Vestal kids get creative

June 13, 2012 |  by  |  Blog  |  No Comments

With all the excitement of opening day and the 100th Montavilla Farmers Market,
one special addition might have slipped under your radar—the Vestal Elementary
wacky container contest. This fun activity involved both kindergarteners and eight-
graders who not only diverted waste from the landfill, but also found creative ways
to bring some additional vibrancy to the market. The students who participated
used an assortment of common products—for example, paint can, soccer ball,
and shoes—and decorated them before adding soil and flowers. These wacky and
colorful plant containers were placed around key areas of the market, adding to the
festivities.

In addition to creating a fun and educational activity for the students, the idea of
the contest was to provide market customers with a small snapshot of the great
work Vestal is doing to develop and encourage community food right here in
Montavilla. Their work started in 2009 when the school partnered with Depave to
remove a large portion of cement from the school’s play area. In March of 2010, this
space became the Vestal Community Garden—an amazing resource for students,
their families, and neighborhood residents looking to grow some food and build
community.

Vestal also partners with nutritionists from Oregon State University extension
services who teach students good eating habits and bring tasty, garden fresh
produce into the classroom. According to Gretchen Rowland, a kindergarten teacher
at Vestal and community garden co-founder, these programs have brought about a
noticeable difference in the food choices children are making at lunch.

The Montavilla Farmers Market recognizes the value in having a community
engaged and excited about local food. We are proud to support and encourage
Vestal’s efforts to provide children and their families with additional options and
information regarding good eating habits, and we look forward to future Vestal/farmers
market collaboration. Great job Vestal students!

Our sixth season kicks off June 3rd!

May 29, 2012 |  by  |  Blog  |  No Comments

The highly anticipated Montavilla Farmers Market opens for the season on June 3rd! Bring your friends and family to pick up high quality local goods, to check out an engaging chef demo, and participate in a fun planting activity. It’s our 100th market – so we will be raffling off lots of prizes to commemorate the occasion!

The Montavilla Market will open at 10 am and run until 2 pm. Shoppers will find locally-grown and locally-produced food and farm products from 45 farmers and food producers. The abundance of produce will grow as the season progresses with the bounty of summer and fall local produce ripens.

“We are so thrilled and excited to open our doors this season. Our young market has grown so much over the years and we are ready to welcome old and new vendors and old and new customers. We have an exciting line-up of farmers and food producers this year and plenty of chef demos, fun activities and surprises in store throughout the 2012 season,” said Gretchan Jackson, Founder and Market Manager.

On opening day, the abundant produce will range from strawberries to sugar snap peas to arugula – all freshly harvested and locally grown. Montavilla Farmers Market food producers and prepared food vendors will also tempt shoppers with delectable baked goods, meats, eggs, cheeses and other specialty foods.

To celebrate Montavilla’s 100th market, we will have a planting activity in place called ‘Grow With Us’ for kids and for the kid at heart. The Grow With Us seed planting is an activity in understanding seasonality and sharing the experience of growing local food. It is also a metaphor for the Montavilla Farmers Market’s growth and continued role in community development in the neighborhood and surrounding areas.

The Grow With Us seed planting will also be available to community members visiting the Living La Vida Healthy Fair on June 2. This activity is possible due to generous donations from Naomi’s Organic Farm Supply, Oregon Tilth, and BiPartisan Café.

The Montavilla Farmers Market will also be hosting a raffle where participants can win $100 in tokens to the market, 100 pieces of market produce, and other fantastic prizes. And to keep with the celebratory nature of the day, the market will be giving out free cookies from Pastry Girl at 11:00 am and commemorative buttons throughout the day.

For a complete list of vendors participating in the Montavilla Farmers Market, please check out our opening day vendor lineup. See you on June 3rd!