It was an amazing opening day for Portland Farmers Market’s nineteenth season. The near-perfect weather led to record breaking attendance and sales. Over 12,000 people strolled through the expanded market purchasing every leafy green, carrot and market goodie in sight. Hundreds of people picnicked on the grass while listening to the music and enjoying the warm spring breeze. Looking around the bustling market, I realized that the months of planning and negotiating for our new space had paid off and that this day was worth every gray hair that sprouted during the past year.
This rousing success is made possible because of our dedicated shoppers and farmers. It takes both to make a successful market and we are grateful to live in an area that values locally grown and produced food. The local food economy is growing continuously every year in our fair city, largely due to our incredible farmers, rich farm land and educated shoppers. Portland Farmers Market oversees six markets in the metro area and we are proud of the contribution we make, though we are not doing it alone; there dozens of other farmers markets, CSA’s, local restaurants and chefs, cooperative and conventional grocery stores, all contributing to making the Portland metro area the strongest regional food system in the world.
Currently, only 3% of produce is purchased at farmers’ markets and it is my dream that in the next five years we will have 10% of the pie. Along the way, we will help create more local jobs, generate a demand for more farmers, preserve precious farmland, and help to make a safer environment and healthier citizens. I feel confident that this can be accomplished but we need you to continue to shop at your local farmers’ markets and to buy local!
Thank you again dear community for supporting local agriculture and I will see you at the market,
P.S. For a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes at the market, check out this post from Jaret Foster, our senior market manager.