Northwest Portland goes beyond the call of typical shopping, even for groceries; Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s provide locals with more choices than the usual Safeway and Fred Meyer shopping. However, the City of Roses is also home one of the most active and plentiful farmers markets in the Pacific Northwest.
Portland Farmers Market is a local gathering of, well, farmers who cultivate their goods near the urban hub of Portland. Items for sale at the market range from meat sold by livestock farmers of many sorts (beef, chicken, deer, elk…you name it, it’s probably on display here) to fresh fruits and vegetables that are locally and often organically grown to fit the palate and sensibilities of Northwest Portland residents.
This market takes place on Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. during June through September. A total of 56 vendor spaces are laid out in a parking lot along Northwest 23rd Avenue (see directions and map below for more information) for the public to browse for free, with live, local music often featured at the entrance.
The Northwest 23rd Portland Farmers Market is a great family destination, given its communities atmosphere and opportunity for kids to learn about the value of nutrition and local diets. These markets are brimming with helpers and farmers themselves willing to talk with kids about the importance of supporting local growers and businesses, and some vendors may be looking for assistance with loading and unloading their wares and may provide an after-school activity for kids at least one day out of the week.
Pets are allowed at the market on a leash, though they may not appreciate the crowded space and owners may not appreciate restraining their pets from exploring every one of the vendor spaces (let alone having to pay for any damages). Service animals are given a wide berth, as the friendly nature of the market and its customers is receptive to special needs among its fellow shoppers.
The Portland Farmers Market website includes an interactive map of the market grounds to be browsed for specific locations of vendors. The website also has a product search option to help interested shoppers find the items they crave without needing to scan each booth.
There are multiple locations hosted by the Portland Farmers Market around town, each with different months and times of service. For Northwest Portland residents, the nearest gathering is at the intersection of Northwest 23rd Avenue and Northwest Savier Street. TriMet Bus Line 15 makes a stop a half-block away from this intersection, and the Portland Streetcar makes a stop five blocks south of it; there is very limited street parking on market days, with most of it occupied by the farmers freighting their product to the area.