Now, there are tons of reasons to love Spring. Warmer weather. Flowers blooming. And the return of Famers’ Markets. How can you not love a Farmers’ Market? Absolutely fresh vegetables and fruits; herbs; breads; cheeses; flowers…yeah, a Farmers’ Market is a good thing. Then there are the craft fairs (better known as swap meets, here on the West coast, as I am learning). Artists of just about any ilk, selling beautiful and unique goods, at prices you never see at a mall.
And we’re so incredibly lucky here in Washington because we have some great Farmers’ Markets and craft fairs. I know of about a dozen of them and I’ve only been here about a minute and a half. What makes you lucky is you live in Bellingham, surrounded by at least six different Markets.
The downtown Bellingham Farmers’ Market (www.bellinghamfarmers.org) opens April 4th this year and runs Saturdays through into December, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. A combination of farmers’ market and swap meet, you can find fresh produce and wonderful gifts for that someone special (yourself, perhaps?) all season long. In other words, it’s perfect for remembering your mom at Mother’s Day and at Christmas. On June 3rd, the Fairhaven Village Green Bellingham Market opens. Hit the downtown version on Saturdays, then run over to this one Wednesday afternoons, noon to 5:00 p.m. for mid-week replacements of fruits and veggies. It’s close; it’s convenient. Who could ask for more?
But if you are looking for a bit of a roadtrip, you’re still in luck. Working chronologically:
- May 16th is the start of the Anacortes Farmers’ Market (www.mountvernonfarmersmarket.org). Running Saturdays through October 10th, from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., it’s perfect for early risers (because I’ve heard they do exist; I’m just never awake in time to catch a glimpse of them). While there are farms represented and produce available here, this market leans heavily towards crafts – really lovely crafts.
- May 27th, take a drive down to Sedro Woolley some Wednesday after work. You have from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. to catch the Sedro Woolley Farmers’ Market (http://www.sedrowoolleyfarmersmarket.com). When my husband and I first started dating, he lived in Sedro, so we hit this market often. It’s smaller but still delightful. We bought a pint of strawberries “to take home.” Um…yeah. We had to buy another pint on the way to the car because the first pint was gone before we’d gotten to the next vendor stall. Trust me; try the strawberries. Once strawberry season is over, you still have until October 14th to enjoy the crafts and other produce seasons.
- May 30th brings the Saturday Mount Vernon Famers’ Market (http://www.mountvernonfarmersmarket.org). Also opening at 9:00 a.m. (seriously, who’s up at this hour?) it makes for a closer drive if you don’t want to be up quite that early. Running until 1:00 p.m., even those of us who lag a bit on Saturdays can still get there. Some of us may even decide it’s worth an earlier trip, at least once between May 30th and October 17th when the market closes for the season.
- June 10th, though, starts the Wednesday Mount Vernon Farmers’ Market, for those of you who are thinking “No way in hell, Bridget, am I getting to Mount Vernon by one o’clock on a Saturday.” Believe me, I do understand. Which is why I have always been grateful for the Wednesday market. Wednesdays, you have between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to enjoy all the goodies available at the Mount Vernon Famers’ Market. Both Saturday and Wednesday offer a pretty even mix of produce, fresh foods and crafts. Definitely worth a trip.
And these are just the ones right here in the Bellingham area. Don’t forget Seattle and Portland and everywhere in between. After the rain and the unprecedented snows this winter, treat yourself. Spring is here. It’s one of the best seasons to live in Washington. And Farmers’ Markets are part of the reason why.
Until next month, Poppets, take care of you.