This blog provides information about the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market and inspiration for cooking with local ingredients from the Southern Willamette Valley. I'm Karen, a resident of the Fairmount neighborhood, parent at Edison Elementary School and Roosevelt Middle School, and faculty member of the University of Oregon. The market's inception was a chat I had back in 2010 with DeeAnn Hall, owner of the former Eugene City Bakery, about how nice it would be to have a neighborhood Sunday Farmers Market. As we explored this possibility, we received valuable advice from Lynne Fessenden of the Willamette Farm and Food Coalition and Dan Armstrong from the Southern Willamette Valley Bean and Grain Project. DeeAnn talked with the owner of Sun Automotive across the street about using their space, and Ned Forman from ECB talked with lots of farmers, and found a few brave pioneers in Rachel and Tom from SLO Farm, Kasey and Jeff from Lonesome Whistle Farm, and Linda from The Salmon People. For the market's second season, Rachel and Tom took the reins and were joined by John from Sweetwater Farm, Stephanie from Songbird Farm, Linda from The Salmon People, and Dan from the Southern Willamette Valley Bean and Grain Project. In the market's third season, Sweetwater Farm took the helm, joined by Jenni and Scott from Fair Valley Farm. For the fourth, fifth, and sixth seasons, Sweetwater Farm's new owner, Erica, continued to run the market, along with Jenni and Scott from Fair Valley Farm. Starting with the seventh season, farmers Jonah and Amber from Camas Swale Farm took over the market, with continued participation from Fair Valley Farm and Tiger Lily Art Company.
The idea for this blog came from a conversation I had with Lotte Streisinger, who founded the Eugene Saturday Market in 1970 as a venue for local artists. Lotte told me that for many years she had a radio show in which she offered recipe ideas for produce on sale at the Saturday Market, and it occurred to me that today's equivalent would be a recipe blog. My first post was early in the Fairmount Market's first season. When the market's first season ended, I continued to crave locally grown, fresh food and to feel inspired to write about it. I joined local CSAs: Lonesome Whistle Farm for beans and grains and Open Oak Farm for produce. Over the seasons, this blog has been a place for me to document my family's growing knowledge and appreciation of our valley's remarkable bounty, and it has introduced me to some of our region's remarkable people who are committed to the conscientious production of food that is healthy to eat and gentle on the earth.
Thank you for supporting our neighborhood market.