By Gini Bramlett
The Brownsville Farmer’s Market has been going strong since we began our 2014 ‘Starts’ market this past May. Beginning in June, our produce market has been offering in-season, mostly organic produce, all of which is grown locally. Much of what is offered is harvested the morning of the market. You can’t get any fresher unless you grow your own, which everyone should do in this writer’s opinion, but that’s another column.
Vendors involved in the market offer a selection of in-season quality vegetables and fruits; varieties, sizes and types give customers choices. We also strive to keep prices reasonable and competitive.
Regular market vendors also offer non-produce items such as baked goods, locally-grown and produced grains, honey, fresh, homemade salsa, handmade soaps, and a new business based in Sweethome will be there most weeks to offer locally produced homemade cookies, bars, breads and rolls.
Lately, a number of people have commented that we look a lot smaller than in past years, and asked where everybody is. Well, the quick answer is we are here, waiting to sell our produce to those who come by on Saturday mornings to support our community.
Granted, we did lose a couple regular vendors this year. One moved out of the area and another opened her own home business. That being said, we also have sellers who come seasonally based on what they sell, such as those who sell plants, veggie and flower starts, available only in spring and early summer. So, you will see sellers coming and going throughout the season based on what they are selling.
What we do have are various growers who come every week with vegetables and fruits grown mostly in their own back yards. The Brownsville Community Garden also produces vegetables to sell every week to help support the market and the garden. Growers who might have an abundance of one item now and then, bring them for the market volunteers to sell for them, so check their booth weekly. You never know what you’ll find.
The vegetable and fruit growers will be there at the market to offer their fresh-picked produce each and every week. It might look like there are fewer choices, but if fresh produce, homemade jams and jellies, and baked items are what you’re looking for, you can find them at the Brownsville Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings from 9am-1pm through October.
Produce available now is summer squash, including zucchini, patty pan and yellow summer squash, strawberries, green beans, beets, carrots, onions, garlic, leeks, kale, cucumbers of various types, fresh basil, flower bouquets, jams and jellies of all kinds including hot pepper jellies made with fresh local berries, and traditional fruit jams and jellies, as well as low-sugar types. Tomatoes are just coming into season, but will be at their peak in the coming months, as well as peppers, tomatillos, melons and winter squash.
If you need knives, scissors, axes or garden tools sharpened at a reasonable price, Lane Johnson, a local high school student, will be at the market for awhile to do just that. He is raising money to go on a 16 day, seven country trip with a band program. He had planned on getting a summer job, but broke his knee in soccer, so his dad bought him a professional knife sharpener. Bring your items that need sharpening to Lane on Saturdays or call him at 541-979-4475 or 541990-4354.
Later this month, the Calapooia Food Alliance is planning a Munch Night when the corn at the community garden is ready. The fundraiser is tentatively planned to be held at the gardens, and is open to the public. More information will be in the next column.
The farmer’s market is looking for new vendors to sell their produce and wares at the market on Saturday mornings. Crafters are also invited. For more information about the market, call manager Diane Remoir at 541-359-5898.