What's Coming To Market?
Peaches, nectarines and cantaloupes are finished for this year. Blueberries and raspberries are still available. Grapes, apples, pears, and asian pears will be plentiful. There may be a few some watermelons this weekend. As for vegetables, many things are still available. The corn harvest is winding down but there will be some available. Tomatoes are winding down as well but are plentiful. If you are thinking of buying boxes of tomatoes for canning then make that purchase this Sunday.
Last Chance To Enter!
You have one more chance to enter the the 2015 Preserves Showcase! We are accepting submissions of water-bath canned jams & jellies, pickles, and sauces. All participants will be entered into a raffle for prizes, and each entry will receive personalized feedback from our panel of judges. A few lucky preservers will take home an Urban Fair ribbon! Download our Handbook (with the official entry rules) and a Registration Form by following this link (http://www.hillsdalefarmersmarket.com/urban-fair-documents/) and bring your entries to the information booth on Sunday.
Slow Food Portland:
Regional Food and the Ark of Taste
At this year’s Urban Fair, we’ll have representatives from four organizations that focus on local food issues and community education. We will publish Grapevine profiles on each of these groups in the weeks preceding the October 11th Urban Fair. Farmers markets are a community hub, a source for fresh & local foods, and an opportunity to participate in the change you wish to see in your local food system. We encourage you to check out these partner organizations’ booths at the Urban Fair to learn more and to find out how YOU can get involved!
By Sarah West
You may have heard of the Slow Food movement—stickers of its red snail logo occasionally appear on the doors of restaurants touting seasonal and regional products—whose name betrays something of its origin. An international organization with Italian roots, Slow Food began in 1986 Rome when a group of activists picketed the future site of a McDonalds slated for development beside their city’s famous Spanish Steps. Enthusiasts of regional ingredients and cuisines, and of life relished at a mindful pace, they decided to give their way of eating a name. Being the opposite of the fast food culture a place like McDonalds represents, they called it Slow Food.
In the thirty years since, the organization has spread widely, with chapters in over 160 countries and a focus that has turned decidedly political. Unwilling to separate the enjoyment of “slow” food from the environmental, cultural, and socio-economic forces that create it, their activism filters into many levels of food production and distribution. But the heart of their effort remains in fostering a sort of living anthropology—protecting, promoting, and propagating food culture before it is lost to history.
Their most visible campaign for the protection of regional food is a something called the Ark of Taste. A catalog of threatened foods, the Ark of Taste borrows the notion of Noah’s ark—a conceptual vessel in which to gather specific vegetable and fruit varieties, animal breeds, and hand-scale production techniques that time and negligence would likely destroy were these foods left to face an increasingly mechanized and corporate food system on their own.
A regional example is the Ozette potato. A fingerling variety with light brown skin and a dense, milk-white interior, the Ozette looks similar to the more common French Fingerling and Russian Banana varieties, though its story is entirely unique. Abandoned in the gardens of a Spanish fort on the northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula when the ill-prepared explorers fled the site’s harsh weather in 1792, the local Makah Indian tribe began cultivating the unfamiliar tubers for their ample carbohydrates—a scarce commodity in the tribe’s ocean-based cuisine. In the 1980’s, an anthropologist working with the Makah Nation became curious about the locals’ favorite potato (which they had named Ozette, after a nearby village) and its unusually deep oral history.
Genetic evaluation of the Ozette tuber conducted by the University of Washington revealed markers that placed it much closer to South American varieties than the European-bred strains from which most potatoes grown in the U.S. originate. The findings led anthropologists to surmise that Spanish explorers acquired this particular potato in South America or Mexico as they journeyed north, rather than carting it all the way from Spain.
Finding a foothold in the Makah diet and spending 200 years in their sole stewardship, the Ozette story is an anomaly in the potato world. Slow Food named the Ozette potato an Ark of Taste vegetable in 2004 for its distinctive background and cultural significance. Shortly after, Slow Food Seattle partnered with the Makah Nation, local farmers, university researchers, and chefs, funding an initiative to expand cultivation of the Ozette potato. Because of their efforts, it is now available from a number of certified potato seed producers. Though still primarily grown by home gardeners, its presence at regional farmers markets and restaurants continues to expand.
Slow Food Portland is a volunteer-run, member-driven organization that works to promote regional foods through providing educational opportunities to its members and partnering with like-minded organizations to effect food policy changes. They also happen to host exceptional potlucks. Slow Food Portland will be at the Hillsdale Urban Fair on October 11th with more information about their regional work, the Ark of Taste project, and how to get an invite to their next member potluck.
You can find out more at: http://slowfoodportland.com/ and https://www.slowfoodusa.org/ark-of-taste-in-the-usa/
We are looking for a few extra volunteers to help us with the Urban Fair on October 11th. If you are available for an hour or two that day and would like to help with this fun community event, please contact volunteer coordinator Sarah West at: email@example.com
October Open Farm
Sunday October 4, 2015 3:00pm-6:00pm
Join us at the Fraga Farmstead Creamery in Gales Creek for an afternoon of cheese! The day will include a walking tour of the property, cheese-making demonstrations by our cheese-master, Steve, and a sampling of our many cheese varieties. Light food and drinks will be provided. Because there will be a walking tour of the property, please wear adequate shoes that won't mind a little mud. Keep in mind that this event will be rain or shine!