Urban Gleaners

Gleaning is a second collection of food that happens after a harvest. Gleaning has its roots in common law and doctrine, but the act of using food to feed those in need is still practiced in modernity. Urban Gleaners is a local organization who triangulate a waste not/want not perspective, action and thoughtfulness and Portland is better for it. Diana Foss, Urban Gleaners’ Director was kind enough to share the following post and pictures with us. 

Urban Gleaners connects hungry kids to edible, surplus food.  We collect food that would otherwise be thrown away, food that is still wholesome, and deliver it to students and their families through our Food to Schools program. We have been gleangleaning at PFM markets for the past 7 years. Every week, Urban Gleaners’ volunteers stop by at the end of market to remind vendors about our program and to ask whether there is excess produce to donate. We leave bags to fill, plus a donation receipt, and then come back to pick up the filled bags.

We bring the donated produce back to our refrigerated warehouse in the Central Eastside, where it’s sorted and cleaned, then pack it up along with donated bread, dairy products and prepared foods to bring to pantries at 17 elementary schools in east and north Portland and Gresham. These are schools where 75-95% of the students rely on free school lunches for what may be the only meal they receive in any given day.  Food from Urban Gleaners helps entire families with fresh, nutritious food that they can count on.

Portland is surrounded by incredible bounty, some of the most productive gleanagricultural land in the world. Yet in the midst of this foodie culture that celebrates the fresh, seasonal and organic, there is also incredible privation and want. Studies have shown that up to 40% of the fresh produce in this country is thrown away without ever having been tasted. Urban Gleaners fills this gap, getting fresh food directly to hungry kids and their families. We’re very grateful for the ongoing support of the Portland Farmers Market, and look forward to another productive partnership this season.

The Cabbaging

People will occasionally ask what’s my favorite type of food. Afterwards, no one likes my response. I believe, my polite inquisitors would be far happier with a nationalistic answer of Italian or Thai or would possibly accept a categorical answer like cheese. I’ve yet to meet the person willing to accept my prima facie response of “food stuffed in other food”

I don’t know what’s so hard believe about this. Egg rolls, pierogi, sandwiches, ravioli, tacos/burritos, dumplings, pie (PIE! people, pie) and today’s dinner, stuffed cabbage leaves, just to name a few.

CabbageTake Cabbage: It’s so ready to be filled with other ingredients plus it’s good, in season (inexpensive) and you can find it at the PSU Market in Napa, purple, green and my favorite kind to stuff, Savoy. Stuffed cabbage leaves can be filled with anything, ground beef, pork or lamb, mushrooms, sauerkraut, chopped up bacon – it’s the ultimate what’s on hand dish. Today, I filled the blanched leaves with ground turkey, rye bread crumbs, grated onion, rice and about the only 3 items I would say are necessary – caraway, garlic and paprika. DSC_1763

I always make more than I need, because what’s the point of making one stuffed cabbage leaf? I give the extras away and lest you think my gift of stinky cabbage filled with sundry ingredients is spurned, people crave them. Stuffed cabbage leaves end up being the single most requested dish people ask that I teach them: Because they’re good, because they’re just the type of recipe that our parents would have skipped and grabbed the box of mac and cheese instead. One friend ended up being such a natural, she was able to roll the leaves with one hand, a skill she claims she acquired quite innocently.

You should try this at home. Pick up your ingredients at the PSU Market between 9-2 while the chilly weather lasts.

Pickled [stuff] would be in second place, followed closely by sour cream. No shame in the bronze here, sour cream. DSC_1803



You’re thinking I’m going to say Sun, right? I respect you to much to lie to you. All the good things under the grey. Cabbage

In Season: Cabbage, kale, crab, potatoes, winter squash & beets. 

One of the best things about last week’s market was the reminder of seasons. I was at the market on Saturday, on the store on Monday. Market stuff is way less expensive when you stay in season. Granted, that’s easy since all the leafy, rooty, cabbagey things are my favorites. I even have a dog that loves roasted cauliflower (and tennis balls). This is a good season to buy veg. DSC_0806

About three weeks ago I thought I knew how farmers work to bring crops to market in all months. Then I started interviewing people for this Oregonian article, turns out I don’t know as much as I thought I did. I’m constantly amazed at the generosity of people who work with food for a living. The kindness, the knowledge the willingness to share their expertise with me for no other reason than I emailed or dialed their number. I am awed and thankful.

Portland State President Wim Wiewel opened the Market’s new 12 month a year home, with PSU Alum and PFM Director Trudy Toliver: Watch below:

Shopping MioMarket at PSU tomorrow 9-2. Just in time, I just used my last market egg yesterday. I know the store sells them, but it’s not the same. A duck egg from The Dancing Chicken Farm, Tillamook white cheddar and bread – sometimes it’s from the Pearl; others its Dave’s Killer Bread – It’s my NW sandwich, and a damn good way to start the day. Long live local foods.

Believe it or not, there are more than eggs at the Market. Two Tarts Bakery or possibly 2.0 Tarts Bakery returns to where they started: making baked goods exclusively for the Market. They aren’t the only Bakery – Mio’s Delectables fusing Japanese flavors with Parisian DSC_0038technique.

It’s not all just cookies – Linda Brand Crab, for the new year – both Calendar and Lunar, the Year of the Goat (Sometimes Sheep) is a month away but it’s never too soon to start celebrating. Pono, Deck Family, Pine Mountain and Sudan will be there with roasts, steaks, sausages and maybe if mood strikes you Osso Bucco.

And what goes better with a roast than mashed or roasted potatoes. Thanks Rossi Farms.

All in all tDSC_0062here will be 60 vendors there selling everything from a bite for now and those hearty greens that you promised yourself would be the backbone of your healthy 2015. Eat your greens and eat what you enjoy; we’ll see you at Portland State on Saturdays this year, all year.

Thanksgiving the Local Way

by Kelly Merrick

I love this time of year because it means I get to spend more time with my family. However, the holidays can also tend to be a busy and hectic time. This can feel especially true for those who are hosting or responsible for contributing to holiday meals. Between meal planning and shopping, confirming the guest list and cleaning the house, there’s a lot to do to prepare for a holiday meal.

10550178_10154774448115123_4371178373523415165_o Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and if you’re playing the role of host or even if you’re just contributing to a meal, I’m sure you’re brainstorming ways to reduce the stress that comes along with those responsibilities.

I don’t have a lot of  experience hosting holiday meals but I can give you this tip: shop early and shop at one of the three Portland Farmers Market locations that will be open between now and Thanksgiving. The PSU Market happens this Saturday, Nov. 22 from 9 to 2, then there’s the King Market on Sunday, Nov. 23 from 10 to 2, and for the first time ever, the Shemanski Park Market will be open on Wednesday, Nov. 26 from 10 to 2.

10662033_10154667551985123_3877959342058569515_oThink about it – instead of navigating a shopping cart through crowded grocery store aisles, you could be walking leisurely through the market while sipping a cup of coffee and chatting with vendors to find everything on your shopping list!

For many people, Thanksgiving is all about the sides, but there will be plenty of protein options between the three markets too. You can pick up some seafood, poultry, and other things to roast. At this point, most vendors are sold out of turkeys, but if you act fast you might be able to scoop up one of the few remaining birds at Champoeg Farm. Tails and Trotters is taking orders for holiday hams.

10431286_10154769930375123_4903487390623950539_oIf you’re following tradition and making stuffing, you’ll have many options to find bread, eggs, sausage, chestnuts, herbs, onions, celery and mushrooms. Speaking of tradition, if cranberry sauce is on your menu, head directly to Eagle Organic Cranberries (PSU and Shemanksi) or Starvation Alley Farms (PSU and King).  Canned sauce has nothing on these fresh berries.

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without all of the sides, so it’s a good thing there are endless ingredients for nearly any recipe. You’ll be able to find a variety of winter squash (my current favorite: delicata), potatoes for mashing, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, celery root, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets and more for 10733830_10154728706590123_3032092836439876105_othe base of your sides. To lighten things up, pick up some lettuce or chicories for a fresh salad.  You can find salad dressing and vinegar at Blue Heron Herbary (PSU), and you might be surprised by the variety of sauces and condiments you can find at other vendors’ booths – just look around.

To drink, pick up some fresh apple or pear cider and perhaps a drinking vinegar from Blossom Vinegars (PSU) to try out a mocktail recipe. For the grown ups, real cocktails can be made with spirits from Stonebarn Brandy Works (Shemanski) and House Spirits (King and PSU) there is wine from Twist (PSU), mead from Nectar Creek (PSU) and hard cider from Wandering Aengus (PSU).

If you’re feeling up to making dessert from scratch with some mighty fine local ingredients, head over to Gee Creek (PSU) to pick up some locally milled flours. If you’re not the baking kind, then you’re covered there too. Market Fruit/Packer Orchard, Divine Pie, Lauretta Jean’s, Petunia’s, Black Sheep Bakery, and Two Tarts all offer an assortment of sweets that will satisfy a crowd of any size.

99580010And last, but certainly not least, there are the beloved appetizers, which in my family are almost as anticipated as the Thanksgiving meal itself. And, as you’d expect, the markets have you covered there too. You can find cheese (goat, cow, sheep, fresh, aged, vegan), hazelnuts and walnuts, cured meats, pickles, bread, jellies, and fruit to create a smorgasbord of snacks to tide you over until meal time.

Phew! That’s a lot to take in, so I suggest you stop reading, grab a pad and paper and make room on your calendar to visit one of the markets that will allow you to stock up on everything you need for your big meal.  To help with your planning, a lit of vendors available at each market are listed below.  Happy Holidays!

Click here to view an interactive map of vendors at the PSU Market for Saturday, Nov. 22.

The current list of vendors at the King Market for Sunday, Nov. 23:

Alsea Acre Alpines
Bushel and Peck Bakeshop
C & K’s Flower Garden
C’est Si Bon!
Dancing Chicken Farm LLC
Deck Family Farm
Enchanted Sun Breakfast Burritos
Groundwork Organics
Hot Mama Salsa
House Spirits Distillery
Kiyokawa Family Orchards
Linda Brand Crab & Seafood
Mudjoy Farm, LLC
Night Owl Roasters
OlyKraut, LLC
Starvation Alley Farms
Temptress Truffles
Tierra del Sol Cuisine
Willamette Valley Cheese
Winter Green Farm
Winters Farms

The current list of vendors at the Shemanski Park Market for Wednesday, Nov. 26:

Stephens Farm
Gathering Together Farm
Refuge Gardens
Salmon Creek
Gabriel’s Bakery
Pearl Bakery
Packer Orchards
Olympic Provisions
Two Tarts
Greenville Farm
Springwater Farm
Missionary Chocolates
Portland Creamery
Lucky Farm
C&K Flower Farm
Dancing Chicken
Wildhare Backyard Farm
Salvador Molly
Bingo Sandwiches
Honey Mama
Happy Cup Coffee
Eagle Organic Cranberries
Stone Barn Brandyworks

A Palace for Cakes

by Abby Warren, Project & Office Coordinator at Portland Farmers Market and cake peddler at Palace Cakes

palace1On the second day of Palace Cakes settling into their new home, the staff all took appropriate measures of celebration – champagne and, of course, cake. Although I’d been lucky enough to indulge in owner and baker Elizabeth Beekley’s heavenly masterpieces a few times before when they were being crafted at the sister bakery, Two Tarts, there’s really nothing that can prepare one for the jaw-dropping sensation (likely because you want to put as much cake in your mouth as possible) of taking your first bite of straight-from-the-farm buttercream or end-of-summer peach nestled into a breakfast cake.

Ok – back to our celebration. As we were chatting over bubbly and buckies (Beekley’s creative alias for cupcakes – think Buckminster Fuller, geodesic dome), I couldn’t help but notice the palace3number of people who strolled by, stopped, did a double take, and then popped on in. “Oh, it’s a cake shop! I had to see what was happening in here.” No question they were drawn in by the warm glow that emanates from the enormous windows that circle half the shop. From the outside the windows invite you in, and from the inside they shower you with warm sunshine or, during the rainy months, make you feel ever so grateful to be inside with coffee and cake in hand.

Just as I’m a sucker for Elizabeth’s baked goods, I also am baffled by her innate interior decorating abilities. The walls and shelves are adorned with antique treasures, all donated by the community who supports this venture – doilies knit by a friend’s great aunt, 1950s cake cookbooks from a regular, even the bathroom boasts pals’ postcards from the 1970s.

palace6Ok, so now that you’re settled in the space, go ahead, sit down. Let’s talk cake. The magic that happens behind the counter at Palace is a force to be reckoned with. In my entire quarter of a century in this life, never have I had a slice of cake that rivals Palace’s – yes, honestly.

As a long-time Portland Farmers Market vendor (Two Tarts actually got their start at our PSU market), Elizabeth has friends in all of the right places. Winters Farms honey, raspberries and blackberries and, featured this season, Starvation Alley cranberries, all contribute color and flavor to different buttercreams. Hazelnuts from Freddy Guys, peaches from Baird Orchards, sweet potato from Rick Steffen Farms, quince from Sun Gold Farm, apples and pears from Stephens Farm, and carrots from Groundwork Organics or Spring Hill Organic Farm all make their way into seasonally featured cakes. Flour from Shepherd’s Grain, eggs from Dancing Chicken and butter from an assortment of local vendors make up the “meat of the operation”, creating rich, real, light, fluffy delicacies.

palace4As I mentioned earlier, Elizabeth is a born decorator. Her design skills are in no means reserved for interiors. Watching that woman drop dots onto a wedding cake, or wave a spatula to create perfectly swirled full frosting – that is something to behold. Elizabeth is joined by fellow cake master, Annastacia Weiss, a true baking genius with past experiences at other Portland staples. Together these two create some of the finest masterpieces in this food paradise we call Portland, while simultaneously supporting sustainable, fair agricultural practices and our local farmers. Cake with a conscience has never tasted so good.

By Deborah Pleva, Weinstein PR

Portland Farmers Market and Portland State University today announced that Portland Farmers Market’s flagship Saturday market, located on the south Park Blocks in the heart of the PSU campus, previously operating mid-March through mid-December, will now remain open year-round.



This season, the Winter Market at PSU will be open every Saturday from January 3, 2015, to February 28, 2015, from 9 am to 2 pm. The Winter Market footprint will be one block, from Montgomery to Harrison, expanding back to the full two-block footprint in March, when it resumes its regular hours of 8:30 am to 2 pm.

“Portland State University’s beautiful South Park Blocks have long been the perfect location for our world-class market, and we are thrilled to now make the location our year-round home,” said Trudy Toliver, executive director of Portland Farmers Market. “We are grateful to the university for its ongoing support of our dedicated farmers, ranchers, fishermen and small food businesses, as well as our loyal shoppers.”

Portland State President Wim Wiewel praised the new agreement as an expansion of a highly successful partnership between the university and Portland Farmers Market. “The Portland State Farmers Market exemplifies our connections to the community.  It provides economic opportunity and showcases sustainability. We are proud to have this grow,” Wiewel said.



Portland Mayor Charlie Hales welcomed the news, and said, “The Portland Farmers Market has played a major role in establishing our city as one of the most sustainable cities in the world. It is a major benefit to our residents and local farmers, and one of the institutions that makes Portland so livable and unique. It’s terrific news to have a year-round farmers market at PSU in the heart of the city.”


Founded in 1992, the original Portland Farmers Market was held in a parking lot along the Willamette River at Albers Mill. Portland Farmers Market transplanted the budding market to one city block on the PSU campus in 1996. In 2010, as crowds of shoppers swelled to 16,000 in the summer months, the market doubled its footprint expanding to two city blocks, from SW Montgomery Street to SW Hall Street.



In January 2012, Portland Farmers Market opened an eight-week Winter Market at Shemanski Park to meet the growing demand for locally-grown produce during the winter months. Now, rather than closing down the PSU location and moving to Shemanski Park, the Saturday Market at PSU will stay open all four seasons of the year.

Portland Farmers Market staff will provide a covered seating area at the PSU Winter Market to protect shoppers from inclement weather. Just like during the other market months, shoppers will have easy access to restrooms in the Smith Memorial Student Union building.


Year-round farmers markets have become increasingly viable thanks to the region’s innovative farmers, who have started to employ a variety of season-extending techniques such as planting winter-hardy varietals and using row covers, cold frames and hoop houses to protect crops from the elements. Dedicated shoppers that frequent markets even during the darkest, coldest, wettest months also have been key to expanding the season.

The year-round market helps expand the local food economy by providing shoppers a destination to purchase locally grown and produced foods all year long. For small family farms, having year-round sales can greatly impact their ability to balance out annual income, retain employees and invest in farm equipment and other needs.

“More people buying vegetables at farmers markets in the winter means more income for the farm in the winter and being able to keep some employees working year round rather than the standard seasonal work model,” shares Lane Selman, market manager for Gathering Together Farm.



Market shoppers can expect to find produce vendors offering piles of purple and green kale, broccoli and cauliflower; pyramids of carrots, parsnips and beets; and baskets of apples, pears, winter squash, potatoes and onions. Other vendors will sell meats, fish, eggs, artisan breads, cheeses and sweets.  Hot food and coffee will round out the full market experience.

Added Toliver, “The Winter Market at PSU will offer everything we need to keep our soup pots and dinner tables full of local goodness throughout the winter months.”


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