Farmers' market off and cooking

By Kelly Ducote, The Observer May 20, 2013 03:29 pm

The La Grande Farmers’ Market began its new Chef at the Market cooking demonstrations Saturday with a lesson on how to make Thai spring rolls.

The market opened for the season Saturday morning as part of Springfest ‘13, with events ranging from bird watching at Ladd Marsh to a stroll through downtown.

Launching the market’s new cooking demonstrations, with help from Re/Max and Oregon Rural Action, Kakki Jones used fresh ingredients from Crafton Farms to make Thai spring rolls. She is just the first of many chefs to volunteer their time for the event.

“I just really like to cook and love the farmers’ market,” she said. “I thought it’d be a good way to show people how to use local food.”

Tyler Whitmire, co-chair of Oregon Rural Action, said the group is looking for more volunteers, both for cooking and helping with setup.

“You don’t have to own an establishment, you just have to be creative with local produce,” he said.

Whitmire said after meeting with local producers, they seem excited to join in and donate their produce for the demonstrations.

“I hope we can educate people on how to create healthy meals with local fruits and vegetables,” he said.

Lisa Foggia said she stops by the market whenever she is in town on Saturday mornings, but came by with her son to see her nephew in the jazz band.

“I love having the music and all the booths and getting to see people,” she said. “It’s a great atmosphere.”

Foggia said she remembers before La Grande had a farmers’ market, so that makes it even more special. Getting recipe ideas is just another perk.

“Those spring rolls are so easy to make. I’ll have to look into it,” Foggia said.