Two farmers markets close for the season – almost

While the Lents and Montavilla markets aren’t open every Sunday anymore this year, find out about their upcoming special events …

Shoppers line up to buy fall and winter crops from vendors at the Montavilla Farmers Market.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Visiting the two remaining outer East Portland farmers markets on their last “regular” market day of the season, on October 26, it appeared as if neighbors were still embracing these outdoor marketplaces, for both food and socializing.

The markets are no longer open every Sunday, but both the Montavilla and Lents markets do still have special events planned.

At the Rossi Farms stand, the unique fingerling potatoes are a big hit.

Montavilla Farmers Market

“Both our customers and vendors say they’ve been happy coming here this season,” said Montavilla Farmers Market Board Member Kelli Wolford at their last regular market day.

“And, we’re all very happy with our new General Manager, Amanda Cross,” Wolford added. “Gretchan Jackson had been with the market since we began. Amanda came in and took over, and she did fabulously. Everything ran smoothly.”

Montavilla Farmers Market General Manager Amanda Cross spends a moment with Board Member Kelli Wolford at their last regular day of their season.

They’ve found that a “core group” of Montavilla-area shoppers come to their market nearly every week, Wolford told East Portland News. “And, we’re so happy when people discover us and shop here, joining in with our regular, weekly shoppers.”

By taking regular “shopper traffic counts”, they’ve found the market draws an average of about 1,400 shoppers each week, Wolford reported.

Montavilla resident Amy Bensted shops with Vyasa Thomas and Gopal Thomas of Simplicity Gardens.

Looking forward to next year, manager Amanda Cross said about 90% of their vendors assure that they will return next spring.

Thinking back on her first year with the market, Cross said, “I just love being outside on Sundays; and, being part of this community. There are rarely unhappy people here; it’s enjoyable for me to see people coming together.”

Many shoppers “stock up” on potatoes and other fall and winter crops at the Montavilla Farmers Market.

Montavilla Winter “Stock Up” Markets
While no longer open weekly on Sundays, the Montavilla Farmers Market will be open for a Special Thanksgiving Market on November 23.

“At this market,” Cross said, “Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees (SOAR) will be community tabling, to accept food donations for our community’s newest residents.”

Go stock up, and help Portland Newcomers, at the Montavilla Farmers Market. It’s open from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

And, they’ll be holding two-hour “Winter Stock Up Markets” – from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at their location on December 21, January 11, and February 8.

Montavilla Farmers Market is located in the 7600 Block of SE Stark Street, across from Mr. Plywood. See them online: CLICK HERE to open their website.

Lents International Farmers Market

Fresh fall crops are in abundance, at the Lents International Farmers Market.

“This has been a great market season for us here,” said Lents International Farmers Market General Manager Sarah Broderick.

“It’s rewarding to see the number of shoppers coming here every week increasing again this season,” Broderick told East Portland News during the last regular market day of their season.

Lents International Farmers Market Token Program Coordinator Sam Schauer, with General Manager Sarah Broderick.

“We are averaging – goodness – about 1,300 visitors a week,” Broderick smiled. “That’s a large increase in shopper traffic; way up from last year, which was up from the year before. It feels really good to see this kind of community acceptance for the market.”

A combination of contented vendors and delighted shoppers makes for a good farmers market, Broderick observed.

“One of the best parts of our market,” she said, “is the team of volunteers who help out, some of them almost every week. They’ve really held with market together and helped it continually improve. They’re truly awesome.”

Lents neighbor Alison Hilkiah shops with Frank Gonzalez of ProFarm Produce, from Zillah, Washington.

Hearing from supportive community members also keeps her spirits up, Broderick said. “People are excited to have access to the food that we provide.”

During her last poll of vendors, she discovered, “I think everybody is on board for coming back next season.”

Volunteers Lachuman Bhaddarai, Faith English, Teagan Moran, and Dega Bhaddarai show shoppers how to make “Momo” – a Nepalese dumpling with cabbage, cilantro, and ginger and garlic.

Lents Winter “Stock Up Market”
On December 7, they’re hold having a “Winter Stock-up Market”, adjacent to the Lents Neighborhood Association bazaar, they’ve called the “Put a Goat on It” outdoor market and bazaar, Broderick reported.

“We’ll be open from Noon until 3:00 p.m., near the New Copper Penny Restaurant in Lents Town Center, at SE Woodstock Boulevard and SE 92nd Avenue,” she added.

> On our Front Page – Lincoln Hilkiah takes a big bite of apple of a juicy apple, at the Lents International Farmers Market.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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