May 4, 2022 — The Florence Farmers Market is preparing to reopen for the season. Members of the market team are excited with the prospect of a return to the open market, as well as the additions and changes introduced this year.
The farmers market is located at the intersection of Bay and Kingwood streets in Historic Old Town Florence, next to the Veteran’s Memorial Park. It is locally focused, offering all types of food products from area farmers, bakers and artisans. And while the growing season in this area has so far been slower than anticipated, there will be many products available when opening day arrives on Tuesday, May 10.
“As we move toward June, there will be more produce and more vendors,” said founding member Mary Shaw. “May is an iffy month, for berries and snap peas, but there will be plenty of greens.”
This season will feature Vine to Table Hand pies, Marcy’s Sourdough and Sweets, Fermentruth boxes and other familiar favorites.
“Rainforest Mushrooms will hold down the corner spot near the entrance, and at the opposite end of the market, Kurzhal Family Kickin’ Pickles will offer their famous variety of everything pickle,” Shaw said. “Fog Hollow Farm, with both the chicken and the egg, will be gone in May, back in June. There will be other egg vendors, so no worries.”
The Florence Farmers Market is dedicated to providing those in the community with more limited resources the opportunity to obtain organic, healthy food for a reasonable price. This goal is achieved mainly through doubling the purchase power of those receiving support from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP).
Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) is a program that “matches” SNAP benefits spent at the Florence Farmers Market. For every $2 of SNAP benefits spent, the market will match up to $20 in DUFB that can be spent on fruits and vegetables. So, if a shopper spends $20 in SNAP benefits, they will receive an extra $20 free that can be used to buy more produce.
The market also strives to share healthful lifestyle information and has entered into a partnership with a local hospital to extend those efforts.
“In partnership with Peace Harbor Medical Clinic, the market will offer a Produce Prescription program,” Shaw said. “Selected patients from the Medical Clinic will be given a prescription to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. They bring the prescription to the market and receive shopping vouchers in exchange. Patients may receive vouchers for up to 10 markets based on the number of people in their household.”
Florence joins markets and clinics all around the state who offer this program. Funding for the program is provided by PeaceHealth Peace Harbor Medical Center.
New to the market this year is Farm for Our Lives, owned and operated by Korrie and Robert Hooper. This is their first year producing vegetables, flowers and mushrooms on their Alsea River property. They grow organically but are not certified.
Another new addition to the Market is Wildcat Farm, specializing in wild crafted food products and goat milk.
An important goal of market leadership is to offer community members nutritional information, cooking tips and techniques.
In addition, local people are invited to sell goods at the new Community Table.
Only fresh fruits, veggies and ODA0approved producer processed products and flowers may be sold at the Community Table, and there can only be four vendors selling products per week.
According to Shaw, “Florence residents have been incredibly supportive of the market over the past five years, so this is a wonderful way for the market to give back to the community and support our local gardeners and entrepreneurs.”
The table is managed by a Florence Farmers Market, but vendors are encouraged to help with the setup, sales and tear down if possible. Vendors are not required to stay and sell but do need to get proceeds and any remaining products at the end of each market.
Potential vendors must contact Britte Kirsch, the Community Table Coordinator, ahead of time to ensure there is space available. Contact her through [email protected] or 435-729-0554 to reserve space and get more details.
The Florence Farmers Market opens on Tuesday, May 10, and runs through Tuesday, Oct. 11, from 3 to 6 p.m. in Historic Old Town Florence, at the corner of Kingwood and Bay Streets.
More information can be found at www.florencefarmersmarket.org.