What's Coming to Market?
It had to happen sooner or later. Strawberry season is over. Grapes, weather willing, may be available a bit longer. Apples, pears, asian pears, and cranberries will be available. Sun Gold Farm also has quince. Tomatoes are winding down too but there are still some left. The fall vegetables will be plentiful.
OUT THIS WEEK
Visit our Availability Page for more information and the full list of farmers and vendors coming to the market this Sunday. The page will be updated through Saturday evening. Check our Twitter feed for Sunday morning updates.
The First Hillsdale Urban Fair A Success
Market shoppers sampled preserves made throughout the summer by chef Kathryn, saw the Preserves Showcase entries and ribbon winners, and learned how to use ingredients available at the market in new ways at the Traditional Cooking Arts demonstrations.
Start planning your entries for next year's Preserves Showcase! And help us improve the Urban Fair by answering our short questionnaire. You can find the four question survey here (link).
We still have two Feed Me Fresh Cooking Demonstrations this year. In keeping with the theme of preserving, chef Kathryn will be exploring cranberries this weekend with a sweet and savory cranberry mostarda. Next week we'll crack open more of her market preserves to explore creative ways to incorporate home preserves in your cooking. Demos are from 11am-1pm in the center of the market.
Urban Fair Recipe
Grandma Sadie's Zucchini Relish
We'll be sharing the winning recipes from this year's Urban Fair. You shoud find all the ingredients for this winning recipe submitted by Jamie Suehiro at the market on Sunday.
10 cups chopped zucchini
4 cups chopped onions
2 large red peppers, chopped
¼ cup pickling salt (or kosher salt)
6 cups sugar
3½ cups cider vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons turmeric
3½ tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons nutmeg
1½ tablespoons celery seed
½ teaspoon black pepper
- Mix chopped ingredients with salt and let stand overnight. Rinse with water and drain well.
- Prepare pickling syrup. Heat syrup ingredients until blended. Add zucchini mixture and bring to a boil. Simmer 5-10 minutes.
- Pack into sanitized pint jars leaving ½ inch space on top. Wipe jar rims with a cloth dipped in simmering water.
- Apply lids. Adjust lids by tightening fully then loosening by ¼ inch. Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Let cool.
Makes 7-8 pints
Find the print friendly recipe here (link).
The Fat of The Land
Hailed by the puzzling title, Swiss, chard doesn’t have a particularly storied history in that Alpine nation. Though chard has been grown and eaten there for centuries, Switzerland is neither the vegetable’s homeland nor its most fervent consumer.
Rumors circulate as to why chard is so adamantly referred to as Swiss: the scientist who gave chard its scientific nomenclature was a Swiss man and the term is used in deference to his effort, American seed companies used the qualifier ‘Swiss’ to differentiate chard from French spinach varieties, or that Switzerland is where chard was bred to be the vegetable we know it as today.
While such claims may hold a nugget or two of truth, the vegetable’s etymology provides more convincing evidence. The word ‘chard’ was once (as recently as the early 20th Century) used interchangeably to refer to both the inner stem of an artichoke plant and the leafy, succulent-stemmed beet-relative. In old French, cardoon, a variety of artichoke cultivated for its tender blanched stems, was referred to as ‘carde.’ Though chard and artichoke are completely unrelated botanically, their stems do bear some resemblance.
To picture this, you must imagine chard as it looked then—the same dark green, savoyed leaves we would recognize today crowning, in most varieties, a white or pale green stem. Lopped of their foliage, cardoon and chard stems could easily be confused, both resembling wide, pale celery stalks.
In the spirit of clarity, seed catalogs did distinguish the two chards, ‘Swiss’ added as a notation that the chard would be of beet-plant origin. The region that comprises modern-day Germany was one of the most zealous diasporas of the chard and beet clan, responsible for much of the vegetables’ development into what we grow and eat today. Perhaps Swiss had a better ring, and Germany’s southern neighbors, link between chard’s ancient homeland and its enthusiastic adopter, were likely to be chard-loving people as well.
Both Beta vulgaris in botanic nomenclature, beets and chard are nearly the same plant, one cultivated for its swollen root, the other for its stems and foliage. Of the two, chard more closely resembles the wild plant from which they were derived. Known today as sea beet, the ancestral chard and beet plant is native to the Mediterranean rim, liking, as its name implies, the sandy soils and temperate climate of its maritime home.
If chard were to have an associated nationality, it should instead be Sicily. Perhaps the sea beet’s earliest adopters, Sicilians introduced their own selections to the mainland—plants with tender leaves and stems, better adapted to garden cultivation than wild varieties. As chard was passed northward, gardeners selected for the qualities they preferred. Beta vulgaris exhibits wide genetic variability and from those rich resources millennia of gardeners uncovered myriad stem colors and sweet, long-storing roots.
Chard is a dependable, long-season green, a mainstay of temperate-region gardens from early spring until the first hard freeze. Beets filled in the rest of the caloric calendar, offering sustenance from the root cellar in months when the garden was covered in snow. Freshly sprouted leaves from cellared beets in late winter historically provided much needed nutrients. Beta vulgaris played a vital role in feeding continental Europeans for thousands of years, thus its place in their cuisines is paramount. An essential potherb, chard leaves appear widely in soup and rice dishes, its stems in gratins and braises.
It’s true, chard tastes something like spinach. Such was the claim that convinced me to try those intimidatingly outsized leaves back when they seemed as exotic as passionfruit or mango. Sautéed in oil and garlic, I discovered chard’s deep, earthy quality and mild saltiness. A Sicilian at heart, chard maintains an affinity for its ancient nursery grounds, a touch of brine to its otherwise mild manner.
As a gardener, I came to prefer chard to spinach as its temperament is more even and its growing season more forgiving. A ubiquitous presence in my gardens, thriving in spring and fall, passably surviving summer’s heat waves, I unwittingly began to know it as Sicilian chard: dependable, endlessly useful, deeply nourishing.
Sarah West is a gardener, eater and admirer of the agricultural arts. She gladly spends her Sundays as assistant manager of the Hillsdale Farmers’ Market, basking in the richness of its producers’ bounty and its community’s energy. Find archives and more at http://thefatofthelandblog.wordpress.com.
Unger Farms Farm Store
34880 SW Johnson School Road, Cornelius OR 97113
Saturday October 25th 3:00pm
Pie School with the lovely Kate Lebo! $25 gets you the class and a slice of Kate's apple pie. For this special class Kate will teach you how to use fall apples to make the best pie you've ever had. Contact Laura at 503-992-0710 email@example.com for more details and to register.
Halloween in Multnomah Village
Trick-or-Treat (rain or shine!)
Friday, October 31st
3:30 - 5:30pm
Trick-or-treat starts at Starbucks where you can pick up a walking map and parents get a complimentary cup of coffee! Finish at Dr. Jensen's for a special surprise treat (7717 SW 34th Ave). Find out more here (link).
SWNI Fall Cleanup and Litter Patrol
Portland Christian Center
5700 SW Dosch Rd
Saturday, November 1st
9:00am to 1:00pm
Scrap metal, old furniture,large appliances and yard debris will be welcomed at the annual fall cleanup. Community Warehouse will be accepting donations and the litter patrol will be cleaning up the mess that has accumulated over the summer. Volunteers welcome! If you are interested in volunteering, call Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. at 503-823-4592. Find out more about the event here (link).