Lents ‘Farmer’s Market’ grows on community

See why the new Lents International Farmer’s Market is drawing shoppers to SE 92nd Ave. and Foster Rd. on the last Sunday of each month ‚Ķ

Don Lief came down from Mt. Tabor to buy fresh produce. He met market manager Hilary DuBose and Tenino Farms’ Meagan Freed.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
In past years, the Lents Farmer’s Market provided slim pickings. Typically, it consisted of one or two small stands ‚Äì if any ‚Äì on the corner of SE 92nd and Foster Road.

This year, “less is more”: Instead of operating every weekend, the market is held only on the last Sunday of the month. But, more than a dozen vendors are now on hand, selling everything from vegetables to fresh-baked bread.

New name, new vitality
“We’ve renamed it the ‘Lents International Farmer’s Market’,” project manager Hilary DuBose told us when we visited. “We’re doing this as a pilot project this year. We’ll see what works and what customers like. Then, we’ll put full energy into perhaps a larger project next season.”

As many as 18 vendors display their goods at the outdoor market. “We have a great variety of produce, cut flowers, African arts, Hispanic food, fresh eggs, potted plants, and a craft baker,” DuBose said.

This new version of the Lents Farmer’s Market was created in response to a neighborhood survey conducted last year. “The research showed that Lents residents have the least access to quality food sources,” DuBose continued. “We’re providing a new resource for healthy, affordable eating.”

Lissa and Russell Pfandler of Russell’s Bread bring fresh baked goods from their own wood-fired European-styled hearth oven located in Vancouver, WA. This home-based business offered their goods exclusively at the Hollywood Market until coming to Lents this season. By the way, he does bake fabulous breads and pastries.

“By stressing the ‘international’ aspects of the market, we’re trying to bring people together here in Lents,” commented Judy Welch, past chair, Lents Neighborhood Association, as she helped out at the market. “Having a place the community can come together to buy home-grown foods and home-made crafts is terrific. People are coming from all over to visit the market ‚Äì it isn’t just a market, it’s a great event.”

Jeff Rose, a neighborhood association board member and market volunteer told us, “I just bought a house here in Lents Town Center. I’m doing everything I can to promote good things like this. I’d like to see Lents regain the vitality it had in the past. We need neighbors to get back together and interact with one another. I see this as a positive step.”

Last market date:  September 24
Plan to spend some time at the Lents International Farmer’s Market on Sunday, September 24. It’s open from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Is it truly International? Yes: Hmong, Hispanic, Turkish, and Mien farmers are represented.  You’ll also enjoy live music, prepared food, cooking demonstrations, and community-information booths.

The market is located next to Crossroads Plaza on SE 92nd Ave. at Foster Rd. There’s plenty of street parking, and additional free parking is provided by the Lents Masonic Lodge at 5811 SE 92nd Ave. WIC and senior coupons are welcome.

For more information, contact at http://lentsfarmersmarket@gmail.com.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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