26 April 2013

A First Time for Everything

By Kelly Merrick

Portland is all about firsts lately. From the first warm, sunny, 70 degree week this spring, to a few new vendors making their first appearances at the market this season, to some seasonal spring delights that are beginning to make their debuts at vendors’ booths.

So what are these firsts? I’ll tell you – just promise me that you’ll take advantage of this amazing weather and check these out, okay? Great!

Outback Farms will be bringing asparagus. Lots of it.

Outback Farms will be bringing asparagus. Lots of it.

This week these vendors will make their first appearance at the market:

  • Outback Farms – all asparagus all the time!
  • Cascade Naturals – tempeh and sauerkraut

And just to remind you, last week brought us these vendors for the first time this season.  I’ve also added a few new things you can do with what they’re selling:

  • Columbia River Fish – visit Simon the Salmon Guy and pick up some fresh, local salmon to throw on the grill for the first time this year.
  • Three Sisters Nixtamal – Purchase ready-made tortillas or buy their organic fresh ground corn masa to make your own tortillas.
  • Natural Valley Poultry – Pick up the only fresh (not frozen) poultry in the market, toss it in your slow cooker, shred it and then put it on top of a homemade tortilla.
  • Mostly Medicinals – Stop by their booth to learn about medicinal plants like early Everlasting and Gumweed and how they can help improve your health.
Fiddleheads for sauteeing or pickling

Fiddleheads for sauteeing or pickling

Here are some other seasonal goodies you’ll find at the PSU Market this Saturday.  If you haven’t had them yet this season, make this weekend your first!

  • Asparagus
  • Strawberries – Only a few and they go fast, so get their early!
  • Sprouts – I bought sunflower and pea sprouts from Nightlight Farms last week and I can honestly say I’m hooked! They’re a great addition to salads and wraps.
  • Rhubarb
  • Green Garlic
  • Morel Mushrooms
  • Fiddlehead Ferns

Next week brings an avalanche of firsts as three more Portland Farmers Market locations open in quick succession:  Shemanski Park from 10am-2pm on Wednesday May 1st, Buckman from 3-7pm on Thursday May 2nd, and King from 10am-2pm on Sunday May 5th.

And finally, one more important “first” of the year: I’m volunteering at the information booth this week! I hope you’ll stop by to say hi. I’d love to meet you.