Parkrose Farmers Market kicks off 2011 outdoor shopping season

This growing market opened in May, and is attracting more shoppers every week.  Read on, and find out which other East Portland markets will open their stalls this weekend …

Melissa Russell gets a slice of  Parkrose Farmers Market’s opening day celebratory cake from volunteer Erling Overa, a foreign exchange student from Norway.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Wintery, blustery weather didn’t stop the Parkrose Farmers Market from opening for the 2011 season on the first of May.

“It looks like we’re going to have another great season here in the Parkrose High parking lot,” commented Market Manager Steve Voorhees.

“We’re starting off with a bang,” Voorhees continued. We have great nursery stock, the new ‘community table’ – where locals can leave their produce for sale – is up and running, and we have a coffee stand run by our neighborhood associations.”

Parkrose Farmers Market Manager Steve Voorhees says, “Come on by for good food and fun, every Saturday!”

Musician Craig Irby, from Argay Terrace, says he’s an amateur performer who’s attending Oregon State University. But, he sings and plays guitar like a pro! The market features live music every week.

A new vendor this year, Voorhees added, is Red Tree Farm, offering fresh free-range eggs, and selling live chickens. “They can’t sell chickens here on school property, but they will deliver them to your house. They’ll also be selling seasonal produce.”

Returning this year will be T&R Flowering Baskets through about mid-July, and Maryhill Orchards will be back as well.

Parkrose Heights Association of Neighbors volunteers John Stockem and Jim Murphy flank Parkrose Neighborhood Association volunteer Pat Marcum. They are raising money to support their neighborhoods’ activities by selling coffee and goodies.

A volunteer effort
“Our market is run by volunteers,” Voohees told us. “We have seven people on our board, and we do it all.”

Asked why he put so much effort into the market, Voorhees said, “I do this because I believe in community participation. I live in Parkrose, so I really believe in supporting our community. I farm in Parkrose; my kids go to school in Parkrose. We started the market five years ago, and continue to hold it here, because we believe we need a Saturday place for people to go and do things – here in Parkrose.”

The Parkrose Farmers Market, a nonprofit organization, rents the parking lot from the Parkrose School District. “Some people think we’re associated with the school district, but we’re not – we’re tenants. But, they are wonderful people to work with, and give us a favorable rental rate.”

Market shopper Susan Hartung tries Stan Griffith’s “Old Fashioned Caramel Corn” – he says he learned the recipes and cooking methods as a kid, working at a once-famous stand at Lloyd Center.

So, why not check ’em out this Saturday – or next! They’re open from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. every weekend through October. “Don’t be afraid to come late; even at 3:00 p.m.,” Voohees added, with a twinkle in his eye. “Even if you catch me pulling out of the parking lot and going down the road, I’ll still stop and sell to you!”

The market accepts Oregon Trail and debit cards. They’re at Parkrose High, 12003 NE Shaver Street, a block west of NE 122nd Avenue. For more information, see their website: CLICK HERE, or contact Voorhees at manager@parkrosefarmersmarket.org.

(Also on our front page) Seth Learn enjoys a cinnamon roll – almost as big as his head – and his dad, Peter, is hoping for a taste!

Two more markets open June 5
On Sunday, June 5, both the Lents International Farmers Market and the Montavilla Farmer’s Market will open.

Lents International Farmers Market opens for its fifth season on June 5, from 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. You’ll find fresh produce, prepared foods, locally-raised meat and eggs, and beautiful flowers.

Cooking demos take place at 10:00 and live music kicks off at 11:00 a.m. SNAP customers: For each $1 spent, they’ll match it, up to $5. For more information, or to sign  up to volunteer at the market, please contact Market Manager Eliza Davenport at eliza@zengerfarm.org. It’s just east of Trillium Artisans on SE 92nd Avenue, at SE Foster Road. For more information, see their website: CLICK HERE.

Montavilla Farmer’s Market’s vendors welcome shoppers on June 5 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. They’re featuring locally raised, grown, & created foods and crafts. You’ll find tender lettuce & greens, crisp radishes, baby beets, fresh baked bread & pastries, sweet ripe strawberries, and lively music – rain or shine. 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, see their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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