Montavilla Farmers Market readies for May 3 opening

See how things will be different at this outer East Portland farmers market this season …

Vendors bundle up against cold weather at the last Montavilla Farmers Market “Winter Stock-up Market” – which was delayed until March.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Due to a canopy-ripping windstorm in February, the Montavilla Farmers Market (MFM) “Winter Stock-up Market” didn’t open, and was postponed until the following month.

After an unprecedented snowfall just the day before, on March 15, the weather cleared, the sun came out, and organizers finally held their last-of-this-season “Stock-up” market.

MFM Assistant Manager Christy Van Natta orders her hot food to go from Pedro Felipe with Mixteca PDX.

“After our experience in February, everyone brought extra weights to keep their canopies from flying away, in case the wind again picked up, but so far, we’re just fine today,” said MFM Assistant Manager Christy Van Natta.

“Although many stores are closed down because of COVID-19 concerns, people still need food to eat,” Van Natta told East Portland News . “Here, there’s less exposure to others than one would get at a grocery store; and, the food has handled less, because it comes straight from the farms or the producers, directly into the hands of the customer.”

Shopper Gabi Green buys veggies from Drew Mosher, with Corvallis-based Crooked Furrow Farm.

Even though it was still winter, close to 1,000 people showed up over the course of the four hour market in March.

Expects a ‘different’ kind of season in 2020
“We are expecting things to be different, as we open our 14th season on May 3; but we will be here with lots of vendors, bringing a bumper crop of fresh foods,” Van Natta commented. “For example, vendor booths will be spaced 10 feet apart; and – until further notice – live music, kids programming, special events, and communal seating are canceled.”

Sad for many market-goers is that vendors won’t be allowing fruit and food sampling for the time being. Also, all hot food and beverages will be sold “to-go”, and may not be consumed on market premises.

Greens catch the attention of shoppers at the Fiddlehead Farm booth.

Other changes to be aware of include:

  • Eliminating tokens – except for EBT/SNAP and “Double Up Food Bucks”
  • Vendors are required to pre-package food, and round item prices up to the nearest dollar, to avoid coin handling
  • Shoppers will be limited to one customer per 10×10 booth space at a time, and will be expected to leave six feet of space between themselves and others when standing in line outside of a booth
  • Although this has always been a “dog-friendly” market, shoppers are requested to leave their pooches home

So, plan now to come to the Montavilla Farmers Market opening on May 3, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. It’s still located in the gravel lot, across from Mr. Plywood, in the 7700 block of SE Stark Street.

For more information, see their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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