Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Winter Marketing

Things you should know about the Winter Market this weekend:

1.You can find a lot more than kale, but the kale is pretty awesome too.

Could kale get any cuter?

Could kale get any cuter?

2. You’ll have to wait until next week to stock up on CHOP Butchery’s (possibly award winning) charcuterie.  Owner Eric Finley will be in San Francisco this weekend at the Good Food Awards, where his Chicken Liver Bourbon Mousse is a contender in the charcuterie category.  Congrats to Eric and the other PFM vendors nominated this year:  Briar Rose Creamery, Unbound Pickling and Olympic Provisions.

3. If you’re lucky, you could find these at Groundwork Organics:

That's right, strawberries. In January.

That’s right, strawberries. In January.

4. Old World Apples will be back this week with their fragrant heirloom orbs of goodness.  More apples and pears for eating, baking and juicing can be found at Packer Orchards and Kiyokawa Orchards.

5. Marven Winters and his vegetable-themed shirts will be starring at the Winters Farms booth, along with “free range” honey and the tiniest, tender baby Brussels sprouts you can imagine.

Marven, we thank you.

Marven, we thank you.

6. Soup.  Heidi at Souper Natural will have handmade soups to take home for the week and Chef Kathryn will be ladling up steaming bowls of mushroom-laden goodness at the Springwater Farm booth to enjoy hot at the market.

7. If it’s good enough for Noe, it’s good enough for you.

Chef Noe Garnica of Verde Cocina enjoys his own creation!

Chef Noe Garnica of Verde Cocina enjoys his own creation!

The Winter Market runs on Saturday from 10-2 at SW Park and Salmon.  See you there!

Read Full Post »

Post and Photos by Barb Skinner


Greens galore

Late fall is a wonderful time in the NW growing season, and while my own urbanized inclination is to think that keeping locally grown nutritious veggies in my diet is more difficult, nothing could be farther from the truth! It’s more important now than ever to have delicious and healthy recipes up your sleeve.

Yes it’s cold, and yes Portland Farmers Market is down to one weekly market on Saturdays at PSU, but the opportunities that root vegetables and winter crops present are truly exciting IF you have some interesting recipes to try. Allow me to expound…

wintertoadA lack of fresh summer berries can seem like a major loss in the fruit category, but PFM currently has delicious pears, apples, and Winter Toad Melon… wait WHAT? If you have never heard of Winter Toad Melon (like me), you are missing out. This delicious winter melon, like rich honeydew, has allowed me move on from those succulent summer berries. Stop by the La Mancha Orchard booth to sample it yourself. Another wonderful market treat is Kiyokawa Orchard’s Mt. Rose Apples – with a beautiful pink interior and crisp flavor, these are perfect to munch on or to make a beautiful cobbler!

squashThe options for winter squash are endless and many of the vendors have them coming out the ears. Roasting almost any type of winter squash with potatoes, onion, rutabega, carrots, or whatever you have around the house with some simple herbs draws out its deep and delicious flavors, and it’s fun to get creative! Try this savory vegan Pumpkin and Sage Pasta as an alternative to a fattier mac’n’cheese.


Celery root a.k.a. celeriac is great raw or cooked

Late fall also yields some oddballs like celery root – this potato salad alternative is a light option, especially if you sub Greek yogurt for the mayo. But even if more unusual recipes like this are not your style,  the beauty of Portland in late fall is that greens are available all year long for traditional salads too.

Speaking of both squash and salads, PFM staff will be at Director Park this Saturday from 2-4pm cooking up two tasty dishes to simplify your holiday cooking: a raw kale and chickpea salad as well as sauteed delicata squash with chili.  Stop by to sample the goods and pick up the recipes!

Read Full Post »

Food Front Coop

By Barb Skinner

Portland Farmers Market deeply values the whole community that surrounds the market – the farmers, the shoppers, the staff and volunteers, and the sponsors. Without each piece of this puzzle the market would not be able to help farmers thrive and the community benefit from the fresh food and educational programming present at each weekly market. Food Front Cooperative Grocery is a loyal fifth year sponsor with a weekly presence at the NW Market.

Food Front Coop has two store locations – in NW Portland and Hillsdale – and is a wonderful partner and complement to Portland Farmers Market shoppers in a variety of ways. On a practical level, many of the packaged and prepared foods that are not available at farmers markets are sold at Food Front. And don’t think that because they are packaged means they traveled a great distance to get to your table – from granola bars to salsa to prepared meals, Food Front seeks local suppliers.  In fact, another sponsor of the Portland Farmers Market, Dave’s Killer Bread, did their first ever store demo at Food Front, and their products are still carried there.

A key focus of Food Front – and PFM – is to provide educational opportunities for the community to connect with local farmers, which supports their mission to both provide wholesome food and bridge the gap between local producers and the people of Portland. Some of these educational opportunities include an annual farm tour open to the public, and future plans for elementary school trips to the Sauvie Island Center, and regular register fundraisers for a variety of local non-profits. By connecting shoppers with farmers through educational opportunities as well as providing the community an outlet for supporting other local organizations, Food Front makes buying, preparing, and of course EATING delicious local food a more meaningful part of our lives.

So what is the relationship like between Food Front and Portland Farmers Market? 100% supportive in both directions. PFM relies on the support of local businesses like Food Front to fund educational outreach as well as keep vendors’ fees low. And Food Front loves having a weekly presence at the NW Market. In the words of Food Front’s Director of Marketing & Outreach, Jessica Miller, “Being a market sponsor allows us to connect with community members and local farmers and producers simultaneously. Food Front’s contribution to the NW Market is another way we can support local farmers and producers outside of our daily store operations.”

If you’re interested in checking out Food Front, stop by any time for your grocery shopping needs, but be sure not to miss the November 10th Thanksgiving Tasting Event!  One of our market vendors, Deck Family Farm, has partnered with Food Front this year to sell their heritage turkeys.  On November 10th, you will be able to sample their turkey and then order one in time for Thanksgiving!

Becoming a member-owner of Food Front includes a manageable fee of $150 (most owners break this up into $5/month payments) which allows them to meet the needs of their member-owners and our community.  What better time to join than in the fall, when many farmers markets begin to wrap up for the season?

Read Full Post »

tomato sauce with sprig of basil

One of the best scenes in the 1996 movie Big Night was the simple preparation of an omelet in stark contrast to the previous night’s gluttony that ended in a brotherly brawl. The best and most enticing food is often the most humble (and brawl-free), and, to go a step further, that which comes from your own kitchen.

This statement comes dangerously close to the Italian notion that no one’s food tastes as good as one’s own, or rather one’s mamma’s cooking. I say dangerously because Italians are notorious for being close-minded about food. I prefer to be curious and experiment. But they have an enviable, embedded food wisdom that we Americans will never fully grasp. This wisdom is no doubt related to how hard it is to extract recipes from an Italian grandmother.

The notion of eating from my own kitchen lingered all last week, a week punctuated with the desire to cook when I least had access to a kitchen. My preferred dish? A simple tomato sauce (recipe at end).

It started with a visit to see old friends San Francisco. Though we all like to cook, we ate out almost every meal, from overdoing it on award-winning pastries to indulging in high-end Moroccan and Indian. They begged me to teach them how to make pasta so by the third night, I was happy (read: craving) to indulge them (Curious? See my Team Pasta class).

We amassed a great deal of pasta thanks to their deft three-and-a-half year old. The table went quiet as we all took our first bites. This is what handmade pasta and simple tomato sauce does to you. As your belly swells, so does your pride in having produced for yourself one of the most satisfying dishes known to man.

This only scratched the itch.

Why the itch? September is my favorite month and with Portland’s temperate climate and near-perfect September weather, the farmers market explodes with a mashup of summer hangers on like corn and tomatoes, and fall’s pears and winter squashes have marched in.

A not-so-best-kept secret at the market? Roma tomatoes are a steal at this time of year. This, and the notion that summer produce will soon be a mere memory makes me want to hit the kitchen.

But I was on vacation making my way up the California and Oregon coasts, and would arrive home only to drop my bags and run off to volunteer at FEAST Portland, the multi-day foodie phenomenon. In spite of, or maybe because of, the preposterous array of celebrity-status culinary goings on, all I really wanted to do was be in my own kitchen. That would have wait another two days.

In a FEAST speaker series, Oregon farmer/philosopher Anthony Boutard of Ayers Creek Farm, journeyed around the globe from Oregon’s spot on the 45th parallel to our same-latitude culinary cousins. Even as we are surrounded by exceptional restaurants, as Boutard said, “It’s really the home kitchens that inspire what we grow, especially immigrant kitchens.”

That was the final nudge I needed on the journey to savor the simple pleasure of Sunday gravy bubbling away on the stove.


Tomato Sauce Recipe

For a recipe with so few ingredients, there’s much to be said about skin and seeds, about pureeing before or after or not at all, about quick cooking versus slow and low. This recipe results in a thick sauce that can be used as is or you can add meat, seafood or vegetables. This sauce goes a long way especially if additional olive oil is added at the end, which helps to really coat the pasta. I did not peel my tomatoes but I do puree the sauce once cooled to avoid the unpleasant texture of the skins. Alternately, you can use a food mill to eliminate skins.

As for seeds, it’s been found that much of a tomato’s flavor comes from the gelatin-like substance around the seeds. I use a method passed on from Kathryn LaSuza Yeomans, a fixture at Saturday’s Portland Farmers Market, that uses this liquid for the sauce.


3–4 pounds of roma tomatoes (good to use because they’re mostly flesh and not runny)

1 onion, chopped finely

1 clove garlic, crushed or chopped finely

1 tsp salt (or to taste)

pinch of red chili flake (optional)

1–2 T olive oil

Several fresh torn basil leaves


1. Heat the olive oil in a medium to large saucepan and sauté onions on low heat till translucent.

2. While onions are cooking, halve the tomatoes and, using a sharp knife, carve angled slits to remove the hard part of the core. This doesn’t have to be perfect or thorough. Scoop the seeds into a wire mesh sieve set over a bowl and chop tomatoes into chunks. Return to your reserved seeds and vigorously swish with a wooden spoon for a minute or two to release the jelly-like liquid in the bowl. Add this to the tomatoes.

3. Add garlic to the cooking onions and allow the aroma to just surface, then add the tomatoes and salt. Stir and let simmer very gently for an hour or more. Towards the end, add a pinch of red chili flake if desired and some torn basil (you can add more fresh basil to your pasta dish).

4. Puree the mixture or run through a food mill. You can freeze some or all of the sauce in freezer-safe jars or containers. If using glass, leave at least one inch of head space to avoid cracking the jar when the sauce freezes.

5. Add to your pasta of choice!

Read Full Post »

What do the kids eat these days? In my day, it was PB & J on white bread; cut diagonal. The diagonal was very, very important for reasons I can’t even guess at now. And there were  chips and Little Debbie’s. It’s okay though, all the parents did that back then, plus I grew up to love all kinds of food and have been known to eat a sandwiches that are square/rectangular.

An item both the packers of lunches and the eaters of lunches can agree on is fruit. While PFM fruit looks like other fruit and won’t draw untoward attention for your little foodist’s lunch choices, it tastes so much better, they’ll crave, they’ll eat, they won’t complain about it being in their lunch bag. Bring the kids and let them pick their own fruit for the upcoming week.

Not just for kids anymore either: I’ve been eating peaches, mostly – sometimes nectarines – in the afternoon, it’s so much better than a trip to the vending machine.

We are in the last month for Friday’s Kenton, Thursday’s Buckman & NW, and Monday’s Pioneer Square Markets. Go often and enjoy. Wednesday’s Shemanski and Sunday’s King go through October. PSU RUNS UNTIL THE SATURDAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS. (Sorry about the CAP/bold thing, but it’s actually pretty effective – try it in the subject line of the next email you send, it’ll get read.)

Speaking of PSU, the Healthetarians, who are like vegetarians, but for health, are at PSU this Saturday. The Healthetarians, these Healthetarians, are all about inspiring the next generation of healthy eaters – they will have recipes and activities – stop by or visit their website at www.healthetarians.org.

Also PSU/School lunches, Dave’s Killer Bread will be on hand Saturday. Need sandwich ideas, last month DKB was on hand at PSU to celebrate their 7th breadiversary – inviting local restauranteurs to make sandwiches. Video below. 

Also like Dave’s Killer Bread, Verde Cocina who are at Saturday’s market, have grown. They now have a bricks and mortar location, you can read a review of it here.

Closing – A few weeks ago, the Oregon Department of Agriculture pushed through a rule allowing canola to be planted in the valley. You can read about why this is problematic here. Despite the adminstrative rule, we can, for the time being, score one for the good fight, according to Friends of Family Farmers, “Oregon Court of Appeals agreed with the arguments set forth by Friends of Family Farmers and four other plaintiffs, finding it very likely that the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s (ODA’s) temporally rule is invalid.” The fight over canola in the valley is far from over, more details are available here from FFF.

Read Full Post »

Lunchbox Reform

Last week, Chef (and Mother) Kathryn Yeomans shared these ideas for back-to-school lunches.  This week she serves up some more fresh inspiration both written and live at our Buckman Market today, Thursday, September 6, from 4-6.  Details below!

Lunchbox makeover with Chef Kathryn

By Chef Kathryn Yeomans, The Farmer’s Feast

Part of the fun of making school lunch is in the packaging. Also, when food is kid-sized, it is not only easier to eat, but seems less daunting than a big, bulky sandwich. Those not-so-healthy pre-packaged lunches that let kids build cracker-pizzas and processed meat sandwiches are reminiscent of Japanese bento (“boxed meal”) lunches, in that each is an offering of little dishes, neatly divided into compartments. Obviously, a homemade lunch in this style will trump the nutrient content of the over-processed, over-salted, preservative-laden store-bought “convenience” food.

Much of the thrill lies in the little compartments of various items that can be assembled at lunchtime. You can acquire a traditional shokado bento box, which is divided into four compartments, or take the idea and come up with your own bento-style serving container. Fit little lidded containers into a larger container with a snap-on lid – it’s as easy as that. There are several companies that make compartmentalized lunch kits that work perfectly. And what goes into the little compartments? You can mimic the packaged lunch kits & fill containers with crackers, homemade tomato sauce, shredded cheese, and salami slices so that a pizza-type snack can be assembled, then add apple slices, raisins, & carrot sticks to round out the meal. Or you can create a more interesting lunch of little dishes. How about 1) a couple of grilled chicken strips with bbq dipping sauce 2) roasted potatoes and cauliflower with walnuts 3) bocconcini mozzarella 4) cantaloupe & honeydew melon balls (a melon baller is a simple way to add visual fun – make various sizes, and pack along a little spork for easy eating).

If the idea of 4 little dishes seems complex for a lunchbox, keep in mind that it’s a good way to use leftovers, and lots of foods can be prepared alongside the evening’s dinner – Having grilled pork chops for supper? Throw a piece of chicken or some veggies on for tomorrow’s lunch. Making spaghetti? Cook extra & make a spaghetti frittata that is delicious eaten at room temperature. Steaming green beans? Toss leftovers with a little lemon olive oil & sliced almonds for a marinated veggie side dish. The possibilities are endless.

Soup really IS good food – especially when homemade

Another easy school lunch idea – make one day of the week “soup day”. Vegetable-based soups can be made on the weekend (or pick up ready-made soups from market vendors), then heated in the morning, poured into a thermos, and toted along with cornbread or a roll, and dessert.

Need additional fresh, seasonal inspiration? Mealtime Makeover is a free cooking class held at the Buckman Farmers Market. Join us Thursday, September 6th from 4-6 p.m. for more ideas, recipes, demos and samples. We invite you to bring along the kids – there will be tasty snacks to sample & coloring sheets for them to work on while you watch the demo. The focus will be geared toward the wee ones, but the dishes will be adult-friendly as well (adults & kids all eat the same foods at our house). You’re bound to pick up an idea or two for your brown bag office lunch!

Read Full Post »

Northwest Market. Photo by Amy Nieto.

Portland Farmers Market has long had a market in Northwest Portland, but circumstances caused us to play musical chairs with the location a few times.  Now enjoying its second season in a tree-lined lot across from Trinity Cathedral, our Northwest Market has truly found a home and is becoming the community focal point we always envisioned it would be.

As with all other Portland Farmers Market locations, Northwest Market shoppers eligible for SNAP benefits are able to receive $1 tokens using their Oregon Trail Card to purchase fresh local food. Additionally, SNAP recipients can receive a dollar-for-dollar match (up to $7) through Fresh Exchange, a program of Farmers Market Fund.

Our Northwest Market is located at the corner of NW 19th and Everett and runs through September on Thursday afternoons from 3-7pm.  Farmers and food artisans are waiting to fill your market basket with produce, meat, eggs, cheese, wine, baked goods, flowers and more.  You can read more about our vendors in these NW Examiner articles profiling Serious Business Pastries (pg. 27), La Terra Vita and Ravenhill Farms (pg. 24), and Winters Farms (pg. 18).

If you still have yet to swing by this bustling market, here are several reasons why you shouldn’t wait a moment longer:

The lovely Anna Curtin always draws a crowd on Senior Bingo days

Senior Bingo!

When: Third Thursday of each month

What: Seniors are invited to stop by and learn more about the market, then join our very own Anna Curtin for a rousing game of fruit & veggie bingo (6 rounds, running from 3-6pm), complete with prizes from market vendors.  Recent prizes have included peaches, eggs, berries, corn, squash, potatoes, cheese and tomatoes.  Come early to snag a coveted seat and vote on what market prizes you’d like to win!

You could win this! Photo by Amy Nieto

Portlandivore Program

When: Drawing takes place the last market of each month

What: This frequent shopper promotion gives shoppers who visit the market three times a month the chance to enter to win a basket of $30 worth of market goodies. Stop by the Information Booth to pick up your card, have it initialed each time you come to the market and turn it in to market staff on or before the last Thursday of the month.

Coffee + ice = nice. Thank you World Cup.

Taste the Place

When: Second Thursday of each month

What: Nearby restaurants and cafes visit the market to meet their neighbors and sample their wares. In September, stop by to see what tempting treat Touché Restaurant will bring to market.  Past visitors have included Elephants Deli, who offered strawberry shortcakes made with sweet market berries and World Cup Coffee & Tea, who refreshed shoppers with samples of iced coffee.  Our star NW volunteer Barb Skinner writes about World Cup’s visit below.

Taste the Place: World Cup Coffee & Tea

By Barb Skinner

The iced Brazilian roast with floral accents drew thirsty and un-caffeinated market shoppers to the World Cup Coffee booth at the NW Market in July. Thankful smiles and many comments on the “delicious coffee” that “wasn’t too acidic” followed the free samples.

World Cup Coffee is a Portland gem – offering so much more than a delightful staff and quintessential Portland coffee shop environment to our neighborhood for over 20 years. They also have a roasting operation which provides complete coffee services to local businesses – espresso machine rental and repair, coffee beans, etc – as well as roasting for espresso and whole bean sales in their NW and Powell’s City of Books locations.

The differences in local roasting and conventional roasting are most notable for the length of time the coffee sits on the shelf before purchase (days or weeks vs. multiple months).  Small batch, local roasting offers fresh beans with optimal retention of moisture and flavor.

A big thanks to World Cup for their support of Portland Farmers Market and local, sustainable business practices!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »