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Farmers market brings its new life back to Ashland

March 13, 2006

Despite cold, snowy weather, an early hint of spring will arrive on schedule Tuesday as the Rogue Valley Growers Crafters Market opens right on schedule.

Though snow may still cover many of the garden beds in Southern Oregon, the grower&

s market will be offering wintered-over greens and vegetables, such as kale, chard carrots and potatoes, storage onions and other root crops, perennial bedding plants and, of course, vegetable starts.

Some ambitious farmers may have even started some salad greens in a greenhouse, giving consumers a sneak preview of the produce to be more readily available as the season heats up, as it were.

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After a cold wet winter, all of us here at the growers and crafters market are anxious for our season opening,&

Mary Ellen DeLuca, market manager, said. &

It&

s a chance to get reacquainted with old friends and meet the latest arrivals as we gear up for a fabulous 2006 season.&

In Ashland, the market is open from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every Tuesday at the Ashland Armory on the corner of East Main and Wightman Streets. In Medford, the market will open in Medford on Thursday. It is held at the Medford Armory, on South Pacific Highway just south of Stewart Avenue. From this week until November, the growers market will be open weekly at both locations.

The market has plans for new amenities this year to compliment the dozens of vendors. Entertainment and educational events will also increase this year, DeLuca said. Expect to see musicians, master gardener workshops, ScienceWorks shows and cooking demonstrations.

&

A marketplace is a place where people are drawn together to relax and enjoy the day,&

DeLuca said.