Besides the warm weather, summer trips, and struggling to manage the overgrown garden, summer is the time when you can enjoy fresh local produce and meet the people who grow it at one of the many Farmers’ Markets in the Gorge. You may have your own ways of shopping at a Farmers’ Market but here are several quick tips to make the best of your experience.
1.) Plan ahead. Have an idea of what you need. To see what is available, check out the market’s website or Facebook page. And if you need a ride, call your local public transportation provider to learn how they can help you get there.
2.) Bring a bag. Having a bag that can go on your shoulder will help keep your hands free. Or try a backpack! And a mini cooler with a few damp paper towels can keep highly perishable items like fresh herbs and certain vegetables from wilting on the way home. When you leave, you don’t want to look like a circus performer juggling your newly purchased fresh meats, vegetable, and fruits!
3.) Ask questions. Get to know your local farmers. Take the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the food and how it’s been grown.
4.) Try something new. Challenge yourself to try at least one new food item. How about the vegetables Arugula or Kale?
6.) Make a farm-to-table meal. Now, use everything you bought to prepare a tasty locally grown meal.
And don’t forget the basic sanitary practices: make sure meat is kept cold in a closed, iced cooler; keep it separate from other fresh produce to prevent cross-contamination; rinse your fruits and vegetables and pat them dry with a clean paper towel; use separate cutting boards for produce and raw meat; and as our parents told us always wash your hands first. Remember, you are the last line of defense in reducing the risk of foodborne illness.
To find information about all the local Farmers’ Markets go online to https://gorgegrown.com. But for those of you who can’t, here is a quick listing of the time and places for all the local Farmers’ Markets.
Hood River: Saturday, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm; 5th and Columbia lot in downtown Hood River.
The Dalles: Saturdays, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm; downtown City Park, Union and E. 5th Street.
White Salmon: Tuesdays 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm; Rhinegarten Park at 282 N Main Avenue.
Goldendale: Saturdays: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm; Chamber lawn, 903 E Broadway.
Odell – Mercado del Valle Farmers’ Market: Thursdays, July 7th and 21st, August 4th and 18th, and September 1st and 15th4:00 pm – 6:00 pm; Mid-Valley Elementary School, 3683 Davis Drive.
Stevenson: Saturdays 10:00 am – 2:00 pm; the Waterfront at 140 S Cascade Ave.
Brain Tease: I shared these two riddles five years ago and you would think I would remember both answers. Well, I did for the first, but I couldn’t for the second – it was a little too cerebral for me. See if you can do better.
1.) How many times can you subtract 5 from 25? 2.) Imagine you are in a dark room. How do you get out?
The portable radios popular in the ’60s and ’70s were called transistor radios. I received correct answers from Doug Nelson, Jess Birge, Lana Tepfer, Donna Mollett, Dave Lutgens, Margo Dameier, Jim Tindall, Rhonda Spies, and since this week I’m in a generous mood both Tiiu Vahtel and Scott Franke are winners of a quilt raffle ticket. Last week I missed Rebecca Abrams.
This 1963 American musical romantic comedy film was inspired by the sensation of singer Elvis Presley being drafted into the United States Army in 1957. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this movie that is credited with making Ann-Margret a superstar during the mid-1960s? Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a message at 541-296-4788, or mail it with an autographed picture of teen idol Bobby Rydell who played the part of Hugo.
Answer: 1.) Only once. 2.) Stop imagining.
Well, it’s been another week, watching the weeds keep growing taller. Until we meet again, keep your nose clean and your hands dirty, because as the old farmer from Fossil once said “Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
“The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.” — Mark Twain