Lents celebrates farmer’s market grand opening

Folks in the southern neighborhoods of outer East Portlanders again have their own open-air market to enjoy. See what it’s offering this year …

Lents International Farmers Market manager Eliza Davenport helps get the word out about their 2009 season.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
With the support of Friends of Zenger Farm, and a peck of volunteers, the 2009 season of the Lents International Farmers Market is underway.

“We’re open every Sunday,” said market manager Eliza Davenport as she welcomed us to the market. “This year, we’re proud to present 10 new vendors, including Nossa Familia Coffee, Gabriel’s Bakery, Zenger Farm, and Lilikoi (Southeast Asian prepared food). Today we have 17 vendors; typically we’ll have about 20 vendors.”

These gals are SO fresh! Veggies volunteer Paola Inesta and Kyrie Kellett a Friends of Zenger Farm board member, welcome visitors to the market.

Jalene Braun handles debit card and Oregon Trail card transactions. “We’re also offering a Healthy Rewards program. There is a dollar-for-dollar match, up to five dollars, for people who use the Oregon Trail Card, sponsored by New Seasons Markets.”

Serving an unmet need
There are no other farmers markets in southern area of outer east Portland, Davenport said, “We’re proud to be serving in the Lents and Powellhurst Gilbert communities.”

The reason it’s called an “international” market, she explained, is because, “Many different cultures are represented and served by our market. Lents has a large immigrant and refugee population. Our market gives them many culturally-appropriate kinds of produce and foods to purchase and enjoy.”

One of the market’s main focuses, Davenport noted, is making it accessable to new farmers, “Including refugee farmers, who are looking for an outlet for their produce.”

Shopping at the Zenger Farm table, Glenn Etter says it’s his first day in Portland and he loves the farmer’s market. Also looking at produce is Dana Larsen from the Arleta neighborhood.

Amy Kucharski, representing SE Portland’s Tenino Farms, shows off some of the produce they’re now offering.

EPNO supports RideShare program
“We’re thankful for a grant from the East Portland Neighborhood Organization and ONI for our RideShare program,” Davenport mentioned. “Starting next week, we’ll provide transportation for residents who live in this area who have mobility issues and have trouble getting to the market.”

Interested in volunteering at the market? Davenport said they always need folks to help with set-up, breakdown, and greeting customers. “It’s a great way to meet people in the neighborhood! For more information, please contact me at eliza@zengerfarm.org — or visit the Information Table at the market.”

How sweet it is! Maki Kato with Gabriel’s Bakery shows off their yummy baked goods.

Special events and entertainment weekly
In addition to fresh food, Davenport noted that different musical groups serenade shoppers.

The Lents International Farmer’s Market is open Sundays from 9:00am until 2:00 pm through October 25. It’s located at the northwest corner of SE 92nd Ave. & SE Foster Road (next to Trillium Artisans).

For more information see their website: http://www.zengerfarm.org/index.php?page=61 or contact the market manager, Eliza Davenport by e-mail eliza@zengerfarm.org, or call (503) 282-4245.

The man seated on the right is Garrett Brennen, playing with his trio, “The Great Salt Licks”, at the Lents International Farmer’s Market.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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