Show a farmer some love!
This Saturday won’t be too far off Valentines Day for you to show a farmer some love! They’ll be out in the cold and wet picking and bundling tomorrow and tending to animals, so you can put ‘fresh and healthy’ on your plate. Give ’em a kudos when you see them!
There will be plenty of mushrooms from Brown Bottle Farm and Mindful Mushrooms and beautiful fresh veggies and fruit at the Market. (Melissa from Sun Love Farm is back in the market with a really nice selection of Certified Naturally-Grown produce ) Kiyokawa Orchards will have plenty of tree fruits (hopefully they have made it out of Parkdale!).
Campfire Farm is back this Saturday, but that’s it until May for them as they wait for the next batch of pigs to grow up. Christina will have pork shoulder roasts, pork belly and soup! 2 Towns Cider is back as well as Thomas and Sons Distillery. Tea time doesn’t mean what you think it does at Thomas & Sons Distillery: the distillery, opened by Townshend’s Tea Company, has a lineup of tea-spiked and flavored liqueurs, and even ‘digestif’ spirits! Ah-Nuts is out again due to staffing issues but hope to be back real soon.
We are half way through the winter season and our sights are already set on this summer’s season. All the farms will be back again in the summer, most of your favorite vendors too and some new ones. We will again have the Kids Power Of Produce Club and activities, the Know Your Farmer Know Your Food market tours and the Market Kitchen will be open to inspire you to cook the seasonal produce. For our SNAP customers we will have the SNAP To It! program running. The Double Up Food Bucks program will continue to match up to $6 for our SNAP customers and we are hoping to be able to increase this to $10 with solid funding down the road. House Bill 2837 and Senate Bill 727 have both been introduced in Salem. These bills make a wise investment in public health and our local economy by increasing access to Oregon-Grown produce at Farmers Markets for food-insecure Oregonians. If these bills pass we will be able to increase our match and offer up to $10 in Double Up Food Bucks to our SNAP customers. Plus this funding will support small family farms and put dollars back into the local economy, a win win for everyone. Stay tuned! If you feel like you too can support these bills, please contact your legislators, this funding will mean a lot to our low-income customers and the market’s farmers.
Our Seed Swap this year is March 30th. If you are sorting through your seeds to bring and are unsure of their viability, you can do a test germination. This a great idea and gives you a measure of whether an old seed packet is worth saving. So count out about 20 seeds from each packet to be tested, and then spread the seeds between two moist paper towels on a plate. Invert another plate over the first plate to hold in moisture and put the whole setup where the temperature is warm, around 75 degrees. Keep paper towels moist. After 7-10 days, peel apart the paper towels and count the number of seeds with little white root “tails” emerging. Figure the percentage, and if it is low, toss the seed packets into the wastebasket (don’t give them away!). One thing different this year is: please do not bring plants to share! Sadly too many noxious weeds and pests are being spread around from garden to garden and the OSU Master Gardeners (who help us by volunteering to organize the booth) are asking people to leave them at home. But tools, catalogs and anything else ‘gardeny’ is very welcome. We’ll have a kids planting activity again too.