New location well suits Lents Market

If you haven’t checked out the Lents International Farmers Market at its newest outer East Portland location, see why this Sunday food bazaar thrives …

Even though the “opening bell” has only just rung, the Lents International Farmers Market is already bustling with activity.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

New high-rise buildings keep sprouting up in the Lents neighborhood – and that has forced the Lents International Farmers Market to move from site to site within the Lents Town Center.

This year’s location has worked out particularly well, said Onsite Coordinator Amber Holland, of Portland Farmers Market.

The market’s Onsite Coordinator, Amber Holland, spends a moment with Rayna Rojas from longtime vendor Amaro Produce.

“Both our shoppers and vendors like being here, in the Zoiglhaus Brewing Company parking lot, along SE 92nd Avenue at Reedway Street,” Holland told East Portland News. “Having our marketplace on pavement, instead of on dirt and gravel, helps the farm vendors more easily set up their stalls; and, our shoppers – especially those with strollers, wheelchairs, and walkers – find   it far easier to access the market than ever before!”

Originally from the Karen area near southeastern Myanmar, community farmers at Outgrowing Hunger gardens Shimeme Kyawwin, Henry Taw, and Moo Moo sell their crop, with the help of local purveyor Michael Freeston.

The Gordon Neal Herman Trio musically entertains at the market.

To help “lost” shoppers navigate from the previous location in the 9000 block of SE Foster Road, the market set out signs and did aggressive outreach, before the season opened.

“Week to week, this year we’ve had about 15 vendors – today, we’re the fullest yet: We have two brand-new vendors,” Holland said.  “Every week, about 700 shoppers here to buy prepared food, ready-to-eat food, of course farm-fresh vegetables and fruits – many provided by our long-term vendors, some of whom have been here since the beginning.”

Craft helper Jen Nelson from the Zenger Farm Food Scout Program assists Lilah Schmidt and Karen Schmidt.

The Bella Mercato chef and owner, Michelle Vernier, serves Oregon Representative Jeff Reardon and Mt. Hood Community College Board Member Annette Mattson.

The best part of being at this market, Holland remarked, “is the wonderful vendors and shoppers – it’s a real sweet community.

“It’s great seeing the same shoppers coming here to support the farmers every week,” Holland reflected. “It shows that people care how they’re spending their dollars, and they care that it’s staying in their own economy.”

The Lents International Farmers Market, now situated at SE 92nd and Reedway, between Foster and Harold Streets, is open every Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. through October 29.

For more information, see their official webpage: CLICK HERE.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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