As many of you know Mike and I visit Farmer’s Markets in every city that we have lived in and traveled too. Because the ‘famous’ farmer’s market here in Olympia has become a tourist trap and the prices are through the roof I have been hunting for an alternative farmers market. We are after all eating vegan which means we eat an awful lot of vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains.
My research led me to the Tumwater Town Center Farmers Market which we visited this past Wednesday. The market was started in 2006 when the City of Tumwater met with a group of local farmers and farmers market advocates. Their three main goals were to:
- Create an open-air location for healthful shopping, workplace events and information-sharing for state, city and library employees.
- Increase consumer access to fresh produce by being able to buy directly from local farmers.
And lastly to
- Provide a public space for state employees and others to gather.
One of the unique features of this farmers market is the access to a community booth where local groups can display information of importance to the community as a whole, or to promote an event. This past Wednesday, September 3 Dahlia growers and enthusiasts were asked to enter their blooms into a contest to choose the best Dahlia. There was no cost to enter and the grand prize came from Barn Nursery.
Any public group, state or municipal agency or nonprofit organization may sponsor the community booth for a market day. The cost is $15. The booth may be used for outreach on topics of public interest or for public education on topics of concern to the community. The booth is not to be used for soliciting, political, or religious activities.
In addition to being a place where local farmers can sell their produce directly to the public they have hot food vendors, fresh cut flowers, and live entertainment. These are some of the upcoming special events being held at the market;
September 24 – Cider Day
October 8 – Harvest Festival
October 22 – Pumpkin Paloosa
Three of the market regulars also participate in the Community Supported Agriculture program. Often times called the CSA program consumers pay in advance for a variety of in-season produce which they pick up on a weekly or monthly basis. Costs vary according to the farm and what they grow. You can purchase a full or a half share. (To learn more about CSA programs click here. You can also search to see if this program is offered in your community.)
The three vendors whom you can arrange CSA’s with in Tumwater are;
8 Arms Community Bakery (baked goods) This could be dangerous!
Kirsop Farm (produce)
Stoney Plains Organic (produce)
The market has an active Facebook page. If you live in the area Like it to get updated vendor information on the weeks market activities.
The Tumwater Town Center Farmers Market will conclude its 2014 offerings at the end of October. The market is located at the corner of Capitol Blvd. and Israel Road and is open every Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The market is also served by local transit which runs every 15 minutes during the day. They have a picnic area so that you can enjoy the live music and a hot lunch while shopping for your vegetables. Mike and I tried Lupe’s Tamales and you will learn more about Lupe in an upcoming post.
Because we did not get to this market sooner we missed out on the Kettle Corn vendor and some of the other fruit growers because their seasons are over. Perhaps next year…