Dozens of vendors at the Umpqua Valley Farmer’s Market crowded inside the First United Methodist Church in Roseburg on Saturday mornings, to sell preserves, baked goods and knitted clothing.
But even though it’s in the middle of winter, many of the growers are still bringing in freshly grown produce. Some of it is grown in greenhouses, but much of it is grown outside.
It’s the fourth year that the Umpqua Valley Farmer’s Market has been a year-round market. It moves indoors at the church during the winter months, and will go back outside in April.
Market manager Amanda Pastoria, who also manages the Canyonville Farmer’s Market, said even in the winter there are a lot of leafy greens, winter squash, onions, radishes, beets and potatoes that can be found at the market.
“We live in this awesome mild weather pocket so with hoop houses and even outdoors, our farmers can grow food all year-round,” Pastoria said. “There are a lot of value-added things like jams and pickles, tea, sauerkraut and a pasta vendor.”
Debbie Gilding has been a regular vendor at the market with goods from her farm in Melrose each week. She sells produce, pickles, relishes, spicy jellies, jams, dried fruits and some citrus that she grows in her greenhouse. It’s beneficial for her to bring her goods to the market.
“Very much so, I love to grow produce and sell it to people who also enjoy it,” Gilding said.
Liz Matteson comes up to Roseburg from the Days Creek area to sell her teas, seasonings and garlic. She loves the feel of the person to person relationship that’s developed at the market.
“I truly think the Farmers’ Market is an amazing opportunity for people in the community to have good quality food, to know who’s making their food, what source their food comes from, whether it’s tea or produce,” Matteson said. “I love being able to grow plants and work on our farm and doing the value added products that we do with the different herbs and the garlic that we grow.”
Annie Xia, of Oakland, has been bringing her goods to the Farmers Market on a regular basis for 4½ years. She sells her farm-fresh eggs and crops that she can grow, even in the winter time
“Summer is a very good time for me, but winter time not a lot of people,” Xia said. “Just not a lot of people know in the winter we’re open.”
Janet Bauer bought two dozen eggs from Xia.
“I come just about every weekend,” Bauer said. “I like the fresh eggs if I can get them, and I like talking to people and seeing what’s happening.”
This year, the market got a grant from the Farmers’ Market Fund called Double Up Food Bucks, which is dedicated to providing under-served populations greater access to healthy, locally grown food. It will double SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) dollars and get more farm fresh food at participating farmers markets like the Umpqua Valley Farmers’ Market.
“With this grant, people who have EBT cards can come in and we can give them tokens,” Pastoria said. “We will add $10 in fruits and veggies every week.”
The Double Up Food Bucks program will continue year-round at the market.
For more information on the program call 541-530-6200.