Archive for September, 2013

Mushroom Weather

DSC_0176When mushrooms emerge from the soil, the action is called ‘fruiting’. This, after the taste and flavor, could be my favorite thing about mushrooms.

Chanterelles, Shiitakes, matsutake, lobster, maitake, Chicken of the woods and maybe some truffles. Mushrooms have a natural affinity with roasted meats and braises like pot roast. True fact: happiness is often found in a bowl of noodles and mushrooms. My go to – linguine, cream, chanterelles and fresh herbs, but shiitakes with wide rice noodles, broccoli and soy sauce has been known to satisfy well beyond hunger. Temptress Truffles, Prairie Creek Farm, Kaleng, InTown Ag, Springwater, GroundWork and Nomadic Meal will be at our markets this weekend. Pasta Del Sol is at PSU on Saturday.

On Saturday, Scott Ketterman of Crown Paella Catering will be cooking at the final Chef in the Market of 2013. Scott will be found in the middle of the PSU market at 10 am – We’re all very hopeful he will cooking be his signature dish in one of those manically sized pans. I’ve never had paella with mushrooms but wild mushrooms are so very satisfying in paella’s Italian counterpart, risotto. DSC_0151

SNAP match is now $7 at the final Kenton market and all the King Markets – King goes until the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

Although summer ended rather abruptly; perhaps rudely, all the fruits and veg from warmer days are available at all our markets side by side with the squash, Brussels sprouts, potatoes and mushrooms that you expect to see when you don the wool; possibly fleece.

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All Things Being Equinox

imageThis weekend’s confluence of apples, drizzle and an equinox means it’s time to say goodbye to summer. While this is sad for many, not for all; autumn is my favorite season. I like the cooler temps a.k.a; carbonara weather. There’s wool, pears, the World Series, pie; pumpkin pie – the only socially acceptable breakfast pie, roasted foods, and people don’t judge you when you say you are going to stay in on a Friday night and read, like they do in the summer. Fall is awesome and it begins officially on Sunday, but celebrate early.

Apples are a good way to celebrate. Old World Apples are back for their annual visit. Kiyokawa has apples, pears and generations worth of knowledge. Visit their booth and talk about their feature in 1859, Oregon’s History Magazine. And speaking of books, reading, low key weeknights and apples, if you haven’t read current Portlander and Pacific NW native, Amanda Coplin’s The Orchardist, you should. And thinking of pie, don’t be all monogamist with your ingredients – many apples create a tastier blend than just the Granny Smith’s.image

Another cool aspect in the changing of the seasons is the way summer fruit and veg blur into fall’s harvest: Everything is in season right now. Tomatoes, (Looking for more than salsa in sauce? Culinary instructors – Amelia Hard & Allison Bader will make tomato sorbet at Chef in the Market at PSU). This week growers brought lemongrass and ginger. Look for chilies, herbs, wild rice, squash, cukes, nuts, potatoes. And mushrooms. It’s all here.

REMINDER: There are over 40+ Farmers Markets in the metro area. PFM runs eight of those and they’re all a little different, including hours and season. The end of September means the end of the season at NW, Kenton, Pioneer Courthouse Square. Wednesday’s Shemanski runs through October, King through Thanksgiving and PSU until Christmas.

Thanks to the dedicated work of Farmers Market Fund and generous support of sponsors and donations, the SNAP match at King, Buckman, Kenton and NW will be $7 through the end the season.

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Hunger Action Month

HAM_Logo_SpecsSeptember is Hunger Action Month and our friends at Oregon Food Bank have joined forces with over 200 food banks across the nation to encourage people to take action in the fight against hunger.  Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that 49 million Americans live in households that struggle to put enough food on their tables.  In Oregon alone, one in five people receive food assistance.

“Hunger Action Month is a growing movement in our nation,” said Susannah Morgan, Oregon Food Bank’s CEO. “It’s a powerful way to showcase the critical work that food banks across the country are doing to help our neighbors in need. And it’s a good reminder that ordinary people can make an extraordinary difference by becoming involved with their communities to raise awareness and take action.”

Wondering what you can do to make a difference?  Check out the Oregon Food Bank’s list of 30 Ways in 30 Days for inspiration.  We asked Ginny Sorensen, the Education Programs Manager at Oregon Food Bank, what her favorite picks from the list are for those looking to get involved.  Here’s her Top Five:

1. Contact Congress about the 2012 Farm BillAsk your representative to support – not  cut – funds in the Farm Bill for federal nutrition programs. The farm bill is a major piece of legislation that governs federal farm and food policy. The bill includes provisions with far-reaching impacts on our country’s agriculture, food system, conservation efforts, trade policy, and rural development. The farm bill also includes two of the most important federal nutrition programs: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).  Sign up for Action Alerts to stay current on Farm Bill legislation.

2. Visit or volunteer at an OFB Network partner agency.  Volunteering at one of Oregon Food Bank’s partner agencies gives you an opportunity to make a direct impact, close to home. Whether you help stock shelves, prepare emergency food boxes or help with office or maintenance work, many local agencies can benefit from your donation of time and service. Learn more.

3. Donate produce through the Plant a Row program.  Donate extra produce from your gardens to your local food distribution organizations.  Learn more.

4. Volunteer in OFB’s Learning Gardens.  These Learning Gardens in Northeast Portland and Beaverton offer a great opportunity to address the root causes of hunger. Those in need of food assistance are welcome to share in the harvest.  Learn more and sign up.

5. Learn about the statewide network. Did you know that Oregon Food Bank distributes food to 20 regional food banks across Oregon? Learn about the statewide network of regional food banks and consider paying a visit or making a donation to a network regional food bank.

Here at Portland Farmers Market, we would also encourage you to consider donating to our sister nonprofit, Farmers Market Fund, which administers Fresh Exchange, the money matching program for SNAP participants available at several of our markets.

In fact, for the remainder of the month of September, Farmers Market Fund will increase the Fresh Exchange matching amount from $5 to $7 at our King, Buckman, Northwest and Kenton Markets (plus offer the increased match at King through the market’s close on November 24th).  Please help get fresh nutritious food to families in need by spreading the word to SNAP users who may not be aware of the matching program!

You can also help spread the word about Oregon Food Bank and Hunger Action Month.  Learn more at the Oregon Food Bank website and join their online community by liking them on Facebook, or following them on Twitter.

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How Do You Like Them Apples

From Wendy Downing

“On a dry, clear day in the Hood River Valley, Randy Kiyokawa steps from his blue Subaru to the fresh soil of his newest orchard. In the sky just above the cap on Kiyokawa’s head, Mt. Hood looks close enough to climb. The youthful-looking fifty-one-year-old orchardist could be mistaken for a hiker. Instead, he has arrived to oversee the planting of 4,000 seedlings at the timberline of one of the highest orchards in the valley at 2,200 feet. It was sure to lure bears and elk, but, aided by the warmth of the nearby Cloverdale lava beds, it would likely produce late-season fruit. This was not the first time this third-generation grower had defied tradition.”

Intrigued? That quote is from the September/October edition of 1859, Oregon’s history magazine. Inside you will find a feature of Randy Kiyokawa & the Kiyokawa Way written by Lynne Curry and featuring photos by Amanda Conde.

Kiyokawa Family Orchards has been growing the finest imageproduce available since 1911. The fertile soils found at the base of Mt. Hood and rarified, glacier-fed water sources create a unique growing environment allowing us to offer over 80 distinct varieties of apples, pears, and Asian pears. We take pride in promoting local and sustainably grown produce and utilize a farm management system that incorporates best management practices.

You can pick up copies of this article and try out our delicious varieties of apple and pear at the following PFM markets: Pioneer Courthouse Square on Monday, Northwest on Thursday, Kenton on Friday, PSU on Saturday, and King on Sunday.

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DSC_0231DIYers and the DIY-curious take note: The second annual Urban Homesteading Fair will take place at the King Farmers Market on Sunday, September 15th from 10am-2pm.  Whether you are a new or seasoned cook, gardener, crafter, maker, grower or homesteader, there will be something for everyone to learn and enjoy.

Here’s the stellar lineup of partners that will be on hand to share their expert advice:

  • DSC_0251Slow Food Portland discussing Slow Food movement of good, clean and fair food and bringing a display of books for perusal.
  • Portland Fruit Tree Project providing information about tree registration, tree care and food preservation workshops, and harvesting events.
  • Master Gardeners with expert advice about gardening in the Pacific NW.
  • A self-service food preservation station with books, recipes, how-to guides and example equipment will be on display.
  • Pulp & Deckle papermakers from St. Johns conducting papermaking demonstrations and offering information about workshops for furthering the craft.
  • Seed & Thistle apothecary CSA talking all things herbal medicine.
  • DSC_0252Energy Trust of Oregon educating homeowners on how to use less energy, save on energy costs and move to renewable resources.
  • Knitting 101 teaching the basics of knitting, including basic terminology and different types of stitches. Shoppers will have the opportunity to make their own swatch. Patterns for adult and children’s hats will be available for shoppers to take home.
  • Beekeepers from Portland Urban Beekeepers talking about honey bee culture, bee cycles, what flowers are best for honey bees, and how important honey bees are in pollinating crops.
  • Kombucha 101 with ANAO’s “Kambucha Queen” providing information, samples and demonstrations about how to make kombucha. Private instruction also available.
  • METRO DIY home care provides recipes for non-toxic house cleaners to make at home and resources for reducing toxics around the house.

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An Hour at the Northwest Farmers Market

By Peter D’Auria

Peter is a PFM volunteer who is having fun discovering (and devouring) Portland, one farmers market at a time.

DSCN0704The NW farmers market, at (NW) Everett and 19th, is rather petite, taking up a parking lot right across from Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.

The minimalism of the market belied the quality of the music. A father and son duo was playing instrumental songs with impressive finesse. They swapped instruments, pulled more instruments out of nowhere, took turns playing solo. It was all a beautiful blur of guitar, mandolin, guitar, flute, and possibly more? I was mesmerized.

DSCN0698When they took a break I was finally able to tear myself away and go see the market. The whole parking lot smelled of basil. There was a rainbow of different potato varieties lined up in bins, berries lined up in cartons, cases of pastries. I tasted some excellent molé from Marshall’s Haute Sauce. It had a dizzying list of ingredients, from chocolate to squash. “It’s a limited edition sauce,” I was told, “made only from ingredients found at the market.” It was like eating the whole market, blended and spread on a chip.

DSCN0706Next to me a discussion was taking place. “Wellingtons are sweeter,” the guy behind the stall said to a customer, “and the Surveyors are a bit tarter.” Wellingtons? Surveyors? It sounded like they were comparing the tastes of two different kinds of boot. But upon investigating I learned that they were in fact two different kinds of blackberries, and that the Wellingtons were in fact much sweeter and the Surveyors much tarter. Up to this point I was unaware that there even were distinct species of blackberry.

The learning experience was not over. When I visited Russell’s Bread, one of the displayed samples was labeled as a “Peach Blueberry Buckle”. All these foods whose names sounded like things you wear!

DSCN0705“What’s a buckle?” I asked.

“There’s so much fruit in it, it buckles,” the lady explained. “You have to bake it upside down.”

As I tasted the buckle, which was sweet and crumbly, a strange combination of conversations was occurring behind me.

“—No, really, the rest area on I-5—”

“—a redhead convention in Pioneer Courthouse Square—“

“—it’s fantastic, it’ll change your life—”

“—trying to break the Guinness World Record—”

“—now I regularly stop there—”

I tore myself away and went to buy a snack—a flourless chocolate cloud cake from Serious Business Pastries. I appreciated the name. Pastries are, as far as I am concerned, serious business. The chocolate cloud cake tasted indeed as I would imagine a cloud, if clouds were made of evaporated chocolate. I pocketed a couple of their free dog biscuits for my dog.

The father and son duo resumed playing and their strumming filled the market. Sometimes the market sounds just as good as it tastes.

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Feast On This (W/ A Chance for Tickets)

Feast is returning for a second celebration of local cuisine for four days between September 19-22 in Portland. And just like the bounty of the Pacific NW, Feast is too big to be contained in one spot – the events will move about. Most events are downtown, but Feasters will move freely through Portland’s parks, restaurants and public spaces. You can learn more about the events and locations by visiting the Feast page.

Photos from Feast

Photos from Feast

The Feast masterminds understand there are different ways to enjoy food. Along with dinner and lunch events, the Feast schedule includes the chance to learn to cook from the pros at Feast classes. Tasting panels offer a chance to get up close with new flavors and learn from experts about how and why things taste the way they do. Considering I have a soft spot for classic rock puns that equals my weakness for a good cocktail, the tasting entitled Aged and Confused will not be missed. There is a lecture series offering expert speakers on subject as food-centric as on how to start a meaningful food business, hunger, GMO Labeling (Washington residents here is your chance to be star of the BBQ by offering up facts rather than opinions) and why Portland matters (culinarily). View all the lectures here.

Feast isn’t bound to one aspect of the area’s food scene, but at the Market we are especially partial to the people who grow food and sell directly to food lovers at our Markets. Fortunately you will see many familiar faces at the Feast celebration including, Hot Lips Sodas, Olympic Provisions, Jacobsen Salt and if you attend one of the brunch or dinners, you will be laying your teeth into farm fresh fruit and veg grown in part by the 250 farmers, ranchers and vendors who make PFM special.

Events like the Sandwich Showdown in Director Park or the the final and decisive, legally binding Beer v. Wine proceeding are just two of the events scheduled over the four days. For a chance to taste everything at once, Friday, 20th at Pioneer Courthouse Square will be taken over by 100 or so of Portland’s best foodists for the Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting. Thanks to Feast we have two tickets and all you have to do is tell us what your favorite local food to feast on. Post your entry on Twitter and be sure to use the @portlandfarmers and @feastpdx handles so we know it’s there. Winner we be chosen somewhat randomly Wednesday the 18th at 7pm. You can score style points by adding a picture of food of a selfie at the Market or by using your words well.

If you don’t want to take a chance on the capriciousness of the judge, you can find tickets and events here. Eat well, learn and enjoy the bounty that is Oregon.


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