Monday, June 4, 2012

The 100th Market...

One hundred market days...that means some of us have volunteered to schlep the canopies, chairs, tables, water canisters and other market accoutrements from the storage shed, and back...100 times.  As the Montavilla Farmers Market opens its 6th year, it is good to reflect and see where we've come on this dusty lot in SE Portland.  From a bunch of neighbors with nothing more than a vision for a grass roots market in the neighborhood to this first market of the 2012 season...and it is impressive!

An army of asparagus meets the eye as one goes to the Maryhill Farms stand.  They have been one of the Market vendors for many years and offers some of the finest sustainably raised produce.  The asparagus pictured here made it to our dinner table this evening.

As you can see, the Market specializes in local sustainable produce, such as from Fiddlehead Farms in Corbett.

If I may brag a little, this little market is big in many ways.  We pioneered the "Durable Dish" program, which uses real plates and flatware for food eaten on the premises.  Thanks to Thatcher's on SE Stark, who allow us to use their dishwasher.  It's all part of reducing the market's carbon footprint.

What Market is without something to quench the thirst during a hot summer day?  What could be better than Liquid Sunshine?  Well...probably some real sunshine for starters, but this is Oregon and does rain...a lot.  Luckily, this Sunday stayed dry though the sun was filtered through a layer of clouds.  And being true Oregonians, we still drank our lemonaid and ate our ice cream.

I'm not sure of the final tally of people who visited the market, but I've heard estimates of more than two thousand...and judging by this scene (which is how it was throughout the day), I suspect that's close. 

This being the 100th market...and we being a neighborhood always in search of a reason to celebrate (you know, it doesn't take much.  Sometimes just having a dry day is enough), kids are invited to draw, color, plant seeds in paper cups (biodegradable, of course).

Cookies, in the shape of carrots, pears and other fruits and vegetables were given out (a huge thank you to Laura at PastryGirl, just down the street on Stark Street).

The booted flower pots are courtesy of the kids at Vestal Elementary School, not far from the Market. 

Remember what I said about kids and potted seeds? There is something magical about fingers in dirt...especially good clean potting soil, and dad's supervision. 

Old House Dahlias is barely 12 blocks away from the Market. (Hey, you can't get any more local than that!)

No, this isn't Amsterdam, but it is said that Portland is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in America, if not THE most, and yes many either walk or ride to the market.

Skin & Bones is one of the market's newer vendors, with some of the most amazing treats.  They also have a restaurant on E. Burnside and NE 55th Avenue.  (I must check it out now that I sampled their delicious stuff!)

The festivities also included drawings for many items including this basket of produce (won by Rory, with the thumbs up).

Each market day also features a chef demonstration.  Today's is Marliese Franklin, a local radio host and Mindful Eating coach.

Chef Marliese made a dish of cooked greens, using ingredients from various vendors at the market that day. 

There is nothing like the wonder of a child, savoring a fresh strawberry...wearing her finest ballroom gown, of course.  What I found surprising is that I was able to catch this image without any fruity decorations on her white fabric.  That wouldn't have been me.

To learn more about the Montavilla Farmers Market you can visit