Thursday, August 19, 2004

The HFM Grapevine
The Official Newsletter of the Hillsdale Farmers' Market Vol. 3 Issue 8
"All the news that's fresh, we print"

Vendor Profile: Flamingo Ridge Farm
As co-owner Charlie Harris tells it, the concept of Flamingo Ridge Farm grew from seeds that were first planted in his mind as a small boy. Throughout the 1950s and 60s, he and his family would frequently travel down to Louisiana and Texas to visit relatives who operated small farms there. On one of those trips, young Charlie was taken to a chicken farm where he was greeted by his uncle. and a powerful odor.
"I asked my uncle what that smell was," Harris recalls. "He told me: It's the smell of money, son.' "

In spite of his uncle's counsel, Harris did not immediately grow up into a life of grime. Yet, eventually, fate nudged him in that direction. Following a stint with Union Pacific Railroad, Harris found work with the Bureau of Reclamation, the federal agency responsible for building and administering water delivery systems to farmlands. In his work for the Bureau, he would frequently visit farms in Eastern Washington.

"Those farms really amazed me," Harris says. "Six to eight hundred acres of lush green fields in the middle of otherwise barren desert! But after a while I also came to realize that a lot of the irrigation water we were sending them was going to waste."

Harris was laid off from the Bureau in the early 1980s. Fortunately, he had developed a little side business selling irrigation spray supplements to the controversial guru, Baghwan Shree Rajneesh. Although he failed to match the impressive sales figures of the Baghwan's Rolls Royce dealer, Harris did very well for himself. More importantly, he got a close-up look at Rajneesh's agricultural operation that he says was quite innovative and a far cry from what he'd seen while working for the Bureau of Reclamation.

"They had this really clever technique for recycling and conserving water that enabled them to keep their crops well-irrigated even during the driest times of the year."

It wasn't long afterwards that Harris had the opportunity to try some of those techniques himself. Using the proceeds from his sales to Rajneesh, he and his wife Deva (to whom Harris credits most of his success) purchased five acres of land near Gaston, Oregon and Flamingo Ridge Farm was born. Soon Flamingo Ridge was a year round operation, recycling winter water for re-use in the summer. Harris reports that recycling allows him to capture and store 1.2 million gallons of water over the course of a winter.

Today, over 20 years later, Flamingo Ridge sells its produce to several well-known Portland establishments including Zupan's stores, and Higgins, Paley's & Wildwood restaurants. In the spring of 2002, Greg Higgins (of Higgins' Restaurant) told Harris about a new farmers' market that was about to open in the Hillsdale neighborhood.

"I was completely uninterested," Harris admits. "I felt satisfied with the scope of my business and did not want to take on any new responsibilities."

But Higgins persisted until Harris agreed to attend a market vendors' meeting. He says that once he saw the level of commitment and enthusiasm of the people involved with the market, he just kind of fell right in. Today Flamingo Ridge sells at four Portland area markets, but Hillsdale is the only one that Harris personally attends. He says the market's friendly, community-based atmosphere keeps him mindful of why he got into farming in the first place.

"After I left the Bureau of Reclamation, I decided not to look for another 'real' job. I didn't want a career; I wanted a lifestyle. Now I get to have fun, spend time outdoors and stay in good physical shape. To do all that and make a few bucks as well, what more could anyone ask?"

Eamon Corner
By Eamon Molloy, Market Manager

We will be experimenting with a new market layout over the next few weeks. We're expanding west to the back half of the parking lot in order to include Garbonzo's restaurant into the market! The new arrangement also enables us to add six stall spaces to the market... The additional stalls will all be allocated to current vendors who need the extra space. In order to accommodate these changes, some of our vendors will be moving from their usual spots, so if you can't find one of your favorite vendors come to the information booth and one of our friendly volunteers will point you in the right direction... We'll also be providing a comment board for you to post your opinions on the new layout.

And now for something a little different .The market has had strawberry festivals, tomato manias, ice cream sundaes, clowns but nothing for our well-behaved four legged friends who visit the market. Not anymore! On August 29, Pauline Smith will be doing pet portraits at the market. I guess this gives a new meaning to the dog days of summer.

Sue's Recipe o' the Week

Jalapeno Crab Dip
1 pound Linda Brand crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped pickled jalapenos
1/4 pound Willamette Valley Monterey Jack cheese with jalapenos, grated
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine the crabmeat, garlic, jalapenos, Monterey Jack, Worcestershire, hot sauce, salt, and mayonnaise in a medium-size mixing bowl.
3. Toss gently to mix.
4. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly on the top of the crabmeat mixture in an oven proof baking dish.
5. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 25 minutes.
6. Remove from the oven and let sit for about 5 minutes before serving with crostini.

What's Fresh for August 22
Once again, it's time to 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.

Aklavik Mushrooms, Portland (St. John's):
Herbs & Spices: Basil.
Mushrooms: Lobster, Maitake, Shiitake.
Other: Cee Gwa (Asian Veggie), Nopales (Cactus, similar to Prickly Pear)
Coming Soon: Porcini Mushrooms.

Ayers Creek Farm, Gaston:
Beans & Peas: Pole beans.
Berries.Fruit: Blackberries (Chester) Melons (Charentais, Galia, Ha'ogen, Petit Gris), Plums.
Bulb.Root Veggies: Beets.
Herbs & Spices: Fennel.
Leafy Greens: Chard.
Other: Zucchini.

Baird Family Orchards, Dayton:
Berries.Fruit: Nectarines, Peaches.

Bear Creek Floral, Tillamook:
Other: Artichokes.

Deep Roots Farm, Albany:
Beans & Peas: Green Beans, Purple Beans, Wax Beans.
Berries.Fruit: Cantaloupe, Watermelon (Yellow & Red Seedless).
Bulb.Root Veggies: Beets, Elephant Garlic, Garlic, Potatoes, Shallots, Turnips, Sweet Onions.
Herbs & Spices: Basil, Fennel.
Leafy Greens: Chard, Collards, Dandelion, Escarole, Kale, Lettuce, Spinach.
Other: Cherry Tomatoes, Corn, Cucumbers, Peppers, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Zucchini.

Earthshine Gardens, Sherwood:
Beans & Peas: Green Beans.
Bulb.Root Veggies: Beets, Carrots, Onions, Potatoes (Red, White, Yellow).
Herbs & Spices: Basil.
Leafy Greens: Cabbage, Endive, Lettuce, Salad Mix.
Other: Cauliflower, Cherry Tomatoes, Cukes, Eggplant, Heirloom Tomatoes, Lemon Cukes, Peppers, Summer Squash, Zucchini.

Flamingo Ridge Farm, Gaston:
Other: Cucumbers, Eggplants, Peppers, Summer Squash, Tomatoes.

Gee Creek Farm, Ridgefield, WA:
Beans & Peas: Fillet Beans, Green Beans, Wax Beans.
Berries.Fruit: Apples.
Bulb. Root Veggies: Carrots, Green Onions, Onions, Radishes.
Herbs & Spices: Basil, Cilantro, Fennel, Italian Parsley.
Leafy Greens: Cabbage (Green & Red), Chard, Kale, Lettuce, Mesclun.
Other: Baby Squash, Broccoli, Corn, Eggplant, Lemon Cukes, Middle Eastern Cukes, Peppers, Pickling Cukes, West Indian Gherkins.
Coming Soon: Tomatoes.

Happy Harvest Farm, Mt. Angel:
Beans & Peas: Green Beans.
Berries.Fruit: Apples, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Italian Prunes, Nectarines, Peaches, Watermelon (Yellow).
Other: Broccoli, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Lemon Cukes, Tomatoes, Zucchini.

Liepold Farm, Boring:
Berries.Fruit: Blackberries, Blueberries, Raspberries.

Lone Elder Farm, Canby:
Beans & Peas: Green Beans, Roma Beans, Snow Peas, Sugar Snap Peas.
Berries. Fruit: Blackberries, Blueberries, Cantaloupes, Nectarines, Peaches, Watermelon (Red, Yellow).
Bulb.Root Veggies: Beets, Carrots, Green Onions, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Potatoes (Red, Yukon Gold), Radishes, Red Onions, Sweet Onions.
Herbs & Spices: Basil, Cilantro, Dill, Parsley.
Leafy Greens: Chard, Lettuce (7 varieties), Spinach.
Other: Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Peppers, Rhubarb, Summer Squash, Zucchini.

Packer Orchard, Hood River:
Berries.Fruit: Peaches.

Rick Steffen Farm, Silverton:
Berries.Fruit: Apples, Apricots, Blueberries, Cantaloupes, Cherries, Peaches, Raspberries, Shiro Plums.
Bulb.Root Veggies: Sweet Onions.
Other: Cabbage, Cauliflower, Corn, Cukes, Okra, Tomatoes, Zucchini.

Salmon Creek Farm:
Other: Cukes, Summer Squash, Tomatoes (Hydroponic)

Stephens Farm (Dayton):
Berries. Fruit: Apples (Williams Pride, Gravenstein), Yellow Plums
Other: Summer Squash.

Unger Farms, Cornelius:
Berries.Fruit: Blueberries, Strawberries (Selva).
Upcoming Market Guests & Events

Musical Guests
August 22: Beltaine (Celtic folk)
August 29: Hamilton Street Quartet (jazz)
September 5: Tall Static (blues)

Special Events:
September 12, 2004: Hillsdale Feed Me Fresh Festival, 5 PM to 8 PM at the market's regular location: Come celebrate our market, our community and locally grown and prepared foods with local restaurants and stores (Alba, Jopa, Capitol Coffeehouse & Bistro, Garbonzo's, Market of Choice and Three Square Grill) and market vendors such as Secret Aardvark and Copper Crown Food. Tickets for the event are $5 ($6 at the door) and include a drink. Proceeds from the event will help underwrite the costs of the Hillsdale Winter Market. Tickets may be purchased at the Hillsdale Farmers' Market (Sundays 10AM-2PM) or by mail by sending a check to: Hillsdale Farmers' Market, 1509 SW Sunset Blvd Suite 2E Portland, OR 97239. For more information call 503.475.6555.

Do you know someone who might be interested in reading the HFM Grapevine?
If so, forward this on to them and invite them to get on our mailing list!