It's May and the Hollywood Farmers Market will be bursting with over 50 vendors offering the best of what a Pacific Northwest spring has to offer. Think pea shoots, baby carrots, asparagus, rhubarb, morels, garden starts, lettuces, spring onions, and long awaited strawberries (for only the earliest of birds).
We welcome our newest nursery vendor,
Sprig & Sprout, to the market this week. Christina has managed her 160 sq foot backyard greenhouse right here in the Hollywood neighborhood since 2007, and is excited to finally bring her carefully raised vegetable and culinary herb starts direct to her neighbors.
We have several returning vendors kicking off their seasons' this week, including
Bull Run Distillery, Cranberry Kitchen, Dancing Light Ranch, Happy Harvest Farm (in their new location on the west side of the Grocery Outlet parking lot),
Sage & Sea Farms, and
Suzette Creperie. We also have
2 Towns Ciderhouse, Dragonfly Forge, Fire Brew, and
Olympia Provisions back at market this week.
Got any extra shopping bags laying around? We are
collecting durable, reusable shopping bags for community use at the market. If you have any extra you can part with please drop them in the
"Take a Bag, Leave a Bag" bins located at each end of Hancock Street or bring them by the info booth. They become available for reuse by any forgetful shoppers, and help reduce overall single use bags at the market.
We look forward to seeing you at the market!
Success With Growing Tomatoes
by Anne Berblinger, Gales Meadow Farm
Tomatoes are not hard to grow, but they do need care and attention. The key ingredients to tomato success in our area are:
- Selecting the right varieties
Our area is not ideal for growing tomatoes, because tomatoes need warm nights that stay above 65°F, or even better above 70°F. That doesn’t happen here. The last summer we lived in the Washington D.C. area, the low was 89°F one night. Which would you rather have, our pleasant cool nights, or the widest possible selection of tomato varieties? I choose cool nights, since there are still (really!) thousands of tomato varieties to choose from. The classic Brandywines, Cherokee Purples, Mortgage Lifters and the Hybrid Beefsteaks are only going to give us ripe tomatoes in September, if then. But we can have Prudens Purple, Victoria, Astiana, and Anna Russian, which are every bit as wonderful as the best known heirlooms. And some of them qualify as heirlooms themselves, being more than 100 years old.
We grow early and mid-season varieties, as do the other tomato plant vendors at the Hollywood, Hillsdale, and Peoples Co-op Market. Feel free to ask when you can expect tomatoes from the variety you choose. But don’t expect a very precise answer, since it all depends on “degree days,” a measure of how many warm hours we will have between now and tomato time. Early tomatoes are usually ready before the end of July, and mid-season tomatoes in August. Gales Creek, where we have our farm, is colder than Portland. The cool air from the top of the Coast Range comes down the Gales Creek Canyon every night in summer and settles on our fields. So if a tomato works for us, it will work for a garden in Portland.
If you can only grow your tomatoes in pots, choose varieties that have been bred to grow well in pots. We have seven varieties that do splendidly in pots.
- Choosing the right location
Tomatoes need good soil and as much sun as they can get. At least ten hours of sun a day is ideal, and six hours is the absolute minimum. If your garden area is too shady to provide that, pick a sunnier spot and grow container varieties. Some tomatoes that do fairly well with less than ten hours a day are Sungold, Uralskiy Ranniy, Stupice, and Victoria. Cherry tomatoes are usually more tolerant of less than 10 hours than bigger ones.
If your tomato location has not been used as a garden spot before, put off getting your tomato plants and spend some time preparing it. Remove a layer of sod (or all the weeds if that is what is there). Dig in generous amounts of your own or purchased compost.
for more, including advice on transplanting, watering, pruning and harvesting
April 27, 2019
Nature's Wild Harvest
May is the heart of morel season - don't let them go by without tasting this delicious and ephemeral NW treasure! See
for more information and tips on preparing morels.
Somalian Hot Sauces
You may have already had a delicious Somalian sambusa or injera prepared by Khadro Abdi, but did you know she also sells traditional Somalian hot sauces? She makes five different sauces, which vary widely in taste and hotness and can be used as condiments, cooking sauces or dips. Khadro can also now be found at the Lloyd Farmers Market on Tuesdays!
This locally-made chewy, springy, fresh organic ramen noodle made its debut at HFM in 2016, and since then has found its way into homes and hearts around the Northwest. On May 14, Umi's whole grain yakisoba stir-fry noodles will be served for lunch in all Portland Public Schools. If this lunch is a hit, you may find their noodles as a regular menu item next school year. Please send your kids to eat Umi noodles on May 14!
Looking for a farmers market to pick up some midweek groceries?