Throngs of shoppers welcome back Montavilla Farmer’s Market

Find out why thousands of shoppers have made this new farmer’s market a weekly Sunday activity …

At the Montavilla Farmer’s Market on opening day, Monica Cuneo shops for fresh vegetables at one of the many vendors who are there each Sunday.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Three years ago, neighbors who thought it would be a great idea to start a farmer’s market in the up and coming Montavilla/Tabor South neighborhood area were concerned it might not be well-received.

But now, with two successful seasons under their belts – often attracting 2,000 visitors each Sunday – this year they opened the Montavilla Farmer’s Market with confidence, on June 21.

“We’ve started the season with a great lineup of vendors,” said Maureen McKenna, the market’s Assistant Market Manager. “We’re starting out today with 35 vendors; we have a capacity of about 40. About 2,000 people came to the market on opening day – great, for a rainy inaugural day.”

Travis Tremblay, Theresa Draper, and Rhea DuMont – who are with Draper Girls Country Farm in Hood River – show their fine fruits.

Montavilla Farmer’s Market’s Marketing Manager, Maureen McKenna, shows the tokens that shoppers can buy, using their debit card or Oregon Trail food stamp card.

Now taking plastic
McKenna noted that starting on July 5 – yes, they’re open this holiday weekend – shoppers don’t have to bring cash. Shoppers can swipe their debit card to purchase wooden tokens in one dollar and five dollar denominations to spend with the vendors.

“And, we’re now part of the Oregon Trail Card matching-fund program, sponsored by New Seasons Market,” added McKenna. “When shoppers who use an Oregon Trail card or Washington Quest card come to the market, they’ll get two $5 tokens for the price of one each week.”

Toni Pederson said she couldn’t resist the scent of the grilled hot dogs, and buys one from Shorty Bingham at Fetzer’s German Sausages.

Longer season, even on holidays
Instead of closing for summer holidays, the market will be open every Sunday through October 25, McKenna noted. “And, we added two dates to help shoppers prepare for the Holidays – on November 8th and 22nd.”

The Montavilla Farmer’s Market is open between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday.

At the July 5 market, live music will be provided by the Quartette Barbette from noon until 1:00 p.m. Featured artisans include Kiersten Crowley, offering handmade handcrafted jewelry made from silver and bronze with semiprecious stones, and Jenna Robertson Fiber products. Also at the market this week, Sophie Rahman will offer an Indian cooking demonstration 10:30-11:30 a.m.

The market is located along the 7600 block of SE Stark Street (six blocks west of SE 82nd Avenue of Roses), in the gravel lot across from the famous Mr. Plywood store.

For more information, see their website: www.montavillamarket.org.

For the third season in a row, it looks as if the Montavilla Farmer’s Market is attracting a bumper crop of shoppers.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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