The importance of buying local: fresh produce, hand-crafted gifts & artisan food
Each Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. the Rogue Valley Growers & Crafters Winter Market vendors feature fresh produce, hand-crafted gifts and artisan food at the Fry Family Farm Store in Medford. Usually held outdoors, this is the first winter season that the market is open.
"It's nice and warm in here" says Sherry, surrounded by her fresh pastas and pestos from Sherry's Pasta. "We're here every Thursday until March, when we go out to Hawthorne Park."
Christi Reilly from Terra Sol Organics rearranges bags of lettuce in her booth. "I love being able to sell produce in the winter because it really highlights the seasonality of local food. Everyone comes to the market expecting peaches, and tomatoes, and corn and the forget that there's wonderful lettuce, and beets, and carrots that are available year-round."
Surrounded by floral art pieces, Shelly Jillson embarks on her fourth year at the market. "We all work so hard at what we do and for some of us, for me, it's my therapy." Shelly began making art at the age of sixteen. "I love doing what I do...when people discover it, it's life changing."
Peter, owner of Salant Family Ranch, has been a vendor with the market since 2005. "Buying locally means taking the dollars that you have to spend and putting them back into the local economy; redeploying and reinvesting in our local area." Peter says he's been raising cattle and selling locally since 1998. He sells to not only to consumers at markets, but also local restaurants and school districts. "Trying to keep it local and in the economy here."