Farmers Market on hiatus for Summer Celebration

Organization thanks sponsors | Market will return on July 17

By Joel Wachs

President, Mercer Island Farmers Market

This Sunday the Mercer Island Farmers Market is taking a break for Summer Celebration.  We have had a strong start to our 2011 market season due to the support of our customers, volunteers, and farmers.  A big “thank you” to all of them.

While we join this weekend with our fellow Mercer Islanders in the festivities, on behalf the board of the MI Farmers Market, I would like to celebrate a few organizations that have made this market season possible.

First, Aljoya House and Lilly’s Restaurant, whose generous and continued support for the past two years have helped place the MIFM in a more secure financial position.  Their support has enabled us to provide a strong and vibrant venue for not only our local farmers to sell their produce directly to the public, but also to develop a much loved community event that attracts over 2,000 Mercer Islanders each market day.  From financial contributions to providing a location for our annual spring Celebration Dinners to their culinary director, Nathan “Chef Z” Zielske’s chef demos at the market, Aljoya House has been a true partner.

Next, the Mercer Island Community Fund (MICF), which has been a financial supporter of the MI Farmers Market since its inception in 2008 and has remained one of our key partners over the years.  This season, the MICF are sponsoring the market’s Community Connections program, which includes the musicians, children’s entertainers, and children’s activities.  These programs are integral to creating a fun and educational environment and play an important role in making the MI Farmers Market a true community event.  We have already seen how much our fellow Islanders have enjoyed these programs.  We look forward to many more years of working with the Mercer Island Community Fund.

Finally, the Mercer Island Women’s Club (MIWC), which is sponsoring a new coupon program for the MI Farmers Market that we are very excited about.  Through a partnership with Mercer Island Youth and Family Services, these coupons will be distributed to Islander families-in-need.  This innovative program will make the fresh, local, and delicious produce at the market even more accessible to all Mercer Island residents as well as help to increase sales of our local farmers.  This is an exciting three-way partnership between the Mercer Island Women’s Club, Mercer Island Youth and Family Services, and the Mercer Island Farmers Market; one that reflects the numerous ways that our community can come together to make Mercer Island the truly wonderful place that it is. We appreciate the MIWC’s innovate approach and financial support.

We return for another market on Sunday, June 17th.  We look forward seeing everyone there.