Montavilla market opens season early

Here’s why you need not wait until June to shop directly from the farmers: The Montavilla Farmers Market is now open on Sundays …

Their sign is out – signaling that this outer East Portland farmers market is open for the season!

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

For the past ten seasons, the Montavilla Farmers Market opened in June. But this year, the canopies went up on their lot on May 7, signaling the start of the 11th season.

The pent-up demand for the outdoor marketplace was evident; under sunny skies, more than 1,500 shoppers came to peruse the offerings of 32 vendors.

Market Manager Amanda Cross visits with a new vendor, Robin Sage of Red Bird Acres Farm, who says their slogan is “radical meat, raised on pasture”.

“This is my fifth year with the market, and we’re getting off to a good start,” grinned manager Amanda Cross, as she walked the market, checking in with the vendors and shoppers.

“Our vendors and food producers told us they had crops and products to sell; and, with Mother’s Day coming up, our flower vendors wanted to make sure that they could sell their blooms and plants,” Cross told East Portland News.

Buckman neighborhood resident Kasey Shun buys produce from Vyasa Thomas from Denison Farms and Simplicity Gardens.

Because of the wet weather, she observed, “It’s been a difficult spring, so it’s been aspirational with agriculture harvesting for a lot of the farmers.

“But, many of our growers say they wish they would’ve brought more product here today, because several of them sold out after the first two hours!” said Cross.

Visiting from the nearby Mt. Tabor neighborhood are Brette Pedrick, along with Rhys, Wylan, and Rory, who are enjoying an alfresco lunch at the market.

New this year, she revealed, will be “Taste of the Market” events each month. “Shoppers will have the opportunity to try a vegetable or fruit that they haven’t tried befor – and sample all the different varieties from all of our vendors at one time. We’ll also have recipes available for the featured produce.”

Shoppers can expect to see fresh produce, sold by the farmers, every week, as it comes into season. And, as we get deeper into the season, Montavilla Farmers Market will host as many as 40 vendors each week.

Vendors do a brisk business on opening day of the Montavilla Farmers Market.

Now, through the end of October, Montavilla Farmers Market will be open every Sunday from 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

It’s located in the 7600 Block of SE Stark Street, just west of the Academy Theater, and across the street from Mr. Plywood. For more information, and learn about volunteer opportunities, to check out their “Dog Friendly” policy, or to look at the astounding variety of vendors there this week, see their website: CLICK HERE.

On our FRONT PAGE: Katie Coppoletta of Fiddlehead Farm in Corbett shows off a basket of their spring arugula.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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