Seeds of success are sown

The new weekend Rogue Valley Growers Crafters Market received a warm welcome from Ashland shoppers Saturday.

The Saturday farmers market, at the corner of First Street and Lithia Way, supplements the Tuesday and Thursday markets in Ashland and Medford, respectively.

Saturday market manager Tracy Harding said the event exceeded her expectations, and that some of the 20 vendors present had already started selling out by late morning. The event also brought in shoppers who could not attend weekday markets.

"Yoga and work make it so I can't go on Tuesday," said shopper Leah Henigson.

Diana Rasmusson's yarn business, Frolic 'n Fibers, specializes in llama and angora goat products. Rasmusson regularly sells at the Tuesday market in Ashland and the Thursday market in Medford, and likes the addition of the Saturday market.

"Weekends are better, of course, for tourists," she said.

Rasmusson got into the yarn business just over a year ago, when her neighbors moved away and gave her their four angora goats. She already owned five llamas, and the additional wool allowed her to quit her job of 25 years to focus on yarn. She proudly displays photographs of her woolly pets alongside her wares.

Esther Woolley and her daughter Janelle, who are also regular weekday market vendors, offer products from less cuddly stock. They provide a full range of red wiggler worm products to serve as fertilizer, garden insect repellant and compost.

"As long as you take care of the worms, they take care of you," Esther Woolley said.

Tobias Hatfield of Full Circle Bison Ranch said he saw many people he does not usually see on Tuesdays.

"This is a great market," he said.

Most traffic came on foot or on bicycle, and the parking spaces set aside for the event went mostly unused throughout the morning. A bicycle taxi helped laden pedestrian shoppers to shuttle their purchases home.

Ellen Waldman stopped by the market to pick up some flowers. She buys her vegetables at the Tuesday market, and decided to use the weekend to pick up something fun.

"I'm so happy that they're doing this," she said.

Tom Gaffey attends the Tuesday market every week and enjoyed watching the crowd Saturday.

"It's just fun to see what's going on here," he said.

Chris Jagger of Blue Fox Farms liked the relaxed atmosphere of the Saturday market. He said the flow of customers was steady compared to the usual early-morning rush at the Tuesday market, and he expects business to balance out between the two.

"The whole town's pretty darn supportive," he said.

The market will take place every Saturday through Nov. 20 from 9 a.m. to — p.m.

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