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Midweek market is filled with surprises

POULSBO — After weathering through a rather drab first six weeks, the Wednesday Poulsbo Farmers Market now explodes with color as squash, tomatoes and other summer sensations.

Market organizers have been pleased with the overall success of the of the first-year market, even though it has yet to draw crowds that rival those of the Saturday market.

“Overall for a first-year market it’s doing well, even though we’d like to see more customers,” said Market Manager Jackie Aitchison.

While it may not bring the numbers of its Saturday counterpart, the customers who do visit tend to spend more money, Aitchison added.

“Things have been real steady between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.,” she explained. “It comes in waves but overall it’s been really good.”

Earlier in the season, the vendor booths primarily featured leafy green vegetables and food vendors, but now beans, tomatoes, squash and a wide variety of fruits are making their way to the market.

“We don’t have any corn yet, but that’s probably about a month away,” Aitchison said.

Many vendors often sell out before the market closes and Michael’s Cafe runs out of food almost every week, she explained.

Michael’s has already developed a regular customer base at the Wednesday market, said Thomas Judd, who along with Michael Trevors serves up dinners-to-go.

“We specialize in serving food that has international flavor and American regional stuff specific to the Pacific Northwest,” Judd said.

The duo’s menu has been well-received, even though their cedar-plank roasted salmon spurred an increased demand for fish, he said.

“We’ve sold out just about every week, which is good for us, and you get quite a bit of food with a salad, entree, rolls and dessert,” he commented. The dinners cost $30 for two people.

Eventually, the duo plans to open a storefront restaurant serving a variety of dishes, but for now, the Wednesday market has been a success, Judd said.

“It’s a new concept for Poulsbo and only a few places have tried it,” he said.

While Judd and Trevors were selling prepared meals for customers looking for a gourmet dinner on their way home, Kimberly Faulkner from Sunflower Cottage Farm was busy selling beans, bell peppers, salad mixes and potatoes.

“I already sold out of my potatoes,” Faulkner said less than an hour after the market opened.

Even though her potatoes sold quickly, her salad mixes and other items kept customers filtering in and out of her stand.

“A lot of the warmer stuff is coming along, the beans are finally coming on and I’m finally coming into beets,” she said.

While the warm weather has been beneficial for carrots, potatoes and other crops, it has decreased her lettuce and other green leafy vegetable production, she explained.

Even though she is not a certified organic farmer, Faulkner said she doesn’t use pesticides or herbicides to fight off slugs and insects, instead she prefers more natural methods like beer.

“Slugs and snails are attracted to beer and the cheaper the better,” she explained.

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