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CROP has transitioned to a 501(c)3 and will focus on weekly markets at Stryker Field this summer

PHOTO COURTESY OF LAURA FERN
 - The CROP farmer's market will launch in early June, providing Crook County residents the opportunity to load up on local produce and more.

For Crook County residents who have come to anticipate and appreciate local, organic products from the summer farmers market, there is good news ahead.

The Crop Farmers Market will resume summer markets on June 6 — and every Saturday thereafter until the end of September. The markets will be specifically in one central location, at Stryker Park in Prineville.

"We are going to do some farm events, but we actually are going to just keep markets in town," commented Onda Hall-Hueners, treasurer for CROP and owner of Bluestone Natural Farms.

She added that they are hoping to do some farm to table events on individual farms, and possibly some farm tours. They will have to wait until they can have meetings to talk about details further.

"We want to keep that part of CROP alive as our education piece and getting people out to the farms," added Hall-Hueners.

CROP Farmers Market and CROP Farm Events serve Crook County and surrounding communities by providing a variety of high quality, local agricultural products and artisanal goods. Vendors seek to create an enjoyable atmosphere that serves not only the market but also promotes a sense of community within Crook County.

CROP Farmers Market and Farm Events aim to educate community members about local farms, local products and sustainable living.

Laura Fern, president of CROP and owner of Canyon Moon Farms, indicated that over the course of the past year the group transitioned to a 501(c)3 and were approved as a nonprofit. Their official name is CROP Farmers Market and Farm Events. She added that the original idea behind Crooked River Open Pastures (CROP) was to create a pop-up market,

"The original idea behind the Crooked River Open Pastures was that it was a pop-up market, and they were really focused on educating people on where their food comes from — and getting to know your farmers and getting in touch with farmers. So many people are disconnected from that," added Fern.

Since Prineville didn't previously have a farmer's market, CROP began offering a hybrid model where locals could have accessibility to local, fresh produce and local farm products. They also offered events at local farms, which provided education and the opportunity to visit the farms. This summer marks their sixth year.

"We're all still out there farming, even with everything that is going on. Right now, with things being shut down with COVID-19, the farmers are still out there taking care of their animals and crops."

She emphasized that they want the summer markets to be a safe place for locals to get food. Available food will include meat, eggs and produce. Local farms that are particpating include Bluestone Natural Farms,Canyon Moon Farms, Ewing Farms, Willamette Valley Berries and WInedown Ranch.

"I grew this, I harvested it and brought it to market, and now you are the person who is getting it," pointed out Fern of the advantage of local food. "That is such a shorter supply chain of where your food is coming from than if you are going to the grocery store."

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Participating farms of CROP: Bluestone Natural Farms,

Canyon Moon Farms,

Ewing Farms,

Willamette Valley Berries, and

Wine Down Ranch

CROP Farmers Market will begin June 6 and go through the end of September. There will be a market every Saturday. The location will be at Stryker Field at Northeast Fourth Street and Elm Street.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For questions and information, call Laura Fern at 541-233-3100


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