Lents farm market welcomed back

Here’s why shoppers are again heading to the Lents International Farmers Market, in outer East Portland …

Welcoming shoppers to opening day of the Lents International Farmers Market is the lively, cheerful music of this duo, Grupo Latitudes.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

With cheerful expressions on their faces, folks headed along SE 92nd Avenue to the Lents International Farmers Market (LIFM) on opening day, June 2.

From the opening bell until the market’s closing, folks came in to check out the new vendors, purchase vegetables, and dine al fresco on ready-to-eat foods throughout the day.

Welcoming neighbors to the first day of the season is LIFM Market Manager David Oberstein.

“Although I’ve worked with other markets, I’m starting my first season here in Lents today; but I actually started back in March, preparing for our 2019 season,” remarked LIFM Market Manager David Oberstein, as the market was underway.

There are numerous farmers markets in the city, especially during the summer months, observed Oberstein – but only one international market.

In from Hood River, Renaldo Rodriguez of Pheasant’s Eye Farm sells fresh asparagus to new Lents neighbor Amara Tekus.

“Here, there is definitely a different ‘flavor’ that distinguishes it from other community markets, and some of the larger markets that we manage, because it supports beginning and emerging farmers, and offers lot of diversity that doesn’t exist in other farmers markets,” Oberstein told East Portland News.

LIFM is a perfect fit for the Lents neighborhood, because it encourages vendors to grow and sell products that are very specific to their cultures. “That’s important, here in the Lents neighborhood, because it supports the diversity of people in our area,” Oberstein remarked.

As the sun warms LIFM, lots of neighbors come out to mingle, and shop.

Shoppers swirled among a dozen vendors – including several offering Mt. Hood strawberries – choosing from among their colorful displays.

This season, LIFM is already welcoming two new vendors:

  • Spice of Africa – Serving authentic prepared Kenyan dishes, including lentil soup, Kenyan tomato chutney, and spiced iced tea.
  • Spice Pilgrim – This woman-owned company is selling stone-ground spice and hand-blended loose-leaf tea.

Stacy Gorton and his kids say they’re enjoying the day – and the fresh Mt. Hood strawberries!

“We’re looking forward to hosting as many as 20 vendors in the market, as their crops come in – including a mushroom grower, and perhaps a meat vendor,” Oberstein forecast. “Come on by every week, and see what’s new at our special market, unique in all of Portland!”

After the rig emerged from the station across the street, pulling  up to the LIFM, Portland Fire & Rescue Lents Station Engine Co. 11 Firefighter/Paramedic Matt Coffey shows their apparatus to Philip Clarke and Henry Clarke.

Lents International Farmers Market
Open every Sunday, 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
SE 92nd Avenue near Reedway Street, between SE Foster and Harold streets.
For more information, see their official webpage: CLICK HERE.

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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