Montavilla Farmers Market opens for the season

Some things are different, at this established outer East Portland market — but shoppers seem delighted that it’s reopened …

With new safety protocols in place, shoppers are welcomed to the Montavilla Farmers Market, as it opens up for the season.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The Montavilla Farmers Market opened for their 14th season as scheduled, on Sunday morning, May 3; but even from the street, it looked quite different.

The market has expanded to the west into the now-vacant “Beets” lot, allowing vendors booths to be spaced an appropriate “social distance” from each another.

Ringing the opening bell for season is Market Manager Alison DeLancey.

“As you can see, we have strict safety protocols in place, because we want to keep everybody safe during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Market Manager Alison DeLancey.

“We put up a fence around the perimeter of our expanded lot, and we’re controlling the number of people who come onto the property,” DeLancey told East Portland News. “Both vendors and customers alike were required to wear face masks, the manger pointed out. “Everyone is observing the six-foot social distancing protocol, because we want this to be a safe place for everyone in the community.”

Keeping one another safe, masked shoppers were happy again to be able to buy fresh produce from the folks from Simplicity Gardens.

In the past, the farmers market has been a gathering place for the community, DeLancey commented. “And, while we appreciate this, we’re not providing live music or space for communal gathering, not hosting children’s programming – and all prepared food is to be eaten off the market’s premises.”

What shoppers will find is at least 40 vendors offering nutrient-rich, freshly grown and harvested, minimally-handled produce, and local prepared foods for sale.

The Montavilla Farmers Market is a good place to buy fresh food safely, DeLancey asserted, because “the supply chain” – from the field to the market stall – is dramatically shortened.

Shoppers seemed glad to see that Melissa Buechler of MeeMee’s Goodies is back, bringing her delicious “layered jams” – and she also offered stylish protective facemasks for sale.

“People have been really gracious and good about waiting in line, as a way to come on the market lot; this really shows how much people in the community care about protecting one another,” DeLancey remarked.

The Montavilla Farmers Market is open every Sunday throughout the season, from 10:00 a.m. until  2:00 p.m. It’s located on the gravel lot in the 7700 block of SE Stark Street, across from Mr. Plywood. Please CLICK HERE to see the new COVID-19 market rules!

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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