It’s not that we aren’t risk-takers. We actually enjoy the thrill of the unknown, and understand that life is full of mystery and surprise. That said, there are some things we would rather know up front – like where our fruits and vegetables come from. Although we find it amusing to learn that Walmart has begun displaying signs that read ‘local’ throughout its produce aisles, we aren’t entirely convinced. This leads me to consider this poor little creature, discovered quite by accident in a bag of frozen beans she purchased from a Walmart store in Texas. I have to wonder…was he also local?
It’s tough to try to put one over on Portlanders when it comes to food. It’s just that we are so far ahead of the curve when it comes to food that is fresh, local, and organic. We are embodiment of farm to table, always at the forefront of creating what is local and sustainable when it comes to feeding ourselves. Case in point- just as farmers’ markets are beginning to hit their stride across the state, enter a group of forward-thinking citizens of Stumptown who dare to take local to the next level by creating the city’s first ever urban farmer’s market. Forget produce grown 100 miles away!. Down with long, carbon-emitting drives to the idyllic countryside to procure fresh produce! When these folks use the term local they mean really local…Portland local.
While most farmers’ markets in Portland and Greater Oregon are on the large side, attracting people from all over town, with produce grown up to 75 or 100 miles away, the Hawthorne Urban Farmers’ Market is small…no, hella small, with an effective range of somewhere around 15 miles. Some of the vendors actually come to market by bicycle. The market itself is a glorious amalgamation of heirloom produce, culinary herbs, handmade soaps, honey and flowers all produced right in or right around Portland. Not bad for a roaming gang of urban farmer hooligans! But wait – there’s more! Those clever monkeys have added yet another novel element to the market…. barter! This means that conceivably, you can pay for your food with something of equal value, say with an hour of data entry, loaves of banana bread, or a clean urine sample. How about a sack of potatoes for a Lionel Richie mix tape, one might ask..?
The market takes place each Sunday from 1-6pm, now until Thanksgiving in the Hawthorne Auto Clinic parking lot at SE 43rd and Hawthorne. Take note of the later hours – happily in line with a Sunday time line that includes sleeping in, enjoying a leisurely brunch, and reading the Sunday Times over a double Americano. There’s none of this early bird getting the worm nonsense. Thank you.
Of course if this trend of making local even more local continues, pretty soon even the ultra-local food at HUFM will be too far away for the discriminating localvore. Eventually, local will refer strictly to what is within our own immediate personal space. That said, I’m going to get started right away on transforming my panty drawer into a raised bed.
Editor’s Note: Congratulations and a special New Deal Distillery shout out to the infracable Marie Richie, a founding member of HUFM, and a member of the Sellwood Garden Club…really, Marie – what will you dream up next?