Diversity Flourishes at the Forest Grove Farmers Market
On any given Wednesday between May and October, you can find the Forest Grove Farmers Market bustling with activity from people of all walks of life. Diversity intersects and connects on Main Street from 4pm-8pm and as Kaely Summers, the FGFM Manager, says, “People come to shop, but they stay to connect and socialize.”
The Market has grown to become the biggest regular community event in Forest Grove and we strive to make our market accessible to everyone. We offer matching programs for SNAP, WIC, and FDNP shoppers and we offer many cross-cultural opportunities, such as our Produce Prescription program, an Adelante Mujeres and Virginia García Memorial Health Center partnered program.
Our Market features and celebrates the rich diversity of vendors that come to sell their fruits, veggies, and artisan food products every Wednesday. Shoppers not only get a variety of different products to choose from, but they also receive a brief lesson about the food they’re buying.
In celebration of National Farmers Market Week, we want to honor just a few of our amazing vendors and the unique products they sell.
Little Potato Cucumber from Stone Boat Farm:
On his farm in Glendale, OR, Jesse Nichols grows these small vegetables that look a little intimidating on the outside due to their brown and scaly-skin, slightly resembling a miniature cantaloupe. However, once you cut into and taste them, you’ll see that they’re bright green, juicy, and taste like any fresh cucumber with an added zesty lemon flavor.
Jesse showing off this variety of exotic cucumber.
Pipicha from N & N Amaro Produce:
Nicolas and Norma Amaro, who are originally from Tlaxcala, Mexico and practice sustainable farming in Forest Grove, grow produce
such as pipicha. Pipicha is an herb that Nicolas says, “grows like a weed in the mountains,” close to where the Amaros lived in Mexico. The flavor is similar to that of cilantro, with tones of pine, citrus, and mint. Pipicha contains antioxidants, vitamins B and C, phosphorus, calcium, iron, and has been used to treat inflammatory diseases.
The Uto-Aztec people used Pipicha to cleanse the liver and to fight bacterial infections.
Nicolas bunching some pipicha together.
Asian Squash Stems from GX Family Garden:
Chue Cha hails from Laos and she sells beautiful flower bouquets at the Market. In addition to flowers, she sells Asian squash stems. Who knew you could eat squash stems? She says that she peels the spines from squash stems and cooks them in a soup with other delectable ingredients like pork and mushrooms. Add the stems and leaves from squash, zucchini, or pumpkin plants to your next meal in order to get your greens from a unique source.
Chue explaining how she uses the stems in homemade soups.
Biberli from Sweetrock Farm :
Diane Vireday’s sweet treats are inspired by her Swiss family heritage. Her father lived in a city called Lausanne, Switzerland and her mother lived in Aargau. Biberli is a gingerbread cookie made with marzipan (almond paste) and is her best-seller because its flavors are complex, long-lasting, and remind customers of Christmas. The cookie was coined Biberli because it looks like a beaver tail and biber means beaver in Swiss-German. Interestingly, the cookies are baked with completely moisture-free ingredients besides honey.
Diane showcasing this delicious gingerbread cookie.
By Carrie Skuzeski and Annemarie García