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South Sound Farmers Market Guide

Published: 01:33PM June 21st, 2012
Farmers Market Guide

Scott Hughes/Northwest Guardian

Customers buy produce at the Steilacoom Farmers Market.

Freshly picked strawberries, onions, lettuce, asparagus and more await shoppers nearly every day at the farmers markets around Joint Base Lewis-McChord. With one every day of the week, except Monday, it’s easy to buy fresh produce and local goods no matter what your schedule is like. Many markets feature the same vendors from Washington farms, so if you can’t make one, you may find your favorite vendor at another. Farmers markets feature more than just produce though, stop by for fresh bouquets starting at $5 or crafts and food products made by local artisans. The markets are gathering places for local community members, and another great way to get to know the towns around JBLM.

Steilacoom

This waterside town’s weekly market feels like a scene straight from a movie. The market overlooks Puget Sound and is steps from Pioneer Park, where market goers often sit and eat their purchases on benches while kids run around on the grassy hill.

“My favorite part is that it’s really a community event; you come to see friends and neighbors,” Laura Johnson, farmers market coordinator, said.

Currently in its fourth year, the Steilacoom Farmers Market has a mixture of fresh produce, flowers, prepared food, crafts and community organizations. Recent vendors included a bakery, jeweler and cheese maker, alongside the local school district and flower growers. On average there are 50 vendors per week.

If you plan on making it more than just a grocery trip, the Steilacoom Summer Concert Series is at 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday in Pioneer Park. So shop, buy some berries or toffee or cheese, then sit on the lawn and listen to live music from jazz to rock to latin bands.

“The market becomes another event for the family,” Johnson said. “It’s something that people really look forward to (every year).”

If you go: Open every Wednesday through August 20 from 3 to 7 p.m. Located on the multi-purpose tennis courts, next to town hall, corner of Lafayette and Wilkes streets.

For more information: steilacoomfarmersmarket.org/index.html.

Olympia

Entering its 37th year, the Farmers Market of Olympia is not to be missed. With more than 100 vendors from four Washington counties, it doesn’t get more local than this. As summer is upon us more produce vendors are at the market every week according to Market Manager Charlie Haney.

Along with fresh produce, there are three meat markets, two seafood stands, three bakeries and seven prepared food vendors. Market shoppers will also find local craftsmen selling their goods every day.

“Everything you buy here is local,” Haney said. “If you are buying carrots, more than likely it was picked that morning or the night before.”

If you go: Open now through October, Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 700 N. Capitol Way

For more information: olympiafarmersmarket.com.

Lakewood

Residents in Lakewood have been asking Mary Dodsworth, Parks, Recreation and Community Service Director, about a farmers market in the city for years. But with a small staff, it was a project that needed help from the community. This year Dodsworth got the enthusiasm she needed to get a pilot project off the ground.

“We really hope people come, if you’re on your lunch break, or out on base, or if you’re local and looking for good lunch, fresh produce, and pretty flowers, we hope this is a place to come,” Dodsworth said.

The Lakewood Farmers Market will feature local produce farmers, flower growers and craftsmen. They are still receiving vendor applications and hope to have 30 vendors for the weekly market at City Hall.

If you go: Opens July 10. Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW, Lakewood.

Expected to run through Aug. 28, but could be extended into September based on turn out and growing seasons.

For more information: www.cityoflakewood.us/farmersmarket.

Puyallup

Located in downtown Puyallup, this 30-year-old farmers market, takes over Pioneer Park every weekend. The Saturday market features 120 vendors in the main park and inside the adjacent pavilion. Sunday is much smaller with only 40 vendors.

“People can expect to find a wide variety of vendors to shop from including local farmers, food artisans, arts and craft vendors as well as a fido-friendly market that includes a doggie day care booth so visitors can still shop the pavilion vendors, no dogs allowed inside, and an agility course for dogs to run (on Sunday),” Jen Rinehart, market manager, said.

If you go: Open now until October 13, Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sundays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Sunday markets end Sept. 2), Pioneer Park

For more information: http://www.puyallupmainstreet.com/farmers_market.html.

Tacoma

Each of the three Tacoma Farmers Markets has a different vibe depending on its neighborhood, be it small and community oriented or perfect for the whole family.

The Broadway Market is the flagship market, having been established in 1990 and the largest of the three, with 95 vendors at its peak. Taking over two blocks along Broadway in downtown Tacoma every Thursday through October, this market also has cooking demonstrations and gardening clinics.

The community around 6th Avenue and North Pine Street flock to their market every Tuesday afternoon as a place to eat dinner, meet with neighbors and buy produce for the week. This relaxed market is perfect for unwinding after a day at work with many prepared food vendors and live music.

South Tacoma’s new market is slowly growing as it enters its second month of operation. Located next to the SERA Fields and STAR Center, the market hopes to host kite festivals this summer as well as teach canning classes in the STAR Center kitchens come August.

“(The South Tacoma market) is proving really to be the family hang out,” Janie Morris, Tacoma Farmers Markets executive director, said. “They can come have a lovely lunch with us and kids can be on the fields.”

If you go: Broadway Market: Open Thursdays through October from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Broadway from South 9th Street to 11th Street.

6th Avenue: Open Tuesdays through September, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., 6th Avenue and N. Pine Street.

South Tacoma: Open Sundays through September, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., 3873 S. 66th St.

All markets accept EBT, WIC and Senior Checks.

For more information: www.tacomafarmersmarket.com.