Beaverton Farmers Market is huge and getting huger. I stopped by on a Saturday a couple of weeks ago and could barely struggle out with all of my booty. Luckily I had remembered to bring an ice chest along to save my goodies from the summer heat while I went walking. Both Rogue Creamery and Willamette Valley Cheese Company had booths, so I stocked up on Smokey Blue and Farmstead Gouda. There were booths from farms in the Forest Grove and Cornelius area that are owned by cousins of mine (such as Duyck’s Peachy Pig Farm). I bought potatoes, corn, lettuce, carrots, onions and cauliflower. I bought a couple of beef tenderloin steaks from Lonely Lane Farm, which produces naturally raised meat.
Beaverton Farmers Market opens at 8 am on Saturday, and I suggest being there bright and early if you want to park within a few blocks. They also operate on Wednesday late afternoon.
My walking buddy Lana lives in NE Portland and we decided to meet for a walk from Providence Hospital. Our first destination was the Hollywood Farmers Market at 44th and Hancock. This wasn’t the best logistics for buying any amount of produce, but it was an excellent stop. The market opens at 8 am, and Lana says she often tries to get there even before that to score the best produce. We arrived around 9:30 and the place was hopping. It had an excellent variety of produce vendors, and I discovered the bread vendor who had been missing from the Vancouver market last weekend!
But I was enticed to the Sweet Briar Farms farm fresh pork booth first. The proprietor was very enthused to discuss his pork, even without asking any specific questions, as I gave an interested eye to the packages of sausage. They raise the pork on a small farm near Eugene, Oregon. The hogs have no antibiotics, chemicals or hormones. They mix their own feed.
I love pork loin chops, ham, sausage, bacon. We didn’t get that often when I was growing up, as we had beef from Grandpa as our staple. My husband and I are always searching for German delis that have fresh sausages. I bought a package of four German bratwurst from Sweet Briar Farms and he packaged it with ice for our mile-long trek back to the car. I also received a ticket for a drawing, which encourages a return next week. The winner gets some free product next week at the farmer’s market.
My next stop was the Deck Family Farm booth. They produce grass-fed meat and have a meat CSA. I picked up their literature and I am intrigued enough to join. For $300 you get credit towards your choice of meat, which you can order for delivery in the Eugene area or delivery to the farmers market. Online, you can order meet for UPS delivery as well. They have beef, pork, chicken, lamb, turkey and goats. Their pasturing methods look to be idyllic.
I didn’t arrive home till noon, but the ice kept the sausages chilled. The Sweet Briar Farms guy even provided me cooking instructions. These are not pre-cooked, but he said that they cook fast and are done when the casing splits. I popped them on the grill and they were indeed nicely done in just a few minutes. Now for the taste test. Fantastic! These bratwurst were mild yet tasty. They were meaty and not greasy. The texture was excellent, with no chunks of gristle. I would definitely buy them again and try his other varieties.