Pin It
Favorite

To Market, To Market 

by ANN M. COLFORD & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & T & lt;/span & he calendar registers spring, even though it seems like barely a week ago that we saw our last snow flurries. (Wait. It was barely a week ago.) Still, the growing season is finally underway, and farmers markets across the region are kicking off their festivities.





The Spokane Farmers Market has been operating for 10 years in its location on Second Avenue between Browne and Division, and on opening day last Saturday, vendors and shoppers greeted one another as old friends. Amid the familiar faces -- Tolstoy Farm, Olsen Farm, Quillisascut Cheese, breads from Bouzies and Arabesque -- were a few new faces like Petit Chat Bakery. And there are new services as well, says market manager Diane Reuter.





"We've hired a nutrition person this year, and she'll be doing demos and handing out recipes at our nutrition booth," she says.





Since its early years, the Spokane Farmers Market has worked with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program to provide low-income families with vouchers that may be used to purchase local food from the market vendors. In 2007, WIC families purchased more than $25,000 in fresh local produce at the downtown Spokane market. Other area markets, including Millwood and Liberty Lake, also take part in the WIC program.





This year, food stamp recipients will be able to use their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards -- similar to debit cards -- at the downtown market. Reuter says, "They can go to the nutrition booth and use their EBT card to get tokens, which they can use at the vendor booths."





& lt;span class= "dropcap " & W & lt;/span & ith the growing emphasis on local food, farmers markets seem like a no-brainer. Many local markets have been active for a number of years, and the number of markets around the Inland Northwest is growing. Nationally, the USDA estimates that the number of farmers markets increased 150 percent from 1994 to 2006. But the road to the market -- whether for producers or consumers -- has not always run smooth. People have strong opinions about farmers markets.





According to the Washington State Farmers Market Association (WSFMA), a farmers market is one where the items at the market are sold by the people who produced them -- farmers, ranchers, bakers, beekeepers, cheese makers and, frequently, craftspeople. The WSFMA policies allow for a small number of food resellers, but some individual markets exclude them entirely.





In fact, that's the primary issue that caused local growers to form the Spokane Farmers Market back in 1998. "We needed a place where farmers could make a living," says Reuter. Vendors at the downtown market are limited to selling farm-related items, she says. "We have no strictly crafts things. Soap has to be made with herbs that you've grown. We're trying to keep it tied to growers."





Common complaints about the Spokane Farmers Market include a lack of parking and the market's location in an asphalt parking lot, but Spokane isn't the only community to wrestle with these kinds of issues. Nearby parking is tight in both Moscow and Sandpoint, and a parking lot location seems to be a frequent theme. "In Seattle, the U-District market is in a parking lot, and it's one of the best markets in the state," says Reuter. "And you want to talk about no parking...."





Regardless of the issues, visiting a local farmers market is just plain fun -- and it's good for the environment as well, especially if you walk or bike to get there. You'll get to know the people who produced your food, and the relationships will nourish more than just your body.





Moscow Farmers Market


Friendship Square,


Main Street at Third


Saturday, 8 am-noon, May-October


2008 Opening: May 3


40 vendors: Produce, prepared food, baked goods, meats, plants and flowers, crafts, community groups, music





Sandpoint Farmers Market


Farmin Park, Third and Main Street


Saturday, 9 am-1 pm, May-October


Wednesday, 3-5:30 pm, June-September


2008 Opening: May 3


25 vendors: Produce, prepared food, baked goods, cheese, plants and flowers, crafts, music





Spokane Farmers Market (downtown)


Second Ave. at Division


Saturday, 8 am-1 pm, May-October


Wednesday, 8 am-1 pm, June-September


2008 Opening: May 10 (Wednesday market opens June 11)


25 vendors: Produce, baked goods, beef, chicken, eggs, cheese, plants and flowers, farm-based crafts, music





Kootenai County Farmers Market


Highway 95 at Prairie Ave., Hayden


Saturday, 8 am-1 pm, May-October


2008 Opening: May 10


Fifth Ave. between Sherman and Front, Coeur d'Alene


Wednesday, 4-7 pm, May-October


2008 Opening: May 14


40 vendors: Produce, baked goods, beef, lamb, plants and flowers, crafts, music





Liberty Lake Farmers Market


1421 N. Meadowwood Ln., at Liberty Square parking lot


Saturday, 9 am-1 pm, May-October


2008 Opening: May 17


40 vendors: Produce, baked goods, plants and flowers, community groups, crafts, music





Millwood Farmers Market


3223 N. Marguerite Rd., at Millwood Presbyterian Church


Wednesday, 3-7 pm, May-September


2008 Opening: May 21


29 vendors: Produce, baked goods, beef, plants and flowers, crafts, music





Humble Earth Farmers Market


10505 N. Newport Hwy., at Aslin-Finch parking lot


Sunday, 10 am-3 pm, June-October


2008 Opening: June 1


20 vendors: Produce, baked goods, beef, chicken, seafood, eggs, cheese, prepared foods, plants and flowers, crafts





South Perry Farmers Market


1317 E. 12th Ave., at Christ Community Church parking lot


Thursday, 4-8 pm, June-September


2008 Opening: June 5


30 vendors: Produce, baked goods, beef, chicken, seafood, eggs, cheese, prepared foods, plants and flowers, crafts





In addition, there are markets in Hope, Idaho, and in Colville and Newport, Washington.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Running Dry
  • Running Dry

    How Wild Waters slid from the top water park in the Inland Northwest to an abandoned ruin
    • Jun 24, 2015
  • Elson Floyd's Final Year
  • Elson Floyd's Final Year

    WSU president leaves behind a strong vision for the school's future
    • Jun 24, 2015
  • You Got Frenched!
  • You Got Frenched!

    Al French scuttles Todd Mielke's bid for county CEO; plus, a shoplifting death in Coeur d'Alene
    • Jun 24, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
Costuming & Cosplay on a Budget

Costuming & Cosplay on a Budget @ Spokane Valley Library

Wed., July 1, 5-8 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • The Rachel We Knew

    EDITOR'S NOTE: How Rachel Dolezal came to write for the Inlander
    • Jun 18, 2015
  • The Real Rachel Dolezal

    The story goes far beyond just a white woman portraying herself as black
    • Jun 17, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation