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Opening weekend brought dozens of vendors, safety layout changes at Gresham Arts Plaza

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Slice of Heaven always has amazing produce at the Gresham Farmers Market. There was excitement in the air as hundreds safely visited downtown Gresham for the return of a springtime tradition that brings fresh produce, delicious food, hand-crafted goods and fun every weekend.

The annual Gresham Farmers Market debuted Saturday, May 1, for the 2021 season with the same amazing market blended with some layout changes to make for a better experience. The market, held in the Gresham Arts Plaza on the corner of Northeast Third Street and Northeast Hood Avenue, offered local produce, fruit, flowers, nursery stock, handcrafted food and baked goods, beer, crafts and more.

This year the market has spread further around the plaza and surrounding roadways, allowing for more booths that are spread out to keep crowds from bunching. On Saturday, there were dozens of new and returning vendors, all happy to be back together at the market.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Mike Marselle scoops caramel corn at Munchys Kettle Corn. "It's great to be back, the market is a great way to spend a Saturday," said Mike Marselle, as he scooped caramel corn at his Munchy's Kettle Corn booth.

This is the sixth year Munchy's has been at the Gresham market.

Other vendors at the opening weekend were Cheeky Little Piggy Farm; Fern Hill Farms; GX Family Garden; Burns Farm at Aldersyde; RJ Farms; Little Brown House Herbary; Martinez Family Farm; Miniforest; Slice of Heaven Farm; Sugar Maple Swine; Wild Roots Pantry; ProFarm Orchards, LLC; White Owl Acres; Bee Happy Greenhouse; and Cheng's Farm.

For the third year in a row, The Hoppy Brewer was at the market with the "Hopulance" — a mobile taproom that offers pours, crowlers and growlers.

"I love to see all the different people come through the market — some are Hoppy regulars while others are first-time customers," said Hoppy owner Steve Krause, who was manning the taps over the weekend.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Steve Krause and The Hoppy Brewer have been coming to the market for three years. There is only one downside for Krause.

"I'm next to Chapman's BBQ, and the amazing smells make me hungry," he joked.

In addition to the produce, plants and crafts, the Gresham Farmers Market food selection is more robust than ever. There is Chapman's smoking meats, Autumn Coffee Roasting offering caffeine and breakfast sandwiches, 3 Guys Grilling with sausages and dogs, and Sara's Tamales always has a huge line at the stand. There are also old fashioned donuts, pizza, gyros and more.

All visitors to the market are asked to wear masks and mind distances while shopping. Dogs are welcome as well.

The nonprofit farmers market was established in 1986. Vendors spent the first season selling locally grown produce and flowers from the tailgates of pickup trucks in the parking lot of Gresham City Hall. The market moved around for several years, before settling in a downtown Gresham parking lot on Northwest Third Avenue and Miller Street from 1999-2018. Its permanent home is now in the Arts Plaza.

If you missed opening weekend, do not fret. The market will return every Saturday through October.

If you go:

What: Gresham Farmers Market

Where: Gresham Arts Plaza, Northeast Third Street and Northeast Hood Avenue

When: 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturdays through October

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - The Gresham Farmers Market returned Saturday, May. 1.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Flowers from Chengs Farm, for sale on opening  day at the market, Saturday, May 1.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Flowers from miniforest.com, which had a booth at the market.


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