'Everything looks so fresh and wonderful'
For Rose Hubler, it will all begin on Friday afternoon when she pours tried-and-true ingredients into her KitchenAid mixer.
The Lake Oswegan will work until 3 a.m. Saturday — never mind that she's 81 — dropping dough onto baking sheets and filling her home with sweet aromas as she pulls batch after batch of scones out of the oven.
Hubler will be up just a few hours later to load her car, and by 7 a.m. she'll join more than 80 other vendors as they set up their booths at Millennium Plaza Park for the 17th annual Lake Oswego Farmers Market.
Hubler, who owns Morsels baking company, has been delighting locals with her scones since the market's first season. But she says the excitement of opening day never gets old.
"Seeing my customers is the biggest treat," she says. "The greetings and the hugs — it's great. I'm like 10 feet tall."
Over the past 17 years, she's seen the market grow — it now serves 8,000 customers every week. Hubler says she enjoys catching up with her longtime customers, meeting visitors, selling scones to her grandchildren — who insist on paying her for their treats when they come through — and taking in the scene.
"Everything looks so fresh and so wonderful," she says. "The people, the farmers — they are the salt of the earth, and I am very, very happy to be a part of it."
On Saturday, the Lake Oswego Americana band Wayne Richards and Southern Nights will welcome opening-day visitors with their music from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The market's entertainment will continue at the same time each week throughout the season, which runs through mid-October.
Opening day will also continue Lake Oswego's Arbor Week celebration. At the Urban and Community Forestry booth, kids can go on a scavenger hunt or get their faces painted with images of a tree, leaf or acorn. Adults can talk to an arborist, watch a tree-pruning demonstration or receive a free tree seedling. The City will also award the winners of last month's "Trees of Lake Oswego" art contest.
This year's market includes 17 new vendors: Block and Board (meat and charcuterie), Bull Run Distillery, Chehalem Ridge (fruit salsas), Earth House Juice Company, La Camel (Spanish paella), Monte Ferro Winery, Montiel's Cocina (tamales), Mt. Hope Farms (preserves, fruit spreads and syrups), NOLA Doughnuts, N.W. Saltz (flavor-infused salts and seasonings), Odyssey Hill Farm (organic eggs), Red Duck Foods (organic condiments), Romero's Salsa, Scholls Valley Nursery, The Mushroomery (farm and wildcraft mushrooms), Vintage and Cream (pastries and sweets) and Wraps by Souper Natural (wraps, sandwiches and soups).
Market manager Jamie Inglis says that with so many new vendors as well as many old favorites, she's looking forward to seeing the market unite neighbors for another season.
"Opening day is so exciting — it's great to see the new vendors come in and be excited to sell their product to the public for the first time," she says. "I think people don't realize how much work it is to have a booth at the Farmers Market. It's not an easy task, but they do it because they love it, and that makes it special."
This year, the market will continue two popular programs: the City's matching Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — supported by Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation — and the Farm Fresh Kids program.
Through the matching program, market guests can visit the Merchant Services booth to exchange their SNAP funds (food stamps) for tokens to buy fresh produce, with a match of up to $10.
The Farm Fresh Kids program encourages kids to learn about the many fresh fruits and vegetables available at the market. Kids ages 4-10 can visit the Market Information booth each week to answer the Farm Fresh Question of the Day. Correct answers win $1 in market tokens that can be used to buy the fruits and veggies of their choice.
"It's a great way to encourage healthy eating and nutrition," Inglis says, "and kind of make the market special for every age group."
IF YOU GO
What: Lake Oswego Farmers Market
When: May 20-Oct. 14; 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Where: Millennium Plaza Park, 200 First St. in Lake Oswego
Info: Visit www.ci.oswego.or.us/lofm