Lifestyle

Mercer Island Farmers Market returns

Staff of Veraci Pizza gather in front of their famous wood-fire pizza oven. - Contributed photo
Staff of Veraci Pizza gather in front of their famous wood-fire pizza oven.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Celebrating its second annual year, the Farmers Market has welcomed more vendors offering a myriad of organic and eco-friendly products. There will be more than 40 merchants this year, compared with 28 in 2008. There will also be expanded dining at the market — more to enjoy for breakfast, lunch and dessert with ample seating for all. The market will turn the corner down 77th Ave. S.E. to accommodate its new participants.

Special entertainment has been planned for each week, including live bands, children’s activities and more.

A portable ATM machine will be available for shoppers strapped for cash this year.

Market history and purpose

The Mercer Island Farmers Market was founded in 2008 to support local and sustainable agriculture, to preserve our nation’s independent farmers, and to support a return to farming without harsh chemicals and fertilizers that damage the environment.

The 2009 market will feature a number of heirloom and specialty crops. An heirloom plant is an open-pollinated cultivar that was commonly grown during earlier times but is no longer used in today’s large-scale agribusiness.

Open-pollinated means that a particular plant can be grown from seed and will come back “true to type,” with the next generation looking just like the present one.

Teen entertainment, discounts on June 28:

The MIHS senior marketing class, through the effort and generosity of its teacher, Carol Wiseley, agreed to help market managers brainstorm some ways to reach out to the teenage population of the Island.

The high school students had a number of wonderful ideas, including the winner, which is a Youth Band Day on June 28.

The “Under 21 Day” will feature a number of Island youth bands, vetted by the Farmer’s Market entertainment committee. Various prepared food vendors will extend a discount to any Island resident with a valid middle school, high school or college I.D. on June 28.

Discounts will vary by vendor. There are a few vendors that cannot support the discount due to company margins and the cost of goods.

The market strives to be an inviting and vibrant place for seniors, whether to shop for household groceries, meet friends for lunch, or listen to relaxing music.

The market will provide volunteers (open call for volunteers to bring their little red wagons!) to help any market visitor bring groceries to his or her car in the Farmers Insurance lot or Rite Aid handicapped parking lot.

The market encourages the local senior communities to provide vans and buses for organized trips to the fair.

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