The Rimrock Echo
Farmers MarketThursday, October 08, 2009 By Megan Spegel
If you have ever driven down Prineville's Third Street on Saturday morning, no doubt you have seen it. In the courtyard of City Hall a variety of vendors set up a booth to present their product to the community. This marvelous event is the Farmers Market, which has been going strong in Prineville for the past four years. Farmers Market runs from June 6th to October 17th this year. Many people, including yours truly, have enjoyed attending and purchasing unique items. On Saturday September 19th there was a great diversity of items, varying from berries and corn to cards and jewelry. Among the vendors were Jim Bahrenburg who was selling corn and beets this chilly September morning. Jim was very enthusiastic about being able to sell his product directly to families. He had noticed that many people were looking for fresh local produce and that was just what he was providing. When asked about the impact the farmers market had on the community, he had four positive points. First he commented on that people appreciate fresh quality local food. Second he believes that the farmers market encouraged the community to grow their own food and be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor. He also said that the farmers market was a reliable local place where one could have fresh food security. The reasonable prices were also a plus in his eyes. Jim was very generous and gave me an ear of corn so I could comment on its taste. The corn was beautiful, with both yellow and white kernels and it tasted so good I didn’t need any butter. The farmers market however is more then just food. There was a vendor who was selling natural stone jewelry. Sandy was aspired to come out and participate because of Prineville’s friendly inhabitants. This economy has had its impact on business. She said that she has seen a fifty percent decrease in purchases and more lookers. In the month that she has been participating, she has experienced the warm Prineville friendship that keeps her coming back. Sandy commented that the farmers market’s positive influence on the community has encouraged a healthy lifestyle. I would have to agree. My family went home with food that will be a healthy alternative. The community must have felt the same way. The courtyard of city hall was swarming with people enjoying the morning despite the chill. The farmers market also is a place to get some questions answered. “The Master Gardener” was there prepared to answer any questions. My mom, Polly Spegel, had such a question. “The Master Gardener” explained that the reason she wasn’t getting many squash or cucumbers was lack of pollination. There were many ways to solve this problem. You could encourage the bees to come by planting flowers or you could take matters into your own hands and pollinate them yourself. For those of you who where like my mom and didn’t know exactly how to do that, you take the male flower (the flower on the long stem) and introduce it to the female flower (the one with the little squash start in it). Evidently, Prineville's farmers market is the place to be. Whether you are looking for fresh local produce, beautiful jewelry, or you simply have questions about gardening, the farmers market is an enjoyable experience for the whole family. I would encourage you to go out and experience your community’s farmers market.