The Saturday Market in McMinnville runs all year long, unlike our week day farmer’s market that only runs from June through October. This has been fantastic for me because I try to eat mostly local and mostly organic food and the winter, before this market, was especially tough for me to stick to my preferred way of eating.
There are only two farms that kept up stalls all winter long. Denison Farms is a really huge farm in Corvallis that does several different farmer’s markets and this is the smallest one they do. This means that they will only keep coming if it is profitable enough. I promised myself to shop their stall every single weekend during the winter. I only missed a couple.
They have had a surprisingly good diversity of vegetables throughout the winter. They make use of greenhouses for certain, but this doesn’t bother me at all. If I had a big enough property I’d have a big greenhouse myself. They’re organic which is great. Their prices aren’t cheap, but it’s been a long time since I have made food choices based solely on price. We have made the choice to spend less money in other areas of our life so that we can buy good quality food.
I’m not a big fan of radishes but I’m learning to enjoy having them in salads. Just don’t ask me to eat them whole dipped in salt and butter. (Excuse me while I retch that thought out of my head.) In spite of not loving to eat radishes, I have to admit that I think they’re beautiful and I never get tired of seeing them stacked up.
Growing Wild Farm is also organic. It’s a small family owned farm here in McMinnville. They had some good offerings for most of the winter but when it got slim at last, they brought out the cutting boards they make from fallen oak trees on their property. They are also one of the few farms that offers fresh herbs. I find it curious that so few farms here do that. Basil is about the best you can find around here. Growing Wild offers lovage, sage, rosemary, mint, and sometimes dill.
I’m not a big fan of rapini. I want to be. Just like with the radishes. I don’t hate it. There are honestly few vegetables that I hate. But I never choose rapini if I can choose something else. Still, it’s popular and it’s pretty. See that cutting board? Next picture shows more of them. I bought two of them this year and I LOVE them!
I am notoriously hard on everything I use. I have never waxed a cutting board in my life until I bought these handmade ones. They’re gorgeous and sturdy and I’m trying to take good care of mine. Next time you need a cutting board you should come and check these out. Sometimes if you have a specific cutting board size you need and it’s not there Andre will make one to the size you need. Always be sure to ask.
Ruby Cakes is new this year. My friend Dominique started this business baking allergen free cupcakes and other baked goods. She now has a partner whose name I have shamefully forgotten. (I only met her once!) The business has been doing very well and even my picky son likes the cupcakes.
Every weekend it seems they have some new treat for everyone to try. I can’t keep up with everything these treats are free of but here’s what I know for sure: gluten free, dairy free, and soy free. They also offer some sugar free treats.
Red Fox Bakery is also at the Saturday Market. They have a counter inside where you can buy breads and pastries and the best macaroons in the entire world. Outside they make pizzas in a cob oven which are also very good.
This miniature horse is a new attraction at the Saturday Market for the kids. I’m a sucker for animals and can’t get over how small this horse is. Maybe it’s really a pony? I don’t know, but he’s cute.
Another recent addition to the Saturday Market is a stall full of handmade wooden spoons, bowls, and terrariums. The day I took these pictures there were no terrariums so feast your eyes on the spoons! This stall is run by Mitch and Ari (Mitch does the woodworking and Ari does the terrariums). I have been in need of wooden spoons recently. I lost the two I’ve been using for years.
I’m not sure a kitchen can have too many spoons. I bought two cheap ones from the kitchen store downtown but that was before I saw these ones. They aren’t cheap but they’re gorgeous and worth every penny. Wooden spoons can last forever. No lie. There is no comparison between the ones Mitch makes and the cheap factory made ones. Each spoon is different, he uses a variety of woods, so you have to test each one out to see how it feels in your hand, does the depth of the bowl please or do you want something shallower? Is the handle the right thickness, does it taper where you want a handle to taper? You don’t actually have to ask these questions like a dork. You just pick up different spoons until you’re holding one that makes you want to rush home and start a pot of soup. I bought a long handled spoon for soup but plan to buy a shorter handled one with a deeper bowl as soon as the budget allows.
These little walnut buttons completely charmed me. For my book I was wondering what my character Cricket would do if she couldn’t get hold of containers for lip balm and I thought of walnuts with little hinges on them, sanded out inside, filled with balm, and closed with some twine. When I saw these I was amazed to see that someone else had thought of something to do with walnut shells- I hadn’t considered that they could be used as buttons!
Other things you can get at the Saturday market: jewelry, soaps (sometimes), wild mushrooms, duck eggs, other baked goods, crafts, chocolates, knitted hats and scarves, and nursery plants and bulbs. Not all of these things are there all the time but if you haven’t visited the Saturday Market and you live in McMinnville, you must come and see it!
I think every community needs a market like this year round.