‘Tis the season for fresh produce, homemade breads, jams, candles, soaps, artwork and other great things local.
Whidbey Island has a bounty of farmers markets to explore and enjoy.
I recently visited the Coupeville Farmers Market. Located in the open field behind the Coupeville library, it was nice to see a variety of booths — even better to see a steady stream of people coming and going.
The Coupeville Farmers Market, which operates 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, is in its 35th year.
My first introduction to island farmers markets was years ago after Oak Harbor launched its own in a field adjacent to the chamber office.
Nearly every week, on my way home from work, I went to the market, which was modest at the time, but always fun. Going from stand to stand, I would buy small potatoes, onions, yellow squash and zucchini. That night, I would combine and saute everything in garlic and butter.
Super simple, super delicious.
That was a routine I missed after I left the island 13 years ago. Shopping the local farmers markets was among the things I looked forward to doing again after returning here.
The Oak Harbor Public Market, which is still located adjacent to the chamber off of State Highway 20, operates 4 p.m. through 7 p.m. Thursdays from June through September. I’m looking forward to seeing how it’s evolved.
I was never a person who worried about organic versus nonorganic, but as you hear more about genetic modification of our food, read labels that list ingredients that belong in a lab and not on our tables, I’ve become increasingly conscientious about what I buy.
Salmon, corn, potatoes and squash are all among the top 10 most genetically-modified foods, according to www.discovery.com
Being a former commercial fisherman, I will not eat farmed salmon. And while I understand the growing challenges farmers face to maximize their crop yields, I don’t want my fruit and vegetables to contain foreign genes.
Most of the vegetables and produce sold in the United States come from large, industrial farms.
By supporting farmers market, however, you are supporting local products grown by local people. You can ask them if their food is free of genetic modifications, which chances are it is. Plus, locally grown has the added bonus of tasting better.
Keven R. Graves is executive editor and publisher for the Whidbey News-Times. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org