Each year, Edible Portland recognizes Local Heroes that are outstanding supporters of our regional food community. The Montavilla Farmers Market is honored to be one of four finalists this year in the nonprofit category! Past winners include Oregon Food Bank and Growing Gardens. We feel privileged to be included in the company of these worthwhile organizations and the other 2012 nominees.
The Montavilla Farmers Market is rooted in the principles of equity and sustainability, and while still young and emerging, has launched a number of progressive, cutting-edge programs to further this cause. The following are some examples of programs which make our market special and worthy of recognition.
- Durable Dish Program — All ready-to-eat vendors are provided (for free) with reusable dishware to cut down on waste generated at the MFM. Market volunteers wash dishes throughout the day to keep vendors well stocked.
- Everybody Eats Program — Making local food accessible to a broader range of customers by matching the first $5 of SNAP (food stamps) purchases at the market each week.
- Senior Food Delivery Program Pilot — An off shoot of Everybody Eats, this program is a partnership between the MFM, Multnomah County’s Aging and Disabilities Division, and the Loaves and Fishes Belmont Center. Each week program volunteers go to the Belmont Center and sign up seniors—who otherwise couldn’t access the MFM—for either a $2.50 or $5.00 produce bag. The market then matches senior’s purchases. Program volunteers shop for each of these seniors and the food is delivered to the Belmont Center for pick up.
- Loaner Bag Program — MFM partners with local organizations to provide reusable bags to market shoppers for free!
We would be grateful if you would take a minute to visit the Edible Portland website and vote for us! Votes will be accepted until December 14.
October 30, the last regular 2011 market day, will be filled with Halloween fun! Visitors, especially kids, are encouraged to wear costumes for our costume contest. They can make a treat bag at a craft station and then go “door to door” to the market vendors for treats. Businesses all along Stark Street will be welcoming trick-or-treaters as well from 11am-4pm. And Jason McCammon will be back to do some Extreme Pumpkin Carving and Halloween-inspired cooking with the kids – it’s bound to be lots of fun!
After all the fun on Oct 30, the Montavilla Farmers Market will be back for our Thanksgiving Harvest Market on Sunday, November 20th. The market will be open from 10:00am-2:00pm and will feature an array of amazing seasonal produce for your Thanksgiving Tables. And be sure to visit our Winter Stock-up Markets on the second Sunday of December, January, and February from 11:00am to 1:00pm!
We’re happy to announce the extension of our SNAP matching funds through the end of this season. The funds provide up to a five dollars match to shoppers who use their Oregon Trail EBT card at the market. The matching funds are possible through a grant from New Seasons, which typically run out by the middle of the season. This year is the first year we’ve been able to extend these funds through donations from our Everybody Eats program. This was made possible through our Harvest Dinner fundraiser and silent auction this year. Thanks to all of our community members and generous donors who’ve made this program possible.
The clouds are rolling in, the days are getting shorter, and the temperature is dropping. But never fear, the Montavilla Farmers Market will be on hand to help get you through the winter! We are once again extending our season with Winter Stock-up Markets. These are two-hour, farm and producer-direct markets without all the bells and whistles of our regular markets, but full of great winter produce and goods. We will still have the EBT/Debit Token program available, but none of the regular season’s chef demos, market merchandise, or community tables. You can expect to find what’s seasonal, local, fresh, and direct in a quick and easy one-stop shopping venue. Be sure to stop by and stock up on farm fresh eggs, cheeses, winter produce and fruits, storable crops and more.
We look forward to providing a winter venue to connect our vendors with the regular customers of the Montavilla Farmers Market, supporting pre-arranged sales, bulk buying, CSA pick-ups and regular monthly farm/producer deliveries to our site. The Markets will be held on the second Sundays of the month in December, January, and February from 11am-1pm on our market site (7600 block of SE Stark Street). Vendor applications are now being accepted through our website. Sign up for our newsletter to receive reminders about each market including the lineup of vendors who will be there each month.
On July 21, the City of Portland joined a handful of cities in banning plastic bags at the check out counter of large retail stores. Single-use plastic bags often end up littering our streets, jamming up recycling equipment, and polluting our waterways and oceans, not to mention the natural resources used for their manufacture and transport. The new ordinance goes into effect on October 15.
While farmers markets are exempt from the ordinance, the Montavilla Farmers Market has long encouraged the use of reusable bags. Last year, we launched our Market Loaner Bag program to reduce the number of disposable bags used to bring home the bounty of the market. We began with loaner bags crafted out of discarded t-shirts, and made available at our Info Booth for shoppers to borrow. The program has since expanded with the generous donation of reusable bags from St. Peter and Paul Episcopal Church and Fix Auto. Now, many of our vendors have these reusable bags available to borrow right at their booths.
In honor of the City’s new ordinance, be sure to bring your reusable bags to the market on October 16, or borrow one of our handy loaner bags! We also sell reusable mesh produce bags for $1 at the Info Booth to carry home your smaller items.
Want to do more to help support the loaner bag program? We can always use the donation of reusable bags or t-shirts to transform into more bags. Or, sew some bags yourself with these easy instructions! You can also contact our volunteer coordinator to help us prepare donated bags for use at the market. Any way you can contribute help to make our market and our community more sustainable.
If you’ve ever found yourself loading your market basket with fresh produce from Zenger Farm’s booth and thinking about how you should go check out some of their great classes or farm tours, then this Saturday may be just the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. Zenger Farm’s Harvest Festival is Saturday, September 10th from 1:00 – 7:00 pm. There will be activities for everyone, including beekeeping talks, interactive displays, and kids activities. Tag along on a farm tour and find out where those veggies you just bought come from. You can even bring a picnic or pick up some market goods for dinner and enjoy an afternoon on the farm.
You can find Zenger Farms at 11741 SE Foster Road (A few blocks west of 122nd and Foster).