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Garden of earthly delights

You know how sometimes a fun event catches your eye when you read about it, but you need a block and tackle and someone to work it to get your sorry behind out of your book/TV/Pokémon/walk-in bathtub, and to where things are happening?

Summertime brings on this lackadaisical response — the livin’ is easy, and there’s so much going on I talk myself right out of livin’.

It’s probably way too hot, I think. There will be a lot of sweaty people there, and my only pair of shorts make me look like a before photo in a Hydroxycut commercial. Blasted, ill-fitting things.

Well, I’m glad I didn’t cave to the malaise this morning. I hoisted myself away from the laptop and drove Fiona to the Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market in Medford. On Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Hawthorne Park is the lively scene for all things delectable to taste, smell and scratch (Oliver got a new cat scratcher that Wayne made in Talent). Saturdays find everyone at The Commons, downtown at Sixth and Bartlett during the same hours. They also meet twice a week in Ashland. For more information, see their website at www.rvgrowersmarket.com.

I arrived at about 10:00, and the joint was jumping. I parked across the street in the Medford Center, where finding a space was not an issue.

Entering the park, the first spectacle I saw was a 3-foot-tall Superman, lone splasher-about in the new water park, getting his cape all wet and not minding. He must have been with security.

It had been a while since I visited the market, so I admit to being dumbstruck by the bounty. It was as if the veil of a lesser heaven had been drawn to reveal booth after shining booth of the most beautiful, local, organic produce I’d ever seen. A moment or two passed until my eyes cleared, and I began pulling out folding money fresh from the teller. It’s much easier if you take cash (and a wheelbarrow), though most vendors accept debit/credit cards. It’s also a piece of cake, or donuts if you prefer, to blow through a stack of bills before you make it halfway around the booths.

The new location at the park is a huge improvement over the Medford Armory. It’s more centrally located, and the green surroundings help keep things cool and pleasant.

Although I tried my best to avoid them, I ran into a couple of friends right off, Linda and Dolores. I know Dolores was trying to butter me up to get her name in the column by insisting she reads me faithfully every week. It worked. She pours wine at Del Rio Vineyards in Gold Hill, so I couldn’t resist making a Dolores Del Rio crack. I noticed they had baked goods in their bag, but they ran off without offering me a crumb.

I came away from my initiation lugging the aforementioned cat scratcher, the most beautiful head of red leaf lettuce you ever saw, tomatoes, peaches, apples, blueberries, strawberries, garlic and lavender/strawberry jam, which is so yum I could eat it straight from the jar. Oh, and an empty wallet.

There were other things I wanted. Many things. I managed to keep a 15-foot distance between my mouth and the two bakeries I saw. We’re not just talking muffins here. Oh, I might have seen some had I snuck in closer, but even from a distance I could see real Baked Goods. They sparkled and beckoned from their resting places, the sun reflecting off their sugary glory. Next time.

It’s a great feeling to come away with healthful food knowing I’ve helped support my neighbors in the bargain. I may have to go to work for them to afford continued visits, but I think a weekly sojourn is in order until they fold their tents in November.

Peggy Dover is a freelance writer in Eagle Point. Reach her at pcdover@hotmail.com and visit her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SouthernOregonJournal.