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Farmers market season kicks off

A variety of food and produce vendors showed for the first Thursday market of the season in Oak Harbor. Market manager Peg Tennant said the market should see as many as 50 vendors in the peak of the season. - Justin Burnett / Whidbey News-Times
A variety of food and produce vendors showed for the first Thursday market of the season in Oak Harbor. Market manager Peg Tennant said the market should see as many as 50 vendors in the peak of the season.
— image credit: Justin Burnett / Whidbey News-Times

Now entering its second decade, the Oak Harbor’s Farmers Market is continuing to offer a bounty of healthful foods and products.

The market kicked off its season Thursday, May 16.

Formerly known as the Oak Harbor Public Market, the farmers market is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year as a nonprofit vendor-member cooperative.

“Some of the venders have been here almost as long as the market’s been here,” said Market Manager Peg Tennant.

Organizers require vendors to only sell products that are homegrown and handmade.

“Everything’s original,” said Niah Cortiz, who was visiting the market with her three children.

Cortiz said she is new to this area and was a first-time visitor to the Thursday market.

However, she said she has enjoyed going to farmers markets with her family for years.

“I think it’s a great experience for them to see where things are made,” she said.

Byron Burns, a relatively new vendor who started selling his Pain ReLeaf Products at the Oak Harbor market last year, said his favorite thing is the people.

“It’s a social event,” he said, “and if anything else comes about, it’s cool.”

This past Thursday’s market drew 25 vendors, according to Tennant.

“We’ll be up to 50 in no time,” Tennant said, explaining that the market gets busier as the season progresses.

The market, she said, typically attracts more vendors and attendees after school lets out, and later in the season when more vegetables are ripe.

Sheila Case-Smith, a founding member of the market, said she has a good feeling about the future of farmers markets.

“It’s really nice that it’s become popular again to go to farmers markets and eat fresh food.”

 

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