The market in full bloom

Organic food is expensive. And there’s no point in lying about it. But it definitely has its benefits. (Who wants pesticides and all that crap in their food anyway?)

Organic food is expensive. And there’s no point in lying about it.

But it definitely has its benefits. (Who wants pesticides and all that crap in their food anyway?)

There are also benefits to eating local. For one, you’ll cut down on oil being wasted from transporting food. Plus, it’s the freshest food available.

The best place to unleash your local and organic food munchies is the Portland Farmers Market. Although it’s been going on for about a month now, the market is just starting to get into full swing.

We’re lucky we live in one of the most fertile farming regions of the country, right here in the Willamette Valley. I do my grocery shopping at multiple places, none of which use a central distribution center, but the farmers market goes way beyond a grocery shopping experience-it’s a wonderful way to kick off your weekend.

OK, I’ll admit it: It’s hard to get up early for the farmers market. It’s Saturday morning, and you’ve had exams or a huge project due, like, yesterday. And you’ve blown off some steam on Friday night. (Not that you did anything mischievous or drunken.)

But there are many great reasons to give the market a shot this Saturday, even if you have to wake up early.

It’s close

First off, the farmers market is not too far away; in fact, it’s located right on the Park Blocks! That’s right, while Beavertonians and Greshamites have to travel from afar to find an assuredly rare parking spot, we have our parking structures right here waiting for us. Live on or near campus? Even easier. Just take a walk outside.

The breakfast is delicious

If you roll out of bed and don’t want to cook, look to the farmers market. There are too many breakfast options to count.

Pine State Biscuits was the big seller last year, and they were so incredibly popular at the farmers market that they made enough money to open up a store over on Belmont. Their biscuits are heart-cloggingly delicious and were recognized by Esquire as one of the best sandwiches in the United States. Don’t miss out.

Another personal favorite are the Perfect Day New Mexico Style breakfast burritos. For $5.50 you’ll get a fresh breakfast burrito with egg, potatoes and cheese (sure beats Chipotle), or for a buck more, get some bacon in it.

Salvador Molly’s also sells yummy tamales at the market, ranging from sweet bell pepper, to artichoke and cheese, to chicken. And for the more carnivorous types, there’s Salumeria di Carlo and Northwest Heritage Pork for all your sausage needs.

The food is fresh

But mostly, the best part of the market is the vendors, who offer a smorgasbord of fresh products for all of your cooking needs.

From fresh salmon caught from the Columbia River to organic, local seasonal greens and freshly baked breads and desserts, not to mention wines and cheeses, the market has a food for every palate.

There’s even a Thai couple that sell a variety of tasty sauces called Thai and True. Check out the vendor selling goat cheese feta (he’s the guy with the big banner that says “Goat Cheese”). For the cheese, he ages raw goat milk, and when it’s just right, he sells it fresh at the market. This Saturday will be the first time he’s had cheese in about a month.

So now that you have all these great reasons to come down-do it. Grab a cup of coffee and a breakfast burrito and shop around for a while. There’s live music, and the chefs are showing people how to make different things with rare veggies through the “Taste the Place” program.

And while you may have a project due on Monday, don’t worry about it. The market is open only until 2 p.m. anyway, and the best stuff runs out early. That’ll give you the rest of your Saturday to enjoy (or not).

More information

Portland Farmers

Salvador Molly’

Pine State