Everything on the menu looked worthy of grazing, but I had to make a choice. I went with the top two items.
The black quinoa salad with pickled fiddleheads, piquillo peppers, wild cress and blood orange vinaigrette was amazing. I saw fiddleheads at one of the other booths, but I’ve never been able to cook them as well as should be done. Pickling them preserved their adorableness while adding a burst of flavor. The quinoa was flavored by the vinaigrette and the entire dish was refreshing and delightful.
I ordered one chicken-waffle taco with smoked collard slaw. The buttermilk-cheddar waffle taco shell was crisp, while the cornflake-crusted chicken tender was exactly what I like in chicken. It was a fun taco, and only $3 I’m looking forward to stopping there every weekend when I visit the farmers market.
I am always on the lookout for a farmers markets held on Sundays. On Saturday I may be off doing a walk that isn’t near a farmers market, and need to use Sunday to stock up on veggies. At Orenco Station in Hillsboro, the Hillsboro Sunday Farmers Market opened for the season on Mother’s Day and Mom just happened to want lunch nearby. I arrived early and browsed the market. This is still early season, so the produce was slim pickings. But I picked up some excellent plant starts and could see this was a healthy-sized market that will be well worth the stop in the future. It is near the large parking lot for New Seasons Market for easy car access. And I always enjoy a stop at New Seasons itself to pick up items the farmers don’t carry.
Mom says she likes to go to the farmers market in downtown Hillsboro on Saturday.
Orenco Station is a planned community built for a car-light lifestyle. I enjoyed an hour-long stroll around the development and I think I would enjoy living there. We have often had volksmarches here. If you work nearby at Intel, you can indeed bike or walk to work. But I don’t think anybody has space out back for a decent sized garden. Photos of Orenco Station
On my way to and from my walk this weekend, I stopped in at two farmers markets I hadn’t yet sampled. The Parkrose Farmers Market is actually quite convenient from my side of Vancouver, just south of Airport Way near 122nd. It was opening day and they were giving out shopping bags and door prizes. At this point in the season, it’s a small market. I bought mustard greens, potatoes and onions at a produce stall and bagels from Gabriel’s Bakery. They have food vendors, plants, arts and crafts and an entertainment booth.
On my way back from the walk at Mount Hood Community College, I stopped by the Troutdale Farmers Market. Now, this one was truly tiny, just four tables. But they had exactly what I wanted, farm eggs and salad greens and some fingerling potatoes. It was a good stop.
On Sunday I stopped at the Vancouver Farmers Market and bought another 12 lettuce starts. The lettuce starts I planted three weeks ago are really going to town. The lettuce I planted in my planters is starting to take hold, but the most recent starts I made indoors are wimpy. I transplanted all of the my starts except the tomatoes, but I fear they are all anemic failures. I have good hopes for the tomatoes and pepper, which I will transplant in two weeks. I planted seeds for carrots and onions outdoors right before a big thunderstorm squall came through. I hope it didn’t wash them all away! I am thinking that next year I will plant seeds outdoors and buy starts for tomatoes, peppers, etc. rather than trying to sprout them inside. I just don’t have the right light, etc.
Two days after planting my seeds, I have beet sprouts and collard sprouts! I really love the Jiffy Greenhouses. They are reusable and have almost no mess. I did all of the planting in my kitchen and they are incubating in my bathroom. Once I’ve sprouted and transplanted my seedlings, I can buy more seed starting disks at any local garden center and start the next round. This will be especially useful for crops like lettuce where you need to replant every few weeks.
My freezer is almost devoid of last autumn’s bounty. Tonight I use my last batch of slow roasted tomatoes for a puree to top baked parmesan chicken breasts. I’ll have only a bag of whole frozen tomatoes I plan to use in soup and chili, a few cubes of pesto and some forgotten frozen garlic tips I should use in soup.
I am very jazzed to discover North Bank Magazine, which covers locavore issues in Southwest Washington. As I reside in America’s Vancouver, I felt like they were writing this just for me. The glossy issue that came out February 20, 2009 was filled with the info I want. They had an interview with my own CSA farmer, and I was happy to hear that CSA farms are growing and thriving in our area. The Vancouver Farmers Market may also be changing some policies so they attract more of the local farms. I learned about the challenges of selling produce to local restaurants, from both sides.
Subscriptions are free for North Bank Magazine. You can sign up online. It is published by the Vancouver Business Journal. I’ve added their editor’s blog to my blog reader and blogroll.
The two farmers markets I listed for this weekend are now canceled due to inclement weather. Portland Farmers Market and Hillsdale Farmers Market will not be open. I guess there won’t be any giftwrapped local organic beets under the Christmas tree this year.
Vancouver has thus far been spared any really problematic weather, other than the pipe-freezing temperatures. The roads have been clear and not slippery. But even the chance of more than a skiff of snow is enough to close down schools and events. In all fairness, I wouldn’t want farmers loading up the truck and risking an accident only to discover they have few customers at their destination. Still, I imagine many people take public transit to the Portland Farmers Market most of the time, and anybody living in Hillsdale must have studded snow tires.
I am reveling in the luxury of being only a short drive from work. But that also means fewer excuses about chancing the commute in foul weather. However, my husband is stuck on the snow route for his bus to Portland, which has meant standing in the cold for 40 minutes when the transfers don’t meet up.
Exploring food and travel in Oregon and Washington