Farmers markets play a special role in our communities. They are spaces of health, nutrition and fun in abundance. As we wrap up the 2018 farmers market season at our neighborhood markets, we reflect on another year bursting with classes and chef demonstrations.
This summer, local chefs shared their expertise and their morning with King Farmers Market goers.
In July, Nikki Guerrero of Hot Mama Salsa lead participants in hand-crafting tortillas, and creating red and green salsas from the freshest farmers market ingredients. A highlight of the class was learning to never “slap our corn mother”, we must always gently place our tortilla on the comal.
In August, Sarah Marshall of Marshall’s Haute Sauce taught the essentials of water bath canning and pickling. Students canned Purple Basil Pickled Cherry Tomatoes from Sarah’s book, “Preservation Pantry,” and left with skills to preserve summer’s bounty for months to come!
In September, Tressa Yellig of Wild Heart Solutions walked participants through bone broth basics, discussing it’s healing and wellness properties. Part demonstration, part hands-on, students sampled deeply nourishing sipping broths and prepared Carrot-Ginger Soup.
Everyone left class with new knowledge and recipes to try at home.
Kids Cook at the Market
Celebrating its 16th season in 2018, Portland Farmers Market’s popular Kids Cook at the Market program lets junior chefs age seven to eleven cultivate their culinary skills and experience a cornucopia of farm-fresh foods. Kids learn about the seasonality of food, meet local farmers and gain first-hand experience preparing ingredients purchased fresh at the market.
Kids Cook at the Market classes were taught by Beth Gates of Cook First PDX and Nicole Hoffman, a trained chef and enthusiastic food educator.
Classes include a market shopping trip, hands-on instruction, enjoying a meal together and recipes to take home, so students can share what they learn with family and friends. This year, Kids Cook participants prepared and shared veggie omelets, vegetable fritters, summer Greek salad and gazpacho!
Chef in the Market
June through September, Chef in the Market celebrated height-of-the-season market ingredients at our PSU Farmers Market with Portland’s top chefs & Portland Farmers Market vendors.
In 2018, we launched Chef in the Market programming at our Lents International Farmers Market. Michelle Vernier of Bella’s Italian Bakery & Liwen Chang of Nom Nom Taiwan delighted market-goers with recipes highlighting Lents Int’l farmers, using farm-fresh snap peas, carrots, parsley, garlic, squash, mushrooms and chard in the recipes they shared. We can’t wait for this program to continue in 2019!
DIY Produce Bag Workshop
In October, we teamed up with artist-duo The Far Woods at for a free drop-in workshop on how to make-your-own reusable cloth produce bag.
Everyone was invited to watch and learn as volunteers at a bank of sewing machines demonstrated The Far Wood’s simple sewing process for making a drawstring bag perfect for produce shopping. More than 70 market-goers joined in on the fun and everyone left with a cloth bag to shop the farmers market.
Find photos and The Far Woods recap here: Sewing Reusable Produce Bags: Action as Antidote to Despair
Great Pumpkin Event
Every October, Portland Farmers Market invites kids of all ages to participate in the annual Great Pumpkin Event, at our PSU (Saturday) and King (Sunday) markets on the weekend prior to Halloween. These harvest celebrations are filled with fun, including a costume parade and pumpkin carving.
This year, sunny skies brought families out to play at PSU Farmers Market, 50 of you joined the parade through the Park Blocks and Dave’s Killer Bread launched their Pumpkin Spice Madness Bagels. Over the weekend, 150 pumpkins from Winters Farm were carved and we shared market goodies with children who attended the festivities, including La Mancha apples, Salmon Creek honey sticks and Tater Tats temporary tattoos!