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Archive for December, 2010

Executive Director Ann Forsthoefel and Senior Market Manager Jaret Foster

December 18th will be my last market as PFM’s Executive Director. The past two and half years have been the best of my professional career and I am so sorry my time at PFM is coming to an end. The journey has been extraordinary and I can honestly say I have enjoyed every minute. Even during challenging times I always knew that I was one of the lucky ones. I have been fortunate to be paid for doing work that is both my vocation and avocation. I got paid to hang out with farmers, local food producers, shoppers who are extreme local foodies, extraordinary chefs, dedicated board members and the best damn volunteers and staff in the world. I have been truly blessed and the PFM community will always hold a special place in my heart.

It goes without saying that running the markets wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and dedication of our board and staff. The next time you see a red-shirted staff member at the markets or call the office, say thanks or give them a hug. Working at a non-profit organization, these individuals are not making the big bucks and many of them only work for us 9 months out of the year, finding temporary work to get them by until the season starts again. Yet, year after year they return. Why? Because the markets are magical and it feeds their souls.

Most importantly, my thanks go out to you, farmers and shoppers. The markets exist because of your dedication. Weekly, I am amazed at the number of repeat shoppers we have at the markets. Dear shoppers, you have truly made a difference in the local food movement. Without you we would have never have created one of the most robust local food systems in the world. Educated and dedicated – the perfect combination for changing the conventional food system.

To our many value added food artisans and hot food concessionaires, I thank you for the passion you bring to your craft and for helping to make our markets a true showplace for local food.  It is because of this strength and diversity that our markets are so successful.

My dear farmers, I know the joy and sacrifice of your labor and it is the most noble of all professions. To you my last salute goes; you are the true heroes. Gnarled, soil-creased hands, slightly hunched backs and faces of extreme character; your beauty makes every day sunny. Daily on our behalf you plant and harvest in the rain, wind and sun. You tend to your animals through birth and death and defy convention in order to produce the best, most wholesome food, only to face the extreme odds of making a profit. I know as you review your checking account each month you ponder: is this worth it? Yes! Yes! Yes it is! You are our salvation, our connection to the whole.  Without you we have no guiding star; we have no hope of creating a society that is connected and nourished. You are and always will be my substance, literally and metaphorically. I leave you with this: No matter where I am, I will fight, educate, cajole, and give my last my breath to making local farmers prosperous, understood and loved.

~ Ann

To our beloved Ann,

Your considerable passion, strength, integrity, leadership and warmth have been an inspiration and a gift to our organization and the Portland community.  We wish you a world of happiness on your new adventure and will always keep a special place for you in our hearts.  You will be dearly missed.

~Your PFM Family

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Hawthorne Boulevard Holiday Stroll
Thu. 12/9 6-9pm
SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Free Admission

The 1st Annual Hawthorne Holiday Stroll features extended business hours for Hawthorne merchants, live music and entertainment, complimentary snacks and hot drinks, neighborhood carolers, and kid friendly festivities–the Bagdad is showing free Holiday Family Movies from 6-8 PM, with free popcorn for the kids and Mcmenamins wine tasting for the big kids. Come check out Portland’s original “shop local” district with over a hundred businesses that are dedicated to the ideals of community involvement and making Hawthorne a desirable place to work, shop, and live. There will be a holiday tree auction to benefit Impact NW, which has been providing emergency food and help to people in need for 36 years and serves over 65,000 people in the Portland Metro area yearly. Participating stores will also donate a portion of sales to Impact NW. More info>>

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Rain Garden Workshop for Professionals
Thu. 12/9 8:30am-5pm
EMSWCD Office, 5211 N. Williams Ave. Portland
$50.00, includes lunch & materials, register here

This hands-on course is designed for landscape contractors, designers and building contractors to give them the information they need to successfully incorporate rain gardens into their projects. Workshop topics include stormwater management, site assessment, rain garden sizing and design, construction and maintenance, plants appropriate for rain gardens, rain garden designs for challenging sites, and sustainable landscape construction materials. More info>>

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Naturescaping and Native Plants Workshops
Sat. 12/11, 9am-1pm
Kenilworth Church, 4028 SE 34th Ave. Portland
Free, register here

This free workshop introduces the concept of naturescaping and explores time and maintenance savings, reduction/elimination of water and chemical use, increasing and improving wildlife habitat, watershed stewardship, and basic site or project planning. Workshop participants get to view before and after naturescaping examples, take a field trip to a nearby project, get advice on landscape design and native gardening, network with neighbors, and identify native plants. Every participant receives a comprehensive workbook and a native plant to help them get started. More info>>

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Crafty Wonderland
Sat-Sun 12/11-12/12
Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE MLK Jr. Blvd.
Free admission

With a rotating line up of talented vendors, Crafty Wonderland is the place to go to find the best handmade goods in the NW, as well as affordable work from talented visual artists. It’s an event meant to bring together crafty people with those who appreciate cool handmade items, to support artists, and to spread the joy of craft throughout our community. The show even offers a kids’ area where budding young artists can set up and sell their work! Each Crafty Wonderland features a free DIY area where local artists share their talent and teach visitors how to make a craft of their own to take home.  More info>>

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House Spirits Booze Bazaar
Sat. 12/11 11am-5pm
2025 SE 7th Ave. Portland
Free Admission

Help House Spirits Distillery celebrate their 5th Annual Booze Bazaar, a festive holiday tasting and shopping event that will feature Cellar Door Coffee Roasters, Theo Chocolate, Violetta’s Etta truck, and PFM vendors Jacobs Creamery and Olympic Provisions. House Spirits will release a special limited House Spirits White Dog (a 100% malted barley un-aged whiskey), and they’ll be sampling spirits, mixing mini-cocktails, and selling gift boxes full of bartending goodies ranging from the novice shaker up to the experienced cocktail-maker. More info>>

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Season’s Eatings
Sat. 12/11, 12-6pm
New Deal Distillery, 1311 SE 9th Ave. Portland
Free Admission

Join New Deal Distillery at the 2nd Annual Season’s Eatings, a curated market event featuring some of the area’s best handmade cheese, chocolate, pastry, charcuterie, wine and spirits, and benefitting the Oregon Food Bank. Vendors include Random Order Coffeehouse and Bakery, Xocolatl de David, Clive Coffee, Briar Rose Creamery, Confectionery, The Hop and Vine, Gales Meadow Farm, Riverwave Foods, Unbound Pickling, Dessert Labs, and People’s Sandwich of Portland. Read more>>

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Mozzarella 201: Artisanal Mozzarella
Sat. 12/11 1-4pm
Kookoolan Farms, 15713 Hwy 47, Yamhill
$50, includes cheese tasting and $10 coupon for farm store

Taught by cheesemaker and author Mary Rosenblum, this class is a step up in complexity and flavor from the basic quick-method handmade mozzarella.  Start with handmade curd from raw cow milk, refrigerated overnight, then get hands-on experience kneading and forming the curd using traditional, artisanal, slower methods. This class does not have a brought-in cheese tasting plate because you’ll be eating the cheese you make today, along with fresh bread, herbs, cured meats, and condiments. No prerequisite, and highly recommended for beginners. Call Kookoolan Farms at 503.730.7535 to sign up. More info>>

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InFARMation (and Beer!)
Tue. 12/14, 5:30-8:30pm
Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St. Portland
Free, 21+ only

Friends of Family Farmers hosts InFARMation (and Beer!) each month to bring the issues that Oregon family farmers face onto the radar of urban consumers, and the community in general. The topic changes each month, but always focuses on the larger picture of the connection between food and farms in Oregon. This month is InFARMation’s End of the Year Party, a celebration of FoFF’s work in 2010, tabling by local food and agriculture groups making a difference in our local food system, great food by Holocene, live music by the Greasy Chain String Band and others, and the first annual silent auction! More info>>

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Native Plants For The Urban Garden
Thu. 12/16, 6-8:30pm
East Multnomah Count SWCD Office, 5211 N Williams Ave. Portland
Free, register here

Not all yards are alike, so you’ll learn about the various features of common microclimates found in urban landscapes and highlight the growing conditions suitable for each of the native plants covered in this class. Equipped with this knowledge, you’ll be prepared to choose which plants will work best in your own yard!

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Presents For Procrastinators
Sat. 12/18 11am-5pm
Art Department, 1315 SE 9th Ave.
Free Admission

For one day only, the Art Department warehouse will transform into a bustling local marketplace filled with intricate handmade jewelry and baubles, fabulous clothing from emerging designers, collections of modified vintage treasures and gorgeous illustrations. It’s an event designed to unite art and local commerce, while offering a place for crafters to network and build community. It’s also a great chance for attendees to support our vibrant local economy. Domo Dogs will be onsite, vending their delicious Japanese-fusion hot dogs, and wine tastings will be offered to adults by Hip Chicks Do Wine, who will also be selling bottles of their locally-made wine. Post-shopping sugar rushes will be provided by Miss Zumstein Cakes and Desserts, who will be sampling treats and taking holiday orders. More info>>

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Winter Solstice Celebration
Tue. 12/21, 4-6pm
Nature Center, Tryon Creek State Park
11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd.
Free, register here

Celebrate the year’s shortest day and longest night at the Tryon Creek State Park Nature Center. An indoor audience participation program kicks off the event, followed by nature walks led by naturalists in the winter forest. Mingle and warm up with some cider and Dutch oven goodies to commence the evening. This is a free event for individuals and families alike. Pre-registration required!

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Volunteer Opportunities
Looking to give back this holiday season?  Consider one of the organizations below or volunteer at a local soup kitchen or shelter.

Oregon Food Bank: Oregon Food Bank works to eliminate hunger and its root causes by distributing recovered food to 20 regional food banks across Oregon. Donate food or services such as packaging, boxing, storing or transporting food.
Loaves & Fishes: Provides hot meals to homebound seniors and at meal centers throughout the region.  Deliver meals or become a kitchen helper.
Sisters of the Road: Their goal is to provide a safe place, low-cost hot meals and employment opportunities for the homeless and poverty stricken. Work at the cafe prepping, preparing and serving meals.
Impact Northwest: Their mission is to help people achieve and maintain self-sufficiency and to prevent and alleviate the effects of poverty. Donate food, clothing or houshold items.
Northwest Pilot Project: Provides services that prevent and end homelessness for very low income and disabled seniors. Assist seniors moving into housing or donate a holiday stocking.
Hands On Greater Portland: Connects volunteers with opportunities in the Portland area that match their interests and schedule.
Volunteer Match: Online service that matches volunteers with nonprofit organizations.

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EverGreening the Market

This season, PFM launched EverGreen, a comprehensive waste reduction initiative designed to make our markets more sustainable. We had hoped to divert 50% of the garbage produced at the PSU Market and we are proud to share that not only have we reached our goal, but we’ve exceeded it by 30%!

This amazing feat would not have been possible without the leadership of our own Anna Curtin (PFM’s Education and Outreach Specialist), vital support for the program from the Mayor’s office and cooperation from our many vendors and shoppers—thank you all!

PFM would also like to offer a very special thank you to the Brown Brigade, our amazing crew of coordinators and volunteers that put this program into motion each week.  We’d like to introduce you to two individuals whose dedication to this program has made it an undisputed success.

EverGreen Coordinator Damien Lopez

As PFM’s dynamic Evergreen Coordinator, Damien Lopez has hauled, sorted, weighed and documented the nearly 17,000 lbs of garbage generated at the market this year.  Hailing from Hoboken, NJ, Damien and his girlfriend Nicole (also a market staff member) were drawn from the East Coast to Portland for the mild winters and progressive culture.

To support their passion for sustainability and local agriculture, Damien and Nicole began volunteering for PFM as soon as they landed in Portland in 2009.  Damien was drawn to the ideals behind the EverGreen program.  He recalls, “When I first heard about recycling, as a child, I remember thinking how cool it was to re-use material that used to end up in a landfill. Composting food waste and using products that can break down quickly is a further extension of that and just makes sense to me.”

Damien is also intrigued by the fact that sometimes an old solution can work on a new problem.  As he puts it, “I find it interesting that a society so far removed from its agricultural roots has found an answer to the ever-increasing problem of waste management in an old farming practice like composting.”

Although he knows it’s not always easy to break old habits, Damien sees EverGreen as a worthy challenge and enjoys being a part of the solution. He has long been a believer of the adage, “Live simply, so that others may simply live” and feels that his work as part of the Brown Brigade helps to support this conviction.

EverGreen Volunteer Coordinator Bethany Davidson

Bethany Davidson loves helping people learn how to reduce their waste.  Her sustainability breakthrough came while taking a class at Portland State University called Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling.  For an entire week, her class was charged with holding on to everything they would normally recycle, compost or discard.  She was amazed at how much we throw away and it made her wonder, where does all of it go once we are done with it?

With her new perspective, Bethany knew she wanted to share what she had learned with others, which led her to volunteer for PFM’s EverGreen program.  As our EverGreen Volunteer Coordinator, Bethany recruits team members for the Brown Brigade and helps educate market shoppers about the importance of reducing their footprint.  She is grateful for the many volunteers that returned each week, rain or shine, and acknowledges that we couldn’t have accomplished nearly as much without their dedication.

This month, you can find Bethany at a special EverGreen booth at the market, where she is dispensing information about composting and waste reduction along with tips for greener living.  Stop by to learn more and to play some sustainability-minded games, complete with prizes (like tamales from Salvador Molly’s)!

If you are interested in joining our EverGreen campaign and making an impact in your community, please click here for more information.

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Greens suffer a bad rap. Maligned by children and even some adults, greens often see their fate in the form of a putrid brown puddle in the refrigerator. Lying in wait atop one another at the market, these frilly, wavy bundles in varying hues are often passed over like a girl waiting to get asked to dance.

But some confess to feeling “weird” if a day goes by without greens on their plate, like an artist’s palette lacking an essential daub of pigment. If you haven’t done so, it’s time to give these hearty greens (or cooking greens) a whirl. Though greens can encompass broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower and cabbages, the greens we’re talking about are of the hearty leafy variety—the spinaches, kales, chards, turnip, mustard, collard and beet greens. And that’s just a partial list.

Greens carry a rich array of vitamins and minerals like potassium, vitamin A, folic acid, magnesium and calcium. They’re also high in fiber and help reduce the risk of some cancers and cardiovascular disease. Though you’ll find greens year round, the hearty greens are superior in the colder weather. They work harder in the cold and this sped-up metabolism makes them sweeter and more crisp. They are a beacon in the grey days of winter, being one of the few colors around.

We eat salads with abandon. But most cooking greens, require, well, cooking, which many of us shy away from. But not only are these greens more nutritious than salad greens, they’re forgiving and versatile. Once you find a good way to cook greens, you can switch them up, swapping kale for chard, turnip greens for collards. Alter your seasonings—Asian one day, southern the next, Italian the day after. In other words, improvise!

How to Buy, Store and Use

Look for firm greens, unmarred by yellowish areas. Store the greens in plastic bags in the fridge and wash them well in cold water before using. Greens are enlivened by a splash of lemon or vinegar, as well as hot pepper. They pair beautifully with neutral flavors like potatoes and beans and can be added to soups or pasta. Greens such as spinach, chard and beet greens are tender and cook faster than the more sturdy kales and collards, so adjust cooking times as necessary. The sturdier greens have tougher stems; most often, you’ll want to remove the center rib. To do so, hold the end of the stem in one hand and grasp the leaf in the other, stripping the leaf off the rib. Chard stems can be used if cooked ahead, usually with onions, and before adding the leaves. Mustards, turnip greens and some kales are slightly bitter or spicy, adding punch to a dish.

Given that there are only a few market weeks left, it is possible to freeze greens. Just wash and chop them and store in freezer bags.

Recipes

We’ve compiled eight recipes (below) from chefs around town, lovers of greens who were eager to share a favorite way to enjoy them. Click on each recipe title to download a PDF.

Braising Greens Gratin
Scott Dolich is chef-owner of Park Kitchen, a restaurant celebrated for its devotion to local ingredients in a menu that changes with the seasons. Scott says he loves this dish for a number of reasons. It can be a side, or served as a vegetarian entree by using vegetable stock. For a dairy-free dish, substitute vegetable stock for the cream and omit the cheese. Turn it into a hearty meal by adding chopped braised lamb, beef or pork. The dish takes advantage of the whole green—leaf and stems. And finally, other greens like collards or mustard greens can be used in place of chard or kale.

Slow Cooked Collard Greens
Timothy Wastell is chef at DOC—a restaurant committed to using ingredients only from farmers it knows. This zingy dish is currently featured on the DOC menu along with their pork belly confit. They use greens from Square Peg Farm, which, in Timothy’s words, “are hands down the best I have ever worked with.” He calls this dish “savory, sweet, sour, spicy, tender, and warming, just what the rain has been calling for.”

Chard (aka “Daddy”) Patties
Katherine Deumling, of Cook With What You Have, teaches private and group cooking classes around the idea of healthy, seasonal eating using a well-stocked pantry. and improvising by using what’s available. Katherine calls her Chard Patties “a winner—even converting non-greens lovers.” Hearty and delicious, they can also be made with a combination of chard, beet greens or spinach. Great with a salad on the side.

Kale Bagna Cauda
Jenn Louis is chef-owner of Lincoln Restaurant, named one of the 50 best restaurants in the U.S. by Condé Nast Traveler. Bagna cauda means “warm bath” and is normally a dip for raw vegetables using oil, butter, anchovies and garlic. Here, Jenn puts a twist on the dish by tossing greens into the mixture. She likes to serve this with fish, saying that the “anchovy flavor and many types of fish are lovely together” and these flavors “create a balance between salty and sweet and have a great warmth about them.”

Kale Salad
Kathryn LaSusa Yeomans of Sage Culinary Advice is a familiar face at the farmers market, putting culinary arts under our very noses. A chef for 20 years, she now teaches market shoppers how to make the most of their purchases. She also helps vendors can realize the culinary possibilities of their products. This kale salad recipe could not be easier and is one of her favorites. Kale at this time of year “is sweetened from cold weather.” She prefers the Italian kale (also known as lacinato, black or dinosaur) for its firm texture and mineral-rich green taste.

Soy and Sesame Greens
Amie Edelstein
has been a long-time supporter of the market and studied at the Robert Reynolds Chefs Studio. Her mission is to help the world eat better, which she does by teaching cooking classes on eating seasonally and locally. Amie says this recipe is a great quick weeknight meal alongside seared fish, stir-fried chicken or beef, or soba noodles.

Smoky Greens with Yankee Cornbread
Ivy Manning, Portland-based food and travel writer, recipe developer and cooking instructor, is the author of The Adaptable Feast and The Farm to Table Cookbook. Ivy blogs at Ivy’s Feast. In addition to this recipe’s winning title, it is a versatile dish that can use any type of greens—collards, kohlrabi, beet, mustards or chard. And it can be made to satisfy the vegetarians or omnivores in your midst.

Sturdy Greens in the Style of Wakame
Leather Storrs is chef/co-owner of Noble Rot, highly regarded for its locally sourced, seasonal food menu made up of small plates with intense flavors. Leather says of this dish that “knife work, a few key ingredients and marination yields a cold salad/condiment in the spirit of Japanese seaweed.” Like nearly all these recipes, you can swap or mix and match a variety of greens.

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