Mary Kate is currently the Development Director at Friends of Trees. She is in the 7th year of her Development career. She moved to Portland in the Fall of 2012 from Chicago, where she worked in the Adler Planetarium’s Development office straight out of college.
Mary Kate is loving Portland – particularly its proximity to wine country, the coast, Mt. Hood, and waterfalls. And all the good beer.
She lives just blocks away from the market with her two doggies, Turk and JD. She got involved as a volunteer doing set up each weekend. It was a great opportunity to become more invested in this neighborhood that she is slowly but surely falling in love with!”
She has a long history of being passionate about healthy foods, farmers, markets, food equity, fighting childhood obesity and well obesity in general. She volunteered for years at the Green City Market in Chicago – and also served on the Development Committee for Purple Asparagus its mission is to: educate children, families and the community about eating that’s good for the body and the planet.
She is excited to bring her experience and dedication to the Montavilla Farmer’s Market board!
MFM is excited to congratulate Justin Simms at InTownAg on winning an Innovators in Urban Agriculture Prize! This prize is awarded by the International Network for Urban Agriculture and recognizes Justin for improving food access in Portland.
Justin was nominated by the market and was chosen from more than 50 entries from all over the U.S., Haiti, Kenya, Egypt, Nepal, India, Bolivia and more. Read about his inspiring work!
Forrest Pritchard will be at the market this Sunday, October 18th to discuss farmers markets, favorite recipes, and his new book, Growing Tomorrow: A Farm-to-Table Journey in Photos and Recipes. With 50 recipes and 250 photographs, his book tells the stories of 18 extraordinary sustainable farmers, including MFM’s own Kiyokawa Family Orchards. From urban beekeepers to sustainable fishermen, organic citrus to Native American grown wild rice, Forrest traveled the country with photographer Molly Peterson to learn about their struggles and triumphs, capturing the vital connection between farm and fork.
Want to know the inside scoop about farmers markets? How about the 5 questions to always ask at a farmers market? Forrest is a seventh generation farmer at Smith Meadows, his farm in Berryville, Virginia. His was one of the first grass-finished, free-range endeavors in the country, and he’s sold at farmers markets in Washington, D.C. for more than fifteen years. Bring your farming and food questions and stop to chat with Forrest. Share in his passion for the hard-working people who grow and raise our food—and are ensuring that it will be there tomorrow, too.
Last Sunday I had the pleasure of volunteering with the Power of Produce Club here at the market. As some of you may have read in your newsletter, POP Club “engages kids in the full market experience, trying new foods, having conversations with farmers, and buying local produce”. I’d like to share a bit of what it was like to be behind the table for this wonderful event.
This past Sunday we served kale two different ways. Fiddlehead Farm supplied us with a curly variety, which we cut into tiny little pieces to be eaten raw. We also served up small bites of Baked Kale, which was prepared for us by FarmCart. The first time I tried kale chips was at a farmers market and I was not impressed. However, these were prepared with just a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper – a recipe that was simple, crispy and delicious! Kids were encouraged to try a bite of each, and were then given a $5 coupon to spend on any fruits or vegetables that they wanted to take home. This was definitely another fine example of a market opportunity where Everybody Wins! To add to the fun, we also held a scavenger hunt and took a few photos of some of the kids who came back to show us their purchases.
During my time at the table I had the pleasure of meeting kids of all ages – from the tiny toddlers who enthusiastically chewed up the raw kale to the teens who weren’t totally sold on eating veggies in any form. My very informal poll results showed a definite preference for the raw kale, which was an altogether pleasant surprise. My favorite way to eat kale is by first braising it with some tasty stock (recipe to come next week!) although I do confess to enjoying the Highway to Kale salad that is served at Laughing Planet. I also heard from many parents that they currently have kale growing in their gardens at home, which their kids love to pick and eat fresh. I’m so impressed that parents in our urban community take the time to offer their children these types of life experiences. Whether it’s growing food at home, or coming to the market and supporting our local farmers – please keep up the good work!
If you would like to bring some kids to the market to experience a Two-Bite Challenge, it’s not too late. The final POP Club event will be held next Sunday, September 27th, starting at 10:00 am. And if you enjoy the market as much as I do, then please consider being a market volunteer for at least one day. Every hour donated is an hour that helps keep our market open for business. I can’t think of a better way to invest in the healthy future of my grandchildren’s generation.
Kids Club Offers Free $5 Produce Coupons!
Power of Produce (POP) Club is coming to the farmers market this September! POP Club engages kids in the full market experience, trying new foods, having conversations with farmers, and buying local produce. We’ll have fun FREE activities like veggie tastings, farmers market scavenger hunts, recipes, and seed planting kits.
Each week that kids participate in the club, they will receive a $5 market coupon to spend on the fruit or produce of their choice at the market!
Power of Produce takes place each Sunday in September, from 10:00am-2:00pm. There will be a different activity each week, giving kids the opportunity to collect up to $20 in produce coupons for the month!
By now you’ve surely heard about our fundraising campaign to help support our Everybody Eats program. Every little bit helps. Even $10 makes a BIG difference in the lives of our neighbors. But did you know that if you donate $500, you will receive a one-of-a-kind set of hand-etched vintage silverware? These sets are perfect for a camping trip, an afternoon picnic, or even to bring with you to eat at the market!
These sets, made exclusively for the Montavilla Farmers Market by a local artist, are a charming way to Go Green and avoid adding more plastic forks, spoons, and knives into the landfill. They are also a terrific way to support the market! Each utensil set is lovingly hand-etched with inspiring phrases like “I Love Farms” and “Eat Local”. Check out our crowd-funding campaign to see how you can get a set of your very own!