Posts filed under ‘events’

PSA: Small Farms Conference

It’s not too late to register for the Oregon Small Farms Conference tomorrow (Feb. 21) at the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis. Registration’s cheap (just $35/person on line, $40 at the door) and the conference features a great program of speakers and topics, including sessions on:

  • Simple Ways to Promote Your Farm
  • The Community Food Security Coalition
  • Size Matters: Successful Markets
  • Building a Sustainable Business
  • Renewable Energy
  • Simple Ways to Promote Your Farmers’ Market
  • Secrets to Farmers’ Market Success
  • Food Safety

You don’t have to be a farmer to register and benefit. The OSU Extension Service (yay, Extension) is also encouraging market managers and community food advocates to attend.

Registration information is here – although since it’s tomorrow, you might want to  calling the campus Extension office at (541) 737-2713 before registering on line, just to make sure they have room for you.

Market opening countdown:

Just 10 weeks to go!

Albany Farmers Market: Saturday, April 18, 4th and Ellsworth, downtown Albany
Corvallis Saturday Market: Saturday, April 18, First and Jackson on the downtown riverfront
Corvallis Wednesday Market: Wednesday, April 22. NEW LOCATION: 2nd and B Streets, near the Marys River-Willamette River confluence downtown.
More information here

(Meanwhile, you can still hit the Winter Market on Feb. 28, March 14 and March 28 at the Benton County Fairgrounds … and the Midway Farms farmstand on Highway 20 between Albany and Corvallis is open year-round.)

February 20, 2009 at 9:33 am Leave a comment

Food for body and soul

Happy birthday, Albany Farmers' market

Happy birthday, Albany Farmers’ market,
originally uploaded by kightp.

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

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…

June 6, 2008 at 9:27 am Leave a comment

“… and friends, they may think it’s a movement!”*

Planning aheadThere’s nothing new about farmers’ markets; ours in Albany, for instance, is in its 29th year, making it the oldest continuously operating farmers’ market in Oregon. And farm stands have been around just about as long as there have been farmers with extra produce and roads going past them.

But the eat-local movement seems to have reached some sort of critical mass here in the mid-Valley this spring. I’ve already mentioned the Eat Local Challenge (and will be mentioning it again), but suddenly local food events are springing up everywhere I look.

Last Friday was a “Farms Feed Everyone” benefit dinner at the First United Methodist Church in Corvallis; this Thursday, students from the Oregon State University Restaurant/Food Service Management program will take over the on-campus Pangea Restaurant for a “Taste of the Valley” feed featuring fresh local ingredients from salmon to strawberries.

And on Sunday, June 1, the new Slow Food Corvallis group is hosting “Local Bounty: a Farmer-Chef Celebration,” featuring some of Corvallis’ top restaurants preparing a tasting menu of dishes made with local ingredients. (Tickets are $15 and reservations are required; contact for details).

While these folks take different approaches, all share the same goal: Reaquainting people with the variety of good food originating – sometimes literally – in their own back yards.

This rocks me down to my (hand-knit) socks. When I started writing this blog last year, it was partly because I kept running into people who said things like “We have a farmers’ market? I had no idea!”

Now I’m seeing more people at the Albany market every weekend, overhearing conversations that start “I’ve never been to the market before” and watching farm stands spring – or expand – along unexpected byways. I especially love that restaurants are getting in the act. I even had a great conversation this past weekend with the manager of a local brewpub the other night about his efforts to find local sources for everything from the dishes on his menu to the components of his beer.

At this rate, I won’t run out of subject matter any time soon. (-:

*Alice’s Restaurant probably served local food, too.

May 19, 2008 at 10:52 am Leave a comment

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