The oldest market in the area, the Growers Market in Grants Pass was "clean" before it was cool.
"This is our 33rd year of educating people about foods they should and shouldn't eat," says Marti Fate, the market manager. "We've been talking for a long time about the things we think are important for customers to know about where food comes from."
2nd Place — Ashland Food Co-op, Ashland
3rd Place — Trader Joe's, Medford
Held every Saturday at the corner of 4th St. and F St. from March to December, over 100 vendors from a six-county area serve 300 to 5,000 customers a week. About 60 percent of the vendors are farmers, who bring a full-range of produce to the market. "If it's in season, we're growing it," Fate says, noting apples are due to arrive mid-September.
Of the farmers, about six or seven of the large farms are certified organic, Fate says, but another 25 to 30 smaller farms grow clean foods using sustainable growing practices. "The term 'organic' refers to a kind of growing practice, but some who do not apply for this certification are just as good and just as clean," Fate explains. "The value of the market is you can actually ask the farmer how he or she grows the food."