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Find Fresh Produce All Year Long at These Willamette Valley Winter Markets

By Matt Wastradowski

Winter is undeniably a slow stretch for farmers throughout the Willamette Valley. Most crops have been picked, many markets and farm stands are shuttered until spring, and shorter days leave less time for farmers to tend to their crops. But this is the Willamette Valley, after all, where producers grow more than 170 crops each year. So while it's not the most robust growing season, the Willamette Valley's extensive winter output covers dozens of crops-including a variety of greens, purple broccoli, pears, Brussels sprouts, squash, potatoes, shiitake mushrooms, apples, and more. Find a more detailed  seasonal list of Willamette Valley crops throughout winter.

Carrots piled high on sale at a farm

These crops (and many more) are available at local indoor farmers markets throughout the region all year long-yes, even in January and the early winter months. In addition to fresh fare, most of these markets also host artisans, hot food vendors, bakers, chefs, and other passionate crafters eager to share a taste of the region.

So once you've learned about the growing seasons of the Willamette Valley, here are five farmers markets that are open this winter season.

Silverton Farmers Market

Just outside Silver Falls State Park, the Wintertime Market at Silverton Farmers Market runs Saturdays between mid-October and early May. 

The Silverton Farmers Market launched in 2002 with just three farmers and has grown dramatically over the years, today featuring a rotating lineup of nearly three-dozen vendors at the height of summer. An indoor-outdoor winter market was added in 2018, and its vendors sell locally grown produce (available fresh and canned), farm-fresh eggs, pasture-raised meats, raw local honey, baked goods, and a variety of artisan gift items-including handmade jewelry, houseplants, and glass yard art.

The market even hosts a community table for vendors who don't have enough product to stock a full booth, broadening the breadth of items available and giving smaller producers space to shine each week.

Corvallis Indoor Winter Market

The name Corvallis comes from the Latin words for "heart of the valley," and that's exactly what you can enjoy at the Corvallis Indoor Winter Market, which runs on Saturdays from mid-January to early April at the Benton County Fairgrounds.

The market is part of a broader effort to connect visitors with homegrown goods all year long-meaning it's possible to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, eggs, honey, meat, and other locally sourced items. In addition to food, the market hosts artisans who sell drawings, paintings, jewelry, and other works of art.

While planning your time in the area, check out our guide to outdoor recreation around Corvallis-with suggestions for all four seasons.

Lane County Farmers Market, Eugene

Lane County Farmers Market is Eugene's largest such market, featuring home-grown and locally sourced foods from more than 85 farmers, chefs, bakers, and more-all available 11 months of the year. Visitors can fill their totes at the market's weekly Saturday events, which begin in early February and run through mid-December at the brand-new Farmers Market Pavilion near downtown.

Vendors sell a variety of items at the market, from fresh and frozen produce to cheese, meat, seafood, jams, salsas, baked goods, and more; the lineup changes week to week, so there's always something new to try.

The market is also unique in that it requires all bakeries and prepared food vendors to make their items with at least 25% locally sourced ingredients-ensuring that you support family farms and enjoy a taste of the Willamette Valley in every bite.

If you're looking to get outdoors after spending a morning at the market, get inspired with our guide to hiking and biking trails, hot springs, mountain biking, and other ideas for outdoor recreation near Eugene and the McKenzie River.

Farmers Market at the Grange, McMinnville

The Farmers Market at the Grange, taking place on Saturdays at the McMinnville Grange, is one of the Willamette Valley's only markets to run all year long-taking place outdoors when the weather cooperates and inside the hall in the colder months.

Selection varies from season to season, but you can generally expect to find local produce, herbs, grass-fed meats, locally roasted coffee, and other items from nearly 20 vendors.

After perusing the market, indulge in the McMinnville area's world-class wine scene with our round-up of 10 beautiful vineyards in the Willamette Valley.

Salem Saturday Market

For nearly 25 years, the Salem Saturday Market has showcased the agricultural heart of the Willamette Valley-and has done so from the very beginning of the growing season to (nearly) the very end.

Taking place on Saturdays between March and October near downtown, the Salem Saturday Market hosts 150 vendors that sell locally grown and handmade items that reflect the bounty of the region-including fresh fruits and vegetables, spirits, locally grown meats, fresh-cut flowers, and even prepared food items (such as a variety of baked goods and kettle corn). When the weather warms up, local buskers join the fun.

For more tastes from the Salem area, learn more about the Great Oaks Food Trail-a self-guided tour that spotlights dozens of U-pick farms and orchards, tasting rooms, markets, and more in neighboring Polk County.

Your adventure begins with the official Willamette Valley Travel Guide. Request your complimentary printed guide or download a digital guide today.

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