Tuesday, May 18, 2010

10 Things I Love about the Portland Farmers Market

Hungry for food treasures from Oregon, I went to the Portland farmers' market last Saturday. Our season lags about a month or so behind Portland and since we didn't have the usual farmers' market last weekend due to the annual U-District Street Fair, so I traveled to Portland--a local food lovers' paradise to check out their spring harvest offerings and connect with two farms featured in The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook.
  • I love the first sweet strawberries of the season and though we have a few coming up in our garden, none have appeared at the U-district market yet.
  • I love the luxurious feel of the shade trees and walkways on the plaza at Portland State University.
  • I love Winter Green Farm in Noti. It's a biodynamic organic farm owned and run by three families and a great group of farmworkers who bring their seasonal harvest to market.
  • I love the abundant variety of pantry items available at this market--like tomato sauce with herbs from Winter Green Farm, pasta and enchilada sauce from Gathering Together Farm, and nuts, jams, breads and pastas. I also love the fresh salsa from Gathering Together Farm. Who can resist chips and fresh salsa at the market?

  • I love the crazy variety of foraged foods at this market, mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns, sea beans, sorrel, ramps, nettles and all kinds of mushrooms. Portland is truly a foraged food lovers' paradise.
  • I love Salvador Molly's tamales, the best tamales south of The Patty Pan Grill at Seattle farmers' markets.
  • Love the slow-food community feel of this market. You can sit under shade trees, relax and enjoy great food.
  • I love Rogue Creamery. Check out their cheese of the month---lavender cheddar. I have one friend who couldn't possibly pass that up. Rogue Creamery wins many awards for their cheeses and CaveMan Blue is winning raves this year. All I can say is "WOW!"
  • I love Freddy Guy's Hazelnuts. They bring hazelnut butter, hazelnut pancake mix and even wild rice--probably the only wild rice grown in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Most of all I love the fabulous market information booth. They have a lot of great local farm news and information. One flyer I picked up was a "Farmers Market Glossary of Terms" that listed terms like Certified Naturally Grown, Genetically Modified Organisms, No-Till, Transitional, artisan and dry-aged. They also sell fun "Port-land-i-vore" t-shirts and totes, for carrying all that great produce.

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