Two more farmers markets are open in outer East Portland

Yes indeed – see what’s happening at this year’s edition of the Lents International Farmers Market and Montavilla Farmers Market, as both again bring local, sustainable foods to folks during their Sunday markets …

Costumed as the “Snapping-fresh Pea”, Jill Kuehler, Executive Director of Zenger Farm, welcomes shoppers to the Lents International Farmers Market.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
With the Parkrose Farmers Market entering its second month of providing Saturday markets – two other outer East Portland Sunday markets have now opened. We visited each of them on their opening day …

Lents International Farmers Market

If we gave names to photos, this would be “American Gothic … with Pizza”. Lents International Farmers Market Manager Eliza Davenport welcomes new vendor John Eads of Pyro Pizza (direct from his SE 12th Avenue/Hawthorne Street location), who’s cooking up Italian-style wood-fired pizza with all natural ingredients.

“We’re starting season number five,” greeted their market manager, Eliza Davenport. “We’re really glad that we have beautiful weather and sunshine today.”

Davenport added that she’s signed up 18 vendors, all of whom were present for opening day.

The band “Weekend Assembly” entertains market shoppers.

Alyssa Burge and Drew Evans of Gardenripe in Silverton show of some of the fresh produce from their “Community Supported Agriculture” farm.

“We like to feature the cultural and ethnic diversity at the neighborhood,” Davenport said. “We have a lot of vendors selling products from all around the world, and speaking different languages. We did have a late start to the growing season, so the produce is limited. But, things should be picking up in the next few weeks.”

However, shoppers will find greens and some great asparagus at the Lents market. “We still have vegetable starts for people who like to garden, too,” Davenport told us. “And, new this year, we have grass-fed beef, and eggs and some new prepared-food vendors.”

Finally, there’s a rumor that strawberries from Sturm’s Berry Farm will be at the market this Sunday. “Bring your dad and come get some great food!” concluded Davenport.

From live and cut flowers – to produce, meats, and prepared foods – you’re sure to find it at the Lents International Farmers Market.

Go enjoy the live music – and perhaps the gardening demonstration at 10 a.m. by Independence Gardens.

Lents International Farmers Market is open every Sunday from 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Again this year, for every dollar SNAP customers spend, the market will match it with $5. For more information, or to sign,up to volunteer at the market, please contact the 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 Farmers Market

Montavilla neighbor Alana Barnhardt picks fresh produce on the Montavilla Farmers Market’s opening day. “For me, this market is a great combination of community, fresh produce, and good treats.”

“We could not be more pleased,” smiled Gretchan Jackson, Market Manager, Montavilla Farmers Market. “Here we are, starting our fifth season. We’ve attracted more farms and more local producers.”

And, a Neighborhood Small Grant from Southeast Uplift helped them spread the word by funding the translating and printing of their flyers for many languages, to reach out to everyone in East Multnomah County, she added.

Vendor Nancy Chandler, from Alsea Acre Goat Cheese, talks with Market Manager Gretchan Jackson.

Who doesn’t want to come shopping, when there’s fresh ice cream there,” say Paloma Siegel-Prather, Liam Roberson, and Chenoa Sigel-Prather and Tanya Prather.

“We have about 40 vendors here; that’s not quite our maximum number,” Jackson commented. “We’ll be growing throughout the season, as new crops come in.”

While she hadn’t seen the traffic count for the day at the time we spoke, she estimated about 2,600 folks would come through the market during the day – similar to the market days last season. “Our token sales, so far, exceed what we did last year, less than halfway through the day.”

Jackson attributed the success of the market to “a really fabulous board of directors that gives us a lot of professional energy. And, I think it is also our partnership with the neighborhoods. We came at the right time and met the needs of the folks here in the community. Since we’re community driven, and come from this neighborhood, I think it is been a really good match.”

The Montavilla Farmers Market thrives on Sundays.

On June 12, look for a Chef Demo with Dax Erickson of the MAC Club, and enjoy the music of Lew Jones.

Montavilla Farmers Market is open from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. through October 31. 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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