These are not full ‘farmers markets’ – but, see what you can expect to find at this once-a-month outdoor marketplace …
Neighbors Natalie Olguin and Elizabeth Wren Shiffler shop with Katie Coppoletta of Fiddlehead Farm in Corbet, Oregon, at the pre-Thanksgiving Montavilla Farmers Market.
Story and photos by David F. Ashton
On the Sunday before Thanksgiving Day, East Portland News visited Montavilla Farmers Market’s real “final” day – November 18.
With the steady cold mist, it seemed more like one of their “Winter Stock-up Markets” – which you’ll read about below.
Two chefs were conducting a market-long “chefs’ demo”, and the aroma of great food permeated the air.
Frequent market demonstration chef Mike Eels, who works at the Country Cat Dinner House & Bar, was busy watching over two deep fryers in which turkeys were cooking, while his partner for the day, Daniel Miller from Adalu Stew, prepared other dishes.
“Events and Chef Demo Coordinator Beth Kluvers approach me about doing a Thanksgiving demo,” Miller told East Portland News. “I wondered how much fun it would be to do an all-day demo to show people how to make squash soup, cranberry sauce, sweet potato and celery root gratin?”
Rebecca Walter, with her grandkids Logan and Dahlia George, tuck into steaming bowls of squash soup.
The idea was to then sell to market visitors “small plate dinners”, featuring these sides and slices of deep fried turkey, with the proceeds going to the Market’s “Everyone Eats” program, Miller added.
They were ready to prepare up to 100 plates, Miller commented, “But, with the heavy rain, we’ll be happy if we sell only 40 or 50 plates. And, we’ve been sampling our dishes with people, as we cook.”
Even on winter days, the Montavilla Stock-up Markets do a good business.
“Starting in December – and on the second Sunday of the following months – we’ll start up our Winter Stock-up Markets,” confided Market Manager Gretchan Jackson, stepping under cover of a tent to stay dry.
“Our shoppers are a little fewer in numbers, but our vendors show up, and are willing to be out in the weather,” Jackson said. We have just a really amazing selection.”
She explained that during the winter monthly markets are held “rural style” – with about 20 vendors pulling their vehicles up into the lot, setting up their canopies, and selling from the backs of their trucks.
“Our winter markets still have a good selection, just less of it,” Jackson said “Folks who come pretty much know what they want, shop for those foods, and go home and cook their farm-fresh foods.”
Monthly outdoor markets continue in Montavilla, throughout the winter season.
Next market is on December 9
From 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., you’ll find this unique “Winter Stock-up Market” on Sunday, December 9.
Shoppers will find storage crops like squash, onions, potatoes, and nuts, Jackson related – and also proteins, meats, and fresh-baked goodies from local bakeries.
The open-air market is 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, see their website: CLICK HERE.
© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News