Photo Essay Friday: Portland Farmers Market at PSU

This past week, there was a single stalk of rhubarb sitting in a glass of water on my kitchen counter. Staring at me. Every day, I gave it a moments notice, changing the water, reminding myself it wasn’t celery, and curiously neglecting it. It was so damn green, and my thoughts were flying left and right, from tart to cocktail syrup. Why did I buy one mere stalk? Who does that? Couldn’t I wait a week or two for some pink? Finally, last night, I picked up another (and considerably ruby-er) stalk from Kruger’s, and got to work, sugar in hand. Who had a much-welcome slice of upside-down rhubarb & sour orange crumb cake for breakfast? This gal (and some other folks).

As I sit here taking in the sound of the downpour outside my workspace, contemplating another cup of coffee and awaiting a call, the topic in my head naturally floats to the manner of what I’m making for dinner. I’ve been dining out more than usual with the very end of the pickle tour approaching, and have been missing my kitchen shenanigans, aka from-scratch meals. There’s a thread over at the PPK I visit regularly, discussing just that, ‘what’s for dinner’, and it brings a sense to my day. Tonight’s goal is using up the remainder of the nettle pistou, and it being a day calling for rainboots, soup just may be in order.

My first visit of the year to the PSU Farmers Market on Saturday marked a second market visit for me last week. That plus J. Legume’s new juicer (and all the goods she’s picking up for juicin’) makes for one well-stocked fridge lately. And fruit bowls. And the entire kitchen table. This week, my hauls included lots of fresh greens, from kale to choy to the new hip broccolina, intriguing nettles, both shiitake and maitake mushrooms, sunchokes, potatoes, and go figure, some special pickles.

Rain or shine, I find market visits therapeutic. It’s so inspiring to have all these seasonal, farm fresh goodies guiding my meal planning whims. And on the plus side, a rainy market makes for a slightly less crowded affair.

There’s been juice, pistou, hash and lots of mushrooms on our plates lately. I’ve really been digging roasting any type of mushrooms I can get my hands on in a hot cast iron pan with lots of black pepper and a splash of wine or balsamic. I go through these phases with mushrooms, where I stop eating them for a period because the texture suddenly reminds me of eyeballs (which I don’t find appetizing), but with fantastic (declared à la the Ninth Doctor, whose rewatch has made this the adjective of my week) maitakes gracing my dinner plates twice this past week, you could say we’re in a very good place right now.

This week in markets > Last Saturday’s visit to the Portland Farmers Market at PSU, now in its 23rd glorious season:


Which reminds me, I pickled radishes a couple of weeks ago with red chiles and garlic, and they are also, rather fantastic. Very Bloody Mary appropriate.



Clear skies



Too soon? No matter.




You heard it here.




It’s all so Portland and delightful having three vegan dessert stands at the weekly market: Blacksheep, Petunia’s and Divine Pie.



Something heirloom, check.





The model in progressive, earth-friendly garbage discussions in my life:


Gluten-free bread = 2.5 people; Pine State Biscuits = too many to quickly consider counting




I didn’t grab a bite anywhere, as I’d snacked on one of Blacksheep’s cranberry-apple crumb bars from Peoples’ en route to the market. Heads up: they’re probably the ‘cheapest’ in town there.



Attn: J. Legume


Window shopping, of the artisan pickle variety:



And let me tell you, I had been waiting for this very moment:

The one thing the market was missing?

Sizzlin’ at Verde Cocina:

Clearly a must:

It’s like it says “Hi Jess!”

According to my own research, it’s very, very early for morels, but I understand they sprung for the sign so they may as well use it already.

By the way, things I learned this week: that nettles really do sting.

Apparently I’ve been considerably lucky in the past, because I’m cooked and eaten nettles before, but had yet to experience the namesake. The bunch I picked up from the People’s market last week, however, proved me wrong. That said, it was worth it. And fascinating (and I found my aloe vera).

The chard rainbow

Look! Room to walk!

Tempting, but not this time:

Once again, stands that beckon:

If one thing’s for sure, I’ve been ridiculously into mustard lately. This Picklopolis whole grain is sheer greatness.

Nettle-basil pistou with shoy-Shiraz roasted shiitakes, grated air-dried Parmesan

I wrote down my notes on this somewhere…

More subsequent cooking: Japanese noodle bowl with white miso-garlic-shiitake broth, mirin roasted shiitake, roasted butternut squash, choy, fried Ota tofu (right from the source), etc.

Greasy spoon morning: Sunchoke & Smokey Seitan Hash

Perhaps you’ll spy me back again tomorrow.



  1. Thank you for bringing back some wonderful memories of pursuing these stands a couple years ago with the legume sisters. I was hoping to see the wall waterfall, but still the many pics you put up are quite refreshing.

  2. I love your market posts! The PDX farmers market is so amazing. Personally I am in the mushrooms = eyeballs camp, but I can certainly get into the rest of it. The pickle craze hasn’t hit the scene down here… but I’m intrigued. I’m only sorta “meh” on pickles, but I can be open minded!

  3. Great colorful post! It’s hard to believe you already have so much variety in Portland. We don’t even have asparagus here yet. I checked my community garden for the first time today and all I could find was some tiny chives.

    I met with nettle last year in the garden, and yeah, it stings. I bumped into it three times I think. At first, I really wanted to cook with it and discover it, but after the pain, I decided I’d leave it alone!

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