In Portland, supporting local businesses (including farms, artists, artisan bakers, artisan anything really…) seems to be a huge part of the culture. In Philadelphia, it was sort of like that – I mean we all had our favorite “corner store” or “corner deli” or barbershop, hair dresser, etc., within very short walking distance from our homes. Plus, those of us in Mayfair had “The Ave.”, and when I was growing up, that was still the hot spot for produce, gift shops, bakeries, candy shops, etc. Maybe we were hip before it was hip to shop local? Yep. Let’s go with that, fellow Mayfairians (? Mayfairers? Mayfairites? Whatevs. You know where I am going there.)
However, in Portland, it’s a bit different – maybe there’s more of an emphasis on not only buying local, but also buying homemade or home-grown? I think that’s it. Here it seems as though every neighborhood or town has its own ‘farmers market’ – chock full of local organic produce, dairy and meats from nearby farms in addition to more specialized goods like home-harvested honey, handmade nut butters, freshly thrown pottery, etc. The whole ‘farmer’s market’ phenomenon was just taking off in Jenkintown before we moved out here, so, in fairness, maybe it is a thing back home now – lol!
I typically like this sort of thing, and especially love fresh produce, so I suckered the whole family into venturing to the Beaverton Farmers Market for an inaugural visit last weekend. It was good. Definitely a ton of fresh produce.
I bought the most delicious tomatoes I’ve had since moving here – I believe they were from Spring Hill Organic Farm. They were called Cosmonauts. Apparently, the are an heirloom tomato that originated in the Ukraine, just like good old Grandmom Riznychok. Their gorgeous deep red color and heavy weight, the fact about the Ukraine origins, and the description that read something along the lines of full, sweet, tangy tomato taste had me sold. They were every bit as amazing as I imagined – so amazing, in fact, that I returned to the market this past Saturday to scoop up some more. They remind me a lot of Jersey tomatoes. Maybe a bit softer. But every bit as tasty and succulent. I prepared them one of our favorite ways – seasoned and topped with breadcrumbs, parmesan and olive oil, then broiled until crispy. We had them with grilled chicken and pasta – awesome summer dish. Kind of like poser chicken parm.
Did the family like the market? Yes. The only point where I thought I’d lose Kenny was when we stumbled upon some performance art which involved a gal climbing up and down some prop stairs…most of the time on her hands and knees while wearing a short dress. He didn’t make us immediately leave, so that’s a win – hahaha. But he also didn’t offer to hop in the car this past Saturday for the return visit – hahaha. 🙂