Online exclusive: Farmers market returns to Park Blocks

After a long winter, the Portland Farmers Market has returned to the South Park Blocks for its 19th season.

After a long winter, the Portland Farmers Market has returned to the South Park Blocks for its 19th season.

The market at PSU opened to the public on March 19 and will remain open until December 17. It is one of six different markets, including those at Pioneer Courthouse Square and NW 23rd Ave.

According to, the market was established in 1992 by Craig Mosbaek, Ted Snider and Richard Hagan. The first market was located at Albers Mill and had 22 vendors within its first year. However, the PSU market became the main market shortly after. Today the market has over 250 vendors, all from local area farms.

The Portland Farmer’s Market is a place where local vendors set up shop on the streets to sell their products. The products vary from each vendor and there will be a different selection depending on what time of the year it is. Some of the vendors that may be seen at the farmer’s market include produce such as vegetables and fruits, flowers and other garden needs, meat, fish, fresh baked goods, cheese and honey.

Sarah Hart, the owner of Alma Chocolates, is one of the many vendors at the market. She offers a wide selection of chocolates, including some of the favorites such as the Thai chocolate and dark chocolate.

“[The] ingredients used are from local farmers,” she said.

Hart is one of the seasonal vendors because her chocolate may melt during the peak summer hours. And like many of the vendors, she has a physical store on NE 28th Street in Portland. This is her seventh year of participating in the PSU farmers market.

Rick Steffen Farms, located in Silverton, Ore., is one of the many farmers at the farmers market at PSU. It has been in business since 1982, according to Ann Umburger, a good friend of the owner. The business participates in markets across Oregon, including those in Albany, Corvallis, Salem and Bend.

“The produce changes because of the seasons” Umburger said, adding that shoppers can always find a good selection of produce and flowers at the stand.

According to farmers market volunteer Melissa Siefferlein, vendors are not the only people involved in the market. Siefferlein volunteers at the information center, located near the Vue.  The booth is there to give shoppers helpful information and the also sell souvenirs such as t-shirts and totes. Seifferlein and her husband came across the market two years ago while looking for housing in the Portland area.

Seifferlein says she loves “the variety of produce” and how they can always “change it up” with what each vendor is selling as the time passes by. While Seifferlein said she hasn’t been to any of the other markets she doesn’t feel the need to. PSU’s farmer’s market has everything she needs, she said.

The Portland State Farmer’s Market is located in the South Park Blocks between SW Park Ave and SW Montgomery St. Though hours for the market change depending on the season, the market is currently open from 8:30 a.m. through 2 p.m.