This Sunday, August 2nd, new sponsor Wix Agency is donating a dollar to MFM for every customer who comes to the market between 10a-11a. For the market to earn a dollar all you have to do is just show up! Wix Principle, Carrie Kieselhorst, and Producer, Malissa Cooper, will be there to count you.
Carrie and her staff are now located on SE Stark St and 81st and are excited to call Montavilla their new home. Wix is an independent agency offering one-stop shopping for a full range of products, including home, renters, auto, business, life, health, and retirement plans.
Thank you Wix Agency!
This last Sunday I was able to volunteer some actual man hours at the market – what a nice change! The event that brought me out to help was “Taste of the Market”, which this week featured cucumbers. Five farmers donated eight different varieties, ranging in color from white to dark green.
The participants were:
Abundant Fields Farm with Lemon Cucumbers & Suyo Longs
Cerigioli Gardens with Italian Whites
Fiddlehead Farm with Poona Kheera & Socrates
Frog Meadow Farm with Calypso
Simplicity Gardens with Long Greens & Marketmore
Samples of each were distributed via toothpicks, and market patrons added their tally mark to the name of the variety they most enjoyed.
Many market patrons had a version of my first thought: I never knew there were so many different kinds/colors/sizes/shapes of cucumbers! As far as the tasting went, the Suyo Long variety, from Japan, had the most varied reactions. While quite a few tasters thought that it was too strong/bitter/spicy, there were also those who thought it was quite delightful and would taste good pickled/in kimchi/as a garnish in a martini.
In addition to sampling cucumbers, patrons were also able to taste a bit of the delightful Cucumber Mint Limeade made available by my new friends at SweetHeart Bake Shop. Thank you, Amiee, it was so refreshing!
This week the Taste of the Market event went for an extra hour, but that was by volunteer choice and should not be expected as the norm. Keep your eye out for the next Taste experience, then come on by and say hello! I would love to hear what everyone thinks of the event, and also the newsletter. I hope you get as much enjoyment out of reading it as I do out of writing for it.
In case you are not aware, anyone who is interested in volunteering at the market can sign up here: http://www.montavillamarket.org/support/volunteer/.
As a teenager growing up in the Philadelphia area, Alison became interested in humane and sustainable food production and has been a supporter of farmers markets ever since. After attending college on the east coast, she spent seven years in contemplative communities working as an organic gardener and vegetarian cook, sometimes growing and preparing the food for silent meditation retreats upwards of 100 people. Knowing firsthand the impact natural and nutritious food has on the well being of individuals and communities , Alison treasures the farmers market for what it offers the vibrant Montavilla neighborhood.
Currently Alison works in the field of higher education as an executive coach to students in graduate and doctoral programs. Holding degrees in Literature and English, she also occasionally teaches college classes in writing and critical thinking. She and her partner live in Montavilla where they enjoy growing vegetables, flowers, and NW native plants in their backyard. Alison runs a small soap making business on the side and is an avid cyclist, runner, and nature lover. You can find her each Sunday stocking up on seasonal produce at the farmers market, so make sure to say hello when you see her!
This week, Mary Diehl shares with us her impressions of Opening Day, and what she bought with her SNAP dollars.
Greetings! Opening day has come and gone, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to tell you about my first experience this season with the Everybody Eats program. Since the market opened at the end of May, I made a point of saving $10 of my SNAP benefits to purchase tokens. With the match from Everybody Eats, I was then able to shop the market with $20 worth of tokens in hand.
As you are probably aware, the harvest this year has been early. Cherries and strawberries were in abundance, as well as a fine selection of asparagus. I purchased fruits and vegetable from several of my favorite vendors, such as Baird Family Orchards and Simplicity Gardens, as well as shopping with several vendors I hadn’t met before.
One thing I had totally forgotten about is the fact that when you use your tokens to shop, you are only able to use exact dollar amounts. Not a big deal if you remember to bring some loose change, but I did not! I’m happy to say that the vendors were all very accommodating when I explained my situation, and everyone helped me either round my purchases up or down as needed. The lovely gentleman at Abundant Fields Farm even gave me a deal on his very last basket of snap peas so that I didn’t waste 50 cents! I only hope he understood how truly grateful I was for his consideration.
Another perk to having SNAP benefits is the ability to buy edible plant starts and seeds. The lovely ladies at Lil’ Starts graciously answered all my questions about their business and what types of items they are bringing to the market. I purchased a small rosemary plant, which I have added to my collection of items that are growing in containers on our balcony. I also credit the SNAP program with my new knowledge of gardening, as it helped me find my way to an excellent class that is put on by the Oregon Food Bank.
All the vendors I spoke with at the market were enthusiastic about accepting SNAP tokens, and pleased that the market is able to give folks such as myself a helping hand with their healthy shopping options. I hope everyone in the community will continue to support Everybody Eats so that more families can benefit from this great program!
Upon returning home, my extremely full shopping bag included the following – strawberries, cherries, peaches, carrots, cucumber, asparagus, snap peas, three colors of baby potatoes, and my cute little rosemary plant! A most excellent addition to my weekly meal plan.
One of our terrific volunteers, Mary Diehl, a SNAP user, writes about her experience utilizing our SNAP matching program to find new ways of bringing healthy, local food into her home.
Greetings to all my fellow Montavilla Farmers Market enthusiasts! My name is Mary, and I am a recipient of SNAP benefits. SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and is often better known by the term Food Stamps.
Over the years SNAP benefits have been an important part of keeping my family fed. Since first receiving them in 1978, I have seen the program go through many changes while maintaining one consistent theme – it’s REALLY hard to make your benefits stretch an entire month, especially if you hope to feed your family nutritious meals.
Luckily for me, and others in my situation, things have gotten better! Two years ago I became aware of programs offered by some of our local Famers Markets which give a dollar-to-dollar match on SNAP benefits, up to a specified amount. At that time Montavilla’s program, Everybody Eats, did a $5 weekly match when I used my benefits to purchase tokens. Last August they were able to increase the amount to a $10 per week match. That works out to an extra $40 per month that I can spend on locally produced food, just by shopping at my local Farmers Market!
With the start of the season fast approaching, I am eagerly awaiting the chance to shop for all my favorites AND try some new flavors. Last season I discovered my now favorite way to prepare kale. Who can say what food adventure might be on the horizon? The tiny container garden on my balcony barely has enough room to keep me supplied in fresh spinach, with a few strawberries thrown in just for fun. While that is a great start to a delicious salad, I really look forward to adding more colors to my plate.
If you are one of those fortunate enough to have extra funds, I hope you will consider making a contribution to help keep this wonderful program going. Thanks to Everybody Eats, folks like myself are able to include healthier choices in our meal planning while supporting our local farmers. Everybody Eats then becomes Everybody Wins!