Regardless of the nation's economy, or perhaps because of it, people in Inner Southeast Portland continue to support their local farmers markets.
As volunteers were wrapping up the last Woodstock Farmers Market of the season on September 25, Market Manager Emily Murnen exclaimed, 'We're excited for the great first year we've had. We've had compliments from both vendors and customers. As it turns out, this was the perfect time for the Woodstock neighborhood to get a farmers market.'
Its success was due to the work of their all-volunteer board, Murnen said - 'And 70 active volunteers, about five or six of which came early or stayed late to help set up and tear down for each market each Sunday. And we couldn't have done it without the support of our neighbors, who came out whether it rained or shone.' While there were a few market days where as many as 3,200 folks came to shop, she said, the market had a solid base of about 1,800 visitors.
'We've learned a lot,' Murnen continued. 'Including our board members, none of us have done a farmers market before, so we were all starting from scratch, but it was great. I love interacting with the different vendors. Having a wide variety of vendors has been a great learning experience for all of us.'
'The market's taking time off now, but we're looking to return in mid-May or early June of next year. Visit our website - www.woodstockmarketpdx.com - to get all the details, including how you can volunteer.'
Finally, she gave thanks for their host for the market's venue, KeyBank, on whose parking lot the market took place this year. 'Without their support, there wouldn't be a market in Woodstock.'
Moreland Market closes regular season
October 12 was the final day for Moreland Farmers Market's 2011 season at their normal location, on the south parking lot of Wilhelm's Portland Memorial Funeral Home - one of their major sponsors.
Market Manager Ted Lee commented, 'We had a pretty solid season this year. I think we found a really good balance of both the number market's vendors - about 30 a week - and the variety of their offerings. It's my impression, from speaking with them, that our vendors were more successful this year than they had been last year, despite the downturn in the economy.'
Lee said he appreciated all of the neighbors who 'continue to rally around the farmers who bring their products to this market. The average traffic this year was approximately 1,300 visitors per market; pretty solid numbers for a midweek market.'
But, the real secret of their success, he added, 'is the vibrancy of the market that's created by our great volunteers. The decision whether or not a vendor will be at the market is not always money; it's about whether or not they're enjoying the experience of being at the market.'
With this year's Market Manager, Ted Lee, now heading off to Spain and Portugal to help out with a radio documentary project, THE BEE took the opportunity to meet the incoming manager, Adam Seidman.
He couldn't wait to talk up the special November 22nd, 2-6 pm, Thanksgiving Market - taking place just before Thanksgiving indoors at the Meyer Boys and Girls Club at 7119 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue. 'We're very excited about this one-day market, and looking forward to our community's continued support.'
For those looking for fresh-from-the-farm fixin's for their Holiday table, Seidman said this special market won't disappoint. 'Remember, it's on a Tuesday,' he pointed out.
To volunteer, or to learn more about the Moreland Farmers Market, see visit new Internet website at: www.morelandfarmersmarket.org .
-- INFORMATION --
Moreland Thanksgiving Market
Tuesday, November 22, 2 pm to 6 pm
Meyer Boys and Girls Club
7119 S.E Milwaukie Avenue in Westmoreland