The Mercer Island Harvest Market will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 19. Photos courtesy of Lora Liegel

Mercer Island’s annual Harvest Market returns in time for holiday shopping

If you’re looking for a Thanksgiving shopping experience the whole family can enjoy, look no further than the Mercer Island Harvest Market, which will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 19 at the north end of Mercerdale Park.

The Harvest Market is an extension of the Mercer Island Farmers Market, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this summer. Its regular season runs from June to October, when it is a “vibrant hub of activity,” with food trucks, live music and about 50 vendors each week selling summer products like flowers, berries and ice cream.

The idea for the Harvest Market, which began around 2009, came from a former market manager who wanted to provide local, fresh and organic food options for Thanksgiving.

“In November, there are still a lot of excellent products available from farmers, including beans, greens, onions, cabbage, carrots, sweet potatoes, cranberries, beef, poultry and more,” said current market manager Lora Liegel.

But the Harvest Market provides much more than produce. There are kids’ activities, snacks and artisan vendors, including glassybaby handblown glass votives. The Mercer Island Farmers Market partnered with the socially conscious company for a fundraiser, and will get 10 percent of every glassybaby sale at the Harvest Market. The market is a nonprofit that relies on volunteers and donations to supplement profits.

Other vendors will be selling handmade goods at the Harvest Market, including everything from cutting boards to jewelry and artisan chocolates.

The artisans were invited to fill out the market because some vendors’ seasons are completed, such as the berry vendors. They were also a good addition given that the holidays are just around the corner, and can give shoppers some great gift ideas, Liegel said.

There are also a few new food vendors this year, including Evergreen Corn Company, which will be serving fresh popped kettle corn.

“They use Washington grown, non-GMO corn, organic sugar and organic salt,” Liegel said. “Cascade Natural Honey will be selling several varietal honeys and Windy N Ranch will be selling organic poultry and other meats.”

Rainier Mountain Cranberries, which has sold at the Farmers Market in the past, will also be returning with fresh cranberries.

If customers are hungry while shopping, the Harvest Market will have prepared food vendors including Nosh, Got Soup and Bombay Bitez. At the Children’s Booth, kids can create “Thanksgiving for the birds” by making bird feeders out of pine cones and seeds.

Market volunteers are hoping the rain holds off for the event.

“The weather has varied at each Harvest Market, but one memorable market included some snow flurries,” Liegel said. “We are hoping for sunshine this year!”

See www.mifarmersmarket.org for more.

Additional information was provided by Anna Gordon, Sandy Condiotty, Julie Sarkissian and Judy Witmer.

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