Lively Community Forum Inspires Action — by Lynne Fenley

February 5, 2018 |  by  |  News

Thank you to Kiyokawa Family Orchards for donating Crimson Crisp apples! Photo by Gretchan Jackson.

The passion and excitement for the Montavilla Farmers Market was palpable at the MFM Community Forum on the evening of January 31st, 2018, graciously hosted by Montavilla United Methodist Church. More than 50 shoppers, vendors, volunteers, local non-profit and business owners, former and current board members, and members of the community joined the discussion! The MFM Board hosted the Community Forum to discuss the upcoming relocation of the market, spurred on by pending sale and redevelopment of the Montavilla Animal Clinic lot. The Forum helped us reconnect to the market’s grass roots; attendees made dozens of donations to help support the MFM’s Everybody Eats program, which is also experiencing funding challenges in 2018.

As a reminder, our February 11th Winter Stock-Up will be held at our current location in the gravel lot at 7700 SE Stark Street, across from Mr. Plywood. Our May 6th opening day location is to be determined.

Guest speakers Steve Cohen and Vance Corum reminded us why farmer’s markets matter, and inspired us to take advantage of the challenge of relocating by creating new opportunity for growth and community engagement. Former market manager Gretchan Jackson reminded us why and how passionate, food loving community members united to create the Montavilla Farmer’s Market. The current board members provided information about site requirements and potential sites under consideration. Though still collecting input from the community, to name a few sites, the Board is currently evaluating the following locations in Montavilla:

  • Portland Community College – Southeast at SE Division/80th (negotiating terms)
  • Milwaukie Lumber at SE Washington/80th (early inquiry with owner)
  • Parking lot behind Chinese Village at SE Stark/82nd (prospecting)

Numerous other sites have been considered, but were not feasible options because of factors including Sunday availability, lot size, or limited visibility, which are all critical to the success of the market.

The forum culminated in fun and lively small group workshops, where Forum participants brainstormed ideas centered on site selection, what they love about the market, obstacles to shopping at the market, marketing and outreach, community building, and strengthening the volunteer program. Look for a follow-up blog post where we will share your wonderful ideas!

Are you inspired to help ensure the continuation of the market through this transition? Consider joining the Board of Directors, being a vendor in the 2018-2019 season, sponsoring the market, volunteering, or donating! For more information about the reason for relocation, please refer to this earlier blog post about the move.






  1. I hope Milwaukie Lumber works out for a number of reasons. It’s more central, have been fighting for a crosswalk at 80th/Washington for ped safety and need more foot traffic, 80th should be a Bike Greenway in future, Chinese village would be temp, parking for handicap and people who can’t drive near stark (pcc parking charging and ticketing on side streets a nonstarter), I typically visit other businesses and shop on stark before and after the market making it a full day (Alert business association of that because I am not alone).

  2. I think PCC has lots of potential assuming parking issues can be addressed. I like the idea of being able to visit the market and have more options to enjoy the offerings from the market on the nice green spaces of the PCC campus.

  3. Was the parking lot at trinity broadcast network on Glisan and 74th considered? There are never ever any cars parked there and it’s really large and very visible.

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