Saturday, May 27, 2006


I decided to drag my work weary carcass out of bed this morning and head into Beaverton for the Beaverton Farmer's Market over in downtown Beaverton.

The market in Portland's Park Blocks is really good but generally overwhelmingly crowded. Its also really miserable down there when it rains. So Beaverton seemed like a good choice.

I figured the crowds would be lighter with the constant downpour. Given that its Memorial Weekend they probably were. But nevertheless the market was bustling.

Its still a little early in the growing season but there appeared to be a wide variety of produce available. My own garden is providing heaping amounts of lettuce in a multitude of varieties which easily matches what's at the farmer's markets. But they had some fantastic fresh asparagus...the really skinny kind that cooks up so tender and tasty. They also had some of the most expensive tomatoes I've ever seen.

The real draw for me are the plants. I'm a total plant nerd. I've been on the lookout for some interesting and colorful shade plants for my yard. Today was a jackpot of good plants at very good prices. I even scored some end of the season dahlia tubers which will (weather permitting) make their way into one of the choice sunny spots remaining in the bed next to my house.

After getting rainsoaked in Beaverton I figured I may as well finish the job out in Hillsboro at their much smaller, better priced market. I scored a really beautiful hosta for $6 (probably could have got a smaller plant--just as beautiful--for $3.50 at a booth around the corner). They also had a vendor selling amazing looking finished wood doo-dads. It was worth showing up just to chat with that guy. Truely interesting and genial fellow.

I try to get out to the farmer's market on the weekends to buy the week's produce that I don't grow myself and its really a rewarding way to shop. I get to be among a lot of interesting people and pick up very fresh fruits, veggies, meats and breads.

In fact my area of focus at the markets in the coming weeks are strawberries. Its almost time to start making jam.

Bet you never thought of me as the domestic type, eh?