'Morning, Market

comments: 93


In the flat light of a gloomy Saturday morning in early June, Portlanders get up early and wind their ways downtown. The Rose Festival parade, in full swing a few blocks away, means that the crowds on the Park Blocks are a bit lighter than usual; this is the Portland Farmer's Market, our destination of choice.


It's pretty great. Fresh fruits and vegetables, potted plants and herbs, fancy cheeses (I spent eight dollars on homemade ricotta; I couldn't hep it, but I do need to try and make my own), organic milk and meats, pastries and coffee, flowers flowers flowers, mushrooms, pickles, biscuits and gravy, ruby-red strawberries. I love how the strawberry girl's shirt (and she had on Kelly-green pants, too) matches the fruit-punch-pink highlights in her gorgeous berries.


There are so many photo ops at the market. It's crowded; sometime I'd like to go without a bag on my shoulder and a dog on the leash — just take my camera and spend the whole morning. Get there early and watch the set-up. Find those angles you seem to see best when you are looking through a viewfinder.


When I first moved to Portland, I thought it felt very European. It reminded me in many ways of London, one of my favorite cities in the world (not that I've been to that many cities, but London is possibly my very favorite; Copenhagen is up there, too. And Rome, by all means, Rome). London is my dream city. When I first came to Portland I liked to find the ways it reminded me of London, and I've heard other people say the same thing. Beautiful urban markets like this make living in a small city like Portland something special. With the cost of food skyrocketing (and I'm not sure it's any less expensive at the farmer's market, honestly, but there are so many good reasons to support the local growers), it's a whole morning's entertainment, aesthetic satisfaction, dog exercise, and grocery shoping all in one, so that's economical. I think I'll try to go every Saturday this summer, or Thursdays on the east side or in the Pearl.


I love mushrooms. I made mushroom sauce on Friday night, and used my next-door neighbor's egg slicer thing to slice two pounds of cremini and button mushrooms. I was so excited about the slicer — like, very very very excited about the slicer; I took photos, and a really cool photo of the sauce on some pasta. But then in my excitement I accidentally and immediately deleted all of them. So I'll have to do that again because that sauce is really good. I have no idea what the mushrooms are in this photo — probably morels and oysters? I have to say that button mushrooms and creminis are my favorites. But I'll eat them all, no problem.


Such pretty flowers at the market now, delicate and foresty. I thought this bouquet was particularly lovely — a fairy spray of early summer colors. I bought all of my wedding flowers at the Oak Park Farmer's Market. We all carried little bouquets of zinnias and snapdragons during the ceremony, and then popped them into big canning jars for the centers of the dinner tables at the reception. I think, when it comes to weddings, everyone has their "thing" that they really care about. Flowers were not mine; as long as they were pink, and as long as there were lots of them, I was happy. I didn't care what kind they were. I think if I were to get married this weekend, in Portland, Oregon, I would carry a big bouquet of frothy pink peonies and soft, velvety lamb's ear.


This little lamb's ear loves the market. Nervous at first, she mellows eventually, and then picks a spot for a rest while we eat our lunch and listen to the band. The market is a good place to work on socializing your puppy. And this little miss is in need of some more friends. We've been spending a lot of time at home lately, since the weather has been so nasty. But this one is a bit lonely.


Yes, I'm talking about you, darling. You need more friends, pretty girl.


I just thought this was cool. It's the church next to where we parked the car.


When I got home, I put my strawberries in my strainer. YIPES is that pretty.

Life is good. Summer, you've arrived not a moment too soon, honeybun. Not one little moment too soon. Thank you.


I love the farmer's market, too :o) It is definitely one of my all time favorite places :o) It is my treat of the week to walk home with flowers to put in my living room and by my bedside :o) The weather's beautiful out today - yipeeeeeee!!!!! I hope you have a beautiful Sunday!
xox, Linnea

I'm guessing that those are morels in the photo. Here in Wisconsin, they are commonly found in the wild in mid-May. They are my single favorite food. Yum.

That market looks great! I love it when people sell things they grew (or made) themselves, it just gives everything a different quality...
I'm glad to hear you like my hometown, Copenhagen :-) Did you live here? Or visit?

HeidiAnn says: June 08, 2008 at 12:13 PM

Oh, what beautiful pictures, as always. I love the little Farmer's Market in my town, too. Ours is close enough that we could walk down town to it if we wanted. I've been eating tons of strawberries, but my favorite right now is the CHERRIES!!

Oh and now I am extremely homesick. I think we may have to drive down next weekend for the market. (My s.o. has never seen it.) I've never heard PDX compared to London. That's interesting to hear.

Thanks for the beautiful pics!

Lovely! Our farmers' market opened here yesterday. It's tee-ninsy compared to yours --there may have been six booths/trucks set up at ours. Most had little bundles of Swiss chard. I missed out on the green beans at one table. I did get some radishes and some herbs and a jar of jelly. Oh, and a tiny loaf of cinnamon bread.
We also had an Herb Festival at another location nearby, so I bought a rosemary plant and some oregano, basil and parsley.
I surely would love living in Portland.

What a lovely market! I love farmers' markets.Strawberries are my fave right now ;-)

Great photos and wonderful description of Portland. I live just a ways south in what has become a suburb. I love the detail of that church near your parking place. We have a wonderful Grower's Market in our community but I'd love to visit the one in Portland. The strawberries look scrumptious! ~Adrienne~

I think it's so lovely that you appreciate the small pleasures in life so much-strawberries in a strainer, flowers...more people should be like you! I also ADORE London, but to visit, not to live. Went up there at the beginning of April to see a great 1940s style band called the Puppini Sisters, and had the best time-going in quirky boutiques, hyperventilating in the John Lewis haberdashery at the sheer beauty of the fabrics and threads and buttons, eating delicious cupcakes at the Hummingbird Bakery. Bliss. x x x

Lovely photos as always, Alicia. Our town has a farmers market that gets bigger every year. I think it reflects a burgeoning appreciation of the small, homely, earthbound beauties of life, or at least I hope so.

Awesome pictures! My 5 year-old is obsessed with our egg slicer - it's his favorite musical instrument.

OK, I just have to get to Portland some day, your pictures are beautiful, always, and after you said it reminds you of England, now I really want to visit :)

The first strawberries really mark the start of summer for me. I have a big bowlful freshly picked today, sitting ready to be made into jam.

love the new blog header! Beautiful farmers market photos, too. Too hot here to go this weekend!

The Portland Farmer's Market is incredible. Have you been to the Milwaukie Farmer's Market? It is on Sunday mornings just south of Portland and is about as great. And, if you know the back roads to Milwaukie, it doesn't take that long to get there. I try to make it every Sunday morning. My favorite time to be there is when it is lightly raining, everyone crowds under the tents and all the produce seems to have stronger colors. If you're interested, let me know, we can carpool sometime.

Wow this post has definitely made me homesick! I moved to Canada from the UK last summer and if there's one thing I miss it's going to the farmers markets on saturday mornings! They have them every weekend in a different small town in Norfolk (where my family lives) and there's always different stalls. My favourites were always the homemade fudge and the apple juice ones! *sigh farmers markets are the coolest things ever!

Dear Alicia,
My heart just stirs looking at these pictures. The nostalgia... the simpleness... the wonder. I sometimes think my own heart will beat out of my chest at the sheer beauty of everyday things. I am so blessed to know that there are so many others (look at all those other comments!) that are affected the same way. What a gift seeing and smelling and tasting and touching are. Joyful joyful days. d.

Yes, yes, yes!! Portland looks lovely today! We're loading up the car and heading north this summer to visit my sister in law in Portland. Can't wait--hope there are still lots of berries!

Such and enjoyable day. I'd love to hit the farmers market more often, but with 97 degrees by 11 a.m. - Whole Foods or Harry's will have to be close enough until fall. Can't wait to see that mushroom recipe.

i love going to a farmer's market and the one in your neck of the woods looks wonderful. i notice the aromas of the everything so much more there, i.e. strawberries, roses. etc.

you photos are always so vibrant and lush. awesome!

Ooohh those photos are just beautiful!
Love Eve


Christine says: June 08, 2008 at 03:20 PM

What a fantastic day! I would love to go to Portland for farmers market. Everytime we drive through the city on our way down to California we imagine how great living there would be. It's just a glorious city with all the bridges and the tucked in communities. You are so blessed!

I'd give my left foot to have access to a farmer's market such as that. I'm very jealous!

Beautiful photos and love your corgi (we have a pembroke welsh corgi).

I am jealous of your big market and strawberries. They look luscious, especially in that last photo! I was just bemoaning our lack of strawberries, but I did get my favorite- rhubarb at the farmer's market yesterday.

Love the photos and sweet happy post.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.