Mercado del Valle coming to Odell

The sights and sounds of a farmers market are almost universal, whether you’re at the Gorge Grown Farmers Market or in another part of the globe. The laughter and shouts of children playing, the murmur of voices from farmers and shoppers alike, the sound of music ringing in the air, the smell of food cooking, the colorful array of fresh, local fruits, vegetables, breads, meats, and other food products are what one expects to see at a farmers market.

It is also what the community members of Odell have asked for in the new market that Gorge Grown Food Network will be launching next year.

Gorge Grown Food Network, in collaboration with The Next Door and with support from Mid-Valley Elementary School and St. Francis House, began investigating the possibility of having a farmers market in Odell in the summer of 2013. After receiving a large amount of positive feedback about the idea, a number of focus groups were held to develop more concrete plans for the market.

These meetings resulted in the creation of the Mercado del Valle (Valley Market), which seeks to celebrate the multicultural diversity in the community of Odell.

The Mercado del Valle will host its opening day on Saturday, June 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will continue every Saturday until Sept. 20.

There will be music, children’s activities, hot food and a variety of fresh, local fruits and vegetables available from market vendors. In addition, there will be a community table available each week where local gardeners can sell their bumper crops on an as-needed basis.

Gorge Grown Food Network, a nonprofit promoting local food production and consumption, has been running the Gorge Grown Farmers Market on Thursdays at Hood River Middle School since 2006. GGFN brings a wealth of information to the table about running a farmers market and is excited to be working with the community of Odell to make the Mercado del Valle a success.

It is currently accepting applications for a farmers market manager for the Mercado del Valle. This will be a part-time seasonal position and applicants must be bilingual in English and Spanish and have access to a computer and email.

It is also still looking for vendors to sell their food products at the market, musicians, people to lead children’s activities, and volunteers. Persons interested in any of these opportunities can contact Woodley Smith at 541-380-5130 or woodley@gorgegrown.com.

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