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Mid Valley news: Mercado del Valle to open in June

It’s been long rumored that a farmers market was coming to Odell … sometime. This summer, the Gorge Grown Mercado del Valle (Valley Market) becomes a reality.

Opening day will be June 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. near the playground at Mid Valley Elementary School. The event will feature music, hot food and children’s activities, and a variety of local fruits and vegetables will be available for purchase.

In addition, a “community table” will allow local gardeners a place to sell their backyard crops on an as-needed basis.

“We’re still recruiting vendors to sell fruits, veggies, eggs, bread, prepared food, arts and crafts,” says Market Manager Anna Osborn. “We say, if you make it, bake it or grow it, you can sell it!”

Gorge Grown is also recruiting volunteers to help with general market setup and promotion, and to provide music and other entertainment. Those interested are asked to contact Osborn at 402-630-3464 or anna@gorgegrown.com. She is fluent in English and Spanish.

All of the Gorge Grown Farmers Markets participate in the SNAP Match Program, including Mercado del Valle, says Osborn.

“This means that when folks swipe their food stamps card, for every $1 they spend, we match them up to $5. So, for example, if they swipe their card for $5, they will actually get $10 in Farmers Market tokens to spend on fresh, local food,” she says. WIC checks are also accepted.

The market is a collaboration between Gorge Grown Food Network and The Next Door Inc., with support from Mid Valley Elementary and St. Francis House.

Positive feedback concerning an Odell market led to a number of focus groups, Osborn says, which resulted in the creation of Mercado del Valle. The market seeks to celebrate the multicultural diversity in the community of Odell and the Upper Valley, she said.

The market will be open from June 21 through Sept. 20.

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