Volunteer Today!

Set-up crew volunteers, photo by Walker Stockly

Volunteer Today!

September 21, 2017 |  by  |  News  |  No Comments

Fall is in the air! Many of our volunteers have been coming regularly since the market season opened in the Spring (not to mention in years past). Others come periodically, filling in whenever it’s needed. Still more are new volunteers, who are trying shifts for the first time. Yes, even in the Fall we’re attracting new energy!

We’re proud of the volunteer hours contributed this season because it demonstrates what a community effort the market is. And our volunteers know that each time they see someone filling a shopping bag with fresh, local produce, benefiting from the Double Up Food Bucks Program, taking a kids cooking workshop, or enjoying the music… they played a part in the over 1500 people who get pleasure out of the market’s weekly bounty and regularly choose to make it part of their Sunday.

So join us! It’s not too late and everyone is welcome. You can help with one 10-minute crowd count, or go all in and be the newest board member. MFM is a success because of you!

Email volunteer [at] montavillamarket.org and ask Nora for more info on how to get involved.

Music at the Market: Portland Chamber Music

Portland Chamber Music

Music at the Market: Portland Chamber Music

September 10, 2017 |  by  |  News  |  No Comments

Portland Chamber Music, a local nonprofit, believes all people deserve access to quality musical experiences and devotes 100% of their time to community outreach, bringing free classical music performances to Portland communities. On Sunday, September 17th you can catch them at the market from noon-1:30. Come shop for produce while listening to both classical favorites and modern popular themes.

These professional musicians play in neighborhoods, in retirement communities and rehabilitation centers, in libraries, and for homeless meals. Their first concert of the Fall season also takes place in Montavilla, on September 23rd at 7pm, at St. Peter & St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Enjoy the music by Antonín Dvo?ák, Charles Gounod, Alexander Borodin, Franz Schubert and local Portland composers performed by a small chamber ensemble that consists of piano, flute, clarinet, violin, French horn, cello, and soprano. All concerts are free and family friendly.

To learn more about the organization, visit pdxchambermusic.org, or on Facebook at facebook.com/PortlandChamberMusic.

Meet interesting people. Enrich your community. Serve on the board!

Meet interesting people. Enrich your community. Serve on the board!

September 4, 2017 |  by  |  News  |  No Comments

The Montavilla Farmers Market is seeking motivated and passionate individuals to join our board of directors!

This working board is the driving force behind the market and gets together each month to hash out ways to continue to steer MFM toward its mission to provide a vibrant marketplace where our diverse community has access to high quality, local healthy food. We are a warmhearted group, who like working together and solving problems creatively. Does that resonate with you? If so, we’d love your help. Both experienced and first-time board members are welcome to apply.

We’re especially excited to offer an opening to someone whose interests favor being our new Marketing Chair. But we are a growing market and this is a terrific opportunity, whatever your skills and experience, to get involved.

The great programs and success our market boasts is directly related to the hard, thoughtful work done by board members over the last 11 seasons. Everyone has a role to play and benefits to reap. It’s what’s made our market such a success, and what will ensure that it provides for our community for many years to come.

Please consider where you fit in, and contact Board Member, Craig Milliken, at craig_milliken[at]hotmail.com for more information. Include a brief note indicating the skills and areas of expertise you feel you can bring to the market so we can begin to get to know your interests and intent. Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you!


Photo: MFM Board of Directors, circa July 2016.

Youth Cooking Workshops - August 27th

Photo by Kenny Jones

Youth Cooking Workshops – August 27th

August 17, 2017 |  by  |  Chef Demos, News  |  No Comments

On Sunday, August 27th Montavilla Farmers Market is offering three cooking workshops for kids and teens that are free and open to the public. In each workshop, youth will learn to cook one dish using fresh market produce and then get to eat their creations. The workshops are designed and taught by kids-cookery expert, Beth Gates of Cook First PDX. She’ll be teaching participants a few basic cooking skills during the course of one recipe, growing their confidence and inspiring them to explore the fun and adventure of making their own meals.


  • The workshops are aimed at youth ages 11-18 (but children as young as 8 can attended if an adult accompanies them).
  • Workshops happen at 11am, 12pm, and 1pm and are 30-45 mins. A different recipe will be taught at each workshop.
  • Sign-up onsite at the market on August 27th!

Expert knife sharpening by local blacksmith Arnon Kartmazov!

July 27, 2017 |  by  |  Chef Demos, News, Vendor Profiles  |  No Comments

arnonMontavilla’s own Arnon Kartmazov of Bridgetown Forge is back at MFM, on Sunday, July 30th, 2017!

Here are few words from Arnon about his practices:

“Having lived and apprenticed in Japan for a long time, my attitude to knife-making and knife sharpening is somewhat different from that commonly found in the West nowadays, as what is considered “sharp” in Japan is an entirely different ballgame. Japanese knife blades tend to be quite a bit harder and thinner then their Western counterparts, and consequently their steel, construction and geometry also sets them apart. This makes it necessary to have a different approach to sharpening a knife: what a sushi chef finds acceptable is beyond running a steel rod on the edge,” Arnon says.

“To sharpen a knife properly, it’s first checked for straightness; any crookedness is corrected if possible. Next, wear on the blade is checked — if the knife has been sharpened a lot, it needs to be thinned out to restore its original geometry. This is done on a 3-foot diameter Japanese water stone, which allows for smooth, accurate grinding without heating the blade and damaging the temper. The knife is then polished on a sequence of polishing wheels and belts, and finally hand-honed on a Japanese water-stone to a true razor sharpness.”

Arnon will be at the market Sunday, July 30th to sharpen just about anything with a blade! Arnon may be able to sharpen while you wait at the market, but if demand is high, he won’t have time to perform his artistry for everyone while the market is open. Be prepared to leave your knives with Arnon, to be returned to the market the following week, where you can pick them up at the info tent.

To learn more about Arnon, see his website at bridgetownforge.com, or read his 2012 interview with MFM volunteer, Miranda Rake, where he shares his dos & don’ts for knife care as well as a recipe for nabemono, a one pot Japanese meal.

Where’s the fruit?

Where’s the fruit?

May 25, 2017 |  by  |  News  |  No Comments

Does something seem off at the market? While it generally feels full with lots of food, observant customers have noticed a few holes where our berry and fruit vendors are typically found. And they’re right — with the exception of Denison Farms‘s strawberries, we’re still waiting for the arrival of seven of our farms and orchards to have their first day or add a stall for fruit.

The welcome sun and heat we’ve had this week isn’t enough yet to let us all forget the multiple-snowpocalypse winter and record setting rains of this past spring. The conditions over the start of this year are still affecting us with crops that were slower to get started, and fields that were too wet to get into on the usual schedule. MFM’s opening day was our earliest ever, making it natural, even under normal weather patterns, to take more weeks until we reach a full roster of vendors in attendance. Then we have our memories from what was available at this time in 2016 playing tricks on us, since that was a warmer spring in comparison, and the fruit was early! All of these factors are combining to make the wait feel never-ending.

This is part of the nature of eating with the seasons. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any rewards. Waiting means getting to savor a perfectly ripe, picked fresh strawberry that is red all the way through. Or the joyous summer aroma of a sweet, juicy peach. Changing up what you eat as it becomes available adds both variety in nutrients to your meals and makes those meals taste better. For instance, I used to think I didn’t like stonefruit. I was basing that off eating plums that had been shipped long distances to reach me in winter. One day I accepted a slice of an in-season friar plum at the farmers market and the difference in taste from what I was used to shocked me! I became interested in trying all the fruits I’d dismissed before, and a whole new category of healthy eating was added to my life. Eating in season also costs less, when you consider the time, distance, and additional people involved to transport food grown somewhere else in world.

Depending on how you look at it, the seasonal changes at farmers markets can either offer the fun and excitement of discovering a new food, or be exasperating if you’re not able to check an ingredient off your shopping list. Definitely talk with the vendors or the staff at the info tent about what you’re experiencing. They like a chance to chat about what’s cooking and can offer ideas for the new item you found or help you brainstorm a replacement. Let the farmers know what produce you’re excited for and they’ll give you updates on its progress in their particular growing area.

So keep coming back to the market. What you see one week will change the next. And those strawberries and cherries aren’t too far off at this point. At last check with the berry vendors, they said they’re planning for June 4th or 11th. In the meantime, whatever produce you take home, you can be assured it’s fresh, locally grown in OR or WA, and tastes great!