Photos From The Farmers Market: Kicking Off The 2011 FarMar Season

April 11th, 2011 - filed under: The Food » Food and Health

Can we talk about how happy I am right now? My beautiful, inspiring, beloved – my muse – my dearest Farmers Market, is back open for spring. And I don’t think any combination of flowery adjectives, any number of emphatic exclamation points, could possibly properly express how completely enchanted I am!

Last year was the first the I focused on really eating seasonally, getting the bulk of my groceries straight from the farmers. I’ve never felt so connected to my food, so tuned in to my surroundings.

Spring is all about new radishes, tender greens, raab and rapini. There’s wild-crafted mushrooms and last autumn’s leftover taters. Mostly, there’s that whiff of promise. Shallots will make way for snap peas, and strawberries will follow before we even know it.

Chard, anyone? Such a lovely rainbow!

Hot new food trend = kimchee (Korean spicy pickles). It’s everywhere! I say, hooray for more fermented veggies. Always love it when healthy goes mainstream.

These guys are new to the market this year and their kimchee is divine.

See? Radishes, greens, and leeks. That’s a quintessential spring spread!

Happiest little market-goers.

This year I also made a weekly stop at the very wee, but very fun, year-round Farmers Market. There’s not a whole lot that grows through the northwest winter, but it helped me so much in staying mindful around my food. There’s always new and strange hardy greens, fermented foods and artisan (raw!) crackers, exotic cultivated mushrooms, fresh-baked breads, and homemade hot soups. Waits and I braved all manner of bad weather and always had a blast.


Mushrooms are so strange . . .

Darlings, what are you most looking forward to in the coming season? Do you have a favorite Farmers Market, and has it opened yet this year?

To any tech savvy readers, I use Photoshop to re-size my images and then save the files to my desktop. Somewhere between iPhoto and the end product – somewhere in Photoshop – my pictures are getting dulled and de-saturated. Help help! I’m just clueless if there’s no baking soda involved . . .

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    I always love your FarMar pictures! At my favorite market, I look forward to seeing what Nina chooses each week – and to the sometimes challenge of figuring out how to prepare it. I’ve been interning at my neighbor’s farm while we get our own running smoothly – so on a larger scale I’m just looking forward to whatever can be harvested with my own bare hands. I’m also looking forward to going as raw as possible in the next few weeks.

  • Rae

    In Photoshop: Ctrl + Shift + L (this is for PC; iPhoto sounds like a Mac, so I’d guess Apple + Shift + L? It’ll be under your Image menu) will apply an Auto Levels to your images.

    If you want more control, Ctrl + L will pull up a menu. The shadows will be the arrow on the left, the mid tones are the middle arrow, and the highlights the arrow on the right. You can fiddle with these until you’re happy with the results. Good luck! :)

  • Meredith

    I’m actually looking forward to being a vendor at my favorite farmer’s market!!! I’m completely obsessed with going to the market, so becoming a vendor makes my heart sing! YAY!

  • Dana

    No farmers market where i live (don’t know if we have farmers markets in the Netherlands… We have normal markets, but haven’t seen a farmers market in my whole life!)… :-(
    Yours looks great! If i ever take a trip to the US i will surely visit one!

  • TeniseRae

    Hooray for pigtails and scrunchy baby faces!!!! Oh and yeah, all the auto food porn too. ;)

    I’m pretty much just looking forward to everything gardening this year. :D Definitely looking forward to getting the gardening area finished. Still a couple planter boxes I need to get in the ground and filled with yummy dirt. In the meantime, I giggle in delight to see my lettuce, radish and broccoli sprouts coming up. Wheeee!!!!!!!

  • Bonni

    If it is happening in photoshop when you are resizing, there is probably something wonky with your export settings. I would need to know more to be certain. Feel free to email me if you want to dig at it. :)

    Love the blog, by the way, I found it during your March break and dove right in. My husband is eternally grateful for your toothpaste recipe… he LOVES it!

  • cassie.

    i adore your bettie page bangs!

    oh, and i’m totally thrilled about finding the local farmer’s market in my new town. yay discovery! let’s hope my apartment-balcony tomatoes manage to grow – despite the unending efforts of my cats, to destroy all that i attempt to grow :)

  • Valerie

    @Sayward-Welcome back! I have missed your posts so much. This is the Saturday market @ PSU correct? Do you know the business name of the kimchi vendor? I ask because my husband loves the stuff and I want to give a vegetarian version a try. I’ll be in Portland the weekend of the 23rd so I HAVE to go to the market:) squeee! I’m so excited

    @Meredith-What will you be vending & where? I’d love to hear about what it took to make this step, how it’s going, & what kind of things are involved specific to this kind of ‘storefront’ as I am considering doing this myself. Best wishes!

  • erosan

    Leeks! I just love em… so much sweeter and subtler than onions… and of course, you only need to know how to cook one thing (though you should learn more than this): vichyssoise!

    Cool it and serve it on an old-fashioned glass (the kind you use to serve whiskey) with some potato chips (nuked in the microwave of course, so no extra fat) on top and you have a great amuse-bouche that costs almost nothing, is as fancy as your dinner is, and you can prepare way in advance. It is the ultimate dinner party food when you are the host.

  • Minna

    Yaaaayyy, Farmers Market! My favourite! (Well, second favourite – your fashion posts come first and Farmers Market posts are a runner-up.)

    We do have some kind of a market here, I went there quite often in Autumn, but I haven’t checked this year yet. I do suspect it’s still closed as it’s somewhere between 0-10 degrees outside and traces of snow left (especially in the countryside). But I can’t wait for my market to open! It’s no Portland farmers market, but it’s fresh local produce which I love so much! :)

    PS! Love the “It’s Alive” crackers! :D

  • TeniseRae

    Oh man! I wish I could edit my posts sometimes…what the hell is “auto food porn”? (from my previous post a ways back) LMAO!!! I’m really hoping I was meaning “awesome food porn” (cause it is) but frankly, I check the site so late in the night now I’m completely delirious sometimes. I can’t even remember. Egads.
    On that note….I suppose I should say, “night, night.” ;)

  • Julia (The Spotted Sparrow)

    Nom nom nom! Those crackers look awesome!

    If your original pics are humongo, try using the bicubic sharper option (drop-down box at the bottom of the image size pop-up) when resizing. Use Save for Web instead of Save As, then choose Medium or higher compression quality (drop-down at top of pop-up). You can also try different resampling methods (Quality drop-down at the bottom right of pop-up). And to make things even more confusing, it may just be the difference between color profiles in iPhoto and Photoshop. Confused yet??? :P

  • RadiomomRhetoric

    I adore your blog and your attitude!! :)
    I am impatiently waiting-here in the Midwest-for MY beloved farmers market to open….
    Being 1/2 Korean myself-I was thrilled to see Kimchi at your market! YUM!!!!

  • sarah

    I can’t BELIEVE how big Waits is getting… it just hit me with that picture, that face, all those teeth ;) Man.

    Still waiting for ours… May :( Although City Market here is year round, it’s, eh, not really entirely “local.”

  • Lauren

    Thankfully the area I live in (Seacoast of New Hampshire) the local food movement is alive and well so I have access to farmer’s markets year round. I love it! I’ve even started volunteering at the markets, helping farmers bring their product in and setup. Great way to get to know the local food people.
    Glad your market has started, our spring ones start in May. I’m ready for some more variety and an outdoor venue!

  • Lynn

    That Chard is beyond gorgeous!!!

  • Christina

    I must say I am soooo jelous of your farmers market!! I wish I lived in Portland! We just don’t have this here in the burbs. I’m sure there is something in Philly, but out here just the supermarkets. We were thinking of joining a CSA at a organic farm nearby but didn’t have the $$. Oh well maybe next year.

  • Fanny

    Oh wow. I wish there was such a vibrant farmers market here. I guess I’m way to much north for chard and radishes to grow locally this time of year though, but it sure does looks amazing. Love your pictures!

  • Janine @ Alternative Housewife

    What Farmers’ Market do you go to? I NEED that kimchi in my life!

  • Sayward

    Thanks for all the Photoshop troubleshooting guys! I finally got it figured out, whew!

    @ Tenise Rae – haha, I was wondering what “auto food porn” was!

    @ Valerie – Yep, the PSU market. I don’t know the name of the kimchee peeps but I’ll make sure and check this Saturday. If I forget to come back here and tell you, just drop me a line in this weeks FFF. =)

    @ erosan – Mmmm, leeks are SO GOOD, I always forget how amazingly good they are.

    @ Janine – It’s the Saturday market at PSU. It is life-changing in its awesomeness!!!

  • Kelly H.

    Per the norm…LOVE your gorgeous photos! :o)