Moreland Farmer’s Market opens, with record crowds

Take a look at another great East Portland farmer’s market, as it opens its doors …

Giving away cookies on opening day at the Moreland Farmer’s Market are Beatrice Matin, market manager Laura Wendel, and Elaine Harper.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Beautiful weather may have been one factor for the great turnout at the Moreland Farmer’s Market opening day on May 14. But the wide variety of vendors and upbeat feeling for the nonprofit market, as it begins its third season, may have contributed to the lively day.

About 1,850 adults – the organizers don’t include kids in their traffic count – visited 32 vendors offering plants, fresh vegetables and fruits, and a wide variety of prepared and ready-to-eat foods.

Heidi Perry, Marimba teacher at Sellwood Middle School, leads the student band in a lively number at the Moreland Farmer’s Market.

Matthew Hall sells fresh produce to Jane Crowley.

A neighborhood crossroads
Laura Wendel, the market’s manager, said she was pleased that so many folks turned out to visit the vendors and be entertained by the Sellwood Middle School Marimba Band and Jazz Band.

“We think of our market as a neighborhood crossroads,” said Wendel. “You can come out and see people, and sample a lot of terrific products. And, it’s wonderful to be able to come and get freshly grown and picked produce and fruit – and talk with the person who grew it.”

Ella Jones gets a balloon toy made for her by Alfie the Clown.

Making a crêpe is Meg Vogt, of the Village Crepery — a treat, in this case, for market customer David Monnie.

New features this year
In addition to the new and returning vendors, Wendel told us that the market will feature chef demonstrations and special food-tasting events almost every week.

“Also, the last Wednesday of every month, Judy Wallace of Wallace Books is providing block Styrofoam recycling,” noted Wendel.

Back after surviving a devastating flood at her farm and cheese factory, Meg Gregory of Black Sheep Creamery says she’s glad to be back at the Westmoreland market.

Vendor survives severe storm
Meg Gregory of Black Sheep Creamery has always been a vendor of choice at the market. But this year, market organizers wondered of she’d be back after experiencing storm damage last winter.

“We had quite a winter, but we’re back,” Gregory told us. “During what they call a ‘500 year flood’, we lost 75% of our flock. We ended up with 30 inches of water in the house – even worse; the water was up to 54 inches deep in our cheese facility. But we had 50 volunteers every weekend who helped us get back on our feet.”

“Hip Chicks Do Wine” winery’s Danna Hall pours samples of her wine at the Moreland Farmer’s Market.

More of everything good
Every Wednesday afternoon, the market offers local fresh produce, nursery stock, cheese, baked goods, flowers, prepared food, specialty items, and more. “This year, we also have specialty products like hand-made chocolates, fresh local honey, and real boiled bagels,” Wendel said. “And, there’s lots of prepared food, like freshly-made crêpes, grilled sausages, and food from Canby Asparagus Farm.”

There’s fun for the kids, too! Ruthie Jones has her face decorated by Mia Long.

Volunteers needed
Willing hands are needed to set up, operate, and take down the market. “Please call me, or see our web site,” Wendel requested.

The Moreland Farmer’s market is held on the Portland Memorial parking lot on S.E. Bybee at 14th, with free parking across the street at SE 14th and Glenwood. It’s open on Wednesdays 3:30 to 7:30 pm through Sept 24th.

For more information, see www.morelandfarmersmarket.org, or telephone (503) 341-9350.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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