Going green doesn't have to be a gigantic life changing experience. Installing solar panels on your roof, riding the bus to work and buying carbon offsets will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions but one thing you can do that is really easy is buying food directly from farmers. When you buy a strawberry grown in Oregon, the amount of diesel fuel burned in bringing that fruit to market is much less than a strawberry grown in California. It's also fresher. People in Salem are seeing the benefits of a local diet and are making trips to local farmers' market a part of their produce buying routine. The Salem Saturday Market and the Wednesday Farmers' Market are growing nicely here in the middle of the fertile Willamette Valley. Organic is the norm on Saturday as you stroll through booths stocked full of fresh picked produce. When I arrive, I almost always buy vegetables from the first stand I walk up to, because every farmer has great products. It's easy to get carried away because the prices are comparable or better than what you get at the grocery store. I've also found that because the produce is fresher, it last longer than the grocery store products. One of the cucumbers I purchased made it into a salad a week after I got it from the market. There's a lot of non farm vendors showcasing their food, artwork and crafts. I ate at this little Peruvian Food stand called Maty's where a nice couple sold me a tamal for $4. Wrapped in a banana skin, this Latin dish made for a delicious light lunch, quick and easy to eat as I sat in the summer sun. Both the Saturday and Wednesday markets will be open through October this year.
9am-3pm May through Oct.
At the corner of Summer and Marion Street NE
Wednesday Farmer's Market
10am-2p May through Oct.
Chemeketa Street between High and Liberty NE