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Farmers Market celebrates 30 years

Vendors at the Port Orchard Farmers Market, which begins its 30th year Saturday,  sell everything from flowers, fruit, eggs and crafts. - Denise Mandeville/ Staff Photo
Vendors at the Port Orchard Farmers Market, which begins its 30th year Saturday, sell everything from flowers, fruit, eggs and crafts.
— image credit: Denise Mandeville/ Staff Photo

For those wondering when exactly spring is going to start, never fear — the Farmers Market will soon be here.

“When our farmers market starts, it is reliably and safely spring,” said Pam Moyer, president of the Port Orchard Farmers Market, which is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the waterfront market this year.

This Saturday, the market will begin its third decade with Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola proclaiming April 26 as “Port Orchard Farmers Market Day.”

Then throughout the day, Moyer said there will be “varied entertainment” and drawing for giveaways

But of course the main attraction will be the wares at the market, which Moyer said this time of year is concentrated on plants and fresh flowers.

“Most of our farmers don’t have a whole lot to bring before it really starts to warm up,” Moyer said, explaining that most of the produce available will “cold crops” such as cabbage, squash and leeks, unless it is grown by some of the local farmers who have greenhouses to grow warmer-weather items. “Our farmers really start kicking into high gear around mid-June.”

In the meantime, Moyer said the market will still have staples like honey, eggs, seafood and meats. Vendors for those items include raw honey from Lovin’ You Honey, brown and green eggs from Possum Run Farm in Port Orchard, and oysters from Tom Farmer Oyster Company in Allyn.

“If you are a produce farmer, you can be from anywhere in Washington State,” she said. “But if you’re selling anything else, you need to be on the Kitsap Peninsula.”

As the owner of Gold Mountain Herb Farm, Moyer will be on hand as a vendor as well, selling herb plants and other items.

According to the Farmers Market, last year it attracted “an average of 750 to 1,000 shoppers” each Saturday it was open.

And while each shopper may have different reasons for choosing the market, Moyer said one of the best things about buying your food at a farmers market is knowing where it came from.

“It’s know who grew your food,” she said, explaining that you aren’t likely to be able to ask someone in the produce department at your local grocery store what pest control product or fertilizer was used to grow their tomatoes. “Thwere’s something to be said for people able to talk to the person who grew and picked your food.”

In addition, Moyer said, people can feel good about supporting local farmers and knowing both the customers and the vendors used less gas getting to the market.

“You travel less distance to get (the product), and it has to travel less distance to get to you,” she said, adding that it probably tastes better, as well.

If you are not looking to buy food this weekend Moyer said the market’s vendors will have plenty of flowers, plants and other items for sale.

Other celebrations at the market this year include Mother’s Day on May 10, Father’s Day on June 14, Hawaiian Shirt Day on July 19 and Pirate Day on Sept. 6.

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