Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Market Roundup: NW 23rd & Two Newcomers

Opening day of any farmers' market is worth celebrating, but the opening day of a brand new market is momentous. Northwest Portland had been without a farmers' market since the Ecotrust market closed down last year, and the rumor mill was working overtime with conjectures about where a new one might pop up and who would sponsor it. Would the Hillsdale market expand its reach into Portland proper? Would a local co-op launch a market in its neighborhood? Though no one was too surprised when the big kahuna, Portland Farmers' Market, announced it would open its sixth market in the parking lot of Con-way trucking at NW 23rd and Savier, and have a market on five out of seven days of the week. Stalwart PFM vendor Springwater Farm was there with chef Kathryn Yeomans dishing out samples of spring morels sautéed with garlic, and Eric Montano was proudly displaying a dizzying variety of his heirloom, open-pollinated potatoes and greens at Prana Farms (top photo). The New Leaf (left) was there, too, with its garlic ginger Ka-Pow salad dressing, hazelnut arugula pesto and a raw, organic, dairy-free, gluten-free Sunshine Paté. The best part? It was nice to see regular folks chatting and shopping along NW 23rd's carefully cultivated upscale-ishness.

Details: NW 23rd Farmers' Market. Thurs., 3-7 pm. On NW 23rd and Savier in the parking lot of Con-way Inc.

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Dan Straub, owner of Soluna Grill on NE Fremont, was talking with his shellfish vendor on day and the subject of farmers' markets came up. Since Dan had a parking lot and the vendor had fish and pickled asparagus to sell, they set up a little market three Sundays ago. Since then that vendor has been joined by a couple of neighborhood crafters, an urban farmer from the adjoining Cully neighborhood and, last weekend, 19th Street Farms from West Linn. Dan's looking for other vendors who might want to join the little market but mostly, he says, "I'm just wanting something for people out here to walk to."

Details: Fremont Craft and Farmers' Market. Sun., 10 am-3 pm. 4440 NE Fremont. Phone Soluna Grill for information, 971-222-3433.

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With the late start to summer, many farmers are saying the crops they'd normally harvest in June won't be ready until August, which should be good news to the residents of the Cully neighborhood who will have a new farmers' market opening July 10th. Called the Cully Collective Market, its mission is "to bring healthy, affordable, locally produced food to Cully residents and to provide a space for neighbors to exchange goods and culture while creating economic opportunity in our neighborhood." While it will have traditional produce, food and craft vendors, it will also feature Community Tables, allowing neighbors to sell, barter and trade for produce and household items. It should be a unique presence on the market scene, and I'll definitely keep you posted.

Details: Cully Collective Market. Sat., 9:30 am-1 pm. In the parking lot of Trinity Lutheran Church & School, 5520 NE Killingsworth St.

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