Recently two of my sisters and I took advantage of low Southwest airfares and flew to Portland. When we left Sacramento it was raining and in the 50’s. We arrived in Portland to sunshine and 86 degrees. That was a rarity. It should have been the other way around. Eighty-six is pretty warm but we weren’t complaining.
First order of business was to head over to the car rental pick-up location and load up our rental with our luggage. Then it was off to one of my favorite farmers markets, the Portland market at Portland State University. Unfortunately, we arrived with less than an hour before closing and had just enough time to make a quick perusal of the possibilities for lunch. We sat under the beautiful big trees and ate our lunch as the vendors broke down their stalls and packed their trucks. Next time I’ll make sure I have a couple of hours of shopping time. Tummies full and anticipation high we headed back to the car for our leisurely drive from Portland to the coast, then north to Long Beach, WA and five days of a much needed vacation. If you’re ever in Portland on a Saturday between 8:30am and 2:00pm, check out the Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University. It’s open 8:30am – 2:00pm March 19 – December 17 and 9:oo am – 2:00 pm November and December. If the PSU market won’t fit into your visit there are markets happening in Portland everyday but Friday. You can find out more about locations, days and times here.
Sunday morning we decided to drive over to Astoria, a nice two-hour drive away and check out their Sunday Market. The Astoria market is easily the largest farmers market in the Columbia-Pacific region — and one the largest statewide, with up to 200 vendor spaces. In addition to its size it’s one of the few Oregon markets open on Sundays. After a wonderful breakfast at Blue Scorcher Bakery & Cafe (They also have a booth at the market which sells yummy bakery items) we walked a couple of blocks to the market which was already very busy. The market is a mix of food (ready -to-eat and fresh), art & photography, handmade clothing, things for kids and pets, body care products, crafts and jewelry and plants and garden items. There is also a prepared food section where you can sit and eat and listen to some local music. This isn’t one of those flea markets where products come from everywhere all products sold at the Astoria market are made or grown by the vendor, so you’re supporting local folks.
One of the most interesting things I found at the market was a young entrepreneur selling goat milk soaps. This bright young lady named Mary told me her title was, Milkologist and Monster Master of Mary\’s Milk Monsters. With a title like that and a smile like hers who wouldn’t take a few minutes to listen to what she had to say. She told me she got into making soaps because her goats (her 4H project) give a lot of milk and she was looking for a new way “to make use of their hard work.” By adding her own hard work she has come up with a wonderful little business. You can find out more about how she makes her soaps and meet some of her goats on her website. If you won’t be in Astoria anytime soon, you can buy her soap through her website. A very nice way to support a very engaging and energetic young entrepreneur.
After talking with Mary, and browsing, and shopping for non-food items for a couple of hours we finally got down to the business of buying food and bought chives, goat cheese, eggs, apples and some amazing goodies at the Blue Scorcher Bakery booth to take back to our little cabin in Long Beach.
If you are going to be up in the Northwest this summer take time to visit one of their Farmers Markets. You’ll meet some really nice folks, you’ll find fresh local foods and crafts and sometimes you’ll even meet someone you’ll never forget.
A Guide to North Coast Farmers Markets
Astoria – open 10am – 3pm, Sundays, from Mother’s Day through the second weekend in October
Commercial and 12th Street, Astoria, OR
Newport-open 9am – 1pm, Saturdays, May 7-Oct 29
US Highway 101 and Angle Street, Newport, OR
Lincon City – open 9am – 3pm, Sundays, May 1 – Oct 16
540 NE US Hwy 100, Lincoln City, OR
Tillamook – open 9am – 2pm, Saturdays, June 11 – Sept 24
Laurel and 2nd Streets
Manzanita – open 5 – 8pm, Fridays, June 10 – Sept 23
Fifth and Laneda Avenue
Cannon Beach – open 2 – 5 pm, Tuesdays, June 14 – Sept 27
Midtown public parking lot
Seaside – open 1pm – 4pm, Saturdays, July 2 – Sept 24, except Aug 27
2315 N. Roosevelt Drive
no web address
Columbia-Pacific – open 3 – 7pm Fridays, May – September
Downtown, Long Beach, WA
Scappoose – open 9am – 2pm, Saturdays, mid May – September
E 2nd Street entrance to City Hall parking lot on E Columbia Avenue
Two Island’s Farm Market – open 3 – 6:30pm, Fridays, May – October
59 W Birnie Slough Road, Puget Island, WA