Saturday Market Returns
It’s Springtime again! For northwesterners, this means going outside to enjoy every bit of sun that filters down through the spring showers. Springtime also means it is Market time for Eugene! The Eugene Saturday Market, a well established piece of unique Eugene, started up again the first weekend in April. As they state many times on their website, they will be there, rain or shine! The question is: will you?
Many times, us locals, forget about the Market that happens every weekend, in the heart of Eugene, from April to mid-November.
So for those who know about, this is a just a little motivation to get out and have a good time, and support local crafters, musicians, food vendors and farms while you’re at it. For those new to the area, or who just don’t go out much, hopefully this article will lead you to more fully enjoy this beautiful city. An added bonus: This is a wonderful (and cheap) way to entertain friends and family from out of town, with fun for all ages until 5pm, every Saturday!
About the Market
The market first opened in 1971 with 150 vendors. It rained the first day, but people still came out to experience the novelty. Today the market has over 800 hundred rotating vendors, eager to bring you one of a kind, handcrafted goods, or food.
No imported, or mass produced goods are allowed to be sold in the marketplace. For many local artists, the market supplies a large portion of their yearly income. As a nonprofit organization, the Eugene Saturday Market is run by a board of directors made up of vendors and community members.
The market has 10 staffers total, led by Executive Director, Beth Little, and all funding comes from vendor fees.
Sweet Potato Pancakes (For Two People)
Pancakes are always a wonderful treat, but they can be a bit boring, and quite a load of carbs. Here is a fun twist on the pancake that ups the nutritional value quite a bit and has a wonderful warm, rich flavor. It can be made gluten free by substituting for rice or almond flour. The type of flour should not have a major effect on this recipe.
- You will Need:
- Mixing bowl
- Rubber spatula
- Large spoon
- Cheese grater
- Large skillet
- 1 Sweet potato
- ½ Cup packed brown sugar
- ½ Cup flax seeds
- 3 Eggs
- 1 cup flour
- 1 Teaspoon baking powder
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup milk
- Grate large Sweet Potato into mixing bowl.
- Add Sugar, Flax and Eggs and fold together.
- Add Flour, Baking Powder and Salt, and fold together.
- Pour half cup Milk over mixture and stir.
- Melt Butter in skillet.
- Spoon out desired amount for your cakes onto skillet. You can use the back of the spoon to shape your cakes. You do not want them too thick, or they will not cook through.
- Flip when the middle starts looking like it’s solidifying.
- Cover with favorite toppings, and serve!
Lane County Farmers Market
Everything grows in the Willamette Valley! You can buy local produce directly from the farm across the street from the Saturday Market. The farmers market runs a bit longer, going into November, and is open on Tuesdays, from May to October.
The farmers market was started as a part of the Saturday market, but later became an independent organization in 1989.
You can get more information on the farmers market at www.lanecountyfarmersmarket.org
Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza
On the final corner, in front of the Lane County Courthouse, is another piece of Eugene Culture. The free speech plaza is dedicated to a former, very independent, Oregon State Congressman. It serves as a place for people to come distribute information, and hold rally’s regarding local issues. It is also the site for the Occupy Medical Clinic, and often the scene is set by the iconic hippie drum and trading circle. While not really part of the market, this is a piece of Eugene living tradition that gives the whole thing a unique flavor compared to similar markets across the country.
I will always remember going to the Market with my parents, and grandparents as a child. It was always a fantastic adventure that the whole family could enjoy. There were always new booths, great music, silly performances, and old favorites waiting to entertain us. My favorite things were the Fresh Caught Rainbow booth, with a friendly older gentleman and his collection of silky hanging rainbows, and cups of fresh honeycomb from the farmers market. I believe this experience helped truly bring me into my community and learn to appreciate hand made fun, and quality local foods. As I got older, it was a safe place for me and my friends, and eventually dates, to hang out on the weekends. I look forward to the day that I can bring my own children here to find magical delights to decorate their spaces and healthy treats to bring smiles to their faces. So let us keep it going, and get out and support our community.