Mid Valley News: El Mercado ends season

El Mercado del Valle celebrated its last farmers market Sept. 20 with piñatas — some made by St. Francis House, others donated by local businesses — music and dancing.

El Mercado debuted at the end of June as the newest of Gorge Grown Food Network’s area farmers markets, and was located at Mid Valley Elementary in Odell.

Hannah Ladwig, Jesuit Volunteer for Gorge Grown, said that the market saw an average of 160 people each week, “with attendance increasing towards the end of the season.” Through Gorge Grown Food Network’s SNAP matching program, over $100 was distributed to customers when they used food assistance at El Mercado.

“With the help of customers, vendor and community partners, I believe we achieved our goal to create a healthy gathering space for the community,” Ladwig said. “I think this is the beginning of something really amazing for Odell and the surrounding community.”

The Gorge Fruit and Craft Fair returns to the Hood River County Fairgrounds Oct. 18-19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The event is only open to vendors from the four counties of the Gorge — Hood River, Wasco, Klickitat and Skamania — with a wide variety of items for sale, including art, crafts, fruit, jewelry, kitchen items, hot food, and more. Admission is free. For more info call the fair office at 541-354-2865 or email hrfair@hrecn.net; additional info is on the Fairgrounds’ website at hoodriverfair.org.

Fair manager Clara Rice reports that RV and vehicle storage will be available onsite again this year after Oct. 22. For more info, call the number above.

Mid Valley Elementary has Rosauers scrip for sale this year in the school office. Scrip comes in $25, $50 and $100 increments and is spent just like cash. With each purchase, Mid Valley receives 5-percent of the total cost with no additional cost to the buyer.

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