Milton-Freewater Farmers' Market on the grow

The locally grown produce and crafts market is attracting more vendors in its second year.



Maria Martinez, left, of Martinez Produce sells fresh, colorful vegetables to eager buyers at Milton-Freewater's weekly Farmers' Market on Wednesday's

An assortment of vendors and organizers have gotten the second year of the Milton-Freewater Farmers' Market off and running.

The market, offering fresh produce, flowers, art, hand crafts and more operates on Wednesdays from 4-7 p.m.

Administrator Susan Dohrmann and on-site manager John Zerba are enthusiastic about this year's possibilities.

"The weather even cooperated," Dohrmann said of the June 6 opening.

The number of vendors has since increased to eight as of the June 27 market and more are expected as the season progresses, Dohrmann said.

And the number of shoppers is way up.

"It's going great," she said. "The produce is selling really well."

The fun doesn't stop with the vendors

"We will have live music as often as possible," Dohrmann said

The market also has a more professional aire for its second season, with signs courtesy of the city and a banner from the Oregon Farmers' Market Association on their way.

The season is scheduled to continue through the end of September, but because of the prolonged cool, rainy spring some produce might be late, which may extend the market's season as well.

Vendors say they are glad to have a venue to sell their items.

"We sell a little bit of everything. Flowers, plant starts, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant ...," said Joanna Martinez, who works a booth with her mother, Maria. She said the first day of the market was a little slow but things are progressing, and it's always fun to meet people.

Another regular vendor is Jennifer Kleffner, who with husband Michael Francis runs the Miles Away Farm. They sell seasonal produce, lotions, soaps and jewelry he makes.

"We have a lot of diversity in what we sell. I know some people focus on just one thing but I'm the kind of person that could never decide on just one thing so we sell many different things."

She agrees with Martinez that the market has great potential for the rest of the season and coming years.

"It's a small market that's just getting off the ground. It's real low key and everyone is super friendly."

Vendor Laverna Elwell makes willow baskets and crocheted flower barrettes and pins.

She said the market has "a real homey feeling" to it.


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