Three Sunday farmer’s markets sprout in outer East Portland

See why we’re so excited to tell you about the return of the Lents International and Montavilla Farmers Markets – as well as the all-new Sunday Parkrose Farmers Market …

Come rain or shine, outer East Portland farmers markets are open and stocked with local fresh and prepared foods.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Farmer’s markets are great places to socialize, enjoy live entertainment, find out about community services – and oh, yes, to shop for produce, directly from those who grow it.

Here in outer East Portland, we have a bumper crop of Sunday markets now up and running, all season long – in Lents, Montavilla, and Parkrose.

Lents International Farmer’s Market

Eliza Davenport, manager of the Lents International Farmers Market, says she looks forward to sunnier days, in the coming season.

The weather didn’t cooperate for their opening day on Sunday, June 6. But, the unseasonably cold and rainy conditions didn’t keep hearty shoppers from coming out to the Lents neighborhood and taking a look at the first-of-the-season offerings.

“Farmer’s markets are great community resource,” commented Eliza Davenport, the market’s manager. “It’s a wonderful place for people to get to know their farmer, know where foods coming from, and get to know their neighbors.”

One of the new vendors this year in Lents is Peter Fung, of Star Anise Kitchen.

New at the Lents International Farmers Market this year – their fourth season – are Nectar Coffee Company; Deck Family Farm, a meat vendor selling pasture-raised meat; and new prepared-food vendors, including and Ammie’s Goodies.

When the market gets rolling, Davenport says she expects they’ll have between 15 and 18 vendors each week.

David Douglas High School wrestlers Favian Renior and Gabriel Peak are raising funds by hosting a market with Ron Holyoak, the head wrestling coach.

Lents: When and where
The Lents International Farmer’s Market is open every Sunday through October 17th from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Join them for a great season of fresh food, live music, chef demos and fun activities.

The market accepts Oregon Trail (SNAP) cards, debit cards, and WIC & Senior Farm Direct Nutrition Program checks. For more information, or to volunteer, contact the market manager by e-mail at eliza@zengerfarm.org, or visit the Information Table at the market. Or, for general information, see their website: CLICKHERE.

Montavilla Farmer’s Market

Peggy Reilly from the Hazelwood Neighborhood says she’s picky about her produce, and likes buying her food directly from the farmer, at the Montavilla Farmer’s Market. “I like supporting local people.”

“With great weather, and an unexpectedly great crowd, what more can one ask for?” is how Gretchan Jackson, the market manager at Montavilla Farmer’s Market, described their opening day – a week later, on Sunday, June 13.

“All of our vendors are selling out,” Jackson reported, pointing out the many stalls with bare shelves.

Kyle Curtis, assistant market manager, and Gretchan Jackson, market manager at Montavilla Farmer’s Market, say they’re wowed by their season opener.

In addition to fresh produce, the Montavilla market offers weekly chef demonstrations – that day, provided by Adam Sappington, chef and owner of Montavilla’s Country Cat Dinnerhouse. “The last Sunday of the month, we offer a ‘Chef 101’ class, by our resident chef, Kathryn Yeomans.”

Fresh foods, music at noon, a rotating schedule of artisans and plenty of ready-to-munch meals are a demonstration of the market’s values of “Farm focus, community and delight.”

It’s truly a community market, Jackson stressed, because so many people walk or bicycle to the market every week. “We show more than 2,000 visitors a day. Obviously we’ve struck a chord in the neighborhood. Starting off our fourth year, it feels very good.”

Gopal Thomas, shown holding Russian red kale, and his brother Vyasa Thomas, holding garlic scapes, say their produce is grown just 15 miles from the market – at their “Simplicity Gardens”, on Cornelius Pass Road.

Montavilla: Where and when
The Montavilla Farmer’s Market is open Sundays through October 31 from 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

They’re open, rain or shine 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.

Parkrose Sunday Farmers Market

Here’s where you’ll find the new Sunday Parkrose Farmers Market – on NE Sandy Boulevard, in the “Friendly Village” parking lot.

By now, regular readers know that the Saturday Parkrose Farmers Market has been open for several weeks, under the giant yellow blimp, at Parkrose High School.

> Read our story about the 2010 Saturday Parkrose Farmers Market: CLICK HERE.

Due to their acceptance there, they’ve opened a smaller market – without entertainment – on Sundays as well. “If you’re busy on Saturday, come shopping on Sunday,” says their market master, Steve Voorhees. “We’re right on the way to Costco!”

Parkrose Sunday Farmers Market master Steve Voorhees says, “Ya’ll come out and see us on Sundays!”

Sunday Parkrose: Where and when
Their new, additional Parkrose Farmers Market days are on Sundays, through October 17. From 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., you’ll find them on NE Sandy Boulevard, at NE 131st Place. For more information, CLICK HERE to see their website, or contact Market Master Steve Voorhees at steve_voorhees@q.com.

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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