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Farmers market season begins

Doug Ramsay file photo

Ryne Kalouger of Snohomish struggles to hold a bag of kettle corn that is almost as tall as he is while talking to his younger sister Alice while they were shopping with their family at the Snohomish Farmers Market in 2017.

The farmers markets are back and blooming.
As the Everett Farmers Market on the waterfront celebrates its 25th year with its opening on May 13, and a new market opens near Everett Station, some markets will not return this season, including at Monroe’s Lake Tye Park.
Snohomish’s Thursday afternoon market opens this week on May 3 near First Street and Cedar Avenue.
The Sunday farmers market, on the Everett waterfront at Boxcar Park, opens on Mother’s Day May 13 and runs through mid-October. 
“We’ll have live music every Sunday,” Gary Purves, co-manager of the Everett Farmers Market, said. He noted there will be about 100 vendors selling produce; as jams, jellies and sauces; jewelry; clothing; and “many different arts and crafts.” Purves said there will be “quite a number of new artists” at the waterfront market this year.
As in past seasons, people participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be able to use their Electronic Transfer Benefits (EBT) cards to buy fresh produce and other food items.
Meanwhile, Purves looks forward to the May 23 opening of a one-block-long farmers market near Everett Station. “It’s new and exciting,” he said. “We’re anxious to give it a try there.”
Purves said Everett Transit extended the invitation to have a market there last year: It will be at 2331 32nd Street, across the street from the station, on Wednesday evenings through Sept. 26.  It’s designed to attract commuters with fresh produce and hot concessions.
“People can get their dinner on the way home,” Purves said.
The new station market will feature about 30 vendors — roughly 35 percent of them selling agricultural products — with four or so offering hot food to go.
This marks the fourth year for a small, weekly farmers market inside Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the medical center at 1700 13th Street. It will run from June 3 until the end of September.
The Everett Mall market on Friday afternoons is not returning. “We’re taking a break this year” from the mall market, Purves said. “We’ll see what happens.”
In Snohomish, market manager Sarah Dylan Jensen said she and her board members worked with the city to expand the popular farmers market there, extending it from the corner of Pearl and Cedar down to historic First Street. 
There will be 20 to 30 more vendors this year.
“We do have some brand new farms” coming to the Snohomish market, Jensen said, which boasts an average of 55 vendors per week. There will be several new organic farms represented, a new egg supplier, and fresh-squeezed lemonade stand. The family hopes to use local berries in their flavored lemonades, Jensen said.
Jensen said the POP (Power of Produce) kids’ program received a $1,600 “food to farm” grant from Snohomish County this year to help fund the project that allows children to receive free tokens which they use to can purchase fresh produce at the market. Last year, an estimated 50 to 80 children, ages four to 13, spent what amounted to $1,200 to $1,500 on market produce, Jensen said. Farmers are reimbursed through grant money and other donations for their contributions to the program, which is now in its third year.
 While children must have their parent’s permission to sign up for the POP program — there is no financial need requirement — low-income adults may benefit from fresh produce through the EBT and SNAP programs, Jensen said. 
Another return feature of the Snohomish market will be the Master Gardener booth, where trained volunteers answer questions on topics ranging from pest management to composting—and many others.
“We’re simply there to educate the home gardener,” said Master Gardener clinic manager Kim Olafson.
Janelle Drews, who works for the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, said there will be no market at Lake Tye Park this year, but plans are “in the works” for some kind of farmers market in Monroe.  Details were not available.

Area farmers markets

Corner of Cedar and Pearl Street in Snohomish
Thursdays 3-7 p.m.
Open May 3 – Sept. 27
Contact: 425-280-4150
Everett Farmers Market Waterfront - 615 13th Street – Boxcar Park, Everett
Sundays 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Open May 13 – Oct. 14
Contact: 425-422-5656  or
Transit Station
2331 32nd Street, Everett (across from station)
Wednesdays 4 – 8 p.m.
Open May 23 – Sept. 26
Same phone and web address as above

Monroe: To be determined



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