Montavilla welcomes their market’s return

Take a look, and you’ll discover why the Montavilla Farmers Market has been successful from their very first day …

The sign on the Montavilla Farmers Market barn lets everyone know that it has returned for the season.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

At the opening bell for the season, at 10:00 a.m. on May 31, the Montavilla Farmers Market was deluged with shoppers. It could just have been pent-up demand; but the offered slice of free cake may have stimulated interest as well.

“We first opened in 2007, and we’re still thrilled with the response that we receive every year,” said returning Market Manager Amanda Cross, now in her second season in that role.

Montavilla Farmers Market Manager Amanda Cross (center) welcomes new vendors, Jeff Smalley and Renee Carver, of FIRE+STONE.

“We’re opening with a full complement of vendors,” Cross told East Portland News. “We have about 50 vendors on our roster, and will have more as the season goes on. We have a lot of favorite returning vendors, and new ones as well.”

Jonathan Rendon and Laura Morgan cook fresh meals at Farmcart.

New this year are prepared and ready-to-eat food vendors, Cross said. “We’re excited about Farmcart, which offers hand pies, quiches, and biscuit sandwiches. Owner Laura Morgan sources as many of her ingredients from local farms as possible.

“And she’s brought back the ‘Durable Dish’ to our market,” added Cross. “They serve their meals on washable and reusable plates bowls and silverware – cutting down on some of our waste stream.”

Still at the Parkrose Farmers Market on Saturdays, Aimee Blevins and Jason Blevins again bring their SweetHeart Bake Shop goods to Montavilla on Sundays.

Other new vendors include Spice of Africa, making Ethiopian and Kenyan foods, including lentil stews and flatbreads.

In response to shoppers’ requests for more bread products, FIRE+STONE is now at the market, offering croissants, palmiers, and several different types of bread, including the ever-popular focaccia.

Jennifer Avise from Montavilla, and her mom, Susan Avise, visiting from Palm Springs, shop Fiddlehead Farm.

“EBT/SNAP customers can get up to a $10 match each week; in a month that’s $40 worth of free food,” Cross said. “In addition to having extra dollars in their pocket, they are spending money that supports their local farmers as well.”

They still have about 150 people on their volunteer list, as well as a corps of volunteers who help them set up, operate, and take it down at the end of the day. “There’s always room for more volunteers; we welcome them here in our market,” said Cross.

It’s “berry season” at the Montavilla Farmers Market.

Montavilla Farmers Market
Open from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
They’re open on July 5, for holiday weekend shoppers
7600 Block of SE Stark St., across the street from Mr. Plywood
To see their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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