It’s mid-May—and less than two weeks until the bell behind the Bair store is rung at 3 p.m., signaling the official start of the Town’s eighth annual Farmers Market Season.
This year’s Market coordinator, Maureen Takaoka, has been working behind the scenes since this past Aug. 26, 2015, getting ready for a season she said will be “bigger and better than before.”
One of the biggest changes is that more than half a dozen Pierce County’s Farmers Markets have formed a consortium to better promote the idea and importance of locally sourced food. Takaoka says that this year’s market will feature more than 55 vendors selling fresh produce, sustainably raised oysters and clams, fresh-baked breads, cut flowers, potted plants and more.
The Market is designed to ensure customers are aware of food sources and nutrition.
“There’s more to farmers’ markets than food,” she said.
“When a customer shops at a Farmers’ Market, he/she knows exactly where the food comes from and how it was grown. Additionally, the customer directly supports a sustainable regional food system that helps small family farms stay in business; protects land from development, and provides everyone with fresh, local food.”
A few more things new this year include:
Harbor Wild Watch of Gig Harbor is bringing its “Get Your Feet Wet” program that includes its salt-water touch tank. EBT and WIC access.
Besides the 6:30 p.m. concert at the bandstand, showcasing Steilacoom High School’s award-winning Wind Ensemble, Market customers also can visit both Steilacoom Historical Museum, between 2-5 p.m. and the Steilacoom Tribal Cultural Museum between 4-7 p.m.
Please note that Steilacoom’s Regular Summer Concert season begins at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29.
Visit www.townofsteilacoom.com/267/Farmers-Market for more information.
More Farmers’ Market Facts:
In 1994, there were only about 1,755 farmers’ markets in the country. Between 2008-2013 the number of farmers markets across the country had nearly doubled, from 4,685 to 8,144, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. Around Washington State, farmers markets operate in more than 100 communities such as the longest-running one in the Proctor District in North Tacoma.
After more than a decade of explosive growth, sales of local food at U.S. farmers’ markets slowed. A January 2015 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that while more farmers are selling directly to consumers, local food sales at farmers markets, farm stands and through community- supported agriculture have lost some momentum.
Between 2007 to 2012, the value of food sales in real dollars of farmers face-to-face with consumers dropped by one percent. By comparison, from 2002 to 2007 that value increased 32 percent. The increase during the five-year period before that was 36 percent
See you at Steilacoom’s Market!Print This Post