|Tip of the Week
1 pint basket of strawberries equals:
You generally need about 2-3 pints of strawberries to make one batch of freezer jam (about 5 cups of jam).
- About 3 1/4 cups whole strawberries
- About 2 1/4 cups sliced strawberries
- About 1 2/3 cups pureed strawberries
- Larry Thompson, Thompson Farms
Part of the beauty of farmers' markets is that our produce changes with the seasons. Stay current with weekly produce highlights here!
Red Globe Radishes (Big "B" Farm)
Shiitake Mushrooms (Peak Forest Fruit)
Gold and Green Zucchini (Deep Roots Farm)
Inchellium Red Garlic (Sweet Leaf Farm)
Coriander Cilantro (DeMartini Family Farms)
|Summer has finally arrived, and there are whispers of apricots at the market this week. Be sure to come early on Saturday to find out if it's true! Cherries made their first appearance last Saturday and there are still plenty of strawberries to keep everyone happy. We hope to see you at the market!|
|Native Bees on the FarmBy Mace Vaughan, Conservation Director, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
Part One of Two
Farmers need insect pollinators to produce many different types of marketable fruits and vegetables. These include apples, almonds, berries, cherries, cucumber, melons, squash, sunflower and watermelon, to name just a few. In fact, worldwide, animal pollinators are required for over 70 percent of crop species.
In the United States, this produce and indirect products, such as milk derived from dairy cows fed on alfalfa, represents about 30 percent of the foods and beverages we consume. Even self-pollinating crops such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, often produce more, larger, or higher-quality fruit when cross-pollinated by insects.
Today, the European honey bee usually gets credit for providing this service; however, recent research is demonstrating that our native bees also are important pollinators, responsible for an estimated $3 billion in produce each year in the U.S.
Honey bees form the cornerstone of agricultural pollination in the U.S. and will continue to do so for many years to come. Due to declines in the bee keeping industry however, honey bee colonies can be in short supply or expensive when most needed. Various problems, especially parasites, diseases, and the recent Colony Collapse Disorder, are likely to further discourage bee keeping and this rising trend in price is likely to continue.
Native bees may be able to take some of the burden off honey bees, and in a few cases replace honey bees altogether. Wild-living native bees already occur on most farms, contribute to current crop yields, and can provide an insurance policy for farmers' pollination needs. When there is enough habitat on or near a farm, native bees can provide all of the pollination needed by certain crops, even those with heavy pollination demands such as watermelon.
In addition, native bees have recently been demonstrated to do some things that honey bees cannot accomplish. Even though a little shake from the wind is enough to release the pollen tomatoes need to self-pollinate and produce a satisfactory yield, native bees can significantly increase cherry tomato production. Although tomato flowers do not attract honey bees, many native bees are able to vibrate tomato blossoms in just the right way to dislodge the pollen and significantly increase cross pollination between plants. The result is that fruit set can go up by almost 50 percent and fruit weight is nearly doubled when these flowers are visited by native bees.
To be continued...
For more information on pollinators and other invertebrates, check out www.xerces.org. Help bees by participating in The Great Sunflower Project.
Community Booth Spotlight
Learn more about the organizations tabling at the market each week in our community booth column.
GROWING GARDENS digs at the root of hunger in Portland, Oregon. We
organize hundreds of volunteers to build organic, raised bed vegetable
gardens in backyards, front yards, side yards and even on balconies.
We support low income households for three years with seeds, plants,
classes, mentors and more. Our Youth Grow after school garden clubs
grow the next generation of veggie eaters and growers! Through Learn
& Grow workshops and work parties, we teach gardeners all about
growing, preparing and preserving healthful food while respecting the
health of the environment.
We plant seeds for good food and healthy people by making sure low
income people have the resources they need to grow organic vegetables
at home. Through this work, community members meet over the backyard
garden, through volunteering, by attending classes, and through sharing
Community Energy Project
Community Energy Project, Inc., empowers people in the
Portland metro area to maintain healthier, more livable homes, control
their utility costs, and conserve natural resources.
do this through education, hands-on training, and distribution of
weatherization, water conservation, and lead poisoning prevention
materials. We also provide direct weatherization and water conservation
services to seniors and people with disabilities. We deliver these
services in partnership with community members and service
organizations, utilities, corporations, foundations, and government
Featured Vendor: Thompson Farms
by Jennifer Reyna, HFM Volunteer
"I am doing what I know I'm supposed to do, and it's the right time, in the place."
-Larry Thompson, owner Thompson Farms
Thompson Farms is a 120 acre farm home to 52 crops located in Damascus, OR. For over 20 years owner Larry Thompson has been using "truly sustainable" growing methods. He does not use fungicides or insecticides, instead using cover crops and timely planting to deter pests. Thompson also uses "trap cropping," an innovative technique that attracts bugs to a sacrificial crop. For instance, Thompson Farms uses Thunder Cloud plum trees to lure destructive aphids away from valuable crops, instead of spraying with pesticides.
Thompson was born into farming. In 1947, Thompson's parents left South Dakota and told friends they were going to Oregon "to raise strawberries and children." After a short stint in another career field, Thompson returned to the family farm and rescued it from the brink of bankruptcy in the 1980's. At that time, the farm was selling produce to canneries but Thompson, unsatisfied with the low prices being offered, began exploring supplying grocery stores and restaurants. Presently, Thompson Farms prefers to sell directly to consumers through markets and stands, as it allows the farm to stay in touch with the community.
In fact, working with the community is one of Thomspon's favorite aspects of farming. "Farming is more than just raising things, it's about farming a community," said Thompson. Thompson believes in working with the community every step of the way so he sponsors local youth and community groups. Thompson Farms also believes in paying a living wage. In fact, the harvest crew has been with the farm for 18-21 years.
Recently, Thompson Farms was awarded SARE's Patrick Madden Award for Sustainable Agriculture. It recognizes farmers or farm families who advance sustainable agriculture through innovation, leadership and good stewardship. "Our involvement with and commitment to the community put us over the top," said Thompson.
When asked what would change if Thompson ruled the world, he responded with "Sustainable farmers would make more money than any other farming method. We are saving the environment and feeding the world all at the same time."
Readers can find Thompson Farms produce year round at its stand in Damascus, as well as 7 different markets throughout the summer, including the Hollywood Farmers' Market. The farm is also available for u-pick. For a daily harvest season crop update call 503-658-4640.
|The Hollywood Farmers' Market is open Saturdays, May through October from 8am - 1pm and November 1, 8, 15 & 22 from 9am - 1pm. We are located on NE Hancock Street between 44th and 45th Avenues (one block South of Sandy Blvd).
For more information, check us out online at www.hollywoodfarmersmarket.org.
See you Saturday!
Hollywood Farmers' Market