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This neighborhood tradition changed its announced location at the very last minute -- and changed other things too

DAVID F. ASHTON - Rachel Rigg stopped in on May 21st at the farmers market to buy a bunch of fresh-from-his-farm asparagus from Marcus Kilthau, at the Neighborhood Organics booth. When what's been called the "Moreland Farmers Market" for its entire 16 years opened on Saturday, May 21, from 10 to 2, it was — in many ways — all new.

Among the changes, it's now operating under a new name, on Saturdays instead of Wednesdays, with midday hours instead of afternoon hours — and it's now relocated to a new spot just north of Wells Fargo Bank.

DAVID F. ASHTON - At the Sellwood-Moreland Farmers Markets Kids Activity Booth on opening day, Nicole Boucher was helping her Llewellyn kindergartner, Amelia, to plant vegetable seeds in a cup. "It's true: it was called Moreland Farmers Market; but, as we were opening for our 17th season, our Board of Directors decided that many people this neighborhood identify with Sellwood as well as with Westmoreland," explained the nonprofit organization's Board Chair, Michelle Rork. "We're following the lead of other organizations, like the Sellwood Moreland Business Alliance and SMILE, by bringing 'Sellwood' into our name.

"Also, as you've noticed, we're no longer a 'Wednesday Market' — it's now held on Saturdays, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., because the neighborhood has grown so much that it can and will support a Saturday market."

DAVID F. ASHTON - With many tables laden with fresh vegetables, sales were brisk at the produce stands; there were 28 vendors set up and ready for the opening day of the Sellwood-Moreland Farmers Market on May 21st.

Changes in venue

"We have had trouble finding locations," acknowledged Rork. "This neighborhood is under development. Our most recent location along S.E. Bybee Boulevard [across from Wilhelm's Portland Memorial, on S.E. 14th] has been fully developed [at the south end] with housing now; and, plans are underway to develop the secondary parking lot where we were last season."

When THE BEE went to press for May, it was the announced expectation of the market's Board that it would locate at the south end of Westmoreland Park, as we reported. But that changed in early May. Some readers showed up for the market at that location just north of Tacoma Street on opening day, and were redirected to the new location — which now closes and fills S.E. Claybourne Street between Milwaukie Avenue and 17th in Westmoreland, for four hours midday every Saturday during the season.

"Over the winter, we worked with multiple City of Portland agencies, and with business people all over the community, to find a good place," explained Rork. "We did believe there was potential to close a street near Westmoreland Park — but it just did not pan out".

The market's Board was also focusing its efforts on finding a location in the heart of Westmoreland, near where it began 17 years ago. "Working under a Street Closure permit from the Portland Bureau of Transportation, and thanks to the wonderful folks at Wells Fargo Bank, [which allows market parking on its adjacent parking lot,] we have a delightful place that is easily accessible for shoppers," Rork smiled.

DAVID F. ASHTON - The shoppers who stopped by on its first day of the 2022 season seemed happy with the new location and format of the re-named Sellwood-Moreland Farmers Market in Westmoreland.

Matching program continues

The Sellwood-Moreland Farmers Market has stepped up its "Matching Program" this season, too," Rork revealed. "Anyone who comes in and uses their Oregon Trail Card — or SNAP, or EBT Cash — for purchases, is able to get $20 extra to spend at the market for fruits, vegetables, produce, and plant starts this year — thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, administered by the Farmers Market Fund in Portland."

After making the rounds on opening day, Market Manager Lannie Kali returned to the Information Booth and told THE BEE that they'd started off with 28 vendors, many of which had double booths. But in the height of the season, people can expect to see as many as 40 vendors on any given Saturday.

About 20 of the vendors also helped set up, operate, and take down the market that day. "We're so grateful for our volunteer Board who works year-around with us; and also, for the ton of volunteers who come out and supports us during the season," acknowledged Kali. See the market's new location in its first Saturday with this brief exclusive BEE video tour — youtu.be/E24tvSvCoGU

The Sellwood-Moreland Farmers Market

Ø Open Saturdays until October 22

Ø 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Ø 1650 S.E. Claybourne Street  between Milwaukie and 17th Avenues

Ø Customer parking is permitted in the adjacent Wells Fargo lot

Ø Online  www.morelandfarmersmarket.org


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