Thursday, June 10, 2004

The HFM Grapevine
The Official Newsletter of the Hillsdale Farmers‚ Market Vol. 3 Issue 3
"All the news that's fresh, we print"

Profile: Willamette Valley Cheese Co.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This week The Grapevine features a look at one of our newest vendors, the Willamette Valley Cheese Co. Makers and purveyors of artisan Gouda, Havarti and Eola Jack, WVCC practices old fashioned cheese-making methods using all-natural ingredients. The following profile was complied from information contained in the farm's promotional literature.

Rod Volbeda grew up on dairy farms in California and Albany, OR. After graduating with a degree in Food Science from Oregon State University, he landed a job at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. There, Rod not only gained valuable experience in the art of cheese-making but he also met his wife, Melissa.

In 1992, Rod and Melissa moved to Salem and opened a dairy farm of their own. Today they oversee a herd of seventy Jersey Cows that forage on pasture in the summer and corn, grass and alfalfa during the winter. They grow all of their own winter feed using no pesticides and keep the cows happy and healthy without any reliance on hormones or antibiotics. The care and attention they give to the animal‚s nutrition and environment results in exceptionally high quality milk that is the basis of their cheese.

In crafting their cheeses, the Volbedas use many of the same techniques used by traditional Gouda and Havarti cheese-makers in Holland (where Rod once spent several months studying their methods). The key to these old fashioned methods is a pasteurization process in which the vat temperature is raised slowly and gradually in order to maintain the flavor and character of the milk. As the pasteurized milk slowly cooks, the curds form and separate from the whey. The whey is then drained off, leaving the delicate curds to be molded, salted and aged. No animal rennet, colors or preservatives are added to the cheese; nothing but pure milk, traditional techniques and hard work go into the making of their cheese!

Stop by this Sunday, say hi and sample some of their delicious Gouda, Eola Jack and Havarti varieties: (Dill, Cumin, Jalapeño, Garlic Pepper, Peppercorn).

Eamon's Corner
By Eamon Malloy, HFM Manager
One of the best things about being at the market every week is getting to watch the sequence of fruits and vegetables progress along with the season The warm weather brought in cherries weeks earlier Snow peas (a vegetable I eat in the way that some folks eat potato chips) are in good, delicious supply Asparagus is still available and delectable With the continuing arrival of a wide variety of lettuces, arugula, mizuna, and spinach, the salad possibilities are endless I can't wait for blueberries, melons and tomatoes! (Thanks to Salmon Creek, I can satisfy my tomato urges NOW with their hydroponic tomatoes) My favorite quick lunch this week is a few slices of those tomatoes and some of Oregon Gourmet Cheese's Sublimity cheese on two slices of Ken's Artisan Bakery's brown bread. Broil it until the cheese melts then eat. It's a simple but flavorful meal.

Many of you have been asking when some of our mid-season vendors will be selling at the market. Ayers Creek Farm will make their seasonal debut on July 11th Flamingo Ridge Farm sets up shop on July 4th and Riley & Sons Blueberries will start on June 27th.

Finally: Celebrate Father's Day (June 20) at the market with our Strawberry Fest... Sample all the varieties available at the market with shortcake or dipped in chocolate!

Sue's Recipe o' the Week
With all of the makings of a great salad now coming into our market, it's only fitting that our resident recipe guru, Sue, came up with a savory dressing to top it off.

Hazelnut Dressing with Tarragon
Serves six.
2 T white wine vinegar
1 T Dijon-style mustard
Pinch salt, sugar, fresh ground pepper
Grated nutmeg
1 T pear or apple eau de vie (brandy)-optional
2 T finely chopped tarragon
1 cup plus 2 T hazelnut oil
1/4 cup roasted and chopped Oregon hazelnuts

In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, salt, sugar and pepper. Beat with a wire whisk. Add the nutmeg and eau de vie. Beat well for one minute. Very slowly add the oil in tiny droplets, beating constantly with the whisk. Taste for seasoning. Just before serving, add the greens to the dressing. Toss gently to coat the greens. Put onto serving plates, divide crab meat evenly between the plates and sprinkle with hazelnuts.

Rainy Day Blues? Call Mr. Hughes!
The recent spate of rainy weather undoubtedly has some regular market-goers thinking about finding a warmer, drier venue for their Sunday shopping excursions. Of course, I know that no self-respecting Grapevine reader would even contemplate, let alone resort to such an arid, joyless course of action. Nevertheless, it‚s a safe bet that many of you are acquainted with someone who might. It is for their benefit that I have included the following poem by Langston Hughes. Pass it on to your favorite aquaphobe, posthaste.
Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain.

What‚s Fresh for June 13
Okay, get your pencil, paper and cookbooks handy and start planning those menus for the week ahead. Here‚s what you can expect to find, fresh, at the Hillsdale Farmers‚ Market on Sunday.

Baird Family Orchards, Dayton:
Berries/Fruit: Cherries
Other: Asparagus

Bear Creek Floral, Tillamook:
Other: Artichokes.

Deep Roots Farm, Albany:
Berries/ Fruit: Strawberries.
Bulb/Root Veggies: Beets, Carrots, Garlic, Garlic Tops, Onions, Radish, Turnips.
Leafy Greens: Arugula, Chard, Chinese Cabbage, Collard Greens, Escarole, Kale, Lettuce, Mizuna, Spinach.
Other: Cucumbers, Sugar Snap Peas, Summer Squash, Zucchini.

Earthshine Gardens, Sherwood:
Other: Plant starts, Eggs (From Above the Clouds Farm)
Expected New Next Week: Chard, Kale, Lettuce.

Gee Creek Farm, Ridgefield, WA:
Bulb/ Root Veggies: Beets, Carrots.
Herbs & Spices: Cilantro.
Leafy Greens: Arugula, Lettuce, Spinach.

Happy Harvest Farm, Mt. Angel:
Beans & Peas: Snow Peas.
Berries/Fruit: Strawberries.
Other: Cucumbers, Zucchini.
Expected New Next Week: Loganberries & Raspberries.

Herr Family Farm, Corbett:
Bulb/Root Veggies: Green Onion.
Leafy Greens: Bok Choy.

Liepold Farm, Boring:
Berries/Fruit: Strawberries.
Expected New Next Week: Raspberries, Blueberries (maybe).

Lone Elder Farm, Canby:
Beans & Peas: Fava Beans, Sugar Snap Peas.
Berries/ Fruit: Cherries, Strawberries.
Bulb/Root Veggies: Beets, Carrots, Green Onions, Radishes, Walla Walla Sweet Onions.
Herbs & Spices: Cilantro.
Leafy Greens: Cabbage, Chard, Lettuce (7 varieties), Mustard Greens, Spinach.
Other: Asparagus, Rhubarb, Summer Squash, Zucchini.

Packer Orchard, Hood River:
Berries/Fruit: Cherries.

Rick Steffen Farm, Silverton:
Beans & Peas: Green beans.
Other: Asparagus.

Salmon Creek Farm:
Other: Tomatoes (Hydroponic)

Unger Farms, Cornelius:
Berries/Fruit: Strawberries (HOOD RIVERS!!!, Selva)

Market Guests for June 13

Musical Guest: Dancing Out Land Marimba Band (Featuring HFM's own Joan Quinn. You go, girl!)

Guest Organization: Hillsdale Votes (Register to vote or help register your neighbors!)

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