El Mercado del Valle is open each Saturday for the summer season under the Mid Valley Elementary covered play area. Local vendors provide hot food and cold drinks, craft items and information booths, along with children’s activities.
The goal of El Mercado, the newest Gorge Grown farmers’ market, is to “make this a market for the Odell community, created by the Odell community,” said market manager and Jesuit Volunteer Anna Osborn.
Like all Gorge Grown Markets, El Mercado accepts WIC coupons and participates in a SNAP Match program. “When a food stamp shopper comes to the market and swipes their card for $5, they will receive $10 in market tokens,” said Osborn.
El Mercado will run every Saturday through Sept. 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Mid Valley Elementary covered play area.
Osborn was particularly pleased with the success of the community table—La Comunitaria Mesa—that attracted four backyard gardeners with extra produce to sell. Osborn said that usually one or maybe two people take advantage of such a booth.
It’s an easy way for those who have too much produce for their own use but too little for a full vendor table to sell what they have on an as-needed basis (no long-term commitments or space reservations required), whether it’s a small bunch of herbs or a large basket of greens, both of which graced Saturday’s community table. Simply bring what you have to the market. It’s a convenient perk for both buyers and sellers.