Organic produce, fresh flowers, food trucks, artisanal desserts, live music and crafts galore – there’s nothing quite like a good ol’ fashion farmers market to let you know spring has sprung.
This May, the Bellevue Farmers Market will open among several Eastside farmers markets. Others will make their debut in June.
In its 15th year, the Bellevue Farmers Market already has 60 vendors signed up. From farmers, fishers and foragers, to artisan food producers, wineries, breweries and cideries, there’s no shortage of local flavor to go around for foodies.
“We have new, diversified products and new offerings,” Bellevue Farmers Market executive director Natalie Evans said of this 2018 season. “Bellevue will be really excited.”
This year, the market will be held every Thursday from 3-7 p.m., May 17 through Oct. 11. The weekly event has consistently attracted between 1,200-1,500 people and also acts as a platform for nonprofits, groups or other agencies. In the past, King County’s library van has come through and nonprofits like the Master Gardeners, Bellevue Green Cleaning and PCC Farm Land Trust have done interactive tabling.
This year, the market has a robust music scene, which includes local artists, such as “Haggis Brothers,” “Larry Murante,” “A Well Known Stranger,” and “Diego Chavez and Kevin Buster,” among others.
Chef demonstrations, led by executive chef from Lincoln Square is Daniel Laferriere, will also be held once a month during the peak season. Laferriere will show patrons how to use the farmers market’s fresh produce in interesting and unique dishes. Approximately 15 chefs will assist Laferriere with the demos.
Children will also have an opportunity to learn about healthy vegetables and fruits with the farmers market’s POP Club, now in its third year. The program is open to children ages 3-12 and will allow participants to have a “Passport to Health” log. According to the Bellevue Farmers Market’s website, children will receive stamps each time they take two bites of a new fruit or vegetable. After they complete the challenge, they’ll receive $2 in market tokens to spend on produce. In addition, there are weekly activities on food, nutrition, healthy living, gardening and more.
Evans said the free program will expand to 22 weeks this year, as opposed to its previous 12 weeks.
The program promotes healthy food choices and teaches children how to use money.
“We always want to be better and do better,” Evans said. “Our ultimate goal is to create an event that is supportive of small family farms and new food-based business in our region, as well as an event that is festive, fun, educational, fosters community in the Bellevue area and adds value to those living and playing in Bellevue.”
The Bellevue Farmers Market is located in the parking lot of Bellevue Presbyterian Church, 1717 Bellevue Way NE in Bellevue. For more information on the market, visit bellevuefarmersmarket.org.
Eastside Farmers Markets:
• Carnation Farmers Market
Opening day: 3 p.m., May 1
Tuesdays, 3-7 p.m., May through October
Location: Stossel Avenue Northeast &, W Bird St, Carnation, WA 98014
• Redmond Saturday Market
Opening day: 9 a.m., May 5
Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May through October.
Location: 7730 Leary Way, Redmond, Wa 98052
• Issaquah Farmers Market
Opening day: 9 a.m., May 5
Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., May through September
Location: Pickering Barn, 1730 10th Ave. NW, Issaquah, WA 98027
• Sammamish Farmers Market
Opening day: 4 p.m., May 9
Wednesdays, 4-8 p.m., May through September
Location: City Hall Plaza, 801 228th Ave SE, Sammamish, WA 98075
• Bothell Farmers Market
Opening day: 12 p.m., June 1
Fridays, 12-6 p.m. June through September
Location: Country Village, 23718 Bothell Everett Highway, Bothell, WA 98021
• Juanita Friday Market
Opening day: 3 p.m., June 1
Fridays, 3-7 p.m. June through September
Location: Juanita Beach Park, 9703 NE Juanita Drive, Kirkland, WA 98034
Information: www.kirklandwa.gov, search “Juanita Friday Market”
• Mercer Island Farmers Market
Opening day: 10 a.m., June 3
Sundays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., June through Oct. 7
Location: Mercerdale Park, 7700 SE 32nd St., Mercer Island, WA 98040
• Kenmore Community Market
Opening day: 3 p.m., June 5
Tuesdays, 3-8 p.m. June through August
Location: Cedar Park Northshore Churck, 18737 68th Ave. NE, Kenmore, WA 98028
• Crossroads Bellevue Farmers Market
Opening day: 12 p.m., June 5
Tuesdays, 12-6 p.m., June through September
Location: East parking lot, 15600 NE 8th St, Bellevue, WA 98008
• Kirkland Wednesday Market
Opening day: 2 p.m., June 6
Wednesdays, 2-7 p.m. June through September
Location: Marina Park, 440 Central Way, Kirkland WA 98033
• North Bend Farmers Market
Opening day: 4 p.m., June 7
Thursdays, 4-8 p.m. June through Sept. 6
Location: Si View Park, 400 SE Orchard Dr, North Bend, WA 98045