Cocktails and carrots: PSU Farmers Market opens with a twist

By Wendy Culverwell

Shake off those Daylight Savings Time blues.

It’s farmers market season.

The Portland Farmers Market’s flagship market at PSU debuts Saturday and will run through Dec. 20.

The PSU Farmers Market will operate from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday in the South Park Blocks at Portland State.

The 2014 edition launches with more than 100 farmers, producers and artisans including not one but two distilleries. The ranks will swell to 120 as the year progresses and local produce heads to market.

New vendors for 2014 are:

Fairlight Farm of Gaston, which specializes in 33 varieties of heirloom apples.

Greenleaf Juicing Co. of Portland serves fresh pressed juices made from organic fruits and vegetables.

House Spirits Distillery of Portland produces a variety of distilled spirits.

Merry Meat Pie Co. of Portland offers a variety of meat pies.

Minto Island Growers of Salem sells organic vegetables, blueberries and teas.

Mio’s Delectables of Portland makes pastries drawing on French and Japanese traditions.

New Deal Distillery of Portland makes vodkas, gins, ginger liqueurs and locally-inspired coffee liqueurs.

Ole World Oils of Ritzville, Wash., makes camelina oil, an ancient oilseed crop high in omega 3s and vitamin E.

Oregon Aqua of Portland raises GMO-free and hormone-free Oregon White Leg Prawns.

Starvation Alley of Long Beach, Wash., is an organic cranberry farm selling raw juice and later in the season, fresh cranberries.

Visit the  Portland Farmers Market web site for a list of when its eight operate

View original source at the Portland Business Journal 

Last Call for Winter Market 2014

By Kelly Merrick

Here in Portland we’re lucky because we have an abundance of farmer’s markets. In fact, with the exception of a few weeks during the holidays, hardly a week goes by without a market.

But there are a few times a year when market staff, volunteers and vendors get a little break. In fact, there is just one last market left to stock up on food from your favorite vendors at our Winter Market at Shemanski Park.

After the last Winter Market for the season, there will be a two week hiatus and then the PSU Market will reopen on March 15th, so be sure to stop by this Saturday, February 22, from 10am to 2pm to stock up on the farm fresh produce and other goods you’ll need to get yourself through the next few weeks. more…

Awareness Raising

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 awarded.

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. Read more…

The Morel of the Story: Best Breakfast Ever

By Debra Meadow of Blue Raven Wellness

My husband I had friends over last weekend and one of the couples brought gold for a hostess gift.  They handed me a limp, slightly damp brown paper bag, saying, “Hope you can use these.”  I peered inside to find a nest of perfect morel mushrooms.  Not just three or four, but about a half pound.  Like I said: Gold.  With friends like these, who needs other friends?  Just kidding, other friends: We love you, too.

Morels are difficult to cultivate, which accounts for their rich price tag.  They are the same species as the truffle, so if you look at it that way, they’re a bargain!  As with most wild mushrooms, they are very nutritious and, according to the USDA, are high in iron, phosphorus and potassium and one of the best plant sources of vitamin D.  But, really, I’d just as soon get my vitamin D from the sun.  I eat morels because they are fresh, wild and soooooo over-the-top delicious.  They have an earthy, nutty flavor that sings in comparison to the nearly tasteless cultivated white mushroom, but it’s also not as powerful as the strong-tasting shiitake mushroom. Read more…

markets begin to sprout up around town

Just as broccoli, sweet pea and radish sprouts peek out of the tilled garden beds through the Portland area, six Portland Farmers Market locations are sprouting up around the city.

May marks three market openings:

June will welcome farmers back to:

“Mark your calendar, grab your market basket, and come on over to one of the many markets opening up in these next few weeks,” says Trudy Toliver, Executive Director of Portland Farmers Market. “Every purchase you make at a farmers market not only feeds your family the freshest and healthiest produce and proteins available, your purchase also helps to feed our local farmers and ranchers and their families.”

In its 22 years, Portland Farmers Market has sustained the region’s food and farming community by helping to launch more than 50 small businesses and providing a lively and profitable sales outlet for small family farms, many of which count on farm-direct sales as their main source of income.

Read more…

country bag design contest unveiling

Join Portland Farmers Market at the musica stage, where they will be announcing the winner of their third annual Reusable Bag Design Contest. The winning student will receive a $1,000 scholarship and their design will be printed on thousands of bags that will be handed out at the market this season.

PSU Market, Saturday, April 20 at 9:30am

Learn more.

psu portland farmers market is open!

We’re excited too! We’ll see you at the PSU Market on Saturdays, where we can all see our favorite farmers and fill our baskets with fresh produce, pastured meats, farm eggs, artisan cheeses, breads, local wines and so much more!

Saturdays, March 16 through December 21
8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (Mar. through Oct.)
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (Nov. & Dec.)

Location: SW Park Ave & SW Montgomery St., Portland, OR 97201

Looking for more info from Portland Farmers Market? Click here.

a portland treasure

Much loved and growing like crazy, Portland Farmers Market served an estimated 700,000 shoppers this year. Zounds. Enjoy a well-deserved winter break, guys. 699,999 Portlanders and I eagerly await the opening bell next spring! Read more…

what’s in a name?

Buried in the 75 messages waiting in my email inbox yesterday morning, I unearthed this bit of news about large grocery retailers staging lookalike farmers markets in select locations, regardless of the actual source of the produce being sold. It seems supermarkets have figured out that freshness, taste and traceability of food from farm to table matter to people. It also seems that supermarkets are looking to take advantage of the hard work farmers, market managers and community supporters have invested in building the modern local food movement over the past half century.

On the one hand, this development indicates the conversation about food security and sustainability is really going somewhere if the industrial food system is taking notice and capitalizing on the integrity of the term farmers market. On the other hand, this makes a whole lot of us who work in the world of local food and sustainable agriculture stinkin’ mad. Farmers markets are just that – places of commerce where farmers sell directly to the produce loving public, not big grocery store chains with big marketing budgets. Don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise.

less is more

When does less equal more? When you’re talking about garbage, for one. At Portland Farmers Market, we are serious about sustainability and the fact that less waste generated at our markets means more resources for the generations to come. This year, with generous support from the City of Portland, we launched our EverGreen initiative, a comprehensive waste reduction plan designed to address this crucial issue. Read more here about how we are doing so far.

See you at the market!

(Photo courtesy of PFM volunteer and food blogger Allison Jones)