21 March 2011

Winning Winter's Lottery

Opening Day of Portland Farmers Market- March 2011

We did it.
You and me, and all the other folks in Portland that thought we would perish from too much acorn squash and rain, survived.

We made it to opening day.

The first market of the season was a happy, chaotic mix of farmers, artisans, and patrons all buzzing about in home-grown food bliss, you could feel the positivity from blocks away.

This year’s opening day was a special one. Dave, from Dave’s Killer Bread, rang in the market at 8:30 not only as a vendor, but for the first time, as a market sponsor. Trudy Toliver, PFM’s new Executive Director, was walking around the market nearly all morning greeting customers and taking in Portland’s food scene. Even the sun decided to make an appearance.

I was in the information booth most of the morning with a goofy smile on my face answering questions, and giggling with friends I haven’t seen for a long, wet winter. It was like coming back to a family reunion, sharing plans for future gardens, and laughing about how dog-gone good Two Tarts’ flourless chocolate cookies are.

So good.

We have new vendors popping up all over the market with everything from fresh apple pie, to spicy, small-batch kimchi. Spring greens are on their way, and if we’re lucky, we should see fresh rhubarb by mid-April.

Rhubarb means we really made it.

If you didn’t get a chance to visit us on Saturday, you’ll have plenty more opportunities this year, but be prepared:  You may be surprised by the pure, unadulterated Portland cheer that seems to permeate the downtown air.

Come ready, and if you’re feeling glum before you go, remember: it only gets better from here.

Nicolette Smith