Since Portland farmers markets opened in 1991, it has blossomed into a mecca for  healthy and community-based food options that include farm fresh produce, ready-made meals, and beyond. Not only is this a great outlet to give back to local farms and families, but this is a great tradition to embark on with family and friends. Across the seasons there is always a demand for the best organic food, drink, and trinkets those around us provide; but what about now? Unfortunately, the pandemic has curtailed  many business operations  in the city, but that doesn’t mean the demand for healthy and fresh food isn’t still needed. 

These days, people that participate, volunteer, or sell in neighborhood farmers markets are finding a way to make circumstances work, with precautions that keep not only themselves safe but their customers as well. So what does this new type of normal look like every week at various farmers markets around Portland? Let’s find out.

Safety Measures 

Online: Here are clear safety measures that are outlined in preparation for visiting farmers markets. 

In-person: Caution tape surrounds the market to guide direction and flow of foot traffic. At every station there are people with masks and sanitation stands readily available. Hand sanitizers are abundant throughout the area for customer use.

Misc: Contactless sales are at play and food samples are generally non-existent to reduce Covid-19 transmission. 

Neighborhood markets

The Portland.gov website is a useful resource to plan shopping trips. Markets are listed by day of the week with updated hours by the season. Customers can click links to neighborhood markets and map out where they want to go based on proximity and vendors listed. Below are a few markets that were visited for this story to get more detail on what’s available at this time and how businesses prepare food and sale items.

portland farmers markets

Photo courtesy: Hollywood Farmers Market-Portland

Hollywood Farmers Market: NE Hancock St., between 44th Ave. and 45th Ave., Portland, OR

April-September: 8am-1pm
October-November: 9am-1pm
December: 1st & 3rd Saturdays, 9am-1pm

What to know before you go: 

  • Customers are able to pre-order items
  • As many as 50 vendors can be present but are subject to change each week
  • They have designed their own COVID restrictions to assure customers are safe
  • “Ready-to-eat” options include, but are not limited to:

Hollywood Farmers Market will one of four locations for the 2020 Fill Your Pantry event. Order online November 17-30 and pickup from vendors and farmers on December 5. 

Woodlawn Farmers Market: NE Dekum Street and Durham Ave., Portland, OR

June-October: 10am-2pm

What to know before you go:

  • Serves the Woodlawn, Concordia, and Piedmont neighborhoods. 
  • Vendor applications are accepted throughout the season.
  • A few options for “ready-to-eat food”:
    • Artemis Foods: organic creations like breakfast egg sandwiches, scones, and other pastries
    • Rangoon Bistro: dishes are based on seasonal produce; shoppers will find one hot dish (chicken curry or pork dish) and up to three cold dishes (Burmese salads, raw or chilled cooked veggies)

The Woodlawn Farmers Market also offers a leather goods tent, handmade candles, laden produce stands, and more!

Moreland Farmers Market: SE Bybee Blvd. and SE 14th St., Portland, OR

May-October: 2pm-6pm

What to know before you go:

  • Customers can pre-order at WhatsGood and then drive-thru to pick up 
  • A list of safety protocols is available to check before visiting the market
  • Ready-to-eat options include Cafe de Crepe for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert options; Stellar Pops made with fresh, local ingredients; and Tamago Bros for Japanese omelets and beer-battered shrimp/vegetable tempura.

Moreland Farmers Market offers a great variety of things to purchase and try that includes a whiskey distillery, meats and farm to table produce.

Overall, the Portland Farmers Markets scene has been undeterred by new and challenging regulations. While speaking with one passerby, they mentioned that they “feel safe being outside, while shopping for local produce that gives back to the surrounding communities and her fellow neighbors.” 

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