The fall in the Pacific NW provides a cornucopia of harvest delights at our local farmer’s markets. The one I prefer is the Columbia City Market.
While I love most of the products sold at the market, there are a few that are just not for me. Either I don’t like the quality, taste or sometimes they’re just too exotic for me. So imagine my hesitation when Dennis Schulz of Greenwater Farm (Port Townsend) waved to me and motioned for me to come and try a strange looking small green fruit at his table. He told me he was offering kiwis and I should try one. I don’t much like New Zealand kiwis. Don’t like the hairy thick skin and don’t find the flavor very interesting. But I figured I ought to humor the poor farmer who went to all that trouble to produce these strange fruits.
Am I glad I did! These delectable morself are among the best fruit I’ve ever tasted. Their flesh is soft and juicy but a little chewy too. The taste is indescribably delicious–very slightly tart and quite sweet, though never cloyingly so. There are only 100 acres of these kiwis planted in the entire United States (mostly in Oregon) and Dennis is one of the few in Washington. The kiwi is native to Siberia and grows in vines that can reach 30 feet in length.
Potatoes for me have mostly been produce with a potential for greatness that was seldom realized. Usually potatoes are bland, dry, wrinkled. I used to hear about how ‘new potatoes’ were wonderfully soft, creamy and delicious. But I never seemed to find a potato which matched the hype…until I found the potato vendor at the University District Market who sold German butterball potatoes. These are small white potatoes with whitish yellow flesh. Their eating texture is smooth and creamy and they have an amazing fresh taste which no other potato I’ve ever eaten has. This year, another vendor began selling German butterballs at Columbia City.
While Columbia City’s market has closed for the winter, the U District market will be open till just before Thanksgiving.