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Local farmers markets open for the summer

 

Christopher Andersson

Sallie Davis, left, and Joan Butters, center, try some locally produced honey from Scott Jenrich's Lake Stevens business, Frontier Flyers Pure Local Honey, at the Marysville Farmers Market on June 24.

With the arrival of summer, local farmers markets are opening up for the season, including the Marysville Farmers Market and the Arlington Farmers Market.

Marysville Farmers Market

This is the third year for the Marysville Farmers Market which opened for its first day on June 24.

The market is at 1035 State Ave., Marysville, every Saturday until Sept. 30, and is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The market is run entirely by volunteers, mostly through local churches.

Craft goods, fruits, vegetables and berries are sold at the market.

"I've been looking forward to coming out here," said local Joan Butters. "I'm really impressed. I think I bought something at every booth."

"What I'm excited about is that everything I bought is made locally," she said.

Scott Jenrich, owner of Frontier Flyers Pure Local Honey from Lake Stevens, said that it has been a good place to sell honey.

"It's been a good market for me. I was one of the original vendors when it started and I've been back every year," he said.

Shawn Schrader, manager of this year's Marysville Farmers Market, said he liked that the market helps people with their small businesses.

"They're taking their hobby to a business level and we want to encourage that," he said.

This year the market will run a theme every week, like having a Kids Day on the fourth Saturday of each month, hosting a Hawaiian Luau or having a classic car show.

"Every week we're doing a different theme or a different event," said Schrader.

This year also sees more volunteer and nonprofit organizations at the event.

"We're trying to connect our community with some of the people who are out doing things to help with homelessness or food security issues," said Schrader.

That includes local groups like the Marysville Community Food Bank or Growing Veterans, a Mount Vernon farm that encourages veterans to take up farming as a form of therapy.

Schrader hopes he can grow the market this year.

"My hope is we grow with respect to people being engaged," he said. "At the same time we need to have economic measurement. We're competing with some pretty heavy hitters for farmers markets on Saturday."

The market was started by Allen Creek Community Church.

"What we did through a church, Allen Creek Community Church, is try to create a community and identity to encourage people to come out and sell stuff," said Schrader.

"It's not a way to grow your church, but a way to get your people to do some of the things the Bible says to do, to be out in the community, to encourage, to feed, to provide hope and support," he said. Schrader added he hopes he can encourage local people of faith to put some of those messages into practice more.

More information about the Marysville Farmers Market is available at marysvillefarmersmarket.org.

Arlington Farmers Market

The Arlington Farmers Market returns on July 1 this year, and runs every Saturday until Sept. 9.

The market is set up next to Legion Park in downtown Arlington at 200 N. Olympic Ave., and will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Produce, crafts and other services are typically on sell at the market.

There are already some new artisan goods and farmers signed up to be at the market this year, according to Samantha Lee, one of the organizers of the market.

Lee hopes that this year will be bigger than last year. "Since we have a few new farms, people will be delighted to find new variety and make new relationships," she said.

Lee said that people enjoy the market because of the community aspect.

They enjoy "connecting with the people who grow and create in our community," and "talking to each other, getting to shake the hand of the person who built a chair you'll enjoy for years and years," she said.

The market also encourages local small businesses to continue.

"Even if all you want to do is stroll the market, you send a strong message: you are engaged with the community, and you care deeply about supporting your neighbors," said Lee.

It provides a space to sell small handcrafted items and produce.

"The market is a small business incubator. It's a place for ambitious hardworking people to hone their craft with the support of the community," said Lee.

More information about the Arlington Farmers Market is available at afmwa.org.

 

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