More than just a simple street fair, the Portland Farmers Market is made up of several different local markets. At least one of these locations is guaranteed to have something for everyone. Open year-round, these markets are the place to be if you are looking for fresh ingredients, incredible vendors, and fun and interesting people. If you are a local or you are visiting Portland, then read on for all the information you need to know so you can be prepared for everything these locations have to offer.
Portland Farmers Market: Mission, Vision, and Values
This isn’t just any farmer’s market. This is a place that wants to make a difference. You can tell that they care by how they present their mission, vision, and more.
The mission of the Portland Farmers Market is as follows:
“Portland Farmers Market operates world-class farmer’s markets that contribute to the success of local food growers and producers and create vibrant community gatherings. As a trade association, success for our vendors is our primary objective. Listening and learning from vendors and shoppers produces outstanding farmer’s markets where vendors prosper, and communities thrive.”
This farmer’s market is all about helping the local residents and the planet with sustainable practices and delicious food. They want to see the vendors and food producers use this as a stepping stone to thrive and expand. They want all residents of Portland to have access to fresh farm food. Finally, they want the five branches of their farmer’s market to nourish, build, and inspire the community.
The organizers of the Portland Farmers Market have a multi-faceted strategy for the town and their vendors. It includes the desire to be a leader and to manage and encourage a healthy, equitable, and sustainable local food system. They believe they do that with a strong staff of employees, vendors, and volunteers.
The founders also want to make it a point to find vendors that come from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented groups. They believe that their own staff represents a diverse selection of perspectives and life experiences. Most of all, they want to provide the residents of Portland with good food, educational workshops, and the chance to be part of a diversified shopper base.
The values of the Portland Farmers Market include:
- Positive Relationships
- Organizational integrity
- Market integrity
The Many Faces of the Portland Farmers Market
The difference between the Portland Farmers Market and many other markets around the country is the fact this is actually a combination of five different farmer’s markets. The locations are open on different days, and they may have different vendors depending on the season. Below are the details about the different components of the Portland Farmers Market.
PSU Farmers Market
This is the first location that many locals think about when referring to the Portland Farmers Market. It’s open year-round, and it is located at Portland State University (PSU). The market is open every Saturday, and on any given week, you can expect up to 10,000 shoppers. The vendors include Portland-area chefs, local businesses, and visitors from around the world. You can spend all day visiting up to 100 vendors of all forms, and there’s bound to be one that sells something that you like.
You can find the Portland Farmers Market at PSU in Downtown Portland between SW College and Montgomery Streets. There is tons of on-street parking and several large parking structures in the area. There are also ADA-accessible parking spots, and the farmer’s market itself is accessible to all guests. Bathroom access is available. The vendors at the market accept cash, cards, SNAP, and more.
The market is open on Saturdays from 9 am – 2 pm from November to March and 8:30 am – 2 pm from April to October. This market is closed on December 30.
King Farmers Market
This smaller farmer’s market, which was established in 2009, is also located in Portland, and even though it is a fraction of the size of the PSU market, there is still a ton of fun to be had. This family-friendly market is open on Sundays, and it typically features 30 different vendors, farmers, and food artisans. When you aren’t visiting the vendors, you and your family can sit down for breakfast or lunch and eat while you enjoy live music. The live music is performed by local musicians every Sunday from 11 am – 2 pm.
The market is located one block south of the vibrant Alberta Arts District, just down from the King Elementary School. There is plenty of parking, and the market is accessible to all guests. The market accepts cash, card, SNAP, and Veggie Prescriptions.
In addition to the vendors and live music, there are also many special events. These can range from interactive games and educational activities to cooking and tastings. There are also plenty of activities for kids.
The market is open every Sunday from May 7 till November 19 from 10 am – 2 pm.
Shemanski Park Farmers Market
Opening again on May 3, 2023, the Shemanski Park Farmers Market is a shopping destination that is ideal for downtown residents and workers of the area. It is a major fixture of the Portland Farmers Market and is open every year with dates to be determined. Originally founded in 1998, this market typically features 30+ vendors from the area. It is all served in a gorgeous location that is safe and covered by lush green trees.
When Shemanski Park Farmers Market opens in 2023, it will be its 25th anniversary, and the management has a lot of fun planned. There will be live music, produce tastings, and the annual Harvest Festival. There are bound to be fun activities for parents and youngsters alike.
This market is located behind the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and directly across the street from the Portland Art Museum. There is parking available, and the market is accessible to all guests. Like the other markets, this location does accept cash, cards, SNAP, and Senior Farm Direct vouchers.
This year, the Shemanski Park Farmers Market will be open on Wednesdays from 10 am – 2 pm during the months of Wednesdays, May 3 – October 25, 2023.
Kenton Farmers Market
Another part-time fixture of the Portland Farmers Market is the Kenton Farmers Market, which opens on June 7th, 2023. The name is a reference to the historic Kenton neighborhood, which is located in North Portland. The location was originally founded in 2012, and it has been going strong ever since. This market has a true street-fair atmosphere that is fun but also very family-friendly.
Like the other locations, the Kenton Farmers Market hosts many special events during the year. They include tastings, recipe demonstrations, cooking workshops, and cultural celebrations. There is also live music by local musicians every Wednesday, from 4 – 6 pm. Kids will have a ball since there are a ton of activities, ranging from hands-on cooking to tastings, interactive games, and more.
The Kenton Farmers Market is located in North Portland at N McClellan Street and Denver Avenue. There is parking and easy access. Plus, it is located near the MAX station, and it is accessible for cyclists and folks on foot. The market accepts cash, cards, SNAP, WIC checks, Sisters of the Road Fresh Change, and more.
This year, the Kenton Farmers Market will be open Wednesdays, from 3 – 7 pm, starting June 7 until September 27, 2023.
Lents International Farmers Market
Reopening in June of 2023, the Lents International Farmers Market is the home to many different local farmers and food producers. A visit to this market will allow you to taste fresh and culturally relevant produce from the famous Lents neighborhood located in southeast Portland.
Originally founded in 2006, this market has continued to be an adored part of the community. While it is the smallest of the Portland Farmers Market family, the Lents Market still welcomes 14 fabulous vendors from the area who bring their best dishes and artisan treats. You can be among the 800+ visitors to this famous market.
Like the other markets, there is a ton to see and do. Local musicians play live music every Sunday from 12 pm – 2 pm. Plus, there are tons of fun activities for kids, including hands-on cooking, interactive games, tastings, and the Market Scouts. The activities are for kids ages 3-12, and the program runs from June – November from 9 am – 2 pm. There are also special events for adults, which include food-related workshops, recipe demonstrations, and cultural celebrations.
The Lents International Farmers Market is located at SE 92nd Avenue & Reedway Street and is accessible to all guests. The vendors accept cash, card, WIC checks (not WIC cards), SNAP, and Senior Farm Direct vouchers.
The market will open on June 4th, and it will stay open until November 19th. The hours are from 9 am – 2 pm every Sunday.
Vendors and Seasonal Items at the Portland Farmers Market
Locals and tourists who visit the five branches of the Portland Farmers Market can enjoy upwards of 200 different vendors. Keep in mind that some vendors may not come to the market every single week. However, you can expect the following vendors to be open for business on select weekends.
Vendors of Vegetables, Fruits, and Produce
There are many vendors that feature the finest fruits and vegetables. A few of the vendors you can expect this year include 3 Little Mushrooms, Evan’s Farm, Foglight Farms, Greenville Farms, Kenyon Growers, and Liepold Farms. You can see a full list at this link. Some of the delicious items available for purchase include:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Mushrooms – various cultivated
- Salad greens
Vendors of Meat, Diary, and Seafood
Get your fill of the best proteins and dairy products in Portland, with popular vendors including Native Candy, La Terra Vita, Jacobs Creamery, Portland Creamery, Totum Farm, and Brandywine Fisheries, among others. You can see a full list at this link. Some of the tasty meat and dairy items you can expect include:
- Albacore tuna
- Black Cod
- Eggs – Chicken & Duck
- Game meat
- Sausages – Pork, Beef, Lamb, Turkey, Chicken
If you love baked goods, then the vendors at the Portland Farmers Market have you covered. Some of the vendors you can expect to see include Fressen Bakery, Orange and Blossom, Tabor Bread, Gabriel’s Bakery, and Eat Simply by Dora, among others. You can see a full list at this link. You can expect to find:
Visitors who are thirsty for high-quality beverages can expect many awesome vendors. Among them are Cave Painter Coffee, Exilior Coffee, Freeland Spirits, Blind Coffee Roasters, Herbucha, Double Circle Spirits, and more. You can see a full list at this link. The vendors specialize in:
- Whiskey and more.
Hot Food Vendors
If you are looking for a meal on the spot or you want to bring a hot dish home for the week, the vendors at the farmer’s market have you covered. Among the hot and ready-to-eat vendors are Great Tang, Money Bowl, ROAM, Sara’s Tamales, Via Chicago Pizza, Quiche Me If You Can, and more. Full list at this link.
Vendors of Plants and Flowers
Flowers are blooming in Portland, and the fabulous vendors have what you need, including:
- Carnivorous plants
- Dried flowers
Programs and Events
The operators of the Portland Farmers Market sponsor many programs and events. Here are some of the highlights.
The residents of Portland are always looking for new ways to be eco-friendly and help the planet, and the Durable Dining program at the farmer’s market is a great step. The farmer’s market is dedicated to reducing its ecological footprint, and this program encourages vendors to only serve their hot food on reusable dishware that won’t be thrown away.
Vendors at both the King Farmers Market and Portland State University are leading the charge by replacing their compostable dishware with durable bowls, cold cups, plates, and silverware. Once the customer is done eating their food, they return their dishware to the vendor via easy-to-find return stations that are spread throughout the market. Then, the market staff sorts through the dishes at the end of the day and returns them to the vendors so they can be used again the next day.
This program has been remarkably successful. As a result of the program, there has been a reduction in trash at the farmer’s markets. While there used to be close to 25 bags of garbage at the end of each day, there are now only nine. Plus, the markets save a lot of money by reusing dishes.
Music at the Markets
As we mentioned, the King, Lents International, and Kenton branches of the Portland Farmers Market feature live music at least once per week. These are local bands, and they play music in a variety of genres. Look at the times for each market, so you don’t miss a thing. Bands that want to perform at the market can fill out the form here.
Kids’ Activities at the Market
There are various activities for kids at all five branches of the Portland Farmers Market. They range from food-oriented activities to fun and games. There are two main events that you can bring your children to throughout the season:
Food Hero – Kids who attend the King Farmers Market and Kenton Farmers Market from May through August can attend “Food Hero at the Farmers Market.” This is a free weekly program that features hands-on cooking, educational activities, and interactive games.
Market Scouts – Every Sunday, kids ages 3-12 can find entertainment at the Market Scouts with educational activities. Plus, they get $3 to spend while at the farmers market.
This has been your comprehensive look at the Portland Farmers Market. As you can see, there is a ton to see and do during the entire year. With 200 vendors between the five different branches, this is one of the most prominent markets in the United States. Consider stopping by if you’re in the area.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/dornoff
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