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Live music, outdoor seating, new vendors, community-oriented booths on tap for market

POST PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Five new vendors will join the Mount Hood Farmers Market community this year, including a new coffee roaster, meat vendor, vegetable grower, body product maker and beekeeper. Through the years, the Mount Hood Farmers Market has become a community hub for locals passing through Sandy on Fridays. The space at 38600 Proctor Blvd. will come to life once again from 3-7 p.m. Friday, May 4.

This year, market organizers Shannon Malamphy and Kiki Kruse plan to capitalize on the community aspect and provide even more opportunities for people to connect. One way Malamphy and Kruse plan to do this is with a community booth.

"Essentially, it's free advertising," Malamphy said.

"I'm excited for the buzz," Kruse added. "I think more people will get involved."

Local businesses and groups that might not otherwise set up shop at the market will be invited to use a booth provided by AntFarm free of charge.

"Just seeing how many community members came out last year, (we want) to create a structures space for them to be part of the market," Malamphy noted.

Five new vendors will join the market community this year, including a new coffee roaster, meat vendor, vegetable grower, body product maker and beekeeper.

"It's more than just crafts," Malamphy noted. "I've been involved with many, many community markets and I'm excited to be involved with this one and get to know the community surrounding it."

Several of the 30 vendors signed up will participate in the market's Power of Produce (POP) program. Through POP, children can earn $2 tokens for learning about gardening and food sourcing, which they can then use to purchase products from the market. The AntFarm booth, which will be manned by an AntFarm youth intern, will be one of many accepting POP tokens.

"It's involving kids learning each week where their food comes from," Malamphy said.

Every Friday, Malamphy also plans to have live music at the market, starting with Buddy on the Bench, an Irish folk band, on May 4. In one corner of the Pioneer property, the AntFarm team will use pavers to make a space for outdoor seating where customers of the market can enjoy food and the tunes of the day.

"We're trying to make it a good community ecosystem," Malamphy said.

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