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Gorge Grown markets: fresh, local fare

With this abundant May sunshine also comes the place for you to find an abundance of fresh, local, healthy food: the farmers markets.

Gorge Grown will be managing four markets this season: Hood River Farmers Market, Hood River Saturday Market, Mosier Farmers Market and the new Mercado del Valle in Odell.

At these markets, you’ll find a variety of vendors selling locally raised vegetables, fruit, meat, cheese, eggs, bread and more. Also, the live music and local hot food vendors create a festive atmosphere for the whole family.

But we at Gorge Grown do much more than manage farmers markets. We support small food businesses and, run programs that develop community food leaders. We also help provide access for everyone to the fresh, local, healthy food that decorates this beautiful area.

A major focus of Gorge Grown this year is Food Access. In short, that means creating a space for everyone in our community to be able to get that healthy, local food.

At each market, SNAP (food stamp) users can participate in the SNAP Match Program. When someone swipes a food stamps card, we will match every dollar up to $5; so, swipe your card for $5, and you’ll receive $10 to spend on local food! We also accept WIC vouchers at all markets.

This summer season the Hood River Farmers Market will be host to the second year of the Gorge Grown Cooking Series. There will be 16 hands-on cooking classes throughout the season on Thursdays from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Local chefs and food lovers will teach the classes, highlighting creative uses of seasonal foods.

If you would like to attend a class, sign up online at the Hood River Community Education website (hrcommunityed.org). Click the Classes tab and search for Gorge Grown to read full descriptions and register for classes.

Gorge Grown is all about bringing healthy, local food to people in order to make our community a more vibrant place to live. Through our farmers markets and our food access programs, we hope to make that dream a reality.

We’ll see you at the market!

Gorge Grown Farmers Market

May 1-Nov. 20

Thursdays, 4-7 p.m.

Hood River Middle School, 1602 May St.

Hood River Saturday Market

May 3-Sept. 27

Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Downtown, Fifth and Columbia

Mercado del Valle

June 21-Sept. 20

Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Mid Valley Elementary School in Odell

Mosier Farmers Market

June 22-Sept. 28

Sundays, 4-7 p.m.

Downtown Mosier

Anna Osborn is Mercado del Valle market manager and outreach assistant for GGFN. She can be reached at anna@gorgegrown.com. Todd Dierker is GGFN food access programs manager. He can be reached at todd@gorgegrown.com.

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