Famers Markets bid farewell to successful seasons

How did the Lents International and Montavilla farmers markets do this year? Well, take a look. And, discover where you can buy fresh produce, even during the winter months …

Although heavy rain chased shoppers from the Lents International Farmers Market during part of its last day of the season, those who came after the storm found a bounty of fall crops available.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The last day for two outer East Portland farmers markets – October 27 – was rain-soaked. But that didn’t stop vendors and intrepid shoppers from coming by to check out and buy fresh late-season crops on display.

Lents International Farmers Market

Showing crops they’d picked at their farm just that morning were Kristopher Logan and Chago Akles from the OSU Beginning Urban Farm Apprenticeship program.

“We have done great this year,” smiled Market Manager Sarah Broderick.

“It has been a really great season here in Lents. It was not supposed to rain today, and it did.  So, it is a little slower than we’d like for final market day, but it is still going pretty well.”

This was the best season ever for the Lents International Farmers Market, Broderick told East Portland News. “This is in terms of customer accounts – we’ve had right around 1,100 adult shoppers every week this season.

“We also measure our success by the number of positive comments from our vendors and customers. Everybody has told us how great the market has been this year. It’s like we’ve come into our own, and have become a solid marketplace with a good future.”

Vendor Jane Hashimawari dishes up delicious smelling food during the Vendor Potluck Lunch.

This urban market saw a greater variety of produce and products than in past years Broderick observed. “We are hoping to add even more product diversity next season, bringing in meat and cheese vendors.”

During our interview, activity under the central hub of canopies at the market picked up, as the annual Vendor’s Potluck dinner got underway.

Even during the off season, Lannie Kali of Maize Farm Stand says, customers can get her homemade breads, soups, and other products. “I deliver,” she says.

“By the way, we’re always looking for people to help and volunteer with Zenger Farm throughout the year, and with us, on this project,” Broderick said.

Stay in touch by visiting their website: CLICK HERE.

 

Montavilla Farmers Market

Produce is plentiful, during the last regular Montavilla Farmers Market.

“Week after week, customers come, and find everything is where it should be.” That’s been one secret of success for the Montavilla Farmers Market said Manager Gretchan Jackson. “It’s a small, successful neighborhood market.”

Chelsea Ingle finds fresh greens while shopping at the Maryhill Orchards stand.

“This is our seventh season here in Montavilla,” Jackson commented. “We continue to have strong customer attendance, and our vendors love to be here – this makes it the perfect match.”

Typically, throughout the season, shoppers are able to browse among 35 vendors.

Around the middle of October, crowds thin out at the market, she said. “In a way it’s kind of a shame, because the produce is even more beautiful, sweet, and abundant, the later it is in the summer.”

Melanie Miller and Steve Gerrity of Rain/Shine Sweet say their new confection business is just starting up. Want some? They ship! By the way, their pumpkin fudge is delicious.

Jackson and the market’s volunteers will take a few weeks off, she said. “But, we’ll be back with our Holiday Market on November 24.”

And, they’ll be holding their “Winter Stock-Up Markets” once a month from 11 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on December 15, January 12, and February 9.

“It’s a ‘truck market’; vendors just pull in the lot with their trucks, and sell the produce off the back,” Jackson said. “You’ll find brisk sales to meet the brisk temperatures.”

Even after the leaves fall, you can still find farm-fresh produce during the once-a-month Montavilla Farmers Market Winter Stock Up Markets.

Stay in touch with Montavilla Farmers Market by visiting their website: CLICK HERE.

If you forget the dates of their special winter season markets, you’ll find them listed – along with about 100 other events – in the East Portland News Community Calendar: CLICK HERE to see it.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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