County's old 'Poor Farm' nets 3,000 pounds of produce

County's old 'Poor Farm' nets 3,000 pounds of produce

Credit: Photo courtesy: Portland Organoponico Project

An undated photo of the Multnomah County Poor Farm in Troutdale, Ore. The site is now where the county produces food for the Oregon Food Bank as part of the CROPS program.

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by By KEELY CHALMERS, Kgw.com

kgw.com

Posted on September 8, 2009 at 8:09 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 6 at 1:22 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Three months?ago it was a field full of blackberry bushes and weeds but today it's a vital source of fresh food for Oregon's hungry families.?

Multnomah County's newest community garden actually isn't quite as new as most realize. The 2-acre garden sits in the same spot as the county's poor farm did 100 years ago. And the newest incarnation, called the CROPS program, has proven quite a success.

County Commissioners voted to turn the fallow land back into a community garden, realizing the needs of the hungry continue in 2009 much the same as they were in 1909.

Commissioners had planned to celebrate a harvest of 2,000 pounds but were surprised to learn Tuesday that the farm had actually produced 3,000 pounds.

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All of the produce goes directly to the Oregon Food Bank. Since May the garden has produced roughly 3,000 pounds of vegetables.

"It's been a real success --?not just that we are really delivering food to people in need but also that we're demonstrating that there are other ways we can resource food for hungry people in our community," said Mike Moran with the Oregon Food Bank.

Nearly all of the farming and gardening is being done by either volunteers or those fulfilling community service.?

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