It's been a rough start weather-wise for the farmers' markets, what with drenching rain coming down at unpredictable intervals and clouds and cooler temperatures slowing down what was looking like an early spring harvest for the record books. But farmers braved the weather, as did shoppers bent on snagging asparagus, potatoes and even the first Hood strawberries.
Captured by Porches Brewing Company (above) from St. Helens not only had beer available for purchase in their signature returnable bottles, but also featured it on tap for thirsty market shoppers at the Interstate Farmers' Market across from (and partially funded by) Kaiser Permanente on N Interstate. And Charlie Wicker from Trailhead Coffee Roasters was doing a brisk business with his custom-brewed, small batch coffees for those going in the other direction with their afternoon. Clyde Common owner Nate Tilden was spied handing out slices of handmade charcuterie at the Olympic Provisions stand (which I officially nominate for cutest market stand). And I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Wendy, Mary and Kat of Little Brown Box & Co. (left) are going to have a massive hit on their hands with their rosemary and pine nut granola. Just watch.
Details: Interstate Farmers' Market. Every Wed., 3-7 pm. 3550 N Interstate Ave. across from Kaiser Permanente and next to Overlook Park.
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If there's one market that is hopping rain or shine, it's the massive Beaverton Farmers' Market on Saturdays in downtown Beaverton. All I had to do was crack the window of the car and the heavenly smoky smell of the sausages grilling at Fetzer's Sausage was enough to let me know I was close. This is a great market for plant lovers, and the massive hanging baskets, almost as tall as I am, at Ross Nursery were drool-worthy. I first heard about Mark Anderson's legendary Champoeg Farm eggs (right) when I was doing an article on local co-ops and was told that there's such demand from customers that the stores that carry them sell out the day they're delivered. And from the people crowded around to get the eggs and whole chickens on display, he's a sure bet here, too. The last mention goes to Philleo Farms of Eltopia, Wash., that came up with a brilliant marketing ploy for its astonishingly gorgeous asparagus. Charge a little more per pound but trim off all the ends (up to a third of each stock) that goes to waste. So smart!
Details: Beaverton Farmers' Market. Every Sat., 8 am-1:30 pm. On SW Hall Blvd between 3rd and 5th Sts. in downtown Beaverton.
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King Market in NE Portland, but already it's a neighborhood staple on Sunday mornings for families stopping by to natter and nosh, as well as to stock up on berries and greens for the week. C'est Si Bon! creperie is all-French, all the time and the handsome guy behind the griddle was bragging about the thousands of crepes he makes every year. Practice makes perfect! Chef Kathryn LaSusa Yeomans was getting creative at the Springwater Farm stand, with a market challenge of spending only $25 for four meals for a family of four. (Check her blog for the results.) Roger Konka, Springwater's master of mold and finagler of fungus, was busy packing $5 bags of assorted mushrooms for eager shoppers. And Groundwork Organics was ground zero for piles of carrots, spring onions and greens, which were being snapped up by the dozens for lunches and dinners to come.
Details: King Market. Every Sun., 10 am-2 pm. NE 7th and Wygant, one block south of Alberta in the King School parking lot.