farmers Market, we started teaching other people in our community to eat african cultural vegetables, (amaranth, squash leaves, bean leaves, african eggplant, and other african veggies). My family does believe eating vegetables is protecting yourself against some illnesses. We are enjoying being a Village Gardens Family, we share food sometimes at pot-lucks, at our garden celebration and donate vegetables to others.
In addition, my family is getting more benefit, through Village Gardens' connection we are working with MESO, (Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon), which seeks to broaden economic opportunities for the under-served entrepreneurs. With them we started a program called IDA, a matching program. In working with them, we have found a name for our small farm, Happiness Family Farm, in memory of our daughter born in the USA named Happiness.
Also two of my children work with Food Works, a Village Gardens program for youth development. We are lucky to be in the Village Gardens Family, we do hold in high regard all the support given to us to increase health, and income and new opportunities are much appreciated. We can say, supporting Village Gardens in whatever it is doing is supporting the increase of growth in health, income, assets, and business skills for the families in New Columbia.
Prosper & Rosata
Village Market is looking for a part-time Kitchen Assistant. Would you like to prepare food for our market? Do you love cooking and working in a kitchen? Do you get excited about helthy cooking? Check out our employment page for more info!
We are so excited for Village Market's Good Food program. We are issuing a new round of Good Food cards and signing up folks with SNAP for awesome healthy food discounts in the store. Village Market has everything you are looking for and making healthy choices makes your money go even further. Come in for 30% off veggies, fruit, bulk grains, bulk beans, dairy, eggs, healthy fats and many more healthy pantry items.
We are halfway through the season for the New Columbia Farmers Market. We hope you will drop by any Thursday through August between 4-7pm.
Join us for opening day on June 9th!! See you every Thursday this summer from 4-7pm for the New Columbia Farmers Market! We have prioritized growers, emerging small business owners and artists from New Columbia & North Portland. With growers from the community selling African eggplant beside vendors serving up sambusas, our market is a gathering space for diverse neighbors to connect over foods from home. Each week we will have music, great vendors and food demos. See you there!
Please welcome the 2016 New Columbia
Farmers Market vendors:
Food Works Farm
Village Gardens Market Gardeners
Happiness Family Farm
Seeds of Harmony Garden
Amoula’s Morrocan Cuisine – hot Morrocan food
Alle Amin – hot Somali food
Azteca – fruit cocktails and crafts
Chaz Homemade – cookies and milk
Lexi Johnny Hair Sculpting – natural hair oils
Alyna Couture – beaded & stone jewelry
Sylvia Montgomery – jewelry
Shaquala’s nails – manicures
Misty’s Pearlers – keychains