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Growers market wraps up season

The Ashland Growers & Crafters Market will have its year-end market day on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, allowing everyone to stock up on fresh, local, organic produce for the big feast. Today is the final market in Medford at the Armory, 1701 S. Pacific Highway.

Both the Tuesday and Saturday markets in Ashland are on track to open at the same times and places next year, although it is exploring doing a winter market at an indoor location, says Mary Ellen De Luca, market membership coordinator.

“I’m in talks about the winter market. We’d love to do it inside, like Grants Pass does at their fairgrounds,” says De Luca. “A lot of farmers are using greenhouses to supply produce through the year. We need to find what’s a good time and place for it. We’re thinking 3 to 7 on Tuesdays, so you get afternoon and evening. The vendors are willing and people tell me they’d love it.”

De Luca says she circulated a petition on the subject and quickly got over 100 signatures. The adjacent National Guard Armory, on East Main at Wightman Street, would be ideal, “but they would have to get final approval about clearing up the lead contamination they had. This might not happen next year.”

Another new twist is opening up the market to locally-made wines. Valley View Orchards, which is a vendor of jams, honey and vinegar at the market, is hoping to bring its Long Walk wines — syrah, zinfandel, rose, mourvedre and a blend — to the market next year, says owner Kathy O’Leary.

De Luca is supportive and it’s OK with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, she says, so it just has to get a pass from the city. De Luca says she approves of the move.

The Medford Thursday market won’t be able to take place at the Medford Armory next year because of construction, says De Luca, so Rogue Valley Growers Market is in talks with the city to have it at Hawthorne Park, still on Thursday.

John Darling is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at jdarling@jeffnet.org.

Peppers are roasted at the Ashland Growers Market on Tuesday. Daily Tidings / Jamie Lusch
Shoppers browse at the Rogue Valley Growers Market on Tuesday at the Ashalnd Armory. Daily Tidings / Jamie Lusch