On Thursday, May 1, at 4 p.m. the Hood River Farmers Market opens for the 2014 season at Hood River Middle School, with a diverse set of vendors selling locally raised vegetables, fruit, meat, cheese, eggs, bread and more.
In addition, the live music, local hot food vendors and festive family-friendly atmosphere that have become beloved market traditions continue.
The market, operated by local nonprofit Gorge Grown Food Network, is encouraging shoppers to bring their grocery lists as inspiration to load up on all the fresh food they need for the week. Everything is fresh and everything is local.
“You really can buy almost everything you need at the farmers market,” says GGFN’s Food Access Programs Manager Todd Dierker. “We really want community members to do their regular shopping at the farmers market, where more of the money they spend actually makes it into the hands of the region’s hard-working farmers.”
Gorge Grown will also continue offering its food stamp dollars match program that gives an extra $5 free to food stamp shoppers at each market.
There is a feeling of vibrancy in the springtime air that is contagious. “People are ready for spring staples like local asparagus, radishes, rhubarb, and salad greens, among other things,” says GGFN’s Executive Director Michelle McGrath.
These staples will be in abundance come May 1, as will plant starts for residents to take home and plant in their yards, pots and window boxes.
Kristin Franger, the returning Hood River Farmers Market coordinator, encourages new shoppers to give the market a try.
“If you’ve never been to the market before, this is the year to go,” she says. “We offer something for everyone and it really is a wonderful weekly Hood River community event.”
The market is open every Thursday from 4-7 p.m. from May 1 until Nov. 20 at Hood River Middle School.