Shopping list: cheese, hazelnuts, flowers.
To-do list: get lawnmower fixed, buy a broom, find a recipe for a watermelon, peach, and tomato salad.
Summer fun list: groove to local music, learn how to make yogurt, find a unique fire pit.
Where can all this be done and more? The Anacortes Farmers Market.
A trip to the market is like a drive around Skagit County. There are vegetables right out of the ground, hand-crafted cheeses, freshly caught fish, grass-fed meat, dazzling jewelry, beautiful linens, delicious bakery items, and so much more. Food vendors cook up savory dishes and musicians bring their creative vibe. Check off your list. Discover new things. There is a lot to enjoy.
What makes the Anacortes Farmers Market so special? Part of its vision is to “build on our tradition of shared values, promoting health, well-being, and happiness of all.” This shows in its vendors who focus on thoughtful raising and growing practices and artisan products that have the long-term community in mind.
“It’s a window into the heart of the community,” said co-manager Charity Payne, and previous vendor. Over the years, her involvement with the market and its vision of “providing outreach and educational opportunities” has given her plenty of ways to feed and discover new interests, like learning about beekeeping, raising chickens, and growing organically. “Being a part of the Anacortes Farmers Market has enriched my life so much,” said Payne.
Today, she and recent addition, Heather Hovis, co-manage the daily operations. Hovis, a market attendee for many years said, “I came down for the incredibly fresh and healthy produce and collective energy.” She’s elated to be a part of the Anacortes Farmers Market team. “Everyone is so committed to the community.”
In 1989, the market started with four vendors. Twenty-six years later, there are 100 registered vendors. Every Saturday, in front of the Depot Arts & Community Center, May through October from 9am to 2 pm, an array of booths display the best of Skagit County.
Need a Farmers Market fix year-round? No problem.
In April, the Anacortes Farmers Market and the City of Anacortes celebrate spring with The Art of Gardening Event. There are hands-on workshops, educational exhibits on topics, such as composting and permaculture, as well as, yard art, vegetable starts, and a bonsai display.
Each fall is the Annual Pie Festival, which honors everything pie-related. Bake a pie and enter it in the contest, sample pies, buy pies, discover your favorite pie filling. The weekend before Thanksgiving, on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., is the Holiday Farmers Market. This popular event is the perfect place to pick up holiday gifts and your must-have holiday foods. Then, from January to April, on the second Saturday of the month from 9am to 2pm, the market opens inside the Arts Depot & Community Center.
As a market attendee myself I’d have to agree with Payne and Hovis. The Anacortes Farmers Market has a community-minded personality and a festive energy-filled heart that makes one want to linger, learn and appreciate Skagit County’s bounty.
Contributed by Lara Dunning.
Anacortes Farmers Market
The Anacortes Farmers Market empowers the community through the support of sustainable and local economies by providing outreach and educational opportunities. They continue to build on their tradition of shared values, good health, food security, and enjoyment for all.