Have you visited the Beaverton Farmer’s Market lately? As one of the largest and most frequently-visited farmer’s markets in the Portland Metro area, it serves as a vital conduit for fresh produce and local wares for people from all over the area.
The popularity of the Beaverton Farmer’s Market is apparent in the sheer volume of people that flock there every Saturday. Good luck finding parking if you aren’t there quite early in the morning.
Of course, such a thriving market requires a steady hand at the helm, and that’s where Ginger Rapport comes in. As the general manager of the market, it’s her job to keep things running smoothly, and has been for over 22 years.
Originally from Southern California, Ginger moved to Portland in 1994. It wasn’t long before she fell in love with the Market and by 1996 she was hired on a seasonal basis. Fortunately, her education and interest fell perfectly in line with her career at the Market.
“I have a Bachelors in Primate Behavior, most of a Bachelors in Ornamental Horticulture and am a retired pastry chef,” she explains. “My husband and I have been in the restaurant and catering business for 40 years. So, my background is in people, plants and food – a perfect storm for a farmer’s market manager.”
Although she is Californian by birth, Ginger fits right into Portland. It’s quite apparent when she’s asked what her favorite thing is about the city.
“At my home, right now, I have a two-gallon batch of kombucha brewing on my counter next to a jar of fermenting apple cider vinegar made from organic apple peels and cores. I have mason bees spending their dormant months in my refrigerator and fifteen-pounds of home-made bird suet in my freezer. What I love about Portland is that nobody would think that any of that is strange,” she finishes.
Indeed, she’s right.
When asked what her least favorite thing is about our fair city, her answer also fits in perfectly with what most Portland residents would say.
“My least favorite thing is my pothole-riddled street,” she immediately replies.
And yet, as with so many others, this minor quibble isn’t enough to keep her away from the work she loves. Her passions dovetail well with her job, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Animal welfare issues are very important to me and the market makes it easy for me to support people producing humanely manufactured products. An egg from a pastured hen is so much better in so many ways than an egg from birds living in stacks of tiny cages in a warehouse,” she says.
This attitude pervades almost every answer to the questions I pose to her. When asked what makes her tick, her answer is simple.
“At the risk of sounding corny, I get up every day and ask myself, ‘What can I do to make the world a better place today?’
Not corny at all, and quite admirable. So how long will she continue providing herself as a valued member of the Market team?
“As long as I am physically able to do the work,” she replies without hesitation.
And we are thankful that she plans on spending a long, long time at the market. Waking up at 3:30am every Saturday to keep this thriving farmer’s market vibrant takes a steady hand, and she is just the PDX Person to manage it.
She would also like to give a shout out to some of her longest, newest and most exciting vendors:
- Chris or Marven Winters from Winters Farms: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mike Kloft from Lonely Lane Farms: email@example.com.
- Chris Hertel from Sun Gold Farm: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Rosie Sullivan from N&M Herb Nursery: SSulli3101@wbcable.net.
- Lizz Hampton and her new business – Goodnuss. She is on a mission to save people from store bought nut milk by helping you to make your own. http://milkyournuts.com/.
- And finally, Bonsonte, who makes dog food from human grade ingredients. Their mission is to enhance our pet’s lives. http://www.bonsante.dog/.
Summer market runs from May through September, 2017. Open on Saturdays from 8:00am to 1:30pm, you won’t want to miss out on all the fresh produce, seafood and local goods you can handle!
William Bessette – PDX People Contributor
William Bessette is a journalist and freelance writer who has been covering politics, entertainment, culture and travel for over thirteen years. When he’s not profiling Portland-area restaurants and residents, you can find him reporting on national and international travel and eco-tourism through his travel brand, Floppy Hat Adventures.