Numbers up at farmers’ market

Malheur Nursery’s booth at this summer’s Payette Farmers’ Market was one of those which were conveniently situated for drive-up customers.

MALHEUR COUNTY — Spring and summer are typically the seasons to be thinking about fresh, local produce as farmer markets begin to spring up throughout the area. However, since the global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus COVID-19, alternative options have to be explored and some markets have postponed their start date.

Ontario market starts mid-June

Moore Park in Ontario, near Southwest First Avenue and South Oregon Street, is the location for Ontario Saturday Market each year from June through September. Vendors at the market typically have fresh produce, preserved foods and baked goods; other items that have been offered up for sale in recent markets include fresh flower arrangements, jewelry and other handcrafted items.

While still in the planning stages for the event, organizers had a vendors meeting on Saturday May 16.

Teri Anne Finnerty, market manager, emailed a news release on Tuesday afternoon with details regarding the market’s opening and what changes are being instituted as a result of COVID-19.

“The COVID-19 outbreak has changed how society interacts. For the benefit of the community, we believe that fresh produce and open-air shopping encourage good health, nutrition, and a healthy mental state. So, Ontario Saturday Market’s season will begin at 10 a.m. on June 13 at Moore Park … Every Saturday through Sept. 26, the Market will be open from 10 a.m. — 2 p.m.,” reads the statement.

Vale may open earlier than usual

Saturday Farmers Market in Vale, located at Main & A Street in Vale, typically happens during the third week of July according to one of the event’s organizers, Kate Humphrey. This year, however, the market might be opening slightly sooner, though no specific dates and times have been decided upon officially.

Humphrey said that the market will be opening for the season and that social distancing measures have been put in place for this year’s festivities in accordance with CDC guidelines.

She went on to say that she will have more information as it becomes available.

Griffin Hewitt is a news reporter at The Argus Observer. He can be reached at (541) 823-4814 or by emailing To comment on this story, go to

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