Where: Portland Farmers Market at PSU
When: April 30, 2011
Last Saturday, we spent all morning at the Portland Farmers Market, located along the grassy park in the middle of Portland State University's campus. We weren't the only ones eager to spend the morning at the market--we arrived at 10 am and the market became progressively more crowded, full of shoppers eager to pick up asparagus, rhubarb, nettles, and stunning bouquets of flowers.
Wandering around I fluctuated between contentment and excitement. I overheard conservation snippets like 'kohlrabi is my favorite' and 'what are you going to do with the nettles?'. Portlanders are seasoned, focused market goers--nearly everyone had a reusable bag or market basket and a plan of what to get and how they were going to cook with it.
Going to the Saturday market seems to be a weekend tradition, much like it is in Brooklyn and Manhattan. As an added bonus to the array of colorful vegetables and flowers, most market goers were also lining up for breakfast, lunch or coffee. Breakfast or lunch at this market doesn't mean a quick muffin or snacking on samples (though there was a guy excitedly yelling out 'kale! get your kale!').
Even if I didn't need any fruits or vegetables (though why wouldn't I?!), I'd visit this market each weekend solely for the dining options. You can grab coffee from Cafe Velo, breakfast burritos, biscuits, pizza, pupusas. Our only regret was that we had a quick breakfast before visiting the market and only had room for a breakfast burrito!
I have to unofficially call this market my favorite market I've ever been to. The combination of excited, friendly customers and farmers, the sheer variety of products, and the location makes it one of a kind.