Hillsdale Farmers Market offers hard-to- find products and services
Hillsdale Farmers Market manager Eamon Molloy is strolling past the tents and tables on the first morning of the every-Sunday season in late April, pointing out what's new and newsworthy.
"There's How Sweet It Is, the candy shop in the French Quarter over on Multnomah Boulevard," he said. "There's the Munoz Farms stand. Most of their strawberries got wiped out in the flooding in Corvallis a few weeks ago. But they plant multiple plots so they're here with the first strawberries of the season.
"Crispy Croissants came on last fall and is getting ready to open a storefront on Northeast Broadway any day now. Amazing croissants. Very different. I've never seen anyone else do a chocolate croissant like that.
"Do you know what the story behind Aidan's Atomic Pickles? Aidan's mom liked spicy pickles. So for Mother's Day when he was 11 he made her some REALLY spicy pickles and it just kind of took off," according to Molloy, the viceroy of vendors on this slab of blacktop that every Sunday hosts the kind of market that's been around since medieval times.
It's unlikely, though, that famers and artisans in the Middel Ages thought of anything like Aidan's Atomic Pickles.
Ashley Tenud is Aidan's dad. He corrects the record. Aidan made the spicy pickles for his mom's birthday, not Mother's Day. Aidan is now 16 and helps out with the family pickle business he created in the kitchen.
The senior Tenud says, "We came up with six levels of spiciness. We call them "atomic" because they're really, really, really hot. No-joke hot. We go a level higher than six for the crazy people that like the challenge. Four levels lower than that is for normal people," Tenud explained. "They're fun to eat. Crunchy and good for you too."
"We're in 12 to 15 restaurants around Portland. We're at Sheridan Foods in Southeast Portland and we hope to be in Food Front here in Hillsdale in a week or two," he said.
Across the way, long-time Southwest resident Betsy Langton and her son Chris are setting up cases of Windfall Organic Seed Butter.
"This is an introduction for our product to see how people like it. It's not in stores yet. Basically, it's seed butter made from sunflower seeds and hemp with coconut seed nectar and flavors like cacao. It's very simple. And it's for people who have uit allergies," said Langton, who sold a nutrition bar at Hillsdale Farmers Market "a long time ago."
Her hopes this time around as a vendor?
"I'm hoping to make a million dollars today. Ha! I'm hoping that people really like my seed butter. That's all," she said.
Hillsdale Farmers Market is open every Sunday through Nov. 24. It's located in the Reike Elementary parking lot below the Wilson High School football field.