Those of us living in Marion County are fortunate to have amazing fruits, vegetables, and flowers grown and sold here. Each harvest season brings a different array of foods, and there are markets, farm stands, and U-pick farms to give you excellent access to whatever you’re looking for.

Salem Markets and U pick farms
Marionberries, a fruit named after Marion County. Scientists at Oregon State University crossed two other blackberry strains and tested them at length in Marion County. Photo courtesy: Foodista

In the mid-Willamette Valley, spring and early summer bring berries – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and boysenberries. Blackberries and marionberries show up a bit later. These are a great choice to pick yourself if you have time or one of the many farm stands. Cherries and asparagus are also part of this early wave of harvesting. During the high summer months, vegetables are the stars, from tomatoes, greens, and summer squashes to corn and potatoes. Stone fruit, including peaches, plums, and apricots, are also at their peak in the middle of summer. Late summer features watermelon, pears, apples, and maybe a few pumpkins as we start moving into the fall. Here is your guide to finding fresh fruits and vegetables in the Salem area at farmers markets and U-pick farms.

Salem Markets and U pick farms
Some of the fresh fruits and vegetables found at the Salem Saturday Market, where farmers from around the valley bring their products. Photo credit: Sheila Sund

Salem Saturday Market

865 Marion Street NE, Salem

The Salem Saturday Market can be a fantastic, easily accessible place to get local produce. Multiple farms have stalls throughout the season and feature all kinds of produce. Some stalls are specific – only apples or specializing in a particular group of vegetables – but most of those from farms bring an array of fruits, vegetables, and nuts to sell.

For those looking for locally grown meat or dairy products, you have various stalls specializing in different parts of those rural staples. There are also flower vendors for a lovely bouquet. Finally, as with any current farmer’s market, there are many stalls with prepared food, bakery goods, candies, hot sauces, soaps, and lots of handmade crafts. Most Saturdays feature a musical act in the food area, which is populated by food carts. Open March through October, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday, vendors come from throughout the Mid-Valley to sell their products.

Salem Markets and U pick farms
A sample of the colorful CSA box from Minto Island Growers. Photo credit: Sheila Sund

Minto Island Growers

3394 Brown Island Road S, Salem

Located next to Minto Brown Park just south of downtown Salem, Minto Island Growers is a certified organic producer of fruits and vegetables. The farm grows greens, onions, garlic, and various other vegetables. For fruits, it’s blueberries, strawberries, and melons. They offer a CSA program, which allows people to pay to join and get boxes of organic produce weekly during the harvest season.

Minto Island Growers also has a farm stand where people can buy produce, dried tea, and kombucha. On selected weekends, there is also a wood-fired pizza set up at the farm stand, along with food carts and a beer and wine service. The farm stand is open starting in April for limited hours and continuing through October. Be sure to check times before you go because hours change based on the season.

Jones Farm Produce Market

10325 River Road NE, Keizer

Located in Keizer, Jones Farm Produce is an amazing market selling primarily what is grown on the Jones Farm. The Jones family started with peaches, added apples, and continued to add fruits and vegetables as they went. For fruit, the market currently sells strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, stone fruit, melons, pears and apples. The vegetable list is also expansive, with summer squashes, beans, cucumbers, peppers, asparagus, and onions. The stand is open daily from May through October, and they also offer fresh fruit milkshakes and shortcakes.

Nanneman Farms

5662 Silverton Road NE, Salem

Nanneman Farms Fruit Stand is a great small and local berry stand. Open starting in June, you can pick up excellent strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries here.

Olson Stuart Farms

6925 Joseph Street SE, Salem

A great U-pick option for fruits, Olson Farms features berries of all kinds and apples. It’s open daily during the harvest season.

Salem Markets and U pick farms
A blueberry field perfect for picking berries yourself! Photo credit: Gary Halvorson

Fordyce Farm

7023 Sunnyview Road NE, Salem

Fordyce Farm is another good U-pick farm in the Salem area. They are also low-spray and low-till, trying to farm as naturally as possible. Their focus is on strawberries, but they also have the other typical berries from our area. Unlike other farms, however, you can also pick gooseberries, Asian pears, currants, and quince at the farm. It’s open daily during the fruit harvest.

This is just a sample of the many great markets, farm stands and farms in our area that grow fruits and vegetables. During the summer, access to fresh produce in Marion County is outstanding, whether you want to browse at the farmer’s market or go and pick your own berries with your family.

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