Zenger hosts ‘Friday Farm Markets’

Here’s the place to get a fresh (food) start to your weekend throughout the summer …

The Zenger Farm “Dancing Pea” Robert Ericksen, a long time volunteer and farmer intern, invites folks driving along SE Foster Road to stop in at their new produce stand.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Portland’s unique “urban agricultural demonstration center”, Zenger Farm, is now selling their fresh-grown produce to the public on Friday afternoons.

Raising money to support educational work at this mid-County nonprofit organization in the Lents Neighborhood is only one of the reasons they decided to open a “vegetable market” – as well as selling at the Lents International Farmers Market – explained Zenger Farm Crew Leader Bryan Allan.

Zenger Farm Education Director Alice Froehlich, and Farm Crew Leader Bryan Allan proudly show off some of their fresh produce for sale.

“Another reason is that we’re encouraging people to come out to the farm, and see what we’re all about,” Allan said, while tending the stand.

“Fridays is a busy day at the farm,” he added. “From 2 p.m. until 4 p.m., we have a volunteer work party. People come out and help out in the fields – weeding, and helping to plan – it depending on the season.”

Folks volunteer for a variety of reasons, Allan said. “Working alongside the farm crew as volunteers, they can learn a lot. It’s a good time to chat up some knowledgeable people about growing all kinds of crops.”

Volunteer and farm intern Margret Harburg leads guests on a tour of Zenger Farm.

And, at 4 p.m. every Friday, guests can take a guided walking tour.

“For people who want to help Zenger Farm, but don’t or can’t volunteer, shopping at our market stand and buying fresh seasonal produce is a good way to help the farm,” Allan pointed out.

According to Friends of Zenger Farm Executive Director Jill Kuehler, their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program is also going well.

Here restocking the supply of vicia faba – also known as fava bean – for farm stand shoppers as well as Zenger CSA Share Members, is Healthy Communities intern Andrea Baron.

“We have 40 CSA members this year, and more than half of them pay for their shares with their SNAP benefits,” Kuehler informed. “We are one of the first CSAs in the State to accept SNAP for shares, so it’s very exciting.”

Through the end of September, the Zenger Farm Stand is open every Friday from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m.

Zenger food educator Tamara Edens offers fresh salsa made from vegetables grown on the farm to volunteer for the day, Tallie Mattson, an intern at Maxwell Public Relations.

Zenger Farm also offers summer camps for kids, educational programs – including cooking, canning, beekeeping and worm-raising – throughout the year.

They’re located at 11741 SE Foster Road. For more information, see their website: CLICK HERE. Or, call them at (503) 282-4245

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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