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County CROPS (Community Reaps Our Produce and Shares) is a project led by Chair Cogen to grow produce for low-income county residents on previously vacant county-owned land in Troutdale.
Since then-Commissioner Cogen got the Board of Commissioners’ approval for the project in summer 2009, the two-acre “farm” has yielded thousands of pounds of organic produce for hundreds of low-income county residents.
Volunteers from Hands On Greater Portland and the county’s Community Service Program (which offers people who have committed non-violent, low-level crimes the opportunity to pay their debt to society through community service) provide the labor for the farm; the Oregon Food Bank distributes its harvest.
County CROPS, Cogen says, “creatively [leverages] existing resources [to] put fallow land back into production while providing a source of healthy, fresh food to hungry people.”
Since its 2009 inception, the CROPS farm has produced 30,006 lbs of fresh fruits and vegetables for county residents in need.
The project also acts as a model of local food production, which helps:
- reduce carbon emissions by decreasing the distance motor vehicles travel to transport food from farms to grocery stores
- lower obesity rates by increasing access to nutritious food
- strengthen the local economy by keeping money spent on food in circulation locally
Interested in volunteering at the CROPS farm?