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Cedar Mill News
Volume 4, Issue 6


June 2006

Ben Cunningham tends bacon samples sizzling behind the Northwest Heritage Pork booth

Featured Business
Cedar Mill Farmers' Market

Eight years ago, two Cedar Mill residents, Rhonnda Edmiston and Leilani Esping felt a need for a community-building event in Cedar Mill. Because we lack a community center, plaza, or even a park in which to gather, Leilani and Rhonnda saw the need for some sort of social hub in the community. Along with a handful of volunteers they recruited to help that first year, they started the Cedar Mill Farmers’ Market in 1999. The original location was the parking lot between the library and what was then the Hi-School Pharmacy (now Walgreen’s).

Leilani moved to McMinnville during the 2002 season. Mark and Dina Gross had gotten involved in the early days, helping occasionally with set-up and take-down. They became more involved until a couple of years later they found themselves volunteering to co-manage with Rhonnda. The market had moved to the Safeway parking lot while the library expansion was taking up its original space. Rhonnda is still in the area, but because she’s always had a full-time job and kids to raise, she was happy to step back and move on after making sure the Market had what it needed to keep going, leaving Mark and Dina to run the Market.

In 2005, Dina Gross approached the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District for help to keep the Market going. General Manager Ron Willoughby decided that supporting a real local Farmers’ Market was something he’d like to see THPRD do, to provide a more urban-level service to the community.

Volunteer Ursula leads a kids' activity making lavendar wands

Dina says, “It seems to be a common misconception that Mark and I just show up on Saturday and hang out while the Market runs itself. We do ‘hang out’ and enjoy the day while we work, but the Market certainly doesn’t go on auto-pilot. Maybe I should take that as a compliment, that things run smoothly enough it doesn’t seem to be much work!” As with any big event, there are at least twice as many hours behind the scenes in the week before the Market than there are for the 11-hour-long Saturday workday. Then of course there are many organizational hours in the 3-4 months preceding Opening Day. Dina laughs, “Did I mention that volunteers are welcome?”

Volunteer at the Market

The Market is actively seeking volunteers to join the fun through October 14th, on a regular, occasional, or one-time basis. On Saturdays volunteers are needed anytime from set-up at 6am through the Market day, and for clean-up from 1-3 pm. Flexible market support tasks (phoning, running errands, etc.) for other days of the week abound to suit an individual volunteer’s schedule. Just call Dina at 503-913-7733 to get started! She says, “I don’t think we’d continue to make the big commitment to the Market if it weren’t for our all-time favorite and chief volunteer, Ursula Davis. She makes it fun for us to be there each and every Saturday, and fun for the volunteers whenever they can make it. With her consistent help and smiling face, we’re happy to keep things going and helpers are happy to show up and pitch in.”

Every week, there are teenage volunteers who create balloon animals and paint the faces of young market-goers. Working at the Market is a great way for students to give something back to their community (and earn school community-service credit if they need it!) while having fun at a local community event.

2006 vendors

This year the Market will include long-time produce favorites Lone Elder Farms, Bairds Family Orchards, and Townsend’s berries, as well as favorite local artisans such as La Provence french linens and bakery items, QuondaBoards, and GD MetalWerks. We’ll again see our favorite Olive Lady, Vanessa’s Garden, as well as Sweet Ole Larry’s Kettle Corn, Graphik Dimensions fused glass art, and Ann’s Fun-to-Wear jewelry.

One of the "Brothers W" prepares a sausage for a hungry Market visitor

New vendors include Storybook Hill Farm and Nursery with perennials, succulents, shrubs, small trees, and plants & flowers in baskets and pots. “The Brothers W” offer their grilled sausages and other specialty brunch and lunch fare.

The movement toward sustainably-grown food is making Farmers’ Markets more popular every year. Two of Cedar Mill’s new vendors represent this trend. Northwest Heritage Pork provides sausage and bacon from pigs raised on local farms – mmm, smell those samples grilling! Check out their website at


Sierra Alta Specialty Coffees provide coffee beans locally roasted and organically grown in the Jalisco region of Mexico. Owner Mike Watson turns all profits back to the farmers. The coffee is delicious, quite affordable, and makes you feel good.

The Cedar Mill Farmers’ Market is a member of the Oregon Farmers’ Market Association (OFMA) which provides support and networking through an annual conference and an email list for communication between market managers. OFMA also helps Markets maintain connections with Oregon’s Department of Human Services to help administer the Farm Direct Nutrition Programs for WIC and Seniors. Through these programs, produce farmers accept Farm Direct checks so that nutritionally-needy Senior and Women-Infant-Children clients have direct access to wholesome locally-grown produce. WIC clients wishing to find out more about the program should call the Department of Human Services Farmers’ Market contact at their Portland Office -- 971-673-0056. For senior eligibility and check distribution questions, the number is 1-866-299-3562.

Lone Elder Farms offers an array of lettuce, along with many other locally grown veggies

In addition to the vendors, community groups find the Market a great place to spread the word on their activities including Rock Creek Watershed Partners, scouts, Metro’s “Drive Less - Save More” Campaign, and the Re-Direct Guide to sustainable living. OSU Extension’s Master Gardeners are on hand with information and the bike safety folks will be on hand to check out your bicycle.

More information about the Market can be found on their website


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Published monthly by Cedar Mill Advertising & Design
Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
12110 NW West Rd
Portland, OR 97229