Portland Farmers Market spreads into winter
Let’s face it: the odds are already stacked against the average college student, weight-wise.
Consider it. The freshman 15. The holidays, with their indulgences. No time to exercise during the week, with all the various classes and obligations held by the average student. And even for those with food stamps, that budget only goes so far.
But instead of giving up on your weight, you might be surprised to find a new option available to them.
Let me ask you this: How do you keep busy on a typical Saturday morning? Do you sit at your computer working on homework while lazily stuffing artificial, sugar-coated cereal into your mouth? Do you lie in bed gobbling down MSG-saturated noodles?
Or are you outside in the fresh air, eagerly lined up to try a sample of deliciously unique food from your local Farmers Market?
The Portland Farmers Market is filled with fresh local produce with which many Portlanders have become enamored. The market vendors sell not only meat, fish and vegetables, but also jams, chocolate and even coffee.
Those who attend the Farmers Market can enjoy it in fall before pining over its loss during winter, anxiously awaiting its return in spring. But not anymore!
For the first time ever, the Portland Farmers Market is continuing through winter. Instead of being present merely from March 17 to Dec. 15, the weekly market will be here all year round.
During its usual two months of absence, January and February, the Portland Farmers Market can be found at Shemanski Park, at Southwest Park Avenue and Salmon Street.
Due to the innovative techniques of farmers, the market has been able to expand the past few years. By using greenhouses and utilizing other ways to expand the season, many farmers became interested in selling their produce all year round.
In order to make the winter market happen, enough farmers had to be on board with the idea, as well as plan their planting schedule in advance in order to accommodate the season. Therefore, the winter market could not arise as soon as the idea was formed, but instead needed to wait for everyone to be ready for it.
Thankfully, so many of the farmers were excited about it that they were able to make it happen.
The ever-growing interest in local, organic food has also helped to fuel the interest in a winter farmers market. Fortunately for the avid Farmers Market goers, there is year-round access to the desired nutriment at a more reasonable price than one can find in many stores.
For students, this means that nutrition for a reasonable price is within their grasp once again. With farm-direct prices for fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, spices and every other good thing for you, students can eat like kings for a small price and for the minuscule sacrifice of waking up before noon.
And with any luck, the presence of the Farmers Market in winter will draw the city’s organic enthusiasts to the event. For every Saturday that the Portland Farmers Market vendors set up their tables and sell their produce, it becomes more likely people are to stumble across it for the first time. Instead of settling for mere burgers and fries, people will find the multitude of tasty options available at the Farmers Market from crêpes to meatballs.
While the fact that the winter location is different may confuse some, it may introduce more people to the Farmers Market who would not ordinarily have seen it at its usual Saturday location in the South Park Blocks. In addition, those who feel attached to the park blocks location will be pleased to know that the new winter location is only a short walk away.
The new location provides many advantages to shoppers. Shemanski Park is livelier and allows for better navigation for everyone in attendance. As a smaller area, it works much better for the vendors and attendees alike, as opposed to the park blocks, which can feel like a maze when the farmers market is in operation.
The Farmers Market does an amazing thing for Portland by providing the food that it does. In a nation full of people known for turning to fast food, the Farmer’s Market provides organic options instead— at a reasonable price and in a convenient location.
Students in particular are notorious for unhealthy eating, and as such, have the most to benefit from regularly attending a farmers market.
At the Farmers Market, one is also constantly interacting with enthusiastic people and is left with an increasingly cheerful attitude by the time the shopping is done.
Instead of standing in line behind the indignant grocery store customers before venturing out into the cold winter weather, one can at least take the cold winter walk home satisfied at having interacted with so many nice people at the Farmers Market and thankful for the bag stuffed with locally grown food.
There is a high demand for locally grown food among the people of Portland, and those who attend the Farmers Market are no doubt happy about its winter operations.
In addition, the friendly environment of the market will continue to be an asset during winter. The success of the winter market’s opening day is a clear indication of how in-demand it has been and how useful it will continue to be to the people who make the Farmer’s Market their favorite place to obtain food.
In addition to the benefits to the farmers, the market’s decision to continue through winter helps the city as well.
Support this great cause by continuing to visit the market in winter at its new location. If you have not attended the Farmers Market in the past, this is a wonderful chance to make it your regular Saturday destination. Locally produced food mixed in with positive person-to-person interaction in a beautiful area is the best way to begin the weekend, especially during the winter season.
And for students especially, there’s no better way to spend a few dollars and a Saturday morning. So get some fresh air, crisp veggies and an earnest start on your New Year’s resolutions, and take advantage of this great opportunity to eat well.