Yesterday's market was nothing short of summery, despite the premiere of winter squash and turnips at a few select booths. The sun was out with a vengeance, the crowds were back after last week's rainy lull, babies were lounging on blankets in the grass, and there is still more corn than anyone can handle. Ok, maybe I'm the only one who's struggling with my corn, but still, it's everywhere! Another defining feature of summer at the Portland Farmer's Market is the Tomato Turn-On, a really fun event that shows off just how many awesome varieties Portland-area farmers bring to the market.
Farmers graciously donated a couple varieties of tomatoes, both slicers and cherries, and our amazing volunteers spent hours, knife in hand, slicing up HUNDREDS... THOUSANDS... MILLIONS of tomatoes to set on plates along a long stretch of tables. You think I'm exaggerating, and I am. But there were a lot of tomatoes. Market-goers were given score-cards and toothpicks, and sent down the line for a free lunch c/o summer's favorite fruitegetable. At the end of the tables stood big easels with every variety, and voters used little stickers to cast their votes.
It was truly a showdown of summer's best. I couldn't stick around to view the final vote, and I'd be hard-pressed to pick my own favorites, but I certainly enjoyed the feast, and the reminder that it's still summer, despite the cloudy skies, the mounting piles of reading for school, and the winter squash that is roasting away in the oven. Let's call it the liminal space between summer and fall, the best of all worlds.