Sunday Market, Number 1: May 6th 2012
This was the first weekend of the Orenco Station Farmer’s Market. We usually try to visit the market each Sunday throughout the summer. It is a fun way to meet people, buy local produce, artisan products, and eat some of the local cuisine. It is a fun time for people of all ages. This years market started last Sunday and will continue at least through the Labor Day Weekend.
The kids seem to enjoy the market as it offers all types of local food from vendors and local start-up companies alike. Everything offered at the market is local either grown locally or made, or produced locally.
We have been a gluten-free household for the past four years (the exception – Lloyd’s occasional beer). Love the beer, stay away from it. Had some in Belgium and Holland and that satisfied my itch for beer. I’ll continue to drink wine on occasion. More and more vendors are offering gluten-free products, this week was no exception, we came upon Gluten Free Pastries, a new vendor this year who sells a variety of gluten-free pastries and bread products. While the word from my taster hubbie Lloyd was the pastries were good, however the bread recipe needed a bit more pizzazz. Those who eat gluten-free and have tried to make their own bread products know all to well how difficult making it, let alone finding good gluten-free bread and food is.
Luckily Portland offers great choices from several local bakeries. It is fun to see more vendors at the markets begin to offer gluten-free products. While this particular vendor offers great pastries, their bread recipe requires a bit more work in the kitchen. As I mentioned, it is a difficult task to find a great bread recipe. We always are game to check out new gluten-free foods. And when you find one you like we generally stick with it, as they are that difficult to find. We definitely will be purchasing gluten-free pastries offered here from the gluten-free pastry chef.
While these flowers above look like the real deal, they are actually head bands for girls to wear in their hair. They are hand-made from a local artist. I didn’t get a chance to see her other products as I was busy taking photos of the flowers and helping Lloyd decide which plants to buy from the local nurseries.
One of the great things about the summer markets in and around Portland are all the crafts and produce from local farmers. This year the market is focusing more toward fresh produce and fresh food as it moves faster than the crafts. I guess time will tell how that will work out. We like having the crafts at the fair as we always buy something from the vendors. Where else can you buy something local? The planners of the market should possibly rethink their business plan. The market is all about supporting local wares. And arts are a huge part of the market scene. It seemed to me that it was a great way in which local artists can sell their wares. It seems a bit unfair to not allow them to sell their products. They are after all local and trying to make a living.
The other favorite part of the market, at least for me, are the flowers. I love taking photographs of the bounty of flowers. Most of the vendors don’t mind as long as you don’t get in the way of the customers and don’t touch anything and always ask first. While it is legal to take photos of anything being sold on a public street, it is polite to ask whether they mind. I have only come across one vendor last year who through a childish fit, after she noticed I snapped a photo of her yard artwork. It wasn’t even that great. But, I refrained. No problem. Deloris and I generally sit away from the crowds and I use my zoom lens a lot. Many times I can get close enough for some nice macro shots, most of my shots are from a distance. I also like to capture the essence of the people. This week we were rushed a bit because of our nursery purchases.
As I said, my favorite part of the market are the many flowers offered. There are usually three or four vendors, who bring in beautiful bouquets of flowers from their farms and put together unique bouquets right before your eyes, with either your choice of flowers, or from bouquets already put together. This week the flowers were largely tulips and snowballs. Look for tulips to represent one of the flowers of the day this week, they are gorgeous. Like I said, the nursery stock took most of our time this week, and I only stopped at this flower vendor. Their tulips were beautiful.
Nursery stock plants were available from three different local nurseries, as well as three local flower vendors. Had the cash machine been working properly, we would have likely bought out the stock of nursery shrubs and flowers for our back yard and front porch.
This was one of the three Nurseries selling everything from potted plants to potted shrubs and trees. Buying local is a great way to support the local economy and not as hard on the pocket-book as some of the other flower and tree places around town. The prices are very reasonable and in some instances vendors offer great bargains. We purchased a few items from the three vendors which will be the start of our late spring project of getting our porch painted and back yard ready for summer.
More potted plants from the second nursery, and the third nursery below. Each seemed to carry their own specialty items and all brought a terrific selection with great prices.
We actually purchased one of these maples for our front porch. The idea to make the area a bit more private. We had plans on purchasing more but the as I said the cash machine was down. More for this weekend. It is probably a good thing that we didn’t buy more than we did as we had some difficulty finagling all of our purchases in the car plus Deloris. We were quite the site trying to get to the car with our plants, then shoving them in the car so they would all fit without spilling soil all over the floor and shoving Deloris in the trunk. It was a site. I thought I was going to be tied down on the hood of the car, until I volunteered to hold the fuchsia and Feathered Japanese Maple tree between my legs in the front seat of the car. That folks was our morning at the market.
We will be exploring the Orenco Sunday Market each weekend through the end of summer. You can see some of our flowers either here in our weekly write-up, or follow us on our blog site here, or website, for more choices. All of our photos are available for purchase so if you see something you like let me know by shooting me an email. You can also follow us on Twitter, and Facebook, or see us around the market. Feel free to come up and say hi.
Until next week, cheers!