A Visit to the “Neighborhood Market”

Let it Grow Farm

Photo: Ally Kramer

Neighborhood farmers’ market sells organic produce on a sliding scale

By David Ozab on September 13, 2011


A white, collapsible tent sits over the driveway of a house at the corner of 22nd Ave. and Cleveland Street. Underneath, a bounty of fresh, organic produce, piled high on tables and in totes, awaits passers-by.

Ally Kramer has run Let it Grow Farm‘s Neighborhood Market for over three years at this suburban location, relying largely on word-of-mouth to bring in new customers. Her clientele is small, fiercely loyal, and growing.

“We have 28 acres—all organic.” Kramer explains. “We’re not certified, but we’re a pesticide free, chemical free farm.”

And the price is always right—with rare exception Kramer charges her customers whatever they say they can afford.

“So how much for the beets?” a customer asks.

“They’re usually 75 cents, but they’re small today.” Kramer says. “How about three for two dollars?”

The customer nods. “I’ll take six of them.”

It’s all part of Kramer’s desire to be a positive force for both the earth and for the local community.

“We have solar power on the farm,” she says. “We work to be sustainable.” Kramer runs her small farm in Crow with her husband Shane and their two kids, plus a lot of help from friends and family. “We’re trying to be as local as we can.”

She also sends out a regular newsletter via email, featuring photos and recipes, and she’s set up a virtual market online as well.

“It’s like our little farmers marketplace. Kind of like CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), but people can see what we have and choose what they want.”

Orders placed by Thursday evening will be available at the Neighborhood Market that Sunday. Anything ordered in advance will be set aside. But even for someone just stopping by, the selection is great:

“We have red potatoes and California white potatoes that are very similar to Yukon Golds. We have pickling cucumbers, slicing cucumbers, zucchini, beets, leeks, jalapenos, purple jalapenos, green peppers, parsley, a mix of different types of basil, rainbow chard, italian and russian kale.”

And Kramer says there’s more to come in the next few weeks:

“On the field we’re growing squash and melons, and corn and tomatoes which will be ready soon.”

The tomatoes are expected by Sunday with the other produce to follow. The cool growing season has slowed things down a bit, but all they have available is fresh, local, and at a negotiable price.

Let it Grow Farm also has a Facebook page with regular posts on when they will (and occasionally won’t) be at Spencer Grange and the Neighborhood Market, along with lots of photos of past market displays.

Spencer Creek Grange hosts their Growers’ Market Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 86013 Lorane Highway, at the corner of McBeth Road. This Saturday, Eggcentric Gardens, Waterbury Farms, and Chezem Creek Gardens will be selling produce. Let it Grow Gardens will return Saturday, September 24, and then again on October 1 for the second-annual Harvest Fair.

UPDATE: MyEugene.org ceased operations in May, 2012. The site is down and currently for sale. I have reposted my complete articles on this site.  (11/6/2012)

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