by Deborah Pleva
Under the picturesque canopy of budding trees in the South Park Blocks, the Saturday PSU Market will open this Saturday, March 17, at 8:30 a.m. with its ritual bell ringing and run until 2:00 p.m. Shoppers will find locally-grown and locally-produced food and farm products from more than 100 farmers, food producers and artisans. That number will grow to 160 vendors as the season progresses and the abundant bounty of local produce ripens.
For the small, dedicated staff at Portland Farmers Market, opening day of the Saturday PSU Market feels like a family reunion, neighborhood potluck and spring festival rolled into one. It brings together familiar faces, delicious food and the spirit of community. Plus, the day carries the promise of sunnier days and the long-awaited tastes of spring produce.
What’s fresh this spring? Peak-of-season produce like radishes, carrots, scallions, kale and lettuces still wearing traces of the fertile soil of the Willamette Valley. Portland Farmers Market food producers, food artisans and prepared food vendors will also tempt shoppers with delicious baked goods, meats, cheeses, seafood and other specialty foods.
This season, four newcomers join the family of vendors at the Saturday PSU location. Pono Farm & Fine Meats from Bend, OR, will offer pastured, hormone-and-antibiotic-free Wagyu and Red Angus beef, as well as Berkshire and Red Wattle heritage pork and an inviting array of handmade fresh and smoked sausages. Temptress Truffles will sell wild, locally-harvested forest edibles from mushrooms to huckleberries to truffles, as well as handcrafted truffle butters, salts and oils. Greenwillow Grains will bring freshly-milled organic grains, beans and edible seeds, all grown in the Willamette Valley. Champoeg Farm will join the market lineup around the holidays with pasture-raised turkeys.
Portland Farmers Market introduces eight new farmers and welcomes back more than 100 returning farmers to its seven market locations this season. Through the years, the market has sustained the region’s food and farming community by helping to launch more than 40 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.
Grab your shopping bags and baskets and meet us at the market!