Outdoor farmers markets in Corvallis and Albany open for the season on Saturday, and will operate from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday into November.
The Wednesday market in Corvallis starts on April 24, as well.
Early market weeks feature spring raab and many other greens, potatoes and other storage vegetables, radishes, fresh turnips, carrots, rhubarb, preserved foods, honey, eggs, meat, poultry, and cheese plus nursery plants and cut flowers.
Most vendors are selling agricultural products they grew in a six-county area that includes Benton, Linn, Lincoln, Lane, Marion and Polk counties.
Albany has Oregon’s longest continuously operating outdoor farmers’ market, and it’s entering its 42nd season.
Opening week in Albany includes music by guitarist David Rogers, and the Oregon State University College of Pharmacy will conduct health screenings.
This year is the Year of the Pig in Chinese tradition, and the Albany Farmers Market put out a call for pork producers. New vendors Anchor Ranch and Gap Road Meat Co. of Scio and PK Pastures of Sweet Home will be bringing pork to market.
Krakelen, another new vendor, will be making wood-fired pizzas topped with many locally sourced ingredients.
Albany’s Procession of the Species, where kids and adults get dressed up as their favorite creatures to celebrate Earth Day, is scheduled for 10 a.m. April 27. The market will include information booths, activities, face painting, giveaways and Claudia the giant Chinook salmon.
In Albany, the farmers market is in the City Hall parking lot at Fourth Avenue and Ellsworth Street and an adjacent piece of Fourth Avenue. At the start of the season, less than 20 vendors attend, but that grows to 30 with the warmer weather.
The Corvallis Saturday market is in its 29th season, and this week it will have music by guitarist John Twist. OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences and College of Veterinary Medicine will promote the upcoming pet day by offering nail clippings for dogs.
Planet Palooza, formerly known as the Procession of the Species parade, will go through the Corvallis Farmers Market at about noon on Saturday on its way to the Eric Scott McKinley Skate Park, where activities are scheduled to continue until 3 p.m.
The farmers market in Corvallis occupies more than a block of First Street and rounds the corner onto Monroe Avenue. About 50 to 70 vendors usually participate in the Saturday market in Corvallis.
For more information on the outdoor farmers markets in Corvallis and Albany, go to www.locallygrown.org.