|Volume 15, Issue 5||
It began in the parking lot in front of the library with just four vendors, and now the Market has a steady base of about 20 weekly vendors and about two dozen rotating part-time vendors. They are still accepting vendors for this season. When Leilani moved from the area in about 2003 (she’s since moved back), Rhonnda and Dina Gross stepped up to share the volunteer market-managing duties for a couple of years until one of them “was wise enough to pursue other interests,” as Dina put it.
The Market moved to the Safeway parking lot and experienced a tremendous growth spurt; and Dina took over as sole manager. Within a couple of years, Dina gained sponsorship from the Tualatin Hills Parks & Recreation District, which provides organizational and material assistance. Dina passed the torch to Danny Rodriguez for a couple of years, and early last year some of the regular vendors formed a **Board of Directors and searched for new management.
“The Board hired us separately,” says Lannie. “We had never met each other, but we make a great team with each of us contributing important skills and experience.” Karen is great at organizing, with a business and event-planning background. Lannie has been involved with farmers markets for 12 years, and manages three other markets in the area.
THPRD is one of several important sponsors. They provide fiscal services, but the Market is an independent entity with income from the Market going to pay expenses. They also help with printing and other incidentals, and the Market trailer, full of canopies and other furniture, is stored in a THPRD lot.
Safeway donates the space in their parking lot, and also lets Market shoppers and vendors use their restrooms. If you enjoy the Market, be sure to thank Safeway Manager Rick Edmunds!
The Cedar Mill Business Association sponsors the SNAP match program, donating $500 each year so that folks who use their SNAP account at the Market get a free match of up to $5 each week to shop. Individuals can donate to that program, too—it runs out before the end of the season each year. Community donations also help to pay the musicians, and the two interns—for the Information Booth and the Power of Produce kids program.
Seasonal events add to the fun of the Market, but they often have to be scheduled at the last minute, depending on how the weather affects the crops. There will be Pie in July, and of course Ima Blueberry will visit when those critters are ripe. A Harvest Festival in the fall will feature “keeper” produce like root crops, winter squashes, beans, and grains.
|There will be radishes!|
Ongoing programs include Power of Produce that teaches kids about fresh healthy eating with games and tasting. Each kid that participates gets $2 in Market money to spend on their favorite items. Lannie, who is a chef, regularly offers cooking demos with samples using produce of the season. The Information Booth offers free recipes that have been collected from vendors, visitors, and volunteers over the years. Weekly entertainment—music, dance, and other performances—add to the festivities. Note: they’re looking for local talent! Ask at the Info booth!
So in addition to attending the Market every Saturday, what can we do to keep it successful? Volunteer! It’s a great way to get to know more neighbors and feel like a part of the fun. Donate funds to support the many programs. Be mindful about driving around the Market! Karen noted that people have actually driven through the space and into vendor’s booths! Understand that the vendors earn their living by bringing their goods to the Market—it’s not a hobby. You may pay more than you would in a discount grocery store, but it guarantees that you get the freshest healthiest most consciously raise food possible!
|Lannie, Karen, and Deb attended the Small Farms conference to get new ideas and training.||ELA Farms Booth at the Cedar Mill Farmers Market|
**CMFM Board Members: Jonella & Greg Malinowski, Mike Nichols, Deb (Olive Lady) Politi, Ron Roden, Dina Gross.
Published monthly by Pioneer Marketing & Design
PO Box 91061
Portland, Oregon 97291