Kids’ events start at Montavilla Market

Take a look and you’ll see why this farmers market in outer East Portland brings in shoppers every Sunday …

It’s another busy afternoon at the Montavilla Farmers Market.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

A midseason visitor to Montavilla Farmers Market on July 24 would have found the lot bustling with activity up to the day’s closing bell.

“It’s exactly halfway through, and it’s been a great season!” exclaimed Market Manager Amanda Cross.

Abigail Findley from Crooked Furrow Farm from Corvallis chats with Montavilla Farmers Market Manager Amanda Cross.

“We’ve had really good, consistent customer counts,” Cross told East Portland News. “For example today’s is just over 1,900 people; we’re typically seeing about 1,500 visitors come through, depending on the weather.”

A continuously-successful farmers market doesn’t depend just on good weather, but also on providing a wide selection of produce and other goods, Cross explained.

Coming from the Roseway neighborhood, mom Ingrid Scott watches, as POP Club member Vela Scott samples fresh vegetables.

“Our kids program, ‘Power of Produce’, or our ‘POP Club’, started today,” Cross pointed out. “It’s a ‘two-bite’ challenge; they take a taste of two fresh vegetables or fruits each week. They are then rewarded with a $5 coupon they can spend directly with farmers on the fruits and produce of their choice.”

“POP Club” runs through August 14, she added.

These aren’t just any samples of Prunus persica the Chris Fulton of Baird Orchards is offering. He’s giving away samples of the “Sierra Rich” freestone peach – a  first generation cross between the “Zee Lady” and “Vista” peach, a variety patented in 2002 under #USPP12391 P2. By the way, they’re sweet, juicy, and tasty.

As on most Sundays, the Montavilla market hosts about 40 vendors, supplying fresh vegetables and fruits, fresh meat, prepared meat, honey, baked goods, jam, fresh cut flowers, mushrooms, seedlings – “almost anything you can think of is here on display, directly from the grower or producer,” Cross said.

The normal bounty of produce is almost entirely cleaned from the shelves on this day by happy shoppers, at the Simplicity Gardens stand.

Just the thing for a hot afternoon: A cold “Coconut Creamsicle” offered by Jon Westdahl from Squirrel & Crow Foods, just a couple of blocks away in Montavilla.

The final ingredient to a good farmers market, Cross opined, is community spirit. “We see people coming here, chatting with each other, greeting friends, and meeting new neighbors.

“This is definitely a place for people to come together, talk to each other, and share what’s going on in their community,” Cross continued. “It’s a true place of community gathering. People in this community love their fresh food, and love their farmers market. They love good food – that’s why they’re here!”

Truly a center of its community is the Montavilla Farmers Market.

The Montavilla Farmers Market is open every Sunday, between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., through October 30. 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.

Shoppers go crazy for “This Lil’ Piggy’s Bacon Spread” offered by Melissa Buechler of MeeMee’s Goodies in Beaverton.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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