Ashland Gets Crafty, Stays Local
Written by Nathan Torres-Walker
Even with rain in the forecast, the sun managed to squeeze through the clouds and bring out the locals to mingle on Oak Street. The Growers and Crafters Market comes to Ashland every Tuesday and Saturday from 8:30am to 1:30pm. The market goes to Medford on Thursday and Saturday during the same hours. The Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market has come to the streets of Ashland every spring to sell a variety of different crafts and produce to the general public. Many farms and small businesses take the opportunity of being vendors at this event as a way to place their name out into the community. The variety of vendors who come to the Saturday Market include Wild Bee Honey Farm, Pennington Farms, B&B Gardens, and Alkahest Moccasins and Leathercrafts. Each vendor is unique in its own way through the items they sell or through how they display themselves.
Going to this weekend’s market, I noticed that many stands were selling vegetable plants and flowers. This was because “if people want to grow a garden, they can buy plants now before the sun will really hit,” according to a local who had an interest in starting a garden. Many other stands contained arts and crafts, from wood spoons and glass art, to herbs and poultry. Hot items in the market were the jellies and jams that some vendors placed out. Some had a large variety that ranged from marion berry to raspberry. There were even some jellies you can’t find on the shelf of your local grocery store. The location of the farmer’s market is great; for some residents “you can grab some coffee, walk around for a bit, and finish by grabbing something to eat from somewhere in town.” Ruby’s, which is located one block away from the market site, is always loaded with people who were once admiring local produce.
What makes the farmer’s market so great is the “local farms and community businesses that come out to put their produce out for people to buy. It’s fresh and good for the community,” according to a resident enjoying the market. Going to the farmer’s market is a great way to get introduced to local produce that comes straight out of the Rogue Valley. Supporting the local farms will help gain revenue here in Ashland.