After months of anticipation, the Mercer Island Farmers Market re-opened for its fifth season with dozens of favorite returning vendors, over a dozen new vendors, large crowds, and beautiful blue skies.
Islanders of all ages turned out in force to support Washington State farmers and artisan food producers. One of our state representatives, Marcie Maxwell (D-41st), arrived bright and early for the market’s opening. Our mayor, Bruce Bassett, was there. So was city councilmember, Jane Meyer Brahm, and executive director of the MI Chamber of Commerce, Terry Moreman. So many of our community were there that one patron was overheard to say, “I could come here all day and say ‘hello’ to people.”
The MI Farmers Market welcomed back returning favorite vendors, such as Collins Family Orchards, Selah, WA (with freshly picked cherries), Crown S Ranch, Winthrop, WA (with their much sought-after meat and eggs), Got Soup? Seattle, WA (with Jerry’s made-from-fresh-local-ingredient soups), Island Apiaries, Freeland, WA (who, as always, brought one of their kid-magnet hives), Kittitas Valley Greenhouse, Ellensburg, WA (with their dozens of varieties of heirloom tomatoes), Patty Pan Grill, Seattle, WA (with their healthy and tasty tamales and quesadillas), and Snohomish Bakery, Snohomish, WA (with their artisanal pastries and over one dozen different breads).
Some long-time vendors arrived with new products. Tonnemaker Farms, Royal City, WA, brought apple cider, dried peppers, and fruit leathers. Others arrived with a new name. Farmers Market Preserves, Seattle, WA is now Camp Robber Jams. (Be sure to stop by their booth to ask Rome about the name change.)
The market also welcomed new vendors, such as Alvarez Organic Farms, Mabton, WA (overflowing tables of organic vegetables, plus roasted peanuts), Grand Central Bakery, Seattle, WA (delicious fresh baked breads and sweets plus take-and-bake doughs), and Jeb’s Wild Salmon (Bristol-Bay-Alaska-caught salmon).
In addition, several of these new vendors have added products offered for the first time at the Mercer Island Farmers Market. Middlefork Coffee Roasters, Seattle, WA, is offering locally roasted, fair-trade coffee. Olsen Farms, Colville, WA, is bringing new cuts of meat, including lamb, as well as their organic potatoes. And Piccola Cellars Winery, Woodinville, WA, is offering wine made from Washington-grown grapes in easy to carry, environmentally friendly totes.
The MI Farmers Market would like to offer a big thank you to our farmer/vendors, our community, and our many volunteers. We couldn’t have started this season so successfully without you.
The Mercer Island Farmers Market is open from 10 am to 3 pm every Sunday from now until October 14, 2012. (The MIFM will be closed on Sunday, July 15th for Mercer Island’s Summer Celebration and August 5th for SeaFair.) We hope to see you at the market!