Join Our Community Table
By: Meg Cotner
The Rocky Butte Farmers Market wants you to join our Community Table!
Along with our farmers, artisans, and entertainment, we’ve created a new program called the Community Table, for small vendors and backyard gardeners* to participate in the market. We know that some of you are incredible home gardeners and often have a surplus of produce, especially in the summer. This is a great opportunity for you to sell that surplus to your community, while also learning about marketing and what it’s like to sell at a farmers market.
As a vendor through the Community Table program, you will be given a partial booth space and the fee is 20% of total sales. After using the Community Table five times during one market season, you’ll have a chance to check in with market staff and see if moving up into the standard vendor space would be a good fit.
We love that the Community Table will offer opportunities to expand the concept of what a farmers market vendor is and increase diversity at the market, which is one of our goals that is highly valued among market-goers and RBFM staff alike.
If you are curious about what you’ll need to do to join the Community Table, check out the full procedures and rules. When you are ready to join us as a vendor at the Community Table, you can sign-up using our Google Form. Additional inquiries can be sent to Market staff at email@example.com.
We look forward to being in touch. See you at the Market!
* Crafts, arts, and most other inedible goods are not permitted at the Community Table. Full booth spaces may be available upon completion of vendor application.
By: Dan Jackson
We’ve been hard at work this winter in preparation for the upcoming market season. One of our greatest feats was bringing on a new employee to our team. We are thrilled to introduce you to our new Finance Manager and Assistant Market Manager, Liz Braun!
Liz should be a familiar face to most as she has been heavily involved in our organization as a volunteer for the past year.
We are elated to continue having her support as we strive to grow our market. If she’s a new face to some, we are happy to share more about her!
Liz has been living in Portland since 2019, making her way into the East Portland neighborhood in 2020 after purchasing her first home with her husband. Working hard as a Financial Planning Specialist, Liz began to feel a strong desire to become involved in the community with work that better aligned with her personal goals and values. She decided to leave her job and pursue more passionate volunteer opportunities. Enter RBFM!
Liz began shopping with us and fell in love with the Rocky Butte Farmers Market community. “We attended as shoppers in 2021 and I loved the grassroots feel of the market. I loved how large the space for the market is, so I never felt too overwhelmed by other shoppers.”
One day she noticed that the market had advertised a volunteer opportunity for assistance with accounting and bookkeeping. She quickly filled out the volunteer interest form, and the rest is history!
“I volunteered regularly in 2022 as the bookkeeper and assisted our wonderful market manager, Marcy,” she explains. “I'm incredibly thankful that the work I did as a volunteer in 2022 has now been built into a paid role with the market.”
Liz currently focuses on her duties as our Finance Manager, handling all things money related. “That means I'm tracking donations from individuals, sponsorships and grants, our SNAP and Double Up Food Bucks program, and more.”
When the market starts back up in the spring, she’ll add to her plate as she steps into her role as the Assistant Market Manager, aiding in the operational challenges of the weekly markets.
She is excited to bring her biggest strengths to her new responsibilities. “I am operationally focused and enjoy getting the nitty gritty behind-the-scenes work done! I feel that when I set out to do something, you can count on me to get it done.”
As you can see, Liz works tirelessly with the rest of the team to ensure that the organization can continue to grow and succeed well into the future. She hopes that new vendors and shoppers continue to get involved in our organization. She feels that one of the greatest aspects of the market is our support in welcoming in new vendors.
“There can be barriers that keep many new vendors from being able to participate in farmers markets, but one of our main goals is to eliminate those barriers,” she explains. “Our shoppers are incredibly friendly, supportive, and patient – they come to our market because they want to support local up and coming businesses, and it shows!”
So, tell your friends, family, and colleagues to come see for themselves! A few of Liz’s favorite items to buy at the market are below:
On the weekends, you can find Liz at home, curled up with her cats while enjoying an entertaining book, or out on her bike exploring some of her favorite Gateway neighborhood shops, such as Jet Black Coffee, Food Fight, Rad Magic, or Lily’s Market. If all else fails, she may be off organizing other community events as she serves at the co-chair to her neighborhood association.
The Rocky Butte Farmers Market starts back up on June 3rd , 2023, hosted in the parking lot of the Mannahouse Church. Come by and say “Hi” to Liz, thank her for her hard work in keeping the market running smoothly, and take time to explore all the amazing items our vendors have to offer!
In this edition of Market News, we’d like to introduce you to our new Market Manager, Marcy Eichner! We are thrilled that she has joined the Rocky Butte Farmers Market in this capacity and are happy to tell you more about her.
Marcy is a recent Portlander—she moved to Portland at the end of February from Newport, Rhode Island, a small city that hugs the eastern edge of the state’s Narragansett Bay. She decided to make a road trip out of her move and took two weeks to cross the country, exploring it with her fiancé. Taking a cross-country trip slowly is a great way to see the diversity and wonders of this continent’s natural world.
She fell in love with Portland, and appreciates how welcoming it is here, and how tolerant it is of self-expression. “It’s a quirky place that is not shy toward uniqueness,” she explains. “I also love how interwoven the urban and natural settings are, and the ability to experience outdoor adventures.” That goes for her favorite part about her neighborhood, too: her close proximity to Washington Park.
Marcy is deeply dedicated to working within local food systems, whether it was in Newport, RI or here in Portland.”I am very passionate about supporting the local food economy and entrepreneurs with intentions to better the Earth, our bodies, and our communities,” she says. “Farmers markets are a great place to empower the connectedness of our world, and to build relationships that help one another thrive in their goals.”
She hopes to bring an equity lens to her work with the Rocky Butte Farmers Market, too. She believes accessibility and transparency are important in her work with new Market customers and vendors.
And mingling with shoppers is one of her favorite things to do at a farmers market. “As a food-motivated person, I love connecting with shoppers about their purchases—I’ve swapped many recipes at farmers markets. (I have a scrumptious fennel salad recipe I’d be thrilled to share!)”
You’ll also find her checking out all varieties of fresh greens and fermented products like pickles or sauerkraut at the Market.
A few tidbits:
Marcy has a lot of great memories over the years of working with farmers markets and sustainable food systems, so we asked her about them. She tells us about one of them, “My favorite memory working in the food access/agricultural world is encouraging children to explore their relationship with fresh produce.”
“I ran the food program at a holistic preschool, where I prepared most of the meals for the children with fresh seasonal & local ingredients, many of which we grew together in the backyard! The kids would buzz with excitement when we picked our afternoon snack together right off the vine. I was amazed by their love for snap peas! It was a very rewarding experience to witness these little humans grow curious about the wonders of our relationship with the land.”
Marcy is really excited to bring her experience, skill, and love of farmers markets to her role as Market Manager. “I put so much heart in what I do and I love acting as a conductor to help create harmony and connection within our community,” she says. “I look forward to connecting with this community and learning about what interests YOU!”
Outside of the market, Marcy likes to garden, make jewelry (she has an Etsy shop), play games, hike and camp (her favorite spot right now is Cape Lookout).
The Rocky Butte Farmers Market launches on Saturday, June 4. Stop by the Market that day and meet Marcy, then shop and hang out. It’s going to be a great day in the neighborhood. In the meantime, you can make the aforementioned fennel salad and dream of summer days at the Market atop the Rocky Butte.
Marcy’s Fennel Salad Recipe
2 bulbs of fennel
1/4 cup fresh torn mint leaves
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
6 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, grated
1 lemon, zested
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 oz shaved Parmesan
2 cups croutons
Cut the fennel bulb root to tip and thinly slice the fennel bulb halves as well as chop the fennel fronds. Add mint and walnuts. In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and red wine vinegar into a vinaigrette. Add to the fennel and mix until well-combined. Fold in Parmesan shavings and top with croutons. Serves 6 as a side dish.
By Meg Cotner
As you read this, the Rocky Butte Farmers Market is hard at work bringing on vendors, strategizing logistics, engaging performers for the season, hiring a Market Manager, and putting everything in place for our upcoming weekly market starting this June. It’s going to be pretty great, and what will make it even better is … you!
We welcome your financial support and help—no amount is too small. Here are a couple of ways to give.
Donate to the RBFM GoFundMe Campaign
We look forward to seeing you at the market, of course, but we also welcome your financial support prior to the season as a 2022 market donor via our GoFundMe Campaign.
As an individual community member, donating to our GoFundMe is an easy way to support the RBFM. There are myriad reasons to support us in this way, as we aim to:
You can donate to our GoFundMe Campaign at any time, in any amount.
Support the RBFM With a Sponsorship
As we work to take the Rocky Butte Farmers Market to the next level, having a robust group of community partners with us will be critical as we continue to develop our larger, weekly market. You are invited to help us make this happen with a gift through your work/organization—here are the various support tiers to consider:
See below for details on what benefits your organization or business will enjoy with each tier, which at minimum includes a prominent listing on the RBFM web site; at least one dedicated social media post; and a mention in our monthly newsletters. Plus, knowing that you are supporting the work that strives to support our local community through the farmers market.
To discuss sponsorship or a corporate contribution, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org Subject line: “Sponsorship Inquiry”.
Thank you for supporting the Rocky Butte Farmers Market. Got questions? Reach out to us at email@example.com and someone will get back to you. We value your support!
Brought to you periodically by our team of volunteer writers!