The return of spring not only brings hope of better weather, though for many it is the return of the local farmers markets. Any day of the week during spring and summer, you can find markets open with long hours into the early evening.
Throughout the country, almost two million farms cater to locals with fresh produce and flowers. Whether u-pick, produce stands, or local area markets are your preference, almost 80% of mostly family-owned farms sell directly to the public. By buying direct, you tap into the organic, fresh foods that an area is well known.
In Seattle, our best-known market is the Pike Place Market, which is open year-round. Not only will you find fruit, flowers, and fresh veggies, though they have the capacity to have small shops, restaurants, a butcher, and you can purchase fresh fish, as well. You will find over 200 small businesses represented at the market.
From Anacortes to Yelm, you may have your pick from over 125 local markets throughout Washington. What a great road trip to choose any direction and find your way to these treasures. Spend a day or a weekend exploring an area to include a day at the local market. It is like finding a slice of Americana and old world charm. Surprisingly, most of these markets are on the west side of the Cascades. Eastern Washington, known for its fresh fruits and vegetables, mostly ship their goods to the west side. Though, when I travel to the eastside, I love stopping at the fruit stands for fresh cherries, especially, and catching up on the local gossip – all friendly, of course.
You do not need to go far off the beaten path to find a local market, though I find it more interesting getting into the small towns of these farm areas. All along the I-5 corridor, you will find an abundance of farms and local markets. Go and explore – and Happy Spring!
Click here for a directory to farms and markets throughout the country.
Click here to find a Washington farmers market near you.