Bremerton will have a Sunday farmers market on the boardwalk
near the fairy
ferry terminal starting July 24.
The Bremerton Farmers Market association
announced the extra market Thursday.
Unlike the second market two years ago created after a market
leadership disagreement, this new market is born of an attempt
to liven up the city on Sundays and will be run by the same
organization that runs the Thursday market at Evergreen Park.
Bremerton farmers market organizers were approached by city
council members after Bremerton and Port Orchard
agreed to run foot ferries on Sundays, said market manager
Bremerton’s Thursday market has been growing with more vendors
making more than last year and greater attendance (particularly on
sunny days), Zander said.
Market leaders also have been working with the port and business
associations. Bremerton councilman Roy Runyon offered to pay half
the market’s insurance fee out of his own pocket, she said. The
market association is working on securing funding for the second
“We think there’s a lot of momentum,” she said. “People are
really excited about this.”
The market plans to run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will be the
only formal farmers market on Sundays in Kitsap County. The
market’s last day will be Sept. 25.
It seems all manner of pretty produce and other things have
begun to appear at farmers markets. I snapped a little cell phone
shot after seeing such a pretty cake from Bon
Bon Bakery at the Bremerton market on Thursday, and I realize
that I can’t be the only one so visually stimulated by market
I’d love to see what others have seen at the markets or will see
this weekend (hint, hint). I’ll put some of the best photos in an
upcoming blog post to share with others and on the farmers
market map. E-mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As farmers market seasons close up for the witness, she said,
she’s increasingly heard vendors and customers wonder aloud where
to go next for their local foods.
“People want local food … and they want it more than x-amount of
months,” she said.
KCAA President Marilyn Holt said that additionally, for a
commercial farmer to make it, the farm needs to be selling for 48
weeks out of the year. The farmers who don’t likely have to find
additional sources of income.
Currently, most markets close in October. Poulsbo has a
one-weekend Thanksgiving market and Bainbridge Island reopens its
market in a new location in mid- to late-November and stays open
for another month.
Year-round farmers markets exist elsewhere in the Puget Sound
region. There is, of course, Pike Place, but also Ballard,
University District, West Seattle, Port Angeles and San Juan
downtown Everett, a developer plans to build a 60,000
square-foot agriculture center to house a year-round farmers
market, and will include a commercial kitchen and processing
facility The facility will anchor a 180-unit housing project. A
nonprofit group of farmers will operate the market, which
developers hope to have open for the 2012 season.
Some markets like Port Townend’s and Olympia’s are open until
Christmas, which some at the meeting suggested may be a better
option for Kitsap.
And what’s sold at these markets isn’t just soaps and jams,
though the producing of the latter has recently been made a little
easier with the passage of a
cottage food bill in Washington .
The winter offerings are, of course, not nearly as abundant as
what’s offered in the summer, but farmers are able to bring in
squashes and root crops and dried fruits and vegetables.
And let’s not forget that animals are raised on farms, too. One
farmer said she saw plenty of poultry at West Seattle’s market. For
the same to happen in Kitsap, though, farmers would likely have to
find or create a facility (possibly a mobile one) to process
Johanson said that additionally, she’s had success with hoop
houses, which could allow her to have marketable produce in
February and March.
But many questions remain.
Questions such as: Where would the market go? Would there be a
single space or would it be better to extend the seasons of several
markets? Would the market(s) be truly year-round or is it better to
lengthen the season to, say, Christmas? Would there be enough time
after planning to plant crops to harvest this winter? Can you draw
enough customers? Would there be a high enough proportion of
farmers to meet Washington State Farmers Market Association
guidelines (and thus gain the benefits that goes with being a part
of the association, such as insurance)?
And, importantly, would enough farmers be willing to extend what
can be an exhausting work year?
That last question is one group members hope to address
They’ve asked farmers market managers — Bremerton and Poulsbo
markets were represented at the meeting — to poll their vendors and
will go from there.
And until I hear those results, I’m going to do a little polling
of my own and, as always, please comment away.
The Wall Street Journal
has a story today that’s sure to get local food lovers angry:
Safeway and Albertsons stores in Seattle this year caught the ire
of Seattle farmers when they designated outdoor fruit and veggie
displays “farmers markets” (Safeway later changed the name of its
to “outdoor market.”
As the WSJ points out, it brings to question how should farmers
market me defined?Many believe that an essential part of the
definition involves farmers selling directly to consumers, though
some suggest even stricter guidelines, requiring the market to have
produce as the only or majority of products available at the
market. Others might also add that the produce comes only from
local sources, and the definition of “local” varies from grown in
the town or county it’s sold to region or state.
Most – if not all – of Kitsap’s markets have such rules.
Bainbridge Island’s, for example, requires all produce to be grown
on the Island or in North Kitsap. Poulsbo’s, Silverdale’s,
Bremerton’s and Port Orchard’s market say vendors’ goods must be
from Washington State. Poulsbo and Port Orchard make an exception
for where seafood can come from, though the vendors themselves must
be from Washington. All the markets post their vendor guidelines on
So how do you consumers and farmers out there think the term
“farmers market” should be defined?
I used to hate tomatoes, the squashy, mealy things that made
their way into my salads were less than appealing. But two small
events forever changed my perception of these lovely vegetable-y
The first was a
caprese salad I’d had a few years back. While I couldn’t seem
to replicate that taste for the longest time, I’d been softened on
the idea of raw tomatoes.
The second event was a taste-test politely pushed on me at the
Bremerton Farmers Market. A variety of colors and sizes of tomatoes
were cut and arrayed on a table. I tasted several varieties, and I
was in love.
refining taste buds also helped.
Fresh-grown, vine-ripened tomatoes were what I’d been missing.
Now I grow a few of my own and fear not a homemade salad covered in
So with this love of tomatoes, I’m excited to share some
upcoming tomato-related events happening in Kitsap.
Several farmers markets are hosting tomato taste-offs to allow
local growers to show off their fruits. And it’s also a good chance
to see just how many kinds of tomatoes are out there.
The first happens Saturday, Sept. 4 on
Bainbridge Island. They’ll be judged in three categories: Cherry
Tomatoes (bring 6 for judging), Salad Tomatoes (bring 3) and
Slicing Tomatoes (bring 1).
There’s a prestigious panel of judges and prizes for all first
place winners. Buy Local
Radio will broadcast from the event.
Tomato tasted-offs in Port Orchard and Poulsbo are both on
taste-off in Poulsbo They also have three categories:
Cooking/Canning Tomatoes (Roma, Black Plum, Purple Russian, Florida
Pink, San Marzano, etc.); Cherry/Pear tomatoes; and Slicing/Salad
Tomatoes (Black Krim, Brandywine, Mayan Gold, etc.).
After a season of mostly flown-in or frozen foods, I’m ready for
a little freshness. I’ve been dreaming of heirloom tomatoes,
strawberries ripe from the vine, really anything that I don’t have
to open a factory-sealed plastic bag to get.
Kitsap County’s first market of the year opens Sunday in Port
The early pickings may be a little sparse with the somewhat cold
and wet start to the season, but it’s a start nevertheless. Check
our site Monday (or buy a paper) for a story by Brynn Grimley on
what local market organizers have to say about this year’s
For now, I’ve started compiling a <a
map/database of local markets</a>, including some in Seattle
and Tacoma. You can find it to the right under the “More Stuff”
heading. I’m going to try to make it out to all the markets in
Kitsap this year to meet our local food growers and producers, so
expect updates, photos and more info in the database as the season