Neither snow, nor sleet …
… nor thunder (all of which we’ve had today) could deter the Albany Farmers’ Market from opening for the season. It was cold, it was wet, it was windy – and despite all that, a fair number of shoppers turned out to greet the typically small number of first-weekend vendors like long-lost friends.
Not a lot of produce yet, which was to be expected; our growing season is just beginning, and we won’t see much but early greens and the occasional hothouse/hydroponic crop till the middle of next month. But what was there was choice: Beautiful brown eggs from free-range chickens, big bags of tender mixed greens picked this morning, tempting cookies and breads from Kris’s Kitchen. Dan Wood and his youngsters were there from Wood Family Farm, with eggs and pork and some beautiful wool roving and hand-made soap. And Matt and Cyndi, of Matt-Cyn Farms, won’t have produce to sell for several weeks – but they came by to circulate a petition aimed at rescuing Extension 4-H from the budget cutters’ axe.
There were lots of plants, from vegetable starts to bedding plants and even small flowering trees, and buckets full of cut tulips in every imaginable hue brightening the grey day (and catching the eyes of motorists driving by on Ellsworth, several of whom I saw pull over to check out the market. Good advertising, flower growers!)
I wandered around, took a lot of pictures, talked up the Eat Local Challenge and stocked up on salad greens, eggs, and a handful of garlic. I resisted the cookies, but only because I have baking of my own to do this weekend (and therein may lie another blog entry tomorrow, with recipes). And then took my chilled nose and fingers off to run other errands, and came home and made myself a nice, big salad of nothing but greens, a splash of balsamic vinegar and a few shavings of parmesan. It was like a tonic.
Oregon’s oldest farmers’ market* is open for business. Now it feels like spring, no matter what the weatherman says.
* Or at least we like to think so – according to the Corvallis-Albany Farmers’ Markets, the Albany Market, now starting its 31st year, is believed to be “the oldest continuously operating outdoor farmers’ market in Oregon.”