Blue Fox Farm organic chard was piled high this morning.

Blue Fox Farm organic chard was piled high this morning.

The farmers and artisan food and craft vendors at Ashland Grower’s Market must have special ordered today’s sunshine for their first day at the Old Ashland Armory parking lot. Past years of opening day with snow and chilly rain were distant memories this morning as the colors of deep leafy greens, bright golden carrots, red tulips, and tender vegetable starts decorated the booths in the warm sun.

If you missed today’s event, be sure to check out the Medford Market on Thursday, and for other dates, market news and reminders visit the Rogue Valley Grower’s Market web site.

Here’s a little visual stroll down the Ashland Market promenade where everyone was all smiles, and the wholesome goodness of our local foods was beckoning the happy shoppers.

The Pennington Farm booth is usually one of my first stops. They were happy to be back at the market this morning!

The Pennington Farm booth is usually one of my first stops. They were happy to be back at the market this morning!

Freshly baked ginger, molasses and chocolate chip cookies are Pennington Farm favorites!

Freshly baked ginger, molasses and chocolate chip cookies are Pennington Farm favorites!

It's too early for their delicious berries, but to hold you over until July, try these mouthwatering Pennington Farm preserves.

It’s too early for their delicious berries, but to hold you over until July, try these mouthwatering Pennington Farm preserves.

It was great to find Restoration Seeds at the market today. I picked up a package of Lettuce Leaf Basil to start indoors.

It was great to find Restoration Seeds at the market today. I picked up a package of Lettuce Leaf Basil to start indoors.

These gorgeous leeks stacked at the Blue Fox Farm booth made those in the local big box produce isle look like little skimpy weeds.

These gorgeous leeks stacked at the Blue Fox Farm booth made those in the local big box produce isle look like little skimpy weeds.

If you wander all the way to the opposite end, Whistling Duck Farm is in their regular spot on the promenade.

If you wander all the way to the opposite end, Whistling Duck Farm is in their regular spot on the promenade.

"Yum" sums it up for the artisan bread offered by Sunstone Bakery!

“Yum” sums it up for the artisan bread offered by Sunstone Bakery!

The bell had sounded only moments before, and already locals were out in small force to enjoy the sunshine and the first growers market of the 2013 season in Ashland.

The bell had sounded only moments before, and already locals were out in small force to enjoy the sunshine and the first growers market of the 2013 season in Ashland.

(All photos in the article were shot by Martha Lee Phelps for The Local Dish)

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