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, 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!

Volunteer in 2017!

May 2, 2017 |  by  |  News  |  2 Comments

Did you know that the majority of the people creating the market are volunteers? We’re working away to put on our 11th season, and we’d love for you to join us. There are many ways to be part of the magic of the Montavilla Farmers Market, and we welcome you whether you want to volunteer just once during the season or if you want to make it a regular habit. There are opportunities as short as a 10-minute crowd count, to being intimately involved in guiding the market into the future as a member of the Board of Directors. Take a look at our volunteer website to learn all the ways you can join in and contribute.

For more information, please send your questions to our Volunteer Coordinator, Nora Barnett, at volunteer[at] Let her know if you’d like to receive regular updates on volunteering; she’ll send you a brief e-news once per week throughout the season with volunteer updates and any needs we have for the next market day. (You can easily unsubscribe from these emails at any time!)

We greatly value all of the contributions of our volunteers. They are a huge part of what drives the market and makes it a great place to be. We’re looking forward to another fantastic season and hope you’ll be part of it!

2017 Farmers Market Volunteer Orientation

April 5, 2017 |  by  |  News  |  No Comments

Come volunteer with the market! Volunteer orientation is on Thursday April 27th from 6:30 – 8 PM.

We have many volunteer opportunities ranging from 15minutes on a Sunday at market to joining a committee. You can learn all about the different volunteer positions on our website.

Details for the orientation are below:

What: Montavilla Farmers Market Volunteer Orientation
When: Thursday, April 27, 2017 6:30 PM – 8 PM
Where: 7700 block of SE Stark
Meet at the red barn across from Mr. Plywood.

If you are interested in volunteering but can’t make it to the orientation, please contact our volunteer coordinator at volunteer [at]

Vendors - Apply Now for 2017-2018!

Vendors – Apply Now for 2017-2018!

February 12, 2017 |  by  |  News, Vendor Profiles  |  No Comments

Montavilla Farmers Market’s 2017 priority period deadline for accepting vendors has passed. But the application reopens February 15th on a rolling basis where vendors will be accepted for the 2017-2018 season as space and category become available.

We strive to provide a vibrant marketplace where our diverse community has access to fresh, high quality, local food. MFM evaluates a vendor product/producer on the following characteristics when determining acceptance:

  • locally grown and/or processed ingredients
  • locally sourced ingredients (direct from grower/producer)
  • striving to use environmentally responsible and sustainable production methods
  • offerings based on availability within natural season of growth
  • artisan production and uniqueness of processor
  • minimal packaging with lowest impact materials
  • reduction/avoidance of GM-containing ingredients
  • no use of growth hormone
  • returning vendors that are in good standing with the organization

Interested in vending? Please see our vendor page for more information, the vendor handbook, and application:

Become a Vendor

Meet the Board: Jill Dornan

February 12, 2017 |  by  |  News  |  No Comments

Squash. Berries. Kale. Those are just some of the locally-grown foods that put smiles on the faces of Jill and her family.

As a longtime resident of East Portland and community volunteer, Jill is passionate about ensuring access to quality, local, and tasty food. She has been a supporter of local farmers and food producers for many years through her involvement with Portland-area food buying groups, and as a shopper at the Montavilla Farmers Market. Jill joined the Market board to bring her experience working for nonprofits, running her own successful business and advising business owners, to bear on reducing food insecurity in the community.

On Sundays you’ll see her stocking up at the market, so please say hello!