Lents Farmers Market thrives in new location

Discover why a move “down the street” has helped the Lents International Farmers Market to flourish, in this mid-season report …

At its new location, this season, the Lents International Farmers Market attracts many shoppers weekly.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

For those who questioned how a change in management, and location, for the Lents International Farmers Market would affect this established fresh food bazaar – the answer is simple: It is prospering.

It’s still in Lents, and located on SE Foster Road, but now just west of SE 91st Avenue.

On the Board of the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood, Richard Dickinson volunteers at the information booth, helping Market Manager Amber Holland.

“Things are going great and our farmers are having a good year – which makes us happy,” said Market Manager Amber Holland of the Portland Farmers Market, who oversees the Lents International Farmers Market.

“We are thrilled to have the market, and excited to work with the growers and the food artisans who are here,” Holland remarked during our July 24 visit.

Fresh fish, anyone? Marty Sampson says the salmon he’s holding came from the lower Columbia River, caught just the night before market day.

Colescott Rubin from Sellwood and fellow student Thorleif Davidsson of Iceland play original music at the market.

“As far as the location goes, believe it or not, it’s quieter here – because it’s not right on the corner of SE 92nd Avenue and Foster Road, making it easier to hold conversations and enjoy our live music a little more,” Holland told East Portland News.

The count of visitors has also been good, with about 800 shoppers visiting the market, week after week.

“We’re really pretty happy with our traffic, considering that – at this location – there are fewer opportunities for people to ‘accidentally’ encounter the market as they pass by,” Holland noted.

Cohen Zimmerman gets help making a “sun catcher” from Food Scouts volunteer Ava Siscaretti, as Rachelle Zimmerman looks on.

The market’s “Food Scout” program for kids between the ages of 5 and 12 is again in full swing, offering different crafts each time you visit, and $2 in tokens each week to spend on vegetables, fruit, and food-producing plants.

And every other week – on August 7 and 21 – the market features Community Chef demonstrations by food educators from Zenger Farm.

Zenger Farm “Farming Intern” Lindsay Jacobs sells Dutch heirloom “Dragon’s Tongue” beans to Shane Stanbridge and Marie Chia, who are shopping for a meal they’re presenting at a “pop-up restaurant” at Portobello Vegan Trattoria.

“An important reason for this market is to provide healthy, seasonal food access,” Holland said.

“And people really enjoy being here,” Holland added. “People need a community place to get together, and to meet with their neighbors. It’s a good place to hang out. So we serve both of those functions – food access and community gathering.”

Vendors offer prepared foods every week at the market.

Lents International Farmers Market

  • Sundays, through October
  • 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
  • To see their webpage: CLICK HERE.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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