Here I am, back at it for a third round and believe it or not, I’m a little bit nervous. Not much has changed since I managed these markets just over 5 years ago, but enough has changed to make me a little less confident than I would normally have been. My children are older, my hair (if I had any) would be a little more on the gray side, I’ve gained a few pounds (but steadily working on losing them) and life in general has been good. And still the markets keep plugging along.
This year marks our 32nd season in Downtown Hillsboro. We’ve grown from maybe a dozen vendors in those first days to over 100 vendors on our busiest days in recent years. And believe it or not, there are still a few vendors who have been with us since the very beginning. When you figure out who they are, come and let me know. And there are still more vendors who have been with us for over 20 years. But the nice thing is that no matter how long you’ve been a vendor at our market you have become a member of our family.
Our season will be starting out with over 60 vendors at both our main markets, Downtown Hillsboro Farmers’ Market on Saturdays and Orenco Farmers’ Market on Sundays. That’s a pretty good start to a new season. Throughout the season we’ll be adding vendors as the weather gets warmer and the produce becomes ready for harvest. Keep your eyes peeled for new farm vendors, give them a warm welcome and please take the time to welcome back all the other vendors, those who keep coming back year after year.
Like every year, we’ll have a great musical line-up and an event planned on almost every weekend. We will also be bringing back some of the fun events like Salsa Contest and the Corn Husking Contest. Not only that, but we’ll be adding in some product tastings as well. Have you ever wondered how a “normal” store bought tomato compares to a fresh, locally grown, tomato? We’ll be giving you the opportunity to find out this year with a number of different products and you can see for yourself just how delicious your locally grown produce really is.
O.k., so that about wraps up this first ever Blog. I’ll do my best to keep you posted throughout the coming weeks. And with any luck you will find this a useful part of your whole market experience. With that said, we’ll see you all down at the markets!
Patrick T. Rossetti