The Grange Farmer's Market takes place every Saturday at the Grange Grove picnic area (9765 Marysville Road in Dobbins) from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It was first held on May 21, 2011, and it will continue through October 9, 2011—with the exception of June 11, which will be the Foothill Fire Auxiliary Swap Meet.

We are the youngest farmers' market in the area, which supports wonderful markets in Bangor, Brownsville, and Camptonville. We would like to emphasize homesteading and emergency survival, along with certified producers of vegetables, a myriad of craft vendors with potted plants, hand-made jewelry, and the excellent Bangor Bakery Shoppe.

People are invited to see our beautifully crafted solar oven in full action at the next market. We are going to make a soup using local veggies from our vendors, and maybe a local volunteer chicken, for lunch about 1:00 p.m. The same local craft person who made the solar oven will display a hand-pump for the water well which can be utilized when the electricity is off. He will either make one for you or you can get a list of the parts and make the pump yourself.

Another longtime, local crafter/survivalist will be displaying dried fruits and veggies that she prepared and vacuum-sealed from last years' harvest. Have you seen many jars of vacuum-sealed onions or celery? It serves us well for soups in the cold of winter when we haven't any gas in the car to go to the store—or perhaps the store is out of onions or celery. Remember, this is about survival. The vacuum-sealed jars can be stored for at least 10 years.

Later in the year we will have canning lessons with the local veggies, too. Right now is a great time to learn about strawberry jam. Our home had strawberry jam until March of this year. Of course, many jars went to loving friends whose eyes became quite large when viewing the pantry of jams, salsa, stewed tomatoes, tomatillo dip, tomato soup—the list is quite large. Canning in the heat of summer is worth the reward when the cold winter sets upon us. One behavior we all share is eating, and fresh veggie/fruit canning goes a long way in warming the heart and an empty belly.

Our wish is to serve you with whatever you may need, too, for your garden. Several vendors have starts of unlimited variety. We have a vendor who has biodynamic information and heirloom starts (save your own seeds for next years' garden). She willingly informs those interested in learning about biodynamic gardening. She has been studying with gusto to bring this information to you for just the cost of visiting our market. The vendors and crafters are dedicated to assisting folks in becoming self-sufficient—with a smile. As you leave the market, I promise your heart will host a smile and an eagerness to return next week. We have only one request—tell your friends how happy we make you. Thank you in advance, and see you on Saturday, either before or after our other great markets.