Lents Farmers Market opens for the season

See what’s new at the Lents International Farmers Market this year! This outer East Portland market is open every Sunday, all summer long …

On opening day of the Lents International Farmers Market, Natalie Kiefer from Simington Gardens in Aurora gathers up produce requested by a shopper.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

With virtually everything else still closed in Multnomah County, due to COVID-19 coronavirus State-ordered shutdown, the grand opening of the Lents International Farmers Market (LIFM) for the summer season was a welcomed event on Sunday, June 9.

Kicking off their 15th season, the LIFM is the only market in Portland with an intentional international focus.

Dodging raindrops, Lucy Vang of Sulina’s Garden spends a moment with LIFM Market Manager David Oberstein.

“Indeed, this is the first day of another season, here in Lents, that we’ve been looking forward to all winter long,” said LIFM Market Manager David Oberstein.

“All of our market’s vendors from last hear have returned, and we’ve added a couple of new vendors this year to help bolster the opening market,” Oberstein told East Portland News.

“We are really excited to see all of the beautiful spring crops; and we’re looking forward to all of the fruits and vegetables that the summer will bring,” the market’s manager said.

Shoppers check out the bounty of fresh veggies offered by N & N Amaro Produce.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, all of the vendors were widely spaced from each other, allowing for appropriate social distancing. “Most of our vendors have no-touch shopping systems where people point out what they want, and the farmers’ helpers put it in a bucket or basket, and take it to the check out,” explained Oberstein.

They are requesting that shoppers wear face coverings or masks; leave family and friends at home while you shop; and use the hand-washing stations throughout the market.

Shoppers can expect to find about a dozen vendors at the market each Sunday, offering fresh-from-the-farm produce, locally-prepared food, and hot ready-to-eat foods to take away and enjoy. “Sadly, we’re not providing music, or places for people to sit and relax, for the time being,” Oberstein observed.

Mandy King from Money Bowl makes up rice balls from wild, black sticky rice. “It’s a healthy, on-the-go-snack,” she says.

Even under unusual and difficult circumstances, continuing the famers market in Lents is important, Oberstein asserted. “The LIFM provides a safer grocery shopping option, making fresh produce and fruits available – food that’s likely only been touched by the farmer – in an outdoor environment.

“This is important, especially when it feels like there isn’t much that’s certain, at the moment, in our world,” added Oberstein.

Coming up in July the LIFM will restart the “Market Scouts” program – but it will be offering no-touch take-home activities with the same benefits and awards as you have come to expect from nutritional education.

Lents International Farmers Market

  • Open Sundays, 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
  • On SE 92nd Avenue near Reedway Street, between Foster and Harold streets – and across the street from Portland Fire & Rescue Station 11
  • Learn more at their website: CLICK HERE

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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