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Whether you're in Gresham, Sandy, Estacada, Fairview or Rockwood, there are vendors to explore at local markets

PMG FILE PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Thirty-plus vendors have already signed up to sell their wares at the Mount Hood Farmers Market in Sandy.Yoli Rabadan always had this thought in the back of her mind about setting up a booth at the Gresham Farmers Market.

She lives nearby, and would enjoy walks in the summer through the stalls, buying flowers and produce and delicious food. So this season she decided to take the plunge, opening Barro, which serves decorative, traditional Mexican pastries and cookies.

"These are traditional recipes that a lot of people haven't tried before," she said. "I love when they taste something new and their eyes light up."

Now because of the Gresham Farmers Market, Rabadan is able to share her unique pastries — the gourmet conchas that come in flavors like pineapple and raspberry are a particular favorite — in an incubator style set up where she can figure out the perfect business model.

"It is fun to finally be here," she said with a smile.

May means farmers market season, with each community's version offering something unique. Whether you're in Gresham, Sandy, Estacada, Fairview or Rockwood, there are vendors to explore, from butchers to bakers to candlestick makers.

Sandy's market

PMG FILE PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN   - Vendors at the Mount Hood Farmers Market will sell fresh produce, eggs, baked goods, jewelry, fabric arts and more. The theme of the Sandy-based, AntFarm-hosted Mount Hood Farmers Market seems to be inclusion this year. The market organizers have worked this year to have a variety of not only trades, but cultures represented among the booths at 38600 Proctor Blvd., Sandy.

This year, the Mount Hood Farmers Market will have a bilingual interpreter available along with multiple Latinx vendors and Latinx musicians showcasing their crafts at the market, which runs from 3-7 p.m. every Friday from May 20 through Oct. 21.

"We've always been equitable, but now with our new Latinx program — Nuevo Futuro — (we're working on making the market) more accessible to the Latinx community, so they can contribute in a larger way," said Valerie Salazar, youth and family services director at AntFarm.

So far, more than 30 vendors have signed up to sell their wares at the market, including food vendors, farmers and a variety of craftspeople who make everything from soaps to handsewn items and from jewelry to jams.

"It's more diverse this year in some ways," AntFarm Executive Director Nunpa said.

In the theme of inclusion and accessibility, the market will also feature numerous social services and host booths for social service clubs and providers to provide information to attendees.

Those who receive nutrition assistance will have the opportunity to double-up their SNAP dollars when purchasing food from farmers at the market. For $10 of SNAP dollars, a person can take home $20 of food with this Double Up Food Bucks program.

The Power of Produce educational program for kids will also return this summer, allowing kids to earn tokens to purchase produce from a market vendor if they take a brief lesson on nutrition and/or where their food comes from.

New market manager Jenny Rippey said among the service groups invited to set up at the market are Sandy schools' clubs and student groups.

"It just makes sense since AntFarm is largely a youth organization," Rippey explained. "I want the kids to really get out there this summer and show the community what they do."

Working with the city of Sandy's economic development department, Rippey said the market is also working this year to offer maps to people to help direct them to the best ways to access the mark, utilizing lesser-known public parking areas.

"I'm looking forward to seeing where the market goes," she said. "It's past time that we shine a light on these other aspects of our community, because our community is so diverse and so amazing."

Gresham's market

At the Gresham Farmers Market new and returning vendors abound as the 2022 season was kicked off Saturday, May 7, with a historic 126 vendors, the most ever for the 36-year-old market.

There are returning favorites like Pro Farm with its skinny asparagus, and Slice of Heaven with all of its leafy greens.

"It is nice to see all of our customers, their faces, again," said Marieta Easley, owner of Slice of Heaven Farm.

GX Family Garden and Cheng's Farm both have freshly cut flowers, hand-assembled into beautiful bouquets on the spot, and others have colorful hanging flower baskets for sale in the early weeks of the market. The OSU Master Gardeners also returned after a four-year hiatus, offering advice to those still seeking their green thumbs.

Including Rabadan and her pastries, there are 35 new vendors. Amanda Beckett is serving plant-based wraps and salads at Rad Root. She moved into the area from the Midwest last year, and while walking through the market as a customer she realized there was a niche to fill.

"It's been a good first day, lots of excitement," Beckett said. "Looking forward to the season, rain or shine."

The Gresham Farmers Market opens at 8:30 a.m. every Saturday through October in the Gresham Arts Plaza, Northeast Third Street and Northeast Hood Avenue in downtown. There is plenty to look forward to in the coming markets. More vendors will make their way into town —a few were scared away by Saturday's rain. This year will be the return of live musical performances in the plaza, and in the hot summer months the Splash Pad will be turned on, offering kids the chance to cool off and have fun.

"We are glad to be back open — everything is going to be bigger this season," said Jon Berlin, market manager.

Estacada's market

The Estacada Farmers Market returns to weekly gatherings starting Saturday, May 14. The market takes place each Saturday through September from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Estacada Fire Department, 502 S.E. Main St.

"We are really grateful for the community," said Sheila Hough, Estacada Famers Market President. "They're instrumental in having us come downtown and be in the center of city."

Hough said the change in location has also allowed for an increase in vendors.

"We are growing, we have seven different vendors coming on the first day," Hough said. "But people are asking about selling their things every day, so we are expecting to see a lot more vendors this year."

During the the first year of the pandemic, the Estacada Market only met once a month. In 2021 the market will happen twice a month. So, this is the first year since the start of the pandemic that it will be every week.

Hough said vendors will be selling crafts, leather work and other handmade goods.

"Although there won't be any produce out first day, we will have vendors selling plants," Hough said.

WHERE AND WHEN

Mount Hood Farmers Market

Fridays 3-7 p.m. May 20-Oct. 21 (excluding July 8 for Sandy Mountain Festival)

38600 Proctor Blvd., Sandy

mounthoodfarmersmarket.org

Gresham Farmers Market

When: 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays

Where: Gresham Arts Plaza, 488 N.E. Third St.

More info: greshamfarmersmarket.com

Estacada Farmers Market

Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 14-Sept. 24

Estacada Fire Department, 502 S.E. Main St., Estacada estacadafarmersmarket.com

The People's Market at Rockwood

When: 1-5 p.m. Sundays

Where: Rockwood Market Hall, 18535 S.E. Stark St.

Fairview Sunday Market

When: 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sundays; opening day May 22

Where: Fairview Food Plaza, 22320 N.E. Halsey St.


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