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Jefferson Westside

Farmers Market
  • Weekend market at the Fairgrounds, 11/15-12/21, hours 10-6
  • (Weekend market at 8th and Oak in Downtown, 4/5-11/11, hours Sat 9-4 Tues 10-3 Thurs 2-7)
Directory of farmers at the market,
Application to sell at the market, Rules


Neighborhood Meetings: Jefferson Westside Neighbors holds general meetings on the second Tuesday of each month, September through May, starting at 7:00 p.m. General Meetings are held at the First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive Street.

The JWN board meets at 6:45 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month, September through May, starting at 7:00 p.m. Board meetings are held at the McNail Riley House, 601 W. 13th The board also meets at announced dates and times in June, July, and August.

To view meeting minutes, newsletters, and other items of interest for Jefferson Westside Neighbors, visit their Website at:

Rene Kane
(541) 343-4309

Eugene Sunlight

Crystal clear day, Eugene, OR. Sidewalks have a rough texture; rocks and pebbles wedged in solid sand cast small shadows. Empty lots become beaches soaking sunlight. Graffiti on pealing plaster walls is a metropolitan art show. The Fairgrounds of Jefferson Westside lie between Amazon Creek to the south and 13 avenue to the north, a reservoir of sunlight.

A number of buildings make up the grounds; the most prominent is rectangular. Its primary doors open to the west- average sized glass doors under a broad awning. Far above is a large cube shaped glass skylight. If the fairgrounds has a tower, a rotunda, a sparkling dome, this is it. Notably, this one is translucent and, today, heaven's light spills into the exhibition hall. This hall is, usually, where the Holiday farmer's market is- lively stalls, free samples, friendly smiles, and brightly colored produce. In front of the main building is a large plot paved with black asphalt. Closest to the building, tall trunked maples in square plots lined with yellow paint stud the asphalt.

If Eugene has a broad plaza, this "parking lot" is it. In many old cities there is a former palace, converted into a modern civic space. The Fairgrounds in Eugene would be that palace. Over the last 160 years the ancient landed people lost much of their land and history tells of the free-for-all that followed. Whomever could cut and process the most timber, grain, grass seed, these people became wealthy. But today, at the fairgrounds I encountered a different kind of wealth.

Under that great big glass skylight, the merchants are accountable. As they invest time and energy living here, they are slowly taking what the landscape gives them- milk, cheese, wood, beets, inspiration- and they offer these gifts to me with a smile. By talking to these people, I learn where they live, where their animals live, where their trees live. Someday, perhaps, I can even visit. What I'm buying here, albeit transformed into different shapes, is a little piece of Eugene, OR, sunlight.

Victory Gardens For All

November 29th was a beautiful late fall day in Eugene.  Blue sky stretched from Butte to Butte and the city of Eugene shined like an old barn that, after being hidden by fog for weeks, is suddenly exposed to brilliant light and sunny skies.  Looking for adventure, I found my way to the Fairgrounds in Jefferson Westside.  Following the sounds of drums, flutes, and Celtic violin I happened upon Eugene's Holiday Market- a tangle of shops selling woodwork, ceramics, tie dye, hemp clothes, pad thai; as well as the farmer's market where I listened to mycological tales and ate samples of fresh chevre.  The path out of the Market lead me to Monroe and then to Blair street in the Whiteaker neighborhood.  At the Whiteaker Station I met Charlotte Anthony, founder of the popular community garden phenomenon, Victory Gardens For All.  Anthony, like many I have met, values community, living with the landscape, and sustainable agriculture, but something makes her outstanding. She is willing to work and get her hands dirty doing it.

Sitting in the sunlight out behind the Whiteaker Station, Charlotte, a woman who composes herself to speak but often lets out a big smile and laugh, began to explain the world of perma-culture. "Perma-culture can mean permanent culture or permanent agriculture, definitions vary," she told me.  In a perma-culture, the whole community of organisms is involved in the process of living.  "Stacking functions' is one of my favorite terms." She went on, "Many things coalesce, energy from the water, water from the water... compost in a greenhouse heats the greenhouse.  Making the systems inter-digitate, we're part of it, it all works together, like a house facing south for solar [heat]."  Many groups discuss these ideas and ideals but don't take the necessary steps to make their own local system operational.  Charlotte Anthony started Victory Gardens For All so that people can actually make a little bit of these ideas into a reality.

"A lot people were buying houses in Eugene so they could garden, and then every year, instead of gardening, they bought a gardening book."  For $50 Anthony and her team installs a fully operational garden, complete with healthy seedlings.  The catch is that the homeowner agrees to help with 3 more gardens, and so becomes part of the gardening team.  Victory Gardens for All has installed 350 gardens in Eugene and the group is currently looking into building large scale gardens with the Youth Eatin' Project and Food Security as well, other food oriented community groups in Eugene.

Victory Gardens For All applies the ideals of perma-culture to real life situations where residents and neighborhoods can benefit.  The mission is to build a "neighborhood synergy of resources.  [For example,] using algae and fish ponds to generate heat and electricity.  Take everything- we can do it at a local level."  She explained how we can harvest and store fruit from the trees in town instead of just letting it rot.  Laughing she said, "No Child Left Inside, everyone gets out and enjoys and encounters nature... [we're usually] trying to fill our needs by buying, rather than being with nature, a world we can participate in."  Victory Gardens For All provides people with a little piece of that participatory world.

Charlotte Anthony hopes to be "inspiring people by trying to show how food is grown."  Seeing space come alive as a garden is inspiring -neighbors big and small, bacterial, mineral, vegetable, and human, become recognized as members of a community, each with their own important part to play.