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Photo by Garth Guibord.
Market returns with a Mountain of produce posted on 06/01/2021

With the Hoodland Farmers Market having entered its fourth season on Sunday, May 23, Market Manager Lauren Carusona knows it has made an impact from the response she’s getting from people.

 

“I keep getting a lot of, ‘Oh I can't wait to have farm fresh dinners all summer,’” Carusona said, noting that people are becoming more aware of the impact that food can have on their lives as well as the choices they make with their money. “Building community and connection to food has always been our goal. Now that it’s our fourth season, it feels like we’re really stepping into that role.”

The market will offer fresh produce, meats, soaps and more from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Sunday through September in the parking lot at the Whistle Stop, 66674 Hwy. 26 in Welches. The season will be the longest for the market, which had a shortened one last year due to the pandemic and the wildfires.

“It feels really exciting and the timing feels good with the vaccination roll out and some of the restrictions being lifted,” Carusona said. “We’re starting to feel a little sense of normalcy return.”

Carusona added that the market is building off of previous years with a number of returning vendors. The vendors for the opening day included: Chicken Coop Botanicals, offering natural health products handmade by local herbalist; Twig Furniture, featuring locally-made one-of-a-kind furniture made from branches; Hood Soaps selling handcrafted vegan and goats milk bar soaps, whipped body butter, lotion bars, lip balms and laundry soap; Hood Hills Farm, with farm fresh produce, canned and fermented foods; Roots Movement Farm, offering farm fresh produce and mushrooms; Heart Song Arts Pottery, with handmade pottery; Northwest Acid Test, selling hand printed and dyed clothing inspired by Oregon; Sugar Maple Swine, a small family farm with humanely raised pork products;  Bristly Rose, offering flowers and veggies; and an info booth, offering stickers, tote bags and can koozies for sale.

The market’s first Sunday brought out some new people, including Mountain residents Candice Kelly and Julie Cook. They noted they came out to be more involved and support local businesses.

“Everything looks great,” Cook said. “The greens look really good.”

“I just hope that more vendors come out and everybody can support each other locally,” Kelly added.

Brightwood resident Matt Sorrell was also a first-time participant at the market and noted he hopes to see more vegetables as the season progresses.

“I’m into it, I'm excited,” he said. “We’re looking for something like this up here so this is pretty perfect.”

Lavonne Heacock, who has been to the market in years past, said the market and people gathering together gives her hope as they grow and share organic foods.

“Farming is not an easy thing,” she said. “It’s good to see people using the land again and risking being small farmers.”

The market has implemented procedures due to the pandemic, including masks covering mouths and noses required by participants, keeping a distance of six feet from others and one customer at a time at each booth. This may change as the needs of the community change and safety guidelines are lifted.

For more information, or if you would like to be added to the market’s newsletter, visit the market’s Facebook page or email hoodlandfarmersmarket@gmail.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

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