Photo by Emily Mentzer
Riverview market manager Sue Barker greets Mayor John McArdle at the market.
As of Tuesday, April 3, 2018
INDEPENDENCE — The farmers markets in Independence return on Saturday, rain or shine.
The Original Independence Farmers Market kicks off with free cinnamon rolls and coffee, while supplies last, courtesy of Ovenbird Bakery.
Market manager and founder Martha Walton said the market, located in the parking lot of Umpqua Bank, will have lots of plants, some fruits, vegetables and baked goods, as well as crafts.
The original market has been in place for nearly a quarter century.
“It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “I love meeting the people. We’re like a big family down there. It’s been there a long time.”
Over at Riverview Park, the Riverview Independence Market will also have goods on offer.
While both markets will start a little small — harvests are not in full swing yet — Riverview market manager Sue Barker said she loves what the farmers bring — literally — to the table each week.
“We’re getting fresh food, just picked, that you can go get,” Barker said. “It hasn’t traveled anywhere. It was probably picked the night before or first thing in the morning. You can’t beat fresh food. The flavor is different. Being able to put greens in the fridge and having them last and eat them all week instead of going to the grocery store and you have to throw it away after two days.”
The markets offer a variety of farm-fresh foods, from fruits and berries, vegetables and plant starts, to eggs and pasture chicken and beef.
There’s another thing that Barker said she loves about the market, and it doesn’t cost anything: advice, information, and camaraderie.
“People come in and take a look at this plant, and ask where’s the best place for it?” Barker said. “And then you can go into how it’s grown, is it organic seed, or whatever. It’s face-to-face conversations that go on that are absolutely hilarious. Pretty soon, there are two or three people throwing their ideas around. It’s fun and informative.”
Both markets run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Saturday through November.
“It’s like throwing a party every single Saturday and love it when everybody comes, and that keeps me going in between times,” Barker said.