Season opens for Lents International Farmers Market

This open-air food center is really taking off. See all they have to offer during their Sunday market …

Opening day for the Lents International Farmers Market draws a large crowd of eager shoppers.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
A quiet corner of Lents Town Center sprang to life on June 17, when the Lents International Farmers Market opened for its sixth season.

“We do have a good crowd here today,” Market Manager Sarah Broderick remarked to East Portland News. “We’re all looking forward to a great season.”

Market Manager Sarah Broderick teams up with Zenger Farm Executive Director Jill Kuehler. Her peapod costume belies the fact Kuehler is one of Portland Monthly Magazine’s50 Most Influential Portlanders”, who the magazine calls “One of the acknowledged stars of Portland’s urban-ag movement”.

“Today, we have 22 vendors at the market,” said Broderick. “We’ll probably have the same over the next couple of weeks. For variety, some of our vendors switch off every other week.”

What makes this mid-County market special, Broderick added, is that “This is Portland’s only internationally-focused market. We support immigrant and emerging vendors. We have eight immigrant farmers at the market, and we work with IRCO’s small business development program for restaurants.”

Ann Kerwraksa from Paitong Thai Cuisine prepares delicious, savory-smelling chicken skewers at the market.

Shane Stonemetz of ProFarm Produce packs a bag of fresh cherries for a customer.

Additionally, this year the market hosts the “Beginning Urban Farmers Apprenticeship Program” based in the Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood. This program, a partnership between Multnomah County and Oregon State University Extension Service, is an 8-month program designed to give beginning farmers the knowledge and skills they need to break into the field of sustainable small-scale urban farming.

“We’re really focused on supporting emerging businesses,” Broderick explained.

Here’s Carrie Sendak of Mama Tee’s Farmstead – who grows produce, like these radishes, at sites in the Cully, Brentwood-Darlington, Parkrose, and Creston-Kenilworth neighborhoods.

One can expect to find vegetables, fruit, culinary herbs, heirloom produce, garden starts, and many other agricultural products. Visit now – because Sturm’s Berry Farm is bringing in their famous fresh strawberries!

Shoppers will also find a variety of prepared and preserved foods – as well as hot, ready-to-eat foods. Even more, the market features live international music and entertainment each Sunday.

“I especially want to thank our volunteers, who help out so much each week,” Broderick said in conclusion. “And, we do have so much to offer. Come see us next Sunday.”

At the “community table”, volunteer Andrea Baron helps a young shopper.

Lents International Farmers Market

  • SE 92nd Avenue at SE Foster Road
  • Open 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. every Sunday through October 28
  • See their website: CLICK HERE

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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