Archive for March, 2011

Market Numbers

We thought you might like to do some number crunching while you’re crunching on some fresh veggies. Grab your calculator and some breakfast radishes!

Portland Farmers Market by the Numbers

Seasons in business: 20

Vibrant market
locations: 6

Shoppers in 2010: 700,000

Dollars spent at markets in 2010: 8 million

New vendors in 2011: 19

Days Portland Farmers Market operates a market in a year: 153

Full-time and part-time staff members: 8

Volunteers during the 2010 season: 100

Number Portland Farmers Market at PSU was ranked in list of top farmers market in the country by The Huffington Post and Travel + Leisure: 1

Number Portland Farmers Market at PSU was ranked in list of top farmers markets in the world by Delta SKY Magazine: 1

Vendors, including farms, nurseries, bakeries and specialty foods, at all six markets: 250+

Average number of visitors that shop the markets every week at the height of the season: 33,000

Dollars distributed to low-income residents through SNAP incentive programs in 2010: 26,000

Percentage of dollars (approximately) spent at Portland Farmers Markets that stay in the local economy: 90

Percentage of waste diverted to composting and recycling streams in 2010: 80

Dollars received annually from the city or any other public agency: 0

Pounds of food per month redistributed through Urban Gleaners to the hungry: 40,000

Hours of service donated on site by volunteers in 2010: 1600

Volunteer board members: 12

Supportive sponsors: 5

Average distance (in miles) traveled by farmers/vendors to the
market: 50

Day from farm to shopper: 1

Farms that have been selling produce at the market every year since it was founded: 9

Small businesses launched through a stall at the market: 40+

Cooking demonstrations by local chefs in 2010: 25

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Rios - Heidi Ho

Heidi-ho! Our First Market

Article and pictures by Diane Rios

Heidi Ho Organics is a Portland vegan food company founded by Heidi K. Lovig and run with Lyssa M. Story. This is their first year at the Portland Farmer’s Market and they bring with them a wealth of experience, passion and commitment to creating extremely tasty and healthful vegan cheeses or as Heidi-ho refers to them, cheezes.

For vegans there have been relatively few tasty options in the world of cheeze, but that has all changed with Heidi Ho’s amazing initial run of four delicious non-dairy cheezes: Feta, Monterey Jack, Chipotle Cheddar and Smoked Gouda. These amazing products pack a powerful flavor and creamy texture, easily rating as one of the best on the market!

They also represent founder Heidi Lovig’s mission to creating tasty, vegan, locally-sourced, sustainable foods. Lovig feels passionately about keeping both body and the local economy healthy. Having spent time learning about food in Hawaii, she became familiar with the creamy qualities of the macadamia nut. Keeping it local, she now uses the Oregon hazelnut as a base for her cheezes, providing a delicious alternative to soy.

“I began experimenting by replacing the popular cashew nut in alternative cheezes with the hazelnuts of Meridian Farms, one of the only organic hazelnut farms in Oregon. I use these hazelnuts in the majority of our products. We make about a dozen different varieties of cheezes from Bleu to Colby to Ricotta; we make an assortment of products that can replace any dairy cheese in recipes and it is the more health and earth conscious choice.” Lovig says that in addition to launching these first four cheezes, Heidi Ho is busy developing new nut-based creamy sauces and dips.

We can’t wait!

Look Gromit, Cheese, Vegan Cheese

Do yourself, our local economy, and the earth a favor and check out the new Heidi Ho Organics booth on the west side of the PSU Farmer’s Market, or look for their products at Food Fight, a vegan grocer at 13th and SE Stark st., or go to their website at heidi ho organics.

Diane Rios is fluent in French, an artist, a vegan food enthusiast, writer-blogger and on rare occasions bass playing rocker. Originally from Eugene, Diane now resides in SE Portland with daughter, hubby and dog. You can follow her work and passions at LIBERTE, EGALITE, FRATERNITE!

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Winning Winter’s Lottery

Opening Day of Portland Farmers Market- March 2011

We did it.
You and me, and all the other folks in Portland that thought we would perish from too much acorn squash and rain, survived.

We made it to opening day.

The first market of the season was a happy, chaotic mix of farmers, artisans, and patrons all buzzing about in home-grown food bliss, you could feel the positivity from blocks away.

This year’s opening day was a special one. Dave, from Dave’s Killer Bread, rang in the market at 8:30 not only as a vendor, but for the first time, as a market sponsor. Trudy Toliver, PFM’s new Executive Director, was walking around the market nearly all morning greeting customers and taking in Portland’s food scene. Even the sun decided to make an appearance.

I was in the information booth most of the morning with a goofy smile on my face answering questions, and giggling with friends I haven’t seen for a long, wet winter. It was like coming back to a family reunion, sharing plans for future gardens, and laughing about how dog-gone good Two Tarts’ flourless chocolate cookies are.

So good.

We have new vendors popping up all over the market with everything from fresh apple pie, to spicy, small-batch kimchi. Spring greens are on their way, and if we’re lucky, we should see fresh rhubarb by mid-April.

Rhubarb means we really made it.

If you didn’t get a chance to visit us on Saturday, you’ll have plenty more opportunities this year, but be prepared:  You may be surprised by the pure, unadulterated Portland cheer that seems to permeate the downtown air.

Come ready, and if you’re feeling glum before you go, remember: it only gets better from here.

Nicolette Smith

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Things We Do Well in Portland

We eat well, we live in Foodlandia.

We dress sensibly, arguably too sensibly (especially with the shoes).

We prefer local. A new poll this week finds Pacific NW residents love their local foods. When asked about issues of freshness, environmental concerns and quality – 3 of 4 respondents say local foods are superior to foods grown elsewhere.

We love our Farmers Markets. Last year, 700,000 people shopped at our Markets. And that is just the six that our organization runs, there are over 40 farmers markets in the Portland area.

And we love our kale. This is a “fact” in the sense it is an opinion, but nevertheless is mostly valid. In case your wondering what actually grows in this weather…there are indoor starts, hot houses and warm frames help & protect the fruit and veg along early in the season, but rest assured for tomorrow, like the title of a Coen Brothers movie, There Will be Kale. Hearty, hearty kale.

And there will be good things that have been cellared over the winter. Plus cheese does really well in the early spring as well. Then there are a half-dozen new vendors who will be at their first market tomorrow. So for those brave souls who get up tomorrow morning there will be plenty of good local things to eat.

Like a groundhog on a cloudy day, not seeing your shadow at the first Market is actually good, it means spring-like weather is just around the corner.

Even with the cherry blossoms starting to bloom, there is still a need for color; Laurel Valley Farm can pretty-up the most desolate interior with early season daffodils. If you don’t like flowers (or kale) and were too busy watching basketball to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Thursday, it isn’t too late to get your Irish on: Lovejoy foods is serving Irish stew made with SuDan lamb and local porter. Lillian Soderman opens our musical season at 9am followed by Dan Lange and his magical guitar at 11. The guitar itself probably isn’t all that magical, but the way Dan plays it is.

The last thing we do well – is get out in the cold and wet. Much to the amusement of anyone who has lived at least 100 yards east of the Cascades, our beloved city may shut down because of a ½ inch of snow, but the one thing we truly excel at is getting stuff done when it is wet and in the 40s. Not that it will be like that when Dave Dahl of Dave’s Killer Bread – once a vendor, now a Market sponsor – rings the bell at 8:30 to kickoff the 20th season of the Market, but just in case it is, we are going to dress sensibly, get out in the rain and shop for our preferred local foods.


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As you may have heard, we’re turning 20 years old this June. (Luckily, we don’t look a day older than 14.) Portland area farmers’ market goers can also celebrate other market milestones: Hollywood Farmers Market is turning 15 and Hillsdale Farmers Market turns 10. 

To honor this momentous occasion, our dear season sponsor COUNTRY Financial is hosting the inaugural Reusable Bag Design Contest.

We invite Portland-area high school students to get out their markers, sharpen their pencils and let their imaginations wander. The theme of this year’s contest is: Grow, Nourish, Inspire. Students are encouraged to include imagery inspired by farming, cityscapes, Portland landmarks and market products such as locally-grown fruits, vegetables and flowers.

The winning design will be unveiled at Portland Farmers Market’s 20th Anniversary celebration held at the Saturday PSU Market on June 18. The student who submits the winning design will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Two runners-up will each receive a $500 scholarship. The winning student’s design will be featured on thousands of reusable shopping bags that will be distributed at Portland Farmers Market events throughout the city this season.

COUNTRY and Portland Farmers Market invites all Portland Public Schools high school students to visit www.CountryFarmersMarkets.com for more information and to download an entry form. Deadline for submissions is March 31, 2011.

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In June 1992, Craig Mosbaek, Ted Snider and Richard Hagan organized the first Portland Farmers Market in a parking lot along the Willamette River at Albers Mill. That first market had 13 vendors on opening day and later grew to 22 that first year.

From these humble beginnings, Portland Farmers Market has blossomed into a thriving network of six weekly markets, including the flagship Saturday market at Portland State University. In 2010, more than 700,000 shoppers purchased farm-fresh produce, baked goods, meats, cheeses, seafood and other specialty foods from more than 250 vendors at these six markets generating almost $8 million in sales, with the majority of that revenue going directly to vendors.

Mark your calendars! To celebrate the 20 laps around the sun since that first market, we will be throwing the community a big birthday party on June 18, 2011. You are invited to join the market’s staff, board members and founders to celebrate this special occasion with birthday treats, music, a dunk tank and other festive events.

We’ll toast the original 22 of the more than 180 vendors that take part in the Saturday PSU Market who have been selling their products since that very first season.

  • Baird Family Orchards
  • Early Mom

    Petunia's Pie and Pastries

    Happy 20th Birthday PFM! Photo courtesy of Petunia's Pie and Pastries

  • Favorite Produce of Oregon
  • Gabriel’s Bakery
  • Gathering Together Farm
  • Hummingbird’s Flowers Farm
  • Kaleng Produce
  • Kenyon Growers
  • Liepold Farms
  • Lucky Farms
  • Market Fruit/Packer Orchards
  • Oregon Walnuts
  • Osmogaia
  • Persephone Farms
  • Philleo Farms
  • Rick Steffen Farm
  • Rogue Creamery
  • Salmon Creek
  • Spring Hill Farm
  • Springwater Farm
  • Thompson Farms
  • Viridian Farms

“When we began this market twenty years ago we knew we were starting something special. It has been thrilling to see the market absolutely blossom and become such an integral part of Portland life,” said Craig Mosbaek, founding president of Portland Farmers Market. “The birthday party this June will be a fun and important celebration of Portland Farmers Market, the friendly shoppers, and – most importantly – the hard-working farmers and other vendors who bring local their local bounty to the heart of the city each week.”

He added, “Over the years, local famers have worked hard to harvest their produce earlier and earlier. I’m thrilled to see the market opening in March. It is amazing that we can celebrate Oregon’s bounty pretty much year round now at the market.”


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“We would like a chance to accurately represent kimchi for those individuals who may not have a Korean mother around”. It is almost like Matt Choi understands my dilemma. Matt is the business half of Choi’s Kimchi, which is not only a new business at the Portland Farmer’s Market, but a brand new start up altogether. Despite the rush to get ready for their first Market, Matt was kind enough to take a time out from all the excitement to talk about his family’s new enterprise and help explain the importance of kimchi at the Korean table.

The Chois were unsatisfied with mass-produced varieties kimchi and decided to do something about it. Drawing from Chong Choi’s 56 years of kimchi making, the family began their own line of fermented vegetables. Matt elaborates, “These recipes have been handed down from generation to generation. With each generation there has been a little something different added to each recipe to make it the special type of kimchi it is today…Kimchi is something that my mom grew up around and had helped make all her life, and it is something very dear and special to her.”

Mmmm Kimchi

For most of us, kimchi appears on our plate when we indulge in Korean food. In Korea, kimchi is the staff of life; according to the Korean Food Research Institute (really) it is prepared in 187 varieties, as a food it accounts for over 10% of daily calories (over 40lbs per person annually). Despite this nearly Olympian intake, in Korea, kimchi is still largely handmade, at home, by the aforementioned mother or in neighborhood get-togethers of women, called kimjang/gimjang. As Matt explains, “The process of kimchi making was an ancient practice where all the neighborhood ladies would gather and make kimchi together, which lends itself well to high-quality kimchi making in the present. [We] honor that tradition when we make our kimchi.”

Although Choi’s Kimchi is new to Portland, their products fit right in with the Portlandia ethos. Matt even likens the small batch approach his family employs to brewing craft beer. Fresh ingredients are the cornerstone of their product line. Sourcing locally (from Cereghino Farms) not only matches the philosophy of Portland Farmers Market, but it also matches the Choi’s thinking about quality. Matt understands why Choi’s Kimchi relies on local foods, elaborating, “[We] believe in using the freshest and finest quality ingredients available, which can only be produced by local farmers”

Choi’s Kimchi is one of the nearly dozen new businesses that will be found at Portland Farmers Market in 2011. You can meet Matt and Chong and better yet pick up some of their kimchi when the Market opens at PSU, Saturday March 19th.

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