Saturday, February 19, 2011

Portland Farmers' Market Countdown: One Month to Go!

Today, my dearies, we find ourselves under sunny skies in Portland, just one month from the opening of the Portland Farmers' Market on March 19th. In a few short weeks, my Saturdays will be spent in my favorite place in town, amidst potatoes and greens and farmers in the beating heart of our city. The weekend of March 19th, 20th, and 21st will certainly be a busy one for this gal - I'll be elbow-deep in James Beard mania, hopping around town with my camera and a smile, doing my best to soak in the excitement surrounding the announcement of the James Beard nominees on Monday morning. 2011 is the first year the nominees are being revealed in Beard's hometown, and the weekend leading up to Monday's main event will be packed with events that will undoubtedly leave me hungover and ecstatic. I'm more than stoked. I'm also pretty positive the market's opening day will draw out some national food bigwigs in town for the announcements, but the real celebrities will be the market staff and farmers ringing in the true start of the new year.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy 152nd Birthday, Oregon!

On February 14th, 1859, Oregon officially became the 33rd state in the Union. Sure, today may be Valentine's Day, but here's something really worth celebrating: Happy Birthday to the best place in the country. There's a reason this green piece of earth was the end of the road for thousands of weary 19th century pioneers, and it's the same thing that pulls 21st century dreamers to the banks of our rivers and the waves of our shores. The soil is fruitful, there's room for everyone, and we'll be the last place on earth with plenty of fresh water.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Springtime in Portland: Reluctantly Celebrating the Signs of a New Season

Every year, I tell my friends - and neighbors, and strangers, and, most fervently, myself - that this sunshine, this greening, this blossoming of the city of Portland is a trick. I say it's mean, cold-hearted trick known emphatically as Fake Spring, a phenomenon which draws us in year after year, luring us with daffodils and cherry blossoms. I climb up on my Dr. Bronner's soap box and preach the dangers of optimistically starting those raised beds and staring too long from the office window at the brightness outside. This is a specter of a new season. This is a trap. We're coddled with temperatures in the fifties, drawn out to play Frisbee in the streets, and warmed like sleepy lizards by the sun, only to fall heavily back into rain, chill, and frost for a few more months. A truly mean trick. And every year, without fail, I fall for it.