Get ready farmers market lovers, the 2017 season begins this weekend.
Kicking things off is the Bayview Farmers Market at 10 a.m. on Saturday on the corner of Bayview Road and Highway 525. As usual, the market will offer fresh produce, arts and crafts and live music. According to Manager Sharon Warwick, this year’s vendor force numbers 65 strong. That includes eight newcomers who will sell products ranging from bread and kombucha to mushrooms and art.
And new this year is the Market Kids Program, an educational effort that will partner children with participating food vendors. Kids who sign up will have access to farms and farmers, checking off where they’ve been and who they’ve visited over the course of the summer.
“They’ll have a little passport, and have to get it stamped,” Warwick said.
“It’s all about getting kids involved with their food,” she added.
The program launches in July and will run though August.
Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards will again be accepted, and the market bucks program remains in place; the market matches EBT dollars spent up to $20.
The Tilth Farmers Market opens the following morning at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 30. Like Bayview, expect a bevy of locally grown produce, along with flowers and plants for sale. As always, the market is also host to island artisans selling arts and crafts.
The Tilth Farmers’ Market is located at 2812 Thompson Road, Langley.
A May Pole dance begins at 11:30 a.m. followed by Earth songs by Island Strings. Hot breakfast and lunch items prepared by Chef Edward Hueneke may be purchased from the kitchen, along with organic coffee, tea, hot chocolate and cold beverages, and baked goods.
According to a recent news release, the Earth Guardians of Whidbey Island, a local youth crew, will hold a bake sale during the market. It is a benefit for Plant for the Planet, a youth-inspired organization that plants fine wood and keystone species trees around the world to store carbon and mitigate the effects of climate change, while providing jobs in local communities to care for and manage the trees. Its goal is 1 trillion trees, the release said.
The market now accepts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cards electronically. SNAP shoppers get double value for their purchases thanks to a grant from Goosefoot. Ask a vendor for a form to record purchases and bring it to the Laughing Cat for processing when finished.
The Second Street Farmers Market in Langley opens at 2 p.m. Friday, May 5.