Seasonal Abundance

Summer and Food Security In the Pacific Northwest

Summer and Food Security In the Pacific Northwest

August 15, 2012 |  by  |  Blog  |  2 Comments

One of our customers told us that they heard a national news report proclaiming that summer was finally winding down. Those words struck me with surprise, as here in Western Oregon it feels like summer is just beginning in earnest. Much of that can be attributed to our late, wet spring, which at times gave the impression that we’d never see a dry day again. Nonetheless, summer remains undeterred and we now bask in its glory and reap its rewards.

While current local conditions are optimal for food production, farmers in the Pacific Northwest work hard throughout the year to manage narrow growing windows for heat-loving crops and dramatic fluctuations in seasonal temperatures and precipitation—the blessing and curse of growing food in our temperate climate.

The tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers you buy at the market are undoubtedly grown in greenhouses. Other crops, like specialty greens, radishes, and carrots are commonly grown under a plastic fabric called floating row cover (see picture), which allows water, light, and air to pass through while trapping heat and proving a barrier to pests. These and other food growing “tricks” allow us to benefit from a full spectrum of local produce during the summer, but even more importantly, provide conditions that permit growing food year round—something that is not feasible in many parts of the United States.

This distinct advantage gives our region the unique opportunity to establish a viable local food system that supplies continuous affordable, healthy, delicious produce to all residents. So, next time you are at the market, realize that in addition to enjoying community, supporting the local economy, and stocking up on quality food for your family, you are also helping to develop a sustainable regional food system. When you think about the droughts, fires, and extreme weather impacting much of the country, the significance of local food security may be more powerful than ever.

–Rowan Steele
MFM Board Member & Vendor with Fiddlehead Farm

Roasted Cherry Tomato Bruschetta

Roasted Cherry Tomato Bruschetta

August 3, 2012 |  by  |  Blog  |  No Comments

Tis the season for tomatoes! (Well….almost.)

The market is bursting with all the abundance of summer: cherries, apricots, cucumbers, zucchini, fennel, blackberries, radishes, and more. This is a great time for fruits and vegetables! Every week I leave the market with bags bursting, full to the brim with all sorts of good things.

While I was at the market last weekend, I spotted lots and lots of cherry tomatoes. It isn’t quite time for the larger tomato varietals (though a few early stragglers can be found at the market). No, this is the unique time of year where cherry tomatoes get their day in the sun. Personally, I love this time of year. I could eat cherry tomatoes by the dozen, I just pop them in my mouth like candy.

This recipe is a celebration of cherry tomatoes, it’s a unique twist on a classic bruschetta. It takes a little bit of time and patience, but it’s well worth it.(I’ve made a lot of cherry tomato recipes over the years, but this one is my favorite!)

If you’d like to try out my recipe for Roasted Cherry Tomato Bruschetta with Honey and Balsamic, head over to my blog, Rosemarried.

Thanks for reading!