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Archive for June, 2013

Get It While It’s Hot

by Kelly Merrick

Summer is officially here and that means things are in full swing at the markets. Not only can you pick up some local goodies perfect for your Fourth of July party, but you can also take advantage of some great activities going on at the markets.

Great Pyramid of BeansPortland State University

At the PSU market, Chef in the Market is underway and this week Portland Monthly, sponsor of Chef in the Market, will be passing out free copies of the magazine near the chef’s stage while Chef Hank Costello of Andina does his demo, starting at 10 am.

Kids Cook classes are also being held at PSU Saturdays in June, July and August.  The classes run from 8:30 – 10:00am and cost $5 per child per class. This week participating kiddos will be making savory crepes with fresh produce from the market. Class sizes are limited so pre-register your child by downloading the Kids Cook Registration form  or by calling 503.241.0032.

Jacobsen Salt Co., one of the market’s newest vendors, will be at the PSU market this weekend giving market-goers a sample of their wildly popular, locally harvested sea salt. Word has it that Ruby Jewel is even making a special ice cream sandwich featuring their vanilla bean salt just for the market!

Jacobs Creamery has cheese curds to market this week! Lisa is calling them Nuggets tho because it’s way more fun this way. Also there will be delicious wheels of Bloomy, a Camembert-ish style of cheese  fantastic on it’s own; better with thinly sliced with spinach and strawberries with balsamic or with tomatoes and basil!

As if that’s not already enough, Swan Island Dahlias debuts with–you guessed it–lovely dahlias and  Lavender Haven will be making an appearance this weekend with fresh lavender, so stop by, say hi, and pick up a little something from their selection of fresh lavender, lavender products and oils.

DSC_0306King Market

Market Play Zone activities for kids of all ages are offered every week at the King Portland Farmers Market on Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm through September. The activity schedule includes mini music workshops, make your own Mr. Potato Head, food-themed art projects, drop-in cooking activities, fruit and veggie bingo, and recess-style games to help entertain them while you shop.

Pioneer Courthouse Square

If you haven’t heard of Go Box, now is the time to familiarize yourself. Go Box is a service that provides reusable take-out containers at over 75 food carts and other downtown eateries and  is celebrating their second anniversary at our PCS Market on Monday. To honor their  customers and thank community partners for all their support, they’re offering free lunch vouchers to the first 100 GO Box subscribers to come down to the Farmers Market.

There’s one more thing you should keep in mind when planning your market trip this weekend: you’ll want to stock up on party foods for the the upcoming holiday, as Wednesday’s Shemanski Park market and Thursday’s Buckman and Northwest markets will be closed. However, it’s business as usual at Kenton once Friday the 5th rolls around.

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Salt: It’s Elemental

Salt. It amplifies everything it graces and is truly the ultimate building block of flavor. That’s why we are thrilled to announce that Jacobsen Salt Co. will be joining our PSU Market once a month. Their flaky crystals of pure sea salt are hand-harvested right from the coastal waters of Netarts Bay–as local as it gets!  Learn more below and do stop by their market booth the last Saturday of each month to sample some straight-from-the-sea salty goodness. You will taste the difference.

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By Sana Goldberg, Jacobsen Salt Co.

We have been counting down the days until our first official appearance at the Portland Famer’s Market. After building display cases from a salvaged fence, special ordering freshly baked baguettes for samples, and breaking in our crisp white tent, we are ready to bring Jacobsen salt to the people!

Over the years, we have watched the many ways the Portland Farmer’s Market has brought our community together—elevating the culinary scene, impacting restaurant and home kitchen sourcing, and changing the way we think about food. We couldn’t be happier or prouder to be joining the efforts this Saturday, surrounded by many of the finest artisans and producers in the Northwest.

A quick loop around the market on Saturday mornings is all a shopper needs to see the bounty of Oregon. Concentrated within the quad of the PSU campus are baskets of shining bell peppers, slender garlic whips, peonies of all colors, and lavender-infused honey. There are exotic mushrooms foraged in the early hours of the morning, the butcher’s secreto, eggs with deep orange yolks, and, if you get there in time, the most fragrant Seascape strawberries of the season. In case you can’t already tell, we love food, and know what a difference it makes in taste and quality to eat locally and with the seasons.

Four years ago, amidst this blossoming Portland food scene, Ben Jacobsen set out to procure the one ingredient that was missing from our local larder: salt. Humans have harvested salt nearly as long as we’ve walked the earth. Made from water, fire, and time, it is perhaps the most elemental ingredient that we encounter. There is nothing more primal or simple, and Ben had a hunch it could be done in his own backyard. Well, Oregon’s backyard anyways.

benjacobsenAfter retracing the path of Lewis and Clark, toting home ocean water to make batches of salt on his kitchen stove, Ben settled in on the perfect source: the cold waters of Netarts Bay. Finding the right ocean source is akin to a winemaker finding the best grapes. The next move? Hauling tens of thousands of pounds of water over the pass from Netarts to Portland for harvesting. A true feat in logistics, Ben rented a moving truck and borrowed 275-gallon wine totes from a friend. With up to six of these totes, the truck kept getting larger and larger. At that point, we knew we needed a facility on the coast, and finally settled into an old oyster farm on the bay in December 2012, with build out just recently completed. This new salt facility, the first of its kind in the country, is putting us on the path to rekindle an industry and bring jobs to coastal communities like Tillamook and Netarts while creating the best hand-harvested sea salt around.

In the meantime, chefs and home cooks alike have begun to pay attention. Like Ben learned years ago while living in Scandinavia, a good flake salt is a game changer when it comes to food. Whether used to garnish eggs and toast at home in the morning or to finish one of April Bloomfield’s creations at The Breslin in New York City, a delicate, pure sea salt elevates dishes to the next level. And we believe it’s about time America had a salt to call its own!

jacobsenhatWe’ll be celebrating the company’s 2nd birthday in early August, and we couldn’t be more excited about the collaborations underway this summer and fall. Meanwhile, you can see our salt in action around the city: topping brownies at Little T American Baker, cupcakes at Saint Cupcake and Kouign Amann at Saint Honore, sprinkled over Apizza Scholls’ wait-worthy pies, finishing seasonal dishes at Ned Ludd, Ox, Clyde Common, and Departure, topping fries at Lardo and salt & pepper bagels at Speilman, and shining in Salt & Straw’s incredible ice cream creations.

For chefs both known and unknown who visit the market, we recommend using our salt to highlight the flavors of the season. Sprinkle it over one of Groundwork Organic’s thickly sliced heirloom tomatoes or Spring Hill’s gorgeous English cucumbers. Try our pinot noir salt on grilled veggies, fresh salads, or a perfectly marbled chop from Pono Farms. The newest addition to our infused flavors is the Regalis White Truffle in which the salt crystals are formed with Italian white truffle water–a beautiful medium for this sought-after flavor. Lastly, our vanilla bean salt is best tossed on chocolate chip cookies, and sparkles on fresh Maryhill peaches–Ruby Jewel is even making a special ice cream sandwich featuring our vanilla bean salt just for the market!

To find out our very favorite way to use Jacobsen salt, you’ll have to come visit our stand on Saturday. See you there!

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Doing Away with Throw Away

Do you know about GO Box?  If not, you should! Go Box is the brainchild of Laura Weiss.  It’s an innovative service providing reusable take-out containers at over 75 food carts and other downtown eateries that has eliminated the use of more than 25,000 disposable take out containers in the two years since its inception. Amazing!

On July 1st, Go Box will be marking its second anniversary with a celebration at our Monday Pioneer Courthouse Square Market.  Come on down, meet Laura and learn more about this wonderful service.  Additional information below.

“To honor our amazing customers for their commitment to sustainable practices and thank our community partners for all their support, we’re offering free lunch vouchers to the first 100 GO Box subscribers to come down to the Farmers Market to celebrate with us,” explained Laura Weiss, GO Box founder and owner.

It's easy. Use your token at participating businesses.

It’s easy. (1) Use your token at participating businesses.

Since launching in July 2011, GO Box customers have eliminated the use of more than 25,000 disposable take out containers in downtown Portland.  The 8,000 in the first year more than doubled in the second year, replacing 17,000 in year two.  Weiss estimates that the food carts in downtown Portland use roughly 60,000 disposable containers every month, so there is still plenty of opportunity for growth.

Weiss created GO Box to reduce waste.  “Before GO Box, you’d get your meal in a disposable container, eat

(2) Receive your meal in a reusable Go Box container.

(2) Receive your meal in a reusable Go Box container.

your lunch, and 20 minutes later the container was in the trash. That always bothered me,” says Weiss, “and it sort of went against the green ethos of the culture here in Portland.”

Customers can subscribe to GO Box at any of the 75 participating food vendors.  For $18 per year, a customer can use GO Box as many times as they like.  When they return their used container at a GO Box drop site, they receive a GO Box token, which they keep until ready for their next waste-free meal.

Drop your used container at the nearest drop site and receive a token for your next use.

(3) Drop your used container at the nearest drop site and receive a token for your next use.

GO Box picks up the containers, has them washed in a commercial kitchen and returns them clean to the vendors.  In keeping with its green mission, all pickup and delivery is done by bicycle.

More than 1500 people have already discovered GO Box, and over 75 vendors – a dozen of which are bricks and mortar eateries – now offer GO Box, and more are being added each month.  Customers can find an up-to-date list of GO Box vendors  and drop sites information about corporate programs and more at www.goboxpdx.com.

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The 6 & 2 of Fermented Foods

6 Reasons You Should Eat Fermented Foods and 2 Reasons You Should Make Your Own

by Debra Meadow, Certified Nutritional Therapist,

Blue Raven Wellness • 503.956.9600 • Contact for a 1-hour health complimentary consultationRed_kraut_and_scale

Fermented foods, like live pickles and sauerkraut, have been part of human diets the world over for thousands of years: live sauerkraut in Germany, half-sour pickles in Eastern Europe, yogurt in the Middle East, miso in Japan, kim chi in Korea.  Here’s why these foods should be a regular part of your diet:

  • Fermented foods power up your digestion.  The good bacteria in fermented foods do some of the work for you by “predigesting” the food.  That’s less work for your gut.  When you digest better, you absorb more nutrients.
  • Fermented foods are the original probiotic.  For millennia, the only probiotic supplement people took was in the form of pickles, sauerkraut, miso, sourdough, cultured beverages, and more.  Probiotics, or good bacteria, help keep the bad bacteria in check.  An overabundance of the bad guys has been linked to allergies and food sensitivities, asthma, autoimmune conditions, irritable bowel syndrome, autism, depression and anxiety and so many more.
  • Fermented foods are raw foods.  Because they haven’t been exposed to heat (if they are not heat processed) fermented foods still contain their full complement of enzymes.  Getting more enzymes (in food or supplements) has been linked to longevity.
  • Fermented foods have more vitamins than the same food in its unfermented state.  It’s value added!  The beneficial bacteria in fermented foods actually manufacture vitamins for you, and they’re very bio-available, which is not always the case with synthetic vitamins.
  • Fermented foods keep for a long time.  Early people didn’t know any of the above, they just wanted their fresh food to Pickled_sugar_snapslast longer and fermentation was a way to make that happen.  Did your neighbor drop his bumper crop of zucchini on your porch and run?  Are your green bean vines out of control?  Not sure what to do with all the food in your CSA box before it goes bad?  Keep vegetables for months, or longer, by fermenting them.
  • Fermented food has more flavor.  A little dab’ll do ya, because the flavors of fermented foods are so exciting.  Fermented foods are often used as condiments or additions to dishes to take the flavor, and nutrition, over the top.

Thankfully, a few market vendors make and sell live, fermented vegetables.  Choi’s Kim Chi must be sampled to be believed.  Every variety is tastier than the next.  OlyKraut makes traditional and creative seasonal sauerkrauts and pickles.  Indulge in the Curry Gourmet Sauerkraut when it’s available.  Cascade Naturals offers their own version of sauerkraut in addition to traditional Japanese fermented foods, like miso, shoyu and tempeh.

Are you hooked?  Here’s why you should learn to make your own fermented foods:

  • Fermented food can be very inexpensive.  Use what’s in season and reasonably priced, or what’s in your garden.  No special equipment is necessary and no cooking, so you don’t need to heat up your kitchen.Ginger carrots
  • Making fermented foods is creative.  Use your imagination, your tastebuds and what’s in your pantry and larder to create unique blends.

If you’d like to learn how, join me for a class: How to Make Fermented Vegetables on June 30, 2-4 p.m., at Glow Healthcare, 2332 NW Irving St.  I promise fun, facts and food!

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Organic Gardening

For the fourth year in a row, Organic Gardening (Magazine, Website, & Omnimedia) will set up shop at the PSU Market. The event is this Saturday.  Major swag, especially if your definition of swag is gardening information, herb planting stations, gift bags, free magazines along with free samples and how to demos from Kathryn Yeomans as she cooks her way through market fresh items throughout the day.

2013061695122127Also this week, berries. Strawberries, Tayberries, raspberries both red and golden. Blackberries. Almost near Boysenberry time. And were getting close to the time when you’ll hear of blueberries and rumors of blueberries. Be careful of such prophecies, only believe what you see yourself – and you should see local blueberries over the weekend.

So think you could tell a Tayberry from a Boysenberry in the light of day? That’s not a taunt, a question, I’m not sure I could – even though a Tay has loganberry somewhere in it; possibly its genes. Well, Slow Food Portland will be at the King Market this Sunday, June 23, with a great ‘identifying fresh foods” project for kids and information about Slow Food activities for all ages. 10-2 at Wygant and NE 7th.

I overheard someone describe our Kenton Market as both quaint and cute this week. Even though it wasn’t said in the most positive way, I didn’t jump in the conversation to defend Kenton’s honor. Nor did I feel particularly cowardly about that, Kenton is decidedly not PSU, but that’s what’s great  about it. 20-ish vendors and growers located in the heart of a neighborhood that loves food, wine and drink. Come for the berries, stay for the ambiance.

Pioneer Courthouse Square had an awesome launch. Thanks to Jaret Foster for this photo from pre-market Monday: PCS  runs every Monday 10-2 until the end of September

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Working for the Weekend, Everyone is…

Growers Alliance is starting their season this week at PSU. As an organization, PFM loves all our growers and vendors equally

Mani from Bhutan tilling in SE Portland.

Mani from Bhutan tilling in SE Portland.

– they’re all awesome, hard working and on a mission to change the way our nation grows food; very commendable. Personally, I get to have favorites and this week it’s Growers Alliance. GA is part of the Grow Portland umbrella, a community-based Small Business working to bridge the gap between agriculture and culture in the metro area. Grow Portland distributes seed packets, rents community garden plots and supports 10 refugee families from Burma and Bhutan in their efforts to grow and sell local, organic foods. This week the Alliance is bringing  broccoli, kale, lettuce, chard and other goodies – Saturday at PSU and Wednesday at Shemanski.

Week two of Kenton Market, it runs Fridays 3-7. Remember Kenton is both a neighborhood and a market. Restaurants, watering holes, and for me, a chance to pick up dog food at Fang & Feather and stop off at the liquor store. To clarify: this isn’t what I live on, I buy other stuff, it’s just nice that I don’t have to run separate errands for the dogs and bar.

Pioneer Courthouse Square launches on Monday. It’s amazing how much a Farmers Market looks like it belongs in the middle of downtown Portland. Fruit, leafy green things and a taste of urban sophistication. The market runs every Monday 10-2 until the end of September.

The opening of PCS means all our Markets are in operation (except the Winter Market.) King on Sundays, Shemanski Wednesday, Buckman and NW on Thursday, Kenton Friday and the mothership of PSU on Saturdays. This week is graduation weekend, way to go Portland Staters, the market is unaffected, come visit. Right now we’re buried in berries, cherries are trickling in, and we have the always seasonally appropriate lettuces. Remember you can; possibly should grill anything.

A big special thank you to PFM’s staff and especially Mona and Trudy who along with Deborah Pleva from Weinstein PR have been working tirelessly for six plus months to launch a campaign to promote all farmers markets in the Willamette Valley. Good work, you can read about their efforts here.

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Camera ready growers of good food, who’ll be at PSU, Shemanksi, King & Kenton

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Awareness Raising

From Deborah Pleva at Weinstein PR

Thanks to a $68,650 grant from the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and other sponsors, Portland Farmers Market is spearheading the launch of an $110,000 advertising campaign to increase consumer awareness and patronage of farmers markets in the Willamette Valley region.

Last spring, the Portland Farmers Market team applied for the funds through the ODA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, which is funded by USDA. (The USDA defines specialty crops as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops.) Portland Farmers Market staff has been working on the campaign since the fall of 2012, when the grant was Banner300x2502b_zpsfa06e81b-1awarded.

While farmers markets are a primary direct sales outlet for many farmers of edible crops, only a small part of the population buys vegetables, fruit, nuts and herbs at farmers markets. Beginning this week, advertisements on radio, billboards and online will share messages from actual farmers who grow and sell food crops at farmers markets in the Willamette Valley. The messages encourage new shoppers to visit farmers markets, enhance loyalty in regular shoppers and promote the health, environmental and economic benefits of consuming locally grown farm-fresh food. Ads direct new and existing farmers market shoppers to find their nearest farmers market at the campaign website, InLocalWeLove.com.

“We want everyone throughout the Willamette Valley to visit their local farmers market, meet the farmers who grow their food, and support the Oregon economy by buying locally from these farmers,” said Trudy Toliver, Executive Director of Portland Farmers Market, who recently was presented the Alumni Award for Sustainability by Portland State University’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions.

Oregon Agriculture Department Director Katy Coba added, “A vast majority of Oregon agriculture is based on specialty crops, and the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program helps our farmers succeed by increasing the demand for the crops they grow. We hope these funds help celebrate our farmers, boost the sale of specialty crops in the Willamette Valley, and potentially increase the servings of Oregon fruits and vegetables consumed by market shoppers. As demand increases, our farmers can reliably diversify and expand their specialty crop production, attend more and larger markets, and ultimately prosper.”

To educate consumers about the benefits of purchasing fresh local food directly from the growers, the radio spots, outdoor billboards and online ads feature the voices and faces of actual Oregon farmers as stars of the campaign. Featured farmers include Jamie Kitzrow of Spring Hill Organic Farm in Albany, Sarah Hucka of Circle h Farm in Dexter, Tom and Patreece DeNoble of DeNoble Farms in Tillamook, Charlie, Vicki and Chris Hertel of Sun Gold Farm in Forest Grove, and David Landis and Anita Azarenko of La Mancha Ranch & Orchard in Sweet Home.

Partners in the Campaign
ILWL840x400_SunGoldBOGS_zps8e69bbec-1Fifty-one farmers markets, farms and related organizations signed on to support Portland Farmers Market with the grant proposal to the ODA in the ad campaign. Additionally, the following farmers markets contributed funds to the campaign: Portland Farmers Market ($25,000), Beaverton Farmers Market ($5000), Hollywood Farmers Market ($2,500), Hillsdale Farmers’ Market ($2,500), Lane County Farmers Market ($1000), Hillsboro Tuesday Marketplace ($600), Corvallis-Albany Farmers’ Market ($500), Montavilla Farmers Market ($500), Oregon City Farmers Market ($500), and Woodstock Farmers Market ($500).

Corporate partners have played a vital role in supporting the campaign. RunSpotRun, the ad agency that was hired to manage the creative and ad buy, discounted its fees. Additionally, Portland-based Bogs Footwear pledged $10,000 to the effort and outfitted the featured farmers in the brand’s 100 percent waterproof boots made from natural, durable rubber.

“Bogs has a long-standing relationship with Oregon’s farmers as we began making our boots to withstand the demanding conditions on the farm over a decade ago,” said Bill Combs, president and founder of Bogs Footwear. “We are constantly inspired by the passion and dedication local farmers bring to their jobs 24/7, 365 days a year and are proud to support this campaign to benefit Oregon’s farmers.”

Toliver added, “We are so thankful to the family of farmers markets and corporate partners that contributed to this effort. We believe this campaign can have a lasting impact on the region. As more residents shop at farmers markets, our region’s specialty crop farmers will become even more successful, thereby preserving farmland, encouraging future generations of farmers, fostering community engagement and bringing increased health and vitality to our residents.”

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