With spring in full swing, get ready to enjoy the growing bounty of produce and other items, as well as some new vendors, at the Albany Farmers’ Market, which opens Saturday, April 15.
The market, said to the be the longest continuously operating open-air market in Oregon, is set in the City Hall parking lot along Ellsworth Street and spills into adjacent 4th Avenue and will be open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday until mid-November.
Albany’s market is part of the Corvallis-Albany Farmers’ Markets, a farmer-led nonprofit that operates outdoor farmers’ markets in Corvallis and Albany and promotes dozens of farm-direct marketers in six counties: Benton, Linn, Lincoln, Lane, Marion and Polk. Prior to opening day, the market will have an updated web page at locallygrown.org, which will have enhanced searchable information on vendors and products. Hop online and check it out.
Patrons can expect to find seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as locally grown organic meats, flowers, eggs, herbs and many other options. One vendor, South Hill Farm, plans to offer an unusual product: Japanese Black Wagyu beef, a highly marbled Japanese beef the owners say is “98 percent purebred.”
In addition to fresh foods and local produce, organizations promoting sustainable living, composting and recycling education and live entertainment can be found at the market.
Some of the activity at this year’s market include:
- April 15: The Sick Town Derby Dames will make a public appearance, skating in the open area along 4th Avenue.
- April 22: Republic Services will be on hand to give away compost.
- April 29: OSU Pharmacy representatives will be on hand for health testing and education.
- May 27: Fox’s Country Garden and Linn County Master Gardeners will offer flower planting with kids. They’ll will repeat the event with succulents on July 29.
In addition, as part of the Power of Produce Club (PoP) offerings, the Albany Public Library will be holding some scavenger hunts for kids. Food Hero also will be there on some PoP dates.
The PoP program, offering fresh fruit and produce to kids ages 5 to 12, begins June 17.
The Albany Farmers’ Market is part of the Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail. In communities across Oregon, food lovers have plotted these trails to introduce visitors to the food and drink of their regions. These self-guided food trails showcase the freshest local offerings of farmers, fishers, brewers and chefs around the state.
Other Food Trails currently available are North Coast, South Willamette Valley, East Gorge, Wild Rivers Coast, Great Oaks and The Great Umpqua.
For more about the Food Trails, visit https://traveloregon.com/things-to-do/eat-drink/oregon-food-trails/
If you want to expand your farmers’ market horizon, visit Midway Farms, 6980 NW Highway 20, another Food Trail member that is open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is the only dedicated gluten-free farm in the state. Midway offers a delightful assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables along with homemade jams, salsa, pickles, gluten-free baked goods and more.