After a slow start, new Parkrose Farmers Market finds fame

If you haven’t checked it out, look at the all the fresh fruit and produce coming to this market, located at Parkrose High School …

Market master Steve Voorhees, of Parkrose Farmers Market, samples some of the fresh cherries now on sale.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The newest farmers market to open in outer East Portland – the Parkrose Farmers Market – has only been open for 12 days now.

So says market master, Steve Voorhees, who adds, “Of course, we’re only open on Saturdays!”

While the market got off to a good start, attendance briefly lagged, Voorhees tells us, “due to the poor early growing season. Our numbers are now strong.”

Kevin Herbst and Dru Gorman of Maryhill Orchards urge market visitors to sample their luscious fruits.

Halfway through new season
Now that crops are coming in, the number of vendors – 47 of them, including nine produce growers – are up, and so are the number of shoppers.

“We’re about halfway through the season,” Voorhees says. “Right now, the hearty produce is starting to pick up now and the crowds are coming in. We hope for a thousand visitors today,” he predicts at the July 12 market.

Maria Theresa Gonzalez and Sandra Deleon are serving up corn and chicken tamales.

“We got the hearty produce coming in like the zucchini squash,” the market master grins. “We also are seeing radishes, and hopefully peppers will be coming in next week. Apricot season has started, and cherries are coming in – so are raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Hermiston melons will be coming in soon, too.”

Jammin’ at the market are The Rewinders – they’re great and back in August playing a mix of folk, blues and rock music, from the 50s up to today’s music.

Entertainment – and contests – for all
In addition to produce and hand-made items, Voorhees mentions that the market continues to feature live music every week: Zimba Marimba play during the July 19 market he says. Plus, there are always children’s activities provided for the little shoppers that come along to the market.

“Be sure to mention this,” Voorhees interjects. “We’ve got our First Annual Baking Contest coming up on August 16. The entry is free, and you could win a $20 gift certificate if you bring the winning bread, cake or pie.”

You’ll need to be at the market at 10 a.m. to participate; the entries will be judged by Portland Fire & Rescue “calendar guys”, he adds.

Look for this sign at the Parkrose Festival & Cruise-in on August 2.

Market moves on August 2
For one Saturday only, on August 2, the market will move to downtown Parkrose, and will be part of the Parkrose Festival & Cruise-in. “Instead of competing with this great community event, we are becoming part of it. Come check out your local farmers market.”

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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