Food for body and soul
You can’t tell it by the weather, but summer is almost upon us, and here in the mid-Valley that means the arrival of the Season of Too Many Things To Do. I look down the calendar and despair of being able to find the time and energy for all the wonderful, interesting – and tasty – events coming up in the weeks ahead.
It’s already starting: This weekend I’m heading out of town and while I’m looking forward to the trip, I’m also regretting that I won’t be here for two terrific celebrations.
The Albany Farmers’ Market turns 30 on Saturday. According to market manager Rebecca Landis, who’s combed decades worth of newspapers, our little market is believed to be the oldest continuously operating open-air farm market in the state.
Until last year, it even operated in the same location – a parking lot off Water Street, on the bank of the Willamette River. It was with some trepidation that the market relocated last year to the 4th Avenue, between City Hall and the Linn County Courthouse, but the move seems to have paid off in higher visibility and more buyers. I’m constantly running into people there who say “I didn’t even know Albany had a farmers’ market.!” And the more shoppers, the more encouragement local growers have to get up in the wee hours, pick and clean their crops and haul them to market for us to buy and enjoy.
I’ll miss the birthday party, but Rebecca tells me good things are planned – including free strawberry shortcake! If you’re reading this and have never visited the market, or have a friend who’s never been, this should be a great weekend to change that. And bring a shopping bag: The variety of produce and other delicious things available at the market is swelling week by week, and we’re rapidly moving toward the days when entire meals can be planned and made from local ingredients.
The weekend’s other oh-I-hate-missing-that event in our area is the Corvallis Music History Project, a two-day gathering of some of the best musical talents who’ve graced the Corvallis folk, rock, jazz and world-music scene over the past 50 years. It’s happening at the Old World Deli on 2nd Street in Corvallis, home to many a concert and dance over the years.
It’s not a concert, exactly, although much music will be made, and there’s no admission charge. Rather, it’s being billed as an all-comers reunion of people who’ve been involved making, producing or just enjoying music in Corvallis, ever. You can read all about it at www.corvallismusic.com.
And a lot of those people will be playing. I look down the list of folks who are scheduled to perform a number or two, and oh, my, does it stir up memories: Ramblin’ Rex Jablonksi, The Vanilla Syncopaters, Nancy Spencer and her amazing musical saw, Cliff and Cheri Perreira , Tom and Ellen Demarest – all musicians I heard often when I first moved to this valley 30 years ago – along with dozens of younger artists.
Bring your local-music-scene stories to contribute to the oral history that’s being compiled; bring your memorabilia from concerts past to be photographed. Bring your dancing shoes (although I’d be surprised if there’s a lot of room for dancing). It’s the first of what are planned as several events, all of which will be recorded for posterity, some of which will be broadcast. And it sounds like an absolute blast.
If you go, have a ball. And let me know how it went! Me, I’ve got a train to catch this afternoon…