Indoor market: Entrepreneur opens venue for farmers, makers, collectors

March 2011 Posted in Business, Other

By Brenna Wiegand

Silverton Tuesday Market
Tuesdays, 4:30-7:30 p.m. year round
Silverton Grange Hall, 201 Division St. NE
(Water and Division streets), Silverton

On any given Tuesday afternoon, a unique collection of people begins arriving at the old Silverton Grange Hall.

Back and forth, from their vehicles in the tree-lined parking lot to their tables inside, they bear their precious cargo – things handmade, hand-grown or hand-collected.

Welcome to the year-round Silverton Market. Each vendor at market is passionate and knowledgeable about what they do – and the low-key atmosphere makes for good conversation as things get into full swing.

“It’s a place where we start interacting in a way that’s more intelligent,” said Mark Pearson, of Stayton, who started the Silverton Market in October.

Vendors have the unique opportunity to sell all year. Many sell at farmers’ markets, but most only run spring through fall. However, this year, just as the Salem and Silverton Farmers’ markets were breaking camp, Silverton Market set up shop.

“The chickens don’t stop laying just because it’s October, and most people have their gardens in by mid-May,” said Melody Harpole, of Silverton, a market mainstay. She appreciates the chance to sell her vegetable transplants and early spring produce. Among her current offerings are filberts, onions, potatoes and logs ready to sprout fresh mushrooms.

She is especially proud of her chicken and eggs, organic and free range by down-home definition.

“The free-range chickens you get at the store are just put in bigger pens outside but fed the same,” said Harpole, whose roosters and hens richly supplement their diet traversing the family farm.

“Most meat chickens are raised in 47 days,” she said, gesturing to a packaged bird. “These are 5-month-old chickens.”

Though she just started Pleasant Valley Bakery in July, Aleksandra Larionov already has customers coming back for her fresh, unique creations such as cottage cheese and savory potato pastries.

“Who knew pit bulls liked to wear pajamas?” said Cheri Bunch of Granny’s K9 Designs.  She sews all kinds of doggie attire from teensy to huge: coats, hoodies, pajamas and a special number for keeping dogs cool on hot days. Her largest creation was for a bull mastiff with a 45-inch rib cage.

Bunch takes great satisfaction in special cases, for example pajamas for a cat that lost all its hair due to abuse and a soft halter that enables a wounded squirrel to take walks.

She makes a variety of healthy dog treats including dried sweet potato slices, AKA “vegetarian pigs’ ears” and also sells her wares at Silverton Green Store in downtown Silverton.

Most folks admire the beauty and fragrance of lilies. Pamela Billings of Silverton took it several steps further. Two decades of studying and using herbal remedies and products prepared Billings to do some “digging,” which unearthed the lily’s 6,000-year, globe-spanning history with origins in Israel. Using the Hebrew word for lily, Billings named her business Shoshana Herbals. The plant’s flowers, bulbs and oil are widely used in Asia and Europe as remedies and food. Using the old methods and her own lilies and herbs, Billings makes soaps and oils to protect and soothe skin. They are used to treat bug bites, burns, bruises and “mystery rashes” that, customers have said, would not respond to anything else.

Stayton Friends of the Library volunteers, Pearson and his wife Diane bring books, DVDs and audio books to market every week. They even take requests.

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