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Photo by Jane Pellicciotto


The summer light has faded to a glow. The leaves have begun to change. Pear season is in the air. Homer praised pears as the fruit of the gods. Artists have made pears the subject of many still life paintings. Their alluring shape, perfumed sweetness and versatility makes pears a well-loved fruit.

The pear tree came with the pioneers on the Lewis and Clark Trail and thrived in the Northwest climate. Not only are pears the top tree fruit crop in Oregon but the pear is Oregon’s official state fruit. There are over 3,000 known varieties in the world but you’ll find about a dozen here in the Northwest. Pears are a wonderful source of fiber and a good source of vitamin C.

Each pear type has its own unique flavor—from earthy sweet to savory sweet to floral sweet. As you roam the market, buy several types and discover your favorites.

Aside from biting into a pear and letting the sweet juice drip down your chin, there is almost nothing you can’t do to a pear that you can do to an apple. Pears can be grilled, roasted, pureed, made into jams or chutneys, used in desserts, served on salads, or paired with cheese and wine at the end of a meal. One favorite is pear, gorgonzola and walnut pizza.

Pears are a beautiful match for many cheeses. A cheese monger would be happy to offer suggestions. Steve Jones from Steve’s Cheese in NW Portland offered these three pairings to complement most any pear: a blue cheese, a goat’s milk tomme, or a medium-aged sheep’s milk cheese. Add the perfect wine and you’ve got a tantalizing trio of flavors. To keep sliced pears from browning, brush the cut surfaces with a fifty-fifty mixture of water and lemon juice.

Fall and winter are the seasons for pears. Unlike most fruits, pears ripen after being picked. They should be firm and allowed to ripen at room temperature. You can tell when they’re ripe by pressing gently on the stem end. If it gives a little, the pear is ready to eat. Too ripe, and the flesh will have a mushy, gritty texture.

Serving or cooking with pears can take some planning, as you will likely not find ripe pears in the market. Buy them a few days in advance. If you need to speed up the ripening process, store the pears at room temperature in a paper bag with a banana, which emits a gas that will speed the ripening process. Don’t refrigerate an unripe pear. Rather, allow it to ripen at room temperature first.

--Jane Pellicciotto

Tomato Turn On
Saturday, September 12

  10:30am - noon
Sample and compare different tomato varieties and vote on your favorite!

Farewell Thursday Markets
Thursday, September 24

  3:30pm - 7:30pm
Join us for the last regular market season days at our Eastbank and Ecotrust Markets
(GOOD NEWS: the Eastbank Thanksgiving Reunion Market will be back one day only on Tuesday, November 24th from 1pm-5pm)

Market Chefs
Sundays in September
Demos at 10:30am and 12:30pm
Look for Market Chefs at the King Market every week in September!

Powell's at the Market
Saturday, September 26
Putting it by: Preserving
Browse and buy books on preserving
Book Signings by Various Authors
9am - 11am
Terry Walters: "Clean Food : A Seasonal Guide to Eating Close to the Source"
10am - noon
Piper Davis and Ellen Jackson: "Grand Central Baking Book"
11am - 1pm
Lorene Fokner-Edwards: "Canning and Preserving Your Own Harvest"




The Country Cat Dinnerhouse & Bar is exactly the kind of place that Chef Adam Sappington and his wife Jackie envisioned when they opened their dream venture in Southeast Portland in 2007: a warm, family-friendly restaurant that serves seriously good food.  

Chef Sappington currrently sources all of the restaurant's meat and about 90% of its produce locally, including fresh salad greens, tomatoes, corn, stone fruit, squashes and sauté greens from PFM vendors such as Gathering Together Farm and Baird Family Orchards.  He is a huge supporter of local farmers markets and will be cooking a Harvest Dinner on September 20th to benefit his neighborhood Montavilla Farmers’ Market.

Serving what he calls "refined farmhouse cooking", Chef Sappington's culinary point of view is deeply influenced by his mid-western farmland roots, where he attended local farmers markets with his grandmother and spent hours in the kitchen with his mother.  His past has informed his present cooking style, which is inspired by his love of fresh, seasonal ingredients and the comfort of family coming together around the dinner table.

Honeycrisp Apples
Late Season Peaches
Brussels Sprouts
Fresh Meats
Cold Milk
Heirloom Tomatoes
Fresh Soups
Jams and Jellies
Pickles and Preserves
Award Winning Cheeses
Fine Chocolates
Chanterelle Mushrooms
Organic Apple Cider







Celebrate Oregon Farmers' Markets!

A Letter from the Executive Director

Last month, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack declared August 2nd to 8th National Farmers Market Week. The nation's 4,800 farmers’ markets have a lot to celebrate.

Today the local food movement has captured the attention of the nation and farmers’ markets are growing at an astonishing rate. Over the last ten years there has been a 170% increase in farmers’ markets opening nationwide. In Oregon, the number of farmers’ markets has doubled over the past decade and there are currently more than 90 farmers’ markets throughout the state.  Oregonians are hungry for the fresh, nutritious food and community gathering places that farmers’ markets provide.

Why? They understand that purchasing food at a local farmers’ market has a positive global impact. Farmers that sell at farmers’ markets are dedicated to keeping small family farms alive and thriving, and investing in sustainable farming practices that make a huge difference to our environment, economy and social well being.  

The most obvious way that a small, sustainable farm makes a global difference is by reducing the consumption of fossil fuels. Producing and distributing conventionally grown food requires an enormous amount of resources. A 2000 study found that 10 percent of the United States’ annual energy consumption is used by the food industry. The shorter distance food travels, the less fuel is needed to transport it.  At Portland Farmers Market, more than 85 percent of our farmers travel 50 miles or less to participate at our five weekly markets.

Sustainable farming techniques used by many of Oregon’s small, family-run farms can produce truly dramatic reductions in resource consumption. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that we could save 80 million gallons of diesel fuel a year used to pump water onto crops simply by improving the efficiency of our irrigation systems by 10 percent. Likewise, reducing the amount of petroleum-based pesticides and fertilizers used on our nation’s major cropland would not only save us around $1 billion, but also help prevent water and soil pollution.  

There are more reasons to support farmers’ markets. Farmers’ markets offer the unique opportunity to make cities feel like small towns and strangers feel like neighbors. One of the greatest joys I’ve experienced was opening day of our Saturday PSU Market in mid-March. It was a typical early spring day—overcast and in the mid 40s—but with the ringing of the opening bell the energy of the market overpowered the weather. What I witnessed still brings tears to my eyes: Shopper after shopper hugging farmers, neighbors reconnecting and chatting, kids and adults alike swaying to the music and sharing their stories after a long, wet winter. It was community being built right before my eyes. Twenty weeks later, market turnout has swelled and the same joy reverberates through the market.

Farmers’ markets nourish and feed us in so many different ways. By forging connections between consumers and farmers and food producers, it creates a strong constituency for growing the local food economy – the backbone of a truly sustainable community.

Our deepest gratitude to all dedicated farmers’ market shoppers. To those who have not yet experienced a farmers’ market, we encourage you to attend your local market this week and start your journey toward building a healthy, vibrant, sustainable community and local economy.

See you at the market,

Photo: Sarah Henderson -

Pine Mountain Ranch

If you were to happen upon Pine Mountain Ranch, located just six miles outside of Bend, Oregon, you might think you had accidentally stumbled into a different era. It is a sight to behold: a magnificent herd of American Bison—commonly referred to as buffalo—grazing on 41 idyllic acres that also serve as home to birds, grasses and other species that were once native to the area.

 “We are grass farmers that use buffalo, yak, sheep and poultry to sustain the grass that feeds the animals that feed our customers,” explains Alan Rousseau, owner of Pine Mountain Ranch. His goal is to achieve sustainability on the ranch by raising animals on diets that are native or compatible with their species type in a humane and environmentally responsible manner.

Rousseau began his journey as a rancher after seeing the Oscar-winning Kevin Costner film Dances with Wolves. He didn’t know then that he wanted to start a business, but he was compelled to take up the cause of buffalo preservation, fearing the extinction of what he calls, “A majestic species.”

Rousseau joined the National Bison Association and Western Bison Association to get more involved. His 1999 trip to Reno, Nevada for a Buffalo Stampede Show was for educational purposes only, but Rousseau ended up leaving with two new 1000-pound friends. Rousseau boarded his bison with a friend while he scoured the West, from Colorado to California, searching for the right ranch. 

In 2000, he discovered the Pine Mountain Ranch in Oregon, and he hasn’t left since. Rousseau’s herd has since grown from two buffalo to about 100, and now includes yak and sheep. Yaks are native to Tibet, but are quickly growing in popularity in the States. Last year, Loretta Spahmer—now a partner of Rousseau’s—introduced a herd of about 25 yaks to the ranch. Their herd of yaks has since grown to nearly 100 strong and ground yak has become one of Pine Mountain’s best sellers. They recently began raising pastured poultry on the ranch as well and hope to continue to introduce more heritage breeds each year. 

Photo: Sarah Henderson -

Many mainstream grocery stores don’t carry these gourmet “exotic” meats, so Rousseau largely sells his wares at farmers markets. “I go to about six or seven [markets] every weekend,” he says. “I drive up to Portland at like three in the morning and then stay in a hotel on Saturday night.”

He is grateful to have the Portland Farmers Market as a venue for education as well as commerce, and sees proof that it works. Kohlrabi and chard, for example, were virtually unknown in Portland before the Portland Farmers Market opened, and are now they are staples to many Portland families.
Rousseau generally steers first-time customers towards ground yak or buffalo meat. “It’s easy to compare those to beef,” he says. Both yak and buffalo make terrific, but quite different burgers. Buffalo has a deep, earthy flavor, while yak is more delicate, almost veal-like. You could probably pass either off as lean grass-fed beef with a little ketchup and mustard. Elk has a slightly sweeter flavor than buffalo and is a great substitute for traditional beef sirloin. “Don’t overcook them,” warns Rousseau. A rule of thumb to use is the leaner the cut the lower the heat and cooking time. Rousseau suggests cooking his meat frozen. “The juice bleeds out during thawing and you want to keep it all in,” he says.

“Our definite purpose in life is to provide healthy food for our customers using local resources as much as possible,” says Rousseau. His herd eats only grasses, so they’re much leaner and easier on the land then corn-fed cattle. Their grazing habits keep them almost disease-free, eliminating the need for antibiotics. Unlike beef that has fat marbled through the muscle, elk, buffalo and yak carry their layer of fat around the muscle so it’s removed during butchering, leaving just the lean, Omega 3-rich muscle.

Rousseau continues to be a visionary and is experimenting with hybrids like “yakalo” hoping to breed an animal that is as tasty as possible while still being high in protein and nutrients and low in fat. He hopes his meats will help change the way we eat, and urges consumers to think about the amount of nutrition they’re getting for their dollar when deciding what to eat. 

Judging by the crowds around his stall at PFM’s Saturday PSU Market, Rousseau’s customers seem to understand the myriad benefits of his humanely-raised, nutrient-dense meats. “I’ve converted 41 vegetarians,” Rousseau says with pride. “At least those are the ones I know about.”

--Brooke Meyers

Get Cooking with Market Chefs

During the month of September, Market Chefs will be at the Sunday King Market to help cooks shop for, prepare and enjoy local foods with confidence and inspiration.  Each week at 10:30am and 12:30pm, Chef Kelly Myers and a guest chef will share lessons on a variety of themes, including A Farmers Market Menu for the Whole Family and Fresh for Less: delicious ways to get more from your farmers market dollar.  Guest chefs will include chef, writer and Garden of Wonders founder Linda Colwell, Jeremy Daniels of Nostrana restaurant, and Slow Food USA regional governor Katherine Deumling.

Sunday King Market Extended Season

Due to the popularity of our new Sunday King Market, we will be extending the season an extra month, through October 25, 2009.  Thank you to our valued shoppers and vendors for making this market a wonderful weekly gathering place for the neighborhood.

Tomato Turn On

Back by popular demand, the annual Portland Farmers Market tomato tasting will take place at the Saturday PSU Market September 12th from 10:30am-noon. Volunteers will be slicing and dicing a rainbow of tomatoes for customers to taste and compare. After sampling all varieties, market shoppers are encouraged to cast votes for their favorites in the “slicing” and “cherry” categories. Join in the fun and help a farmer win “Top Tomato” bragging rights!

Eat Your Words

On September 26th, Wordstock volunteers will be on hand at the Saturday PSU Market to talk to shoppers about this year's festival (October 8-11), which will have a focus on food.  Look for them near the Powell's Books booth in the center of the market.

See You Next Year

As September comes to a close, so too will the 2009 season for our Thursday Eastbank and Thursday Ecotrust Markets.  Thank you for supporting our local farmers by making these your neighborhood markets.  Don't forget to join us for the Eastbank Thanksgiving Reunion Market on Tuesday, November 24th from 1pm-5pm.  There will be free hot cider and everything you need to create a sumptuous Thanksgiving feast!

Walk Now for Autism

Walk Now for Autism Portland will host a non-competitive walk in the South Park Blocks in Downtown Portland in order to increase awareness of Autism, as well as help raise money for Autism Speaks to fund critical research, advocacy, family services, community grants, and more right here in Oregon. Join the crowd on Saturday, September 26, 2009, 10am at SW Main and Salmon to show your support.

Portland VegFest

This month, Portland VegFest celebrates five years of food, fun, and community. This annual vegetarian festival features free samples of delicious food and drink, musical entertainment and a prestigious roster of popular cookbook authors and wellness experts.  The festival is on Saturday, September 19, 2009 from 10am-8pm at the Oregon Convention Center located at NE MLK Blvd. The price of admission is $5 at the door (free for children 10 and under) and you can visit their website for a printable $1-off coupon.

Free Grand Central Baking Demos

Just in time for fall meals and holiday baking, Grand Central Bakery will host a series of six, free baking demonstrations featuring their line of U-Bake products.  All of the demonstrations will feature two recipes—a savory and a sweet—that celebrate local and seasonal ingredients.  September's classes will feature a Roasted Tomato Tart and Marionberry Pie one week and Quiche Lorraine and Tarte Tatin the next.

The hour-long demonstrations will take place at Grand Central Bakery’s 714 N. Fremont Avenue location in Portland at 4pm on the second and last Wednesday of the month, from September 16 through November 18.  No pre-registration is necessary and walk-ins are welcome.

Premiere of "Ingredients"

Meet the filmmakers at the premiere of the locally made documentary film Ingredients.  This feature-length documentary reveals the people — including many Portland-area farmers and chefs — who are leading the movement to bring good food back to the table and health back to our communities.  The premiere at the Bagdad Theater on Friday, September 25th at 7pm will be followed by a panel discussion with chef Greg Higgins and Anthony and Carol Boutard of Ayers Creek Farm.  Tickets are $5 at the door and proceeds will benefit the Multnomah County Sustainability Program.

Composting Workshop

On September 20th, the Institute of Biowisdom will be holding a Making and Understanding Composts and Compost Teas Workshop at Sunbow Farm in Corvallis, OR. Instructors Shephard Smith (owner, Soil Smith Services) and Harry MacCormack (owner, Sunbow Farm) will share basic information and techniques on topics such as converting conventional to organic, making composts in various climates, making compost teas and extracts, and strategies for fertilization, disease protection and fungal control.  For more information about this practical and hands-on introduction to the complexities of the Soil Food Web paradigm, click here.  The workshop runs from 10am-3pm (bring your own lunch) and tickets are $30 at the door.

MIX Magazine

MIX celebrates the energy and excitement of the country’s hottest food and drink scene.

MIX combines the ingredients that make the Portland food scene so special: friends gathering for casual entertaining, an emphasis on local produce and artisan foods and drinks, a vibrant restaurant scene, a booming wine country, craft beer nirvana and the people who make it all happen.

We are so pleased to be one of the sponsors of the Portland Farmers Market and grateful for the vitality the markets bring to our city and the accessibility to local agriculture they bring to our urban neighborhoods!

Martha Holmberg, editor of MIX, sees Portland’s culinary culture as unique because it has such strong roots in the rich agricultural traditions of the state. “There’s a respect for great ingredients shared by everyone who’s involved in the scene. It’s not just about being cool. It’s about being GOOD and cool!”

After taking the helm of The Oregonian’s weekly FOODday section (which was awarded The Association of Food Journalists Best Food Section in the nation the last two years), Martha saw MIX as a natural extension of The Oregonian’s coverage. The vibrant, growing food and drink scene inspires passion in Portlanders and makes life in our city special.

MIX strives to highlight the freshest local artisan ingredients and offers readers a wide range of seasonal recipes using those ingredients. In the MIX June/July issue, Leslie Cole writes, “I’ll take a visit to a farmers market as my sentinel of summer. Here I can see, smell and taste the rhythms of the season, from the first nibble of a snap pea, to the search for the sweetest berries among the stalls, to the sharp, earthy aromas of roasting peppers and craggy wild mushrooms in the fall…. The question becomes not what to cook, but do you have time to cook everything you imagine?”

Each issue of MIX magazine features unique stories on the Portland food scene. Join a Friday Night Dinner Party and kick back with some new friends; take a culinary Walkabout through a Portland neighborhood; learn about seasonal ales in Pub Crawl; learn secrets of top bartenders in Mixmaster; learn about specific wine varietals in Selects; get restaurant reviews in Scene; take a road trip in Eat Here; discover cool implements in The Goods; and more! Plus, check out past articles and lots of great recipes on

MIX magazine: Portland’s Magazine of Food + Drink. Portland’s Food + Drink Scene. Your guides to the Portland food scene. MIX is available on selected newsstands and by subscription. Go to for more information.

MIX is published by The Oregonian’s Lifestyle Media group, a leader in developing innovative publications that combine well-designed, insightful, page-turning editorial features with quality advertising directed to a focused audience.

Market Dates + Locations

8:30AM – 2PM   Fall Hours: Nov – Dec   9AM – 2PM
in downtown’s South Park Blocks
between SW Harrison & Montgomery

APRIL 29 – OCTOBER 28   10AM – 2PM
in South Park Blocks
between SW Salmon & Main

JUNE 4 – SEPTEMBER 24   3:30 – 7:30PM
NW 10th Street between NW Irving & Johnson

MAY 7 – SEPTEMBER 24    3:30 – 7:30PM
SE Salmon at 20th
between SE Hawthorne & Belmont

MAY 3 – OCTOBER 25    10AM – 2PM
NE 7th at Wygant between NE Alberta & Prescott

All markets accept Oregon Trail EBT, debit and credit cards.
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