Thursday, April 02, 2009

Grapevine April 5 2009 Market

this week
- What's Coming To The Market This Week?
- Getting Your Garden Ready
- Cooking Ideas - Early Spring Soupe Au Pistou

It's April and we are in the last month of our winter schedule. The last two winter market dates are April 5th and April 19th. The market begins its 8th season on Sunday May 3, 2009. By customer and vendor request, we have extended the weekly schedule into November. The weekly season will end on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, November 22, 2009. When the market returns to the weekly schedule, the no pet policy will again be in effect. Animals may return to the market in December.

I am working on the vendor lineup for the upcoming season. Instead of a market letter, I will be sending out a market preview on April 23rd. There aren't too many changes but we do will have a few new vendors.

Verdura Culinary Gardens will be at the market this Sunday and on April 19th to help you with gardening questions. Edgemaster will also be at the market to sharpen your garden tools. The rain will eventually stop and the temperatures will rise, so why not plan for the summer? In the meantime, there is a great selection of seasonal foods available to eat.

See you on Sunday!

Eamon Molloy
Market Manager

What's Coming To The Market This Week?

Kale, chard, spinach and several kinds of salad and braising mixes will be available this week. You should also find several kinds of raabs. There will be some asparagus available too. Apples and pears will be available as will kiwi.

With Passover starting the evening of April 8th and Easter on the 12th there will be a higher than usual demand for eggs. Kookoolan Farm, Greenville Farm, Fraga Farm and Sweet Briar Farms will all have eggs this week.

If you are planning ahead for your Easter dinner, Sweet Briar Farms will have pork and Draper Girls Country Farm will have lamb and goat. Both welcome pre-orders. You can reach Sweet Briar Farms at 541-683-7447 and Draper Girls at 541-352-6625.

Check the availability list for the complete list of who's coming this weekend and what they expect to be selling. The list is posted Thursday afternoon and updated through the weekend. You can find Sunday morning updates on our Twitter feed located in the right column of the list page.

Kookoolan Farms
Market Fruit/Packer Orchards
Vanveen Bulb

Ayers Creek Farm (back in July)
Garden Color (back in May)

Getting Your Garden Ready

Don't know where to start when planning your garden? Verdura Culinary Gardens will be at the market April 5th and 19th to help you out. Caroline and Larry Lewis started up the business to help Portlanders, even people with little experience or time to garden, grow organic food in their own yard. Verdura Culinary Gardens designs and maintains organic vegetable gardens in raised beds. The gardens are designed to be compact and intensively planted, therefore requiring far less space than conventional row gardens. Caroline and Larry will be available for questions and will have a demo raised bed for you to see.

While it is still too cold to plant tomatoes there are many other plants you can put in the ground now. Nancy Seaman from Farris-Seaman Plants will have more Hellebores, including a few doubles. Yarrow, maybe some Monarda 'Jacob Kline', some Polemonium 'Stairway to Heaven', Salix (both curly willow & the Dappled willow), Lavender 'Gross', & white seedless grape plants will be available as will some herbs, including chives, rosemary, & greek oregano, & possibly others. Sungold Farm will be bringing vegetable starts, peonies and other perennials, herbs and possibly a few hanging baskets. Gales Meadow Farm will be bringing a wide assortment of starts. Anne listed them in the last newsletter. If you can't find your copy, you can find the newsletter here.

Cooking Ideas - Early Spring Soupe Au Pistou
Caroline Lewis is not only an expert garden designer, she is also a trained chef. Caroline studied under another regular market shopper, Robert Reynolds. Caroline writes about gardening and cooking at Culinate. (You can find her articles here.) This recipe accompanied an article Caroline posted recently. I like the recipe for the same reason Caroline does - it hints of the summer to come. Enjoy!

Early Spring Soupe Au Pistou


4 Tbsp. olive oil
3 medium leeks, dark green parts trimmed and discarded, light green and white parts thoroughly washed and cut into ¼-inch slices
~ Kosher salt
6 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups homemade chicken stock (or water; avoid canned chicken broth)
1 (15 oz.) can Roma tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 medium turnip, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup cooked and drained flageolet or cannellini beans
1/2 bunch of white or red Swiss chard
1/2 cup Israeli couscous, acini di pepe, or orzo pasta
~ About 1/2 cup pesto


1. In a large heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium and add the leeks and a generous pinch of salt. Stir, cover the pot, and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook the leeks gently without browning, stirring occasionally, until they are limp and tender. Increase the heat to high, add the garlic, and sauté, stirring, one minute. Then add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.

2. Add the tomatoes, herbs, carrots, turnips, celery and beans, and bring back to a boil. Simmer until the vegetables are just tender, about 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cut the ribs out of the chard leaves and set aside. Cut the larger leaf pieces in half or quarters lengthwise, stack eight or ten leaves, and cut into ¼” slivers crosswise. Make sure they’re not too long – no one wants long strands of anything hanging off his soup spoon! Continue until all the chard is sliced, then add it to the soup pot. Add the pasta, stir, and simmer the mixture until the chard is tender and the pasta is cooked, about 15 minutes.

4. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Add a dollop of pesto to each bowl, swirling it in, and serve.

5. Serving note: Crostini spread with goat cheese make a wonderful accompaniment.


Feel free to substitute types of greens, types of beans, and other root vegetables as supplies — and your whim — dictate. In the photo above, we used kale, cranberry beans, and a rutabaga instead of the chard, beans, and turnip.

Printable version of this recipe may be found here.