Parkrose Farmers Market opens for the season

Find out why its manager says this outdoor marketplace is more than just a space for vendors …

Shoppers check out the vendors during the Parkrose Farmers Market opening day.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Opening on schedule, bright and early at 9:00 a.m. on May 9 the Parkrose Farmers Market opened for its second season at its new outer East Portland location, on NE Halsey Street in the Russell neighborhood.

The parking lot was nearly filled, as shoppers – many of them saying they were surprised that a farmers market would be open in May – came to check out the vendors.

Market Manager Ron Glanville talks with vendor Cindy Hooten of Bountiful Garden LLC.

“It’s nice to have a beautiful day for our first market,” reflected Parkrose Farmers Market Manager Ron Glanville. “We have about 23 vendors signed up; with about 15 here today. Our produce vendors are late – due to the spring weather, there’s not enough produce coming out yet.”

Still, the market offered a good variety of plant “starts”, tomato plants, dried foods, and pottery. Doing a brisk business, as usual, was the SweetHeart Bake Shop stall.

Genevieve Flanagan of Urban Acre Homestead shows off some of her fresh herbs for sale.

“It’s important to our community to have a farmers market,” Glanville remarked, “because it provides the community with locally-grown, produced, or made foods and products, sold by local vendors. They grow a lot of their products in their yards!”

Everyone talks about “sustainability”, Glanville told East Portland News, but here, it’s more than merely a slogan. “We have local gardens that are producing these foods; people know that it’s fresh and organic, and well-prepared; that’s important.”

Enthusiastically pitching hand-made Good Ol’ Fashioned Caramel Corn, made with “lots and lots of caramel”, and their “I need a breath mint” Garlic Pretzels is budding entrepreneur Tristan Taylor and buddy Mason Mahar, both freshmen at Barlow High School.

Another interesting thing about this farmers market, the manager said, is that it is a “nursery” for new businesses. “If it were located in a business park, it would be called a ‘business incubator’,” observed Glanville. “This is a good place for people who want to try their hand at being an entrepreneur. Here, you can start out small, with the aid of the farmers market that is helping you, and then launch from here.”

He was visiting with Cindy Hooten of Bountiful Garden, and pointed her out as an example. “Cindy started her business as a part-time avocation, now she’s expanding it into a full-time business.”

Serving up her fresh, ready-to-eat meals is Erika Bautista, of Sara’s Tamales.

The Parkrose Farmers Market is open every Saturday (except July 4) from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

SNAP/Oregon Trail and Debit Cards are gladly accepted.

They’re located between the BiMart Store and the Parkrose Community United Church of Christ, at 12505 NE Halsey Street, 97230. See what’s at the market this week, by checking their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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