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To market, to market, to buy local staples | Kitsap Week

Colorful and tasty produce can be found at local farmers markets. - Courtesy of Bainbridge Farmers Market
Colorful and tasty produce can be found at local farmers markets.
— image credit: Courtesy of Bainbridge Farmers Market

The Mariners’ home-opener is on Friday, and another perhaps more promising opening day ritual happens this weekend in Kitsap County: the farmers market season.

Across the country, there are more than 6,000 farmers markets, and Kitsap is home to seven.

In this year’s starting lineup are the Bainbridge and Poulsbo markets, both with their opener at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Just as the first pitch can’t be thrown until “Play ball!” is called by the umpire, transactions cannot take place at farmers markets until the opening bell is rung.

Carol Rolph, a member of  the Bainbridge Farmers Market, said people often vie to be first in line at their favorite vendors. It adds to the excitement of the day, she said.

With more than 45 vendors at the Bainbridge Farmers Market, there will be plenty of chances to be first in line.

At the Poulsbo Farmers Market, market assistant Kate Cummings said it’s always nice to see bonds forming between customers and vendors. The regulars are known by name and the “usual order” is remembered, she said. This year, Cummings anticipates an average of 60 vendors per market day.

To cut down on the expense of multiple vendor credit card machines, a unique payment system is implemented at the Poulsbo market. It is one of 10 markets selected by the Washington State Farmers Market Association to try out a new payment system.

At a central location, credit and debit cards are swiped in increments of $10 and patrons receive tokens to spend at the vendors. If required, buyers receive change back from their purchases.

EBT cards can be used as well, with tokens in increments of $1. Change is not given with EBT cards, but Cummings said vendors  accommodate this by pricing their items in whole- dollar amounts.

“It’s been huge for our growth,” Cummings said. “It’s one more way to make it easier for folks.”

Local musicians will enhance the vibe at the markets. The Poulsbo market asked that the songs be original; no covers.

Rolph sees farmers markets as a staple in the local community. People have the opportunity to buy local and organic, and to meet the people responsible for producing the food.

“It’s a social venue and a way for people to connect and come together,” she said.

Local market report:

Bainbridge Farmers Market: Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the market kicks off with the traditional goat cheese toss. Free seed packets of peas will be handed out to the first 150 children. A horse-drawn carriage will give visitors rides around Winslow. Chickens, baby goats and lambs will be on display.

Poulsbo Farmers Market: Mayor Becky Erickson will do the honors of the ribbon-cutting. Miss Poulsbo, Miss Kitsap and Miss Silverdale  will be in attendance. The featured musical act is the Chris Neil Trio.

Roll out the markets:

Bainbridge Farmers Market: Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., located in downtown Winslow, between city hall and the playhouse, off Madison Ave. Info: www.bainbridgefarmersmarket.com

Poulsbo Farmers Market: Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., located in the Poulsbo Village Medical/Dental Center parking lot at the corner of Iverson St. and 7th Ave. Info: www.poulsbofarmersmarket.org

Suquamish Farmers Market: Wednesdays beginning April 13 from 3-7 p.m., located directly across from Village Shell Gas on Suquamish Way. Info: www.suquamishfarmersmarket.org.

Silverdale Farmers Market: Tuesdays beginning April 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Old Town Port Parking Lot, off Washington St. between Waterfront Park and the boat launch. Info: www.silverdalefarmersmarket.com

Port Orchard Farmers Market: Saturdays beginning April 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., located on Harrison Ave., between Amy’s on the Bay and Marina Park. Info: www.pofarmersmarket.org.

Bremerton Farmers Market: Thursdays beginning May 5, from 4-7 p.m. at Evergreen Park. 1400 Park Ave. Info: www.bremertonmarket.wordpress.com.

Kingston Farmers Market: Saturdays beginning May 7, from 9 a.m to 2 p.m. at Mike Wallace Park at the Port of Kingston Marina. Info: www.kingstonfarmersmarket.com.

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