Weekly farmers market re-opens


Staff from the Gathering Together Farm booth at the Newport Farmers Market Saturday bag and load produce into plastic bins for customers. John Coombe poses with several of his custom-made birdhouses that he’s been selling at the Newport Farmers Market for the last 26 years. Rainforest Mushrooms from Yachats offers a selection of bagged mushrooms for customers to grab and go during the Newport Farmers Market on Saturday. Debbie Rudel, of Rainforest Mushrooms, tells a customer about the various bags of mushroom for sale at the Newport Farmers Market on Saturday. Two custom-made birdhouses being sold by John Coombe at the Newport Farmers Market on Saturday. Carrie Evens staffs a booth at the Newport Farmers Market, selling bread and other baked goods. (Photos by Mathew Brock)

NEWPORT — Pleasant weather heralded the reopening of the Newport Farmers Market on Saturday, with a variety of crafts, produce and food on display by vendors from Lincoln County and beyond.

For much of the day, the outdoor market was filled to its 75-person occupancy limit, though the entrance line stayed relatively short as visitors cycled through. Most vendors reported a strong opening day, and for some, it went down as one of their best ever.

The market made its return early this year after Newport’s winter indoor market was shut down during its season due to the pandemic.

Whether you’re looking for crafted objects with some local flavor, some of the freshest produce on the coast or a bite of home-style cooking, there should be a little something for everyone at the local market.

Debbie Rudel, from Rainforest Mushrooms, said she’s a regular at the Newport market and was glad to see another market reopen on the coast. Rainforest Mushrooms has kept busy with the nearly year-round market in Eugene and at the Salem market, which opened last month, but the Yachats-based fungiculture vendor has felt the pressure from the ongoing pandemic as much as anyone over the past year.

 “It’s been really good today, all our regulars are back out and it’s been a nice, sunny day and all. It’s just great to get back out and get a fresh start,” Rudel said. “The year was bad for everyone, but it’s really starting to look up. More restaurants are open now and a lot of people are wanting to get out and get fresh stuff now.”

John Coombe, of Waldport, has been selling his custom-made wooden birdhouses at the Newport market for 26 years and said Saturday was one of his best days ever. He started with around 20 of his eye-catching, ornate birdhouses on display Saturday morning and was down to only six by noon.

“This is the only market I really go to, and I do really well here, but honestly I just can’t keep up with my inventory,” Coombe said.

Kevin and Carrie Evans, of C&K Bakery, usually hit the Newport and Neskowin markets with a variety of baked goods made in their food truck at their farm. The Neskowin market won’t be open until May, so for the time being, the Evans will be keeping to Newport.

“Business has been wonderful, and we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day,” Carrie said. “Last year cut our business in half because we ended up only being able to do one market at a time. We’ve got some friends helping out now, so that’ll be better when it’s time. But we were off all winter, so we’re glad to be back and to see all our regular customers.”

The Newport Farmers Market will be open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. until October in the public parking lot near Highway 101 and Angle Street, across from Newport City Hall.. To keep tabs on the latest news from the market or to review their full list of COVID-19 safety guidelines, go to www.newportfarmersmarket.org.