Corvallis Outdoor Farmers’ Market Starts April 20: A Sign of Summer

Rebecca Landis at Willamette Valley Cheese’s farmers’ market booth. Photo by Genevieve Weber.

Next Saturday, April 20, might not be the official first day of summer, but it will certainly feel like it. Rain or shine, it’s the start of the outdoor farmers’ market on 1st Street in Corvallis. Most of the familiar faces from last year will be there, according to Market Director Rebecca Landis, as well as a few new ones.

“We have to try and preserve the continuity and create some opportunities for some new vendors,” she said.

It’s still a little early for many fruits and veggies, but that doesn’t mean the market will be limited to nursery plants. Thanks to high-tunnel greenhouses, some of the larger farms can grow crops year-round. Grains, heirloom beans, onions, shallots, rutabagas, turnips, rhubarb, radishes, and a wide assortment of greens should make an appearance, as well as cheese, honey, jams, fresh salsa, cut flowers, and more. Several small farms will offer their sustainably raised meats, too, although “Protein is not just meat at the market,” Landis said.

While the focus is on farmers and their offerings, shoppers will also find prepared foods.

“It’s really important that we have some restaurants and baked goods,” Landis said. “When you go to the market and look at all this food, you immediately get hungry. It’s way worse than going to the grocery store and shopping when hungry because our stuff is way more attractive.”

Shoppers will find crepes courtesy of Creperie du Lys, beverages from the Purple Moon Espresso Booth, burritos and quesadillas from Zia, and pancakes with local blueberries and “soysages” from Earth’s Rising. The latter also makes a mean veggie burger, according to Landis.

“It’s very well seasoned and even people who are not vegetarians if they’re given a bite of it they’ll say, ‘Hm… I have to revise my thinking on this,” she said.

Musicians of every stripe will also return. Landis has secured a lineup for every Saturday and Wednesday, too.

“It ranges from a large fairly loud marimba ensemble with a lot of people and really big instruments to one person alone with a guitar singing and everything in between,” she said.

On top of the official bands, buskers “insert themselves into every nook and cranny,” helping create the happy chaos that is the Saturday farmers’ market.

“There’s our music that we’ve chosen, and then there’s the music the community chooses to bring to us,” Landis said. “That’s a part of Corvallis.”

The first day of the market also features the Procession of the Species through the middle of the market at around 12:30 p.m., and the Walk MS down the multi-modal path. Come enjoy the fun!

The Corvallis Farmers’ Market at 1st Street and Jackson is held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 20 to Nov. 23, and Wednesdays at the same time and place, April 24 to Nov. 27. For more information, visit http://www.locallygrown.org or https://www.facebook.com/Corvallis.Farmers.Market.

by Jen Matteis

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