Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fill your Gilgamesh Growlers Saturdays at Salem Public Market

You need beer. You need good beer for the weekend. You want to support local farmers and growers and brewers. Right?

If you didn't see the note about Gilgamesh last weekend, here it is again:
As with every Saturday in the foreseeable future, Gilgamesh Brewing will be at the Salem Public Market. The fun this will weekend will include the unveiling of the GORGEOUS new bar that Lee has been slaving over for the last couple of weeks. We will now have UP TO EIGHT BREWS on tap at any given time!
Liquor laws are a little different now, so you can't just send your 12 year old neighbor over to fill your growler. So send your 21 year old neighbor! Better yet, go yourself and check out the "up to 8" beers!

The history of the Salem Public Market was new to us, and seemed like it was worth retelling.
In 1943, Salem homemakers had an enjoyable and long-established custom of driving to farms and orchards in Marion and Polk counties during midsummer and Autumn to buy fresh fruits and vegetables for preserving, making jelly and freezing. The inconvenience of tight gasoline rationing was keenly felt in Salem. A Salem native, who was familiar with 'Saturday Tailgate Markets' in California and knew that farm-truck owners had more liberal gasoline rationing than city dwellers, went to a meeting of the Salem City Council and asked them to authorize the holding of the tailgate market on Saturdays at the south end of Marion Square and on the street alongside.
Wind and rain made continuing the outdoor enterprise impractical. Then the suppliers sought out some means of selling their produce within some type of shelter. Through a trustee, they rented vacant land at the northeast corner of High and Union Streets. Two of the enthusiastic farmers bought the property. The whole group put together a building using lumber, windows and other material from Camp Adair, where dismantling of the old buildings was in progress. Salem Public Market was incorporated as a non-profit on April 19th,1944.

In 1946 members of the corporation bought and paid for the present market site at 1240 Rural Ave SE. There were no buyers for the building at High and Union Street. So market members took down that building and rebuilt it at Rural St. Much of the labor was volunteer, as it is today.
It seems very civilized and locavore-ish to offer local beer at a farmer's market. It's surprising we haven't heard about this in Portland already, so this might be an exciting moment of mid-valley innovation!

Nicely turned, Gilgamesh from Turner!

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