We do tend to be lousy with them hereabouts. Pretty much every neighborhood and small town has a farmers market. Which is why its pretty silly that I never considered Beaverton as a serious farmer’s market contender.
Here’s the thing, the Portland one? The one they hold at PSU? I find it crowded, expensive and not friendly to those of us without access to decent public transportation (because Vancouver, WA is bound and determined to keep the calendar set at 1950. Even if we are now called Vansterdam thanks to recent legislative changes on certain recreational pharmaceutical plant products). My own little burg’s market is great, affordable and all, but not much in the way of variety.
So when Mitch and Sharon were visiting, we decided to make the trek to Beaverton, as they had heard good things about it. It is a bit of a schlep, I’ll admit. On the drive there we were all doing a bit of expectation managing, the second weekend in November, it was bound to be small. There probably wouldn’t be much in the way of produce. We really shouldn’t get our hopes up.
At first it looked like we were spot on, it seemed there was a paltry array of canopies set up. But we parked and headed over. Wow.
Every vendor we talked to was sort of apologetic. Normally, there were a lot more people. Seriously, it was kind of late in the year. Really, you should come back in the spring. That sort of thing.
And yet – wow. There were three aisles of vendors, a nice mix between the local food crafters and the local farmers. The produce was nothing short of beautiful. There were giant cauliflowers that could easily feed a family of four for a month, giant cabbages that looked as though a wheelbarrow would be necessary to get them to the car. Some of the most beautiful Tuscan kale I have ever seen.
Then there were the squashes. I don’t think I have ever seen such a variety. Some of them were new to me. Banana squash – a huge, pink squash (that seriously, looks nothing like a banana). Racks and tables, baskets and bushels, filled with squashes. All the fall favorites – root veggies, gourds, fall fruits – were well represented.
I found myself snapping pictures with my cell phone, because seriously? It was just beautiful. See for yourself: (and yes, I will be back come spring!)