By Jack Rubinger
Down-jacket wearing Portlanders will appreciate the fact that Montavilla Farmers Market will be open in February, March and April this year, although the official season starts in May.
Market manager Lisa Hall was cheerful, excited and optimistic about kicking things off with a winter season, expansion into the second lot and several friendly, innovative and community-minded vendors.
This year, the market will include 39 vendors, including Felton & Mary’s Artisan Foods, much-loved for home-style BBQ, the earthy Mindful Mushrooms and Fiddlehead Farm, one of the biggest farm vendors.
Notable too, are Twisted Croissant for their savory and sweet pastries and The Urban Acre Homestead, which features winter produce, tea blends, bitter greens and herbs and seasonal jams.
The folks from Mindful Mushrooms report that business has been steady. They said since COVID-19, it seems more people have been interested in shopping locally.
“Farmers markets offer a safe way to social distance because they are outdoors,” said Mindful Mushrooms’ Riley Sevigny.
“The vibe is relaxed and the customers and vendors are so sweet and friendly. Customers are eager to learn and love trying new things. We’d love shoppers to check out our new grow your own mushroom kits. We’ll also be launching a new line of other products.”
Roxana Campbell from Felton & Mary’s Artisan Foods have been vendors at the Montavilla Farmers Market for several years. Theirs is a family-owned business with roots in a local restaurant called Campbell BBQ which was around from the late 1980s to 2006, off SE 87th and Powell Blvd.
They sell three flavors of BBQ sauces, a spice rub and Paw Paws Link Sausages along with fresh bagels, veggies, honey, sausages, tamales and African cuisine.
“Montavilla Farmers Market has been excellent for us,” said Campbell. “This was our first market and we really enjoy the community of vendors and the community that comes out faithfully each week. The atmosphere is very chill and friendly. All the vendors really are like family and we support each other in many ways.”
While we are all still dealing with COVID-19, Montavilla Farmers Market asks customers to not come to the market if they are sick, to wear a face covering at all times while in the market, to maintain six feet of social distancing and to send just one shopper per household.
The market schedule for 2021-2022 is every Sunday from May to November 21. From December to April, the market is open the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month. Hours are 10 am-2 pm.
Montavilla Farmers Market
7700 SE Stark St.
Photo by Lisa Hall