Celebrate spring with fresh, healthy and locally grown produce and other agricultural products as King County farmers markets open for the season.
While some markets won’t begin their seasons until June, about 20 of the 35 farmers markets that are scheduled to operate in 2008 are either already open for business or will be opening in early May.
Farmers markets are already up and running in Seattle, Vashon and Issaquah. To find a farmer’s market, get recipes, find a farm, or sign up for the “What’s Fresh” e-mail, visit www.pugetsoundfresh.org.
This year, Columbia City market will celebrate 10 years in South Seattle’s Rainier Valley when it begins its season on Wednesday, April 30. Columbia City and other established markets will be joined this year by new markets sprouting in SeaTac, Mercer Island, Covington and Sammamish.
Fresh at the markets now are hardy salad greens, root crops like potatoes and turnips, eggs, meats, and more farmer-grown and produced cheeses and wine .
Purchasing locally produced food at farmers markets not only means getting the freshest products possible, but it also strengthens the region’s agricultural communities and reduces our carbon footprint.
With food coming from locally owned farms, there is less energy used in getting the food from farm to table, no special packaging required for long distance transport, and no refrigeration needed for transit or at distribution warehouses and grocery stores. Shoppers can also take things a step further by bringing reusable bags to carry home their farm-fresh purchases.
The Puget Sound Fresh program started in 1998. The network was created to encourage citizens, wholesalers and retailers to seek out locally grown products, and to provide funding and technical assistance to farmers markets.
Puget Sound Fresh was created by the King County Agriculture Commission and is supported through a partnership between King County, the Cascade Harvest Coalition and Snohomish County.
For more information about King County farmers markets, visit www.pugetsoundfresh.org or contact Karen Kinney at (206) 263-6429.
Farmers markets are close to opening. Here’s where to find them on the Eastside:
Bellevue Farmers Market: Thursdays, 3-7 p.m., 5/15 to 10/9, 1717 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue.
Crossroads Farmers Market: Tuesdays, noon-5 p.m., 5/27 to 10/7, Crossroads Bellevue mall, 156th Avenue Northeast and Northeast Eighth Street, Bellevue.
Burien Farmers Market: Thursdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., 5/8 to 10/9, Southwest 152nd and 5th Southeast in downtown Burien.
Carnation Farmers Market: Tuesdays, 3-7 p.m., 5/6 to 9/30, SR 203 – Tolt Ave and Bird Street, Carnation.
Des Moines Waterfront Farmers Market: Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Des Moines Marina at South 277th and Dock Street, Des Moines.
Duvall Farmers Market: Thursdays, 3-7 p.m., 6/5 to 10/2, First Avenue Northeast and Stephens, Duvall.
Federal Way Farmers Market: Saturdays, 9-3 p.m., 5/10 to 10/25, SeaTac Mall in the Sears parking lot at 320th and Pacific Highway South, Federal Way.
Issaquah Farmers Market: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., 4/12 to 10/11, 1730 – 10th Ave N.E. (Pickering Barn), Issaquah.
Kent Farmers Market: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., 6/7 to 9/27, corner of Second and Smith Street, Kent.
Kirkland Wednesday Farmers Market: Wednesdays, 2-7 p.m., 5/7 to 10/15, Park Lane East, between Third and Main, Kirkland.
Friday Night Market at Juanita Beach: Fridays, 3-7 p.m., 5/30 to 10/10, 9703 N.E. Juanita Drive at Juanita Beach, Kirkland.
Lake Forest Park Farmers Market: Sundays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 5/11 to 10/5, Lake Forest Park Town Center, corner of Ballinger Way (SR104) and Bothell Way (SR 522), Lake Forest Park.
Mercer Island Farmers Market: Sundays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 8/10 to 9/28, on Southeast 32nd Street at the north end of Mercerdale Park, Mercer Island.
North Bend Farmers Market: Thursdays, 4-8 p.m., 6/26 to 9/11, Si View Park at Southeast Orchard Drive, North Bend.
Redmond Saturday Market: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., 5/3 to 10/25, 7730 Leary Way at Bear Creek Pkwy., Redmond.
Renton Farmers Market: Tuesdays, 3-7 p.m., 6/3 to 9/16, South Third Street, between Logan and Burnett Avenue South, Renton.
Sammamish Farmers Market: Wednesdays, 4-8 p.m., 5/20 to 10/1, 801 228th Ave. S.E., Sammamish.
Snoqualmie Farmers Market: Saturdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 6/14 to 10/11 , King Street (next to the Historic Train Depot in downtown Snoqualmie).
Woodinville Farmers Market: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., 5/3 to 10/11, Northeast 145th Street, just east of St. Michelle Winery, Woodinville.