Feb 14 2013

Market Snapshots: The Shemanski Winter Market

Where: Shemanski Winter Farmers' Market

When: Saturdays, 10am to 2pm

Portland's main farmers' market (Saturday's PSU Market) may be on hiatus for these middle winter months, but the Portland Farmers' Market organization hasn't left us market-goers in a complete lurch. Instead, they've wittled down many of the familiar farms and vendors into a group of about 20, and assembled them on winter Saturdays at Shemanski Park.

The market, though smaller, still serves as nearly one-stop food shopping. I can buy vegetables from Gathering Together, DeNoble's, Persephone, Groundworks Organics, or Spring Hill. If I need fruit, I'll visit Kiyokawa Family Orchards. And we can satisfy our sweeter teeth with a tiny cookie from Two Tarts Bakery or honey from Boyco Foods.

Though I miss the constant surprises that come from weekly visits to the PSU Market (What will suddenly be in season this week? What will the flower arrangments look like? Will I eat a biscuit, burrito, or crepe?), I've grown accustomed to the predictability of my winter Saturdays. It's easier to assess a smaller market: unlike PSU, we can wander the circumference of the market and plan what ingredients to get from which farms, before we actually buy anything.

Over the past four weekends, after shopping, I've re-walked the market with my camera, each time with a different prime lens. Because I was seeking interesting subject matter and unique angles, each market visit did feel slightly different. The weather, of course, varied week-to-week (including one spectacularly sunny, 60 degree day), as did the crowds, and the time of the day we shopped. The food has remained consistent, and though we're now in the middle of February, I'm still enjoying our weekly selection of squash, brussels sprouts, apples, parsnips, and hardy winter greens.

The final winter market is Saturday, February 23. The full size PSU Market returns on March 16 (and shortly after, rhubarb, and then shortly after that, asparagus!)