News Column

Moscow Farmers Market returns

May 5, 2014

By Bill McKee, Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Moscow, Idaho



May 05--Moscow's Farmers Market kicked off its summer run over the weekend, offering locals the opportunity to come out and stock up on everything from fresh fruits, vegetables and other foods to hand-crafted items and music.

Established in 1977, Saturday's return marks the beginning of the farmers market's 37th year.

"We're really excited to have it back today. It's always a long wait between October and (the return of the market)," said Erin Harty of Moscow, there with her daughter Moira. "We've already spent quite a bit of money, mostly on food."

Harty said for the past several years they've been downtown every Saturday during the farmers market season to pick up their fresh produce and baked goods for the week, as well as to check out the multitude of delights to be found.

She said she was pleased to find not only how well-attended the opening day of the market was, given the overcast skies, but to see how many vendors were there.

"Usually at the beginning of the market there's not as many vendors. So it's kind of nice to see how busy it is, and so many new vendors," she said.

One regular vendor that has been a fixture at the market for more than a decade, Katy Drake, who along with her family runs Affinity Farms just outside Moscow, said she thought the turnout for the first day was a good launch to the season.

"It's about average, pretty cold and grey, which is typical," she said. "But I think the past week, with the sunshine and the warmth, had people really excited about getting out."

Eric Rieman with Sandpoint-based Cedar Cold Frames is newer to the market, selling cold frame growing units that allow gardeners to extend their growing season.

"This is our second year at the Moscow market, and we always get a lot of interest here," he said. "About 30 percent of the people who come by know what these are, and about 70 percent don't. So we do a lot of education out here as well."

Also still fairly new to the market is a service, available since last summer, that allows those with EBT cards to use their food stamps to purchase tokens that can be used at the market to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.

"It's been very popular so far," said Ashleigh Stedman with Backyard Harvest, the local nonprofit organization designed to help connect low income families and individuals with fresh harvest. "It's important that we have something for people that don't necessarily have lots of extra cash, so they can use their food stamps to purchase healthy food."

"Also the money goes to the hands of local farmers," said Ian Right, also with Backyard Harvest. "It's money that, without this sort of service, wouldn't be able to reach those vendors and those producers."

The Moscow Farmers Market will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday through October.

Bill McKee can be reached at (208) 883-4627, or by email to wmckee@dnews.com.

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(c)2014 the Moscow-Pullman Daily News (Moscow, Idaho)

Visit the Moscow-Pullman Daily News (Moscow, Idaho) at www.dnews.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News (ID)


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