Farmer’s Market open for season in Craig

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Victoria Larkin, who makes homemade rag rugs, laughs with a customer at the Farmer’s Market Thursday in Alice Pleasant Park. The event kicked off the summer series, which will feature local artists and vendors, like Larkin, from 4 to 7 p.m. every Thursday.

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Angela Cordova, right, owner of Garden of Eve in Craig, explains one of her plants to customer Ida Gordon at Thurday’s Farmer’s Market in Alice Pleasant Park. Cordova said she supports buying local produce and eating organic and healthy foods.

Craig residents Lorrae Moon, Kim Thompson and Jennifer Stagner have long held “cook days” at their homes while raising their families.

They got together as often as they could to share stories and laughs, and make homemade pasta noodles along the way.

On Thursday afternoon in Alice Pleasant Park, the products of their joint labor lay in front of them on a table: bags of homemade pasta labeled “Oodles of Noodles.”

The women turned a passion and hobby into a profit by taking their wares to the Farmer’s Market.

“You can put a face on the food,” Moon said as she stood behind her booth at the market with Stagner and Thompson.

But, that wasn’t the only reason she encouraged people to shop at the Farmer’s Market this summer.

“Eating locally is so important in so many aspects,” she said. “It keeps the farmers and ranchers alive, and the nutritional value is better. This salad we have will last for two weeks.”

This week’s event was the first of the series, which will run throughout the summer from 4 to 7 p.m. every Thursday.

Caroline Dotson, former owner of Downtown Books & Beads, is coordinating the event for the first time.

As the event enters its fourth year, Dotson said it takes an entire community to put on a successful market.

“It takes vendors selling things people want,” she said. “And it’s community involvement: people have to come and support the vendors, too.”

She said in an economic recession, it’s more important than ever to support local friends and neighbors in their agricultural and creative endeavors.

“Nowadays, its important to eat local and be aware of what’s being sold around you so you can support the local economy,” Dotson said.

New this year is a $50 fee for vendors for the season — or $5 per week —which Dotson believes will bring in a more consistent base of sellers.

She hopes larger vendors will also find the consistency attractive and join the event.

But, consistency won’t mean a lack of variety.

Thursday’s market featured locally-farmed honey, dream-catchers and local produce.

Victoria Larkin, of Craig, has handmade rugs for several years, but this is her first year selling at the market.

“These are kind of my winter labors,” she said, thumbing through her multi-colored house rugs.

She said she enjoyed simply sitting by her wares as she wove a new rug in her lap.

“It’s just fun to sit here and watch,” she said. “You couldn’t ask for a more beautiful day to be here.”

At the “Oodles of Noodles” table was more than just pasta.

Stagner had homemade wine jelly, Moon sold her homespun yarn and fresh eggs from her farm, and Thompson displayed homemade bog biscuits.

“Dogs need something at the Farmer’s Market, too,” Thompson said.

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