Taking Root #8

Eating healthy gets easier in Brownsville

By Gini Bramlett

Opportunities to buy locally and eat healthier are coming at us from all directions. No more excuses.

For a small town, Brownsville can boast a lot of wonderful things including our local Saturday Farmer’s Market where visitors can purchase for reasonable prices, fresh, wholesome, locally grown produce and plant starts for their own home gardens.

Beginning with a grand opening on Friday, June 6, “In the Farm Kitchen”, a new store in the former Paws for a Cause location on Main Street, will be selling an eclectic array of locally produced items including fresh organic vegetables and fruits, meat, breads, jams and jellies, coffees, honey and more along with kitchen collectibles. Here’s yet another chance to support your local farmers, eat healthy and be sustainably responsible in the process.

The new store is the brainchild of Marco and Kay Franciosa, owners of Sunset Lane Farm just outside of Brownsville. Kay had started a vintage kitchenware business at home in addition to being a mom.

“It was taking over our home,” said Marco. “We always had an idea to do something like this, and it just spiraled from there.”

A new business is a challenge at best, and starting one in a small town, especially when offering fresh foods, can be tricky. So, the couple came up with a membership concept similar to a Costco-type membership. The lifetime membership, which is $75, offers preorder discounts and special offers to members. Non-members are welcome to shop, but just won’t receive some of the discounts those who preorder do.

So far, they have enlisted high quality products from about 10-15 producers in the local area, as well as their own fresh produce, with more to come. The couple hopes to have the store open Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but may start with just Friday and Saturday.

The grand opening is Saturday, June 6 from 5-8 p.m. which will include wine and product tasting. For more information, call 541-609-8454.

Calapooia Food Alliance

The Calapooia Food Alliance supports locally produced organic food, and encourages the community to eat fresh local produce and other local food products. Come down and visit the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays all summer from 9 am – 1 pm on the corner of Main and Park streets in Brownsville. Freshly picked strawberries, lettuces, onions, kale, radishes and spinach are available now with more fresh produce coming soon. Some vegetable and berry plants will still be available for a short time.

The market also offers perennial and annual flowers, hanging flower baskets, ornamentals, trees, handmade Adirondack chairs, fresh homemade baked goods, dried fruit and nuts, and honey. More will be offered as the season progresses.

And, don’t forget the CFA sponsored Munch Night now being held at the Corner Café on Fridays each month throughout the summer beginning at 7 pm. For a $10 donation, guests enjoy a dinner homemade by CFA board members which includes dessert and a thought provoking movie. A lively discussion follows. Join us for a fun evening. Watch this column for the June Munch Night date.

Volunteers are always welcome to come help us plant at the Community Garden from 9-noon on Thursdays. Help is needed and appreciated. The garden is located behind the school on the south side of town. You can see it going east when leaving Brownsville. Vegetables and fruit produced there is donated to the senior center and Sharing Hands, as well as sold at the Farmer’s Market to help support the CFA’s mission.

For information on the garden or the market, call Diane Remior at 541-359-5898.

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