Commons site will be home to growers market

The Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market will launch its new season this year with a new Saturday home in The Commons park blocks in downtown Medford. The market will open its six-month season of selling fresh, local produce on Saturday, May 11.

After previously being located in Black Oak Village and at Third and Central streets, market vendors are happy to have found a central and long-term location, one designed as a public gathering space, said Lori Hopkinson, general manager of the valleywide market. The market also will continue to operate at the Medford Armory and in Ashland.

More online

To see what's in season and for more information on growers markets around the valley, see www.mailtribune.com/growersmarket

"We're very excited to be in the new Commons, which has a long-term, five-year agreement we can depend on, is near theaters and restaurants, and is designed as an open and public gathering place that we can call home," said Hopkinson.

The agreement is the first for the park blocks, which are maintained and managed by the Medford's Parks and Recreation Department. It will be in the southern park block near the intersection of Sixth and Bartlett streets, next to the new Lithia Motors headquarters and the Middleford parking structure. It will operate from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

Parks officials say the presence of the well-attended growers market will be a boost for downtown and an indication of how the park blocks will help create more activity in the city's center.

"We're extremely pleased to work with the growers and crafters group in placing their Saturday operation at a fantastic new venue," Brian Sjothun, director of the Parks and Recreation Department, said. "Our goal is to schedule and coordinate events and activities that enhance the vibrancy of downtown Medford."

The 25-year old market runs Thursdays at the Medford Armory on South Pacific Highway and Tuesdays and Saturdays in Ashland. It features 150 vendors from Jackson, Josephine and Siskiyou counties selling local fruits and vegetables, many of them organic, as well as artisan cheeses and meats, pastries, flowers, bedding plants and crafts.

"The Commons was designed to be a community gathering space and has a lot of amenities to help the market grow, including free parking, onsite restrooms, a play structure for kids, shade trees and plenty of seating," Hopkinson said.

"The market complements the dynamic pulse of the revitalization happening in downtown. We are excited to be in an urban setting among the pedestrian-friendly downtown core and we look forward to forming healthy relationships with surrounding restaurants, theater and art venues and our local business community."

Vendors at the market accept credit, debit and SNAP cards, as well as Senior Farm Direct Nutrition Program coupons and WIC fruit and vegetable vouchers. For more details about the market, visit www.rvgrowersmarket.com.

John Darling is a freelance writer living in Ashland. E-mail him at jdarling@jeffnet.org.


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