• Local markets provide healthy foods. By Colin

Fresh is Best


A stroll through a local farmers’ market or produce stand can drum up all kinds of feelings. The smells of fresh herbs and the vibrant colors of vegetables just recently picked will make plenty of people smile. As our daily habits continue to shift, the farmers’ market is a place where one can gain a sense of normalcy. Like everything else, they might look a little different, but you can still get all the same farm fresh items and support your local community by stopping by one of the many regional markets. Small farmers are a vital part of a local economy, and let’s face it; the produce just tastes better when it’s fresh and grown right within your region. A stroll amongst the stalls on a warm summer evening is tough to beat. Take time to schedule a trip to one of these local weekly markets, where you’ll find the freshest foods for your table, and a stress-free evening out.

Waterfront Farmers’ Market, Skansie Brothers Park Thursdays, June 18 through mid-September, 1 to 7pm This always vibrant market is popular not just with the walk-up crowd but with those who’ve spent the day on the water. Conveniently located in Gig Harbor’s favorite downtown park, boaters, kayakers and SUPers can pull right up to the dock, do their shopping and paddle away. The Gig Harbor Waterfront Alliance organizes this weekly market with a goal to deliver fresh, local, sustainable food and food products in an atmosphere that promotes community and economic vitality while supporting our region’s farmers and producers. You’ll find a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, specialty products, as well as resources for healthy eating habits, and wellness education. Originally scheduled to open June 4, the date has been pushed back to June 18. For the latest information, visit WaterfrontFarmersMarket.org.

Peninsula Marketplace, 5503 Wollochet Drive NW Saturdays, June 6 through TBD The Peninsula Marketplace is a vendor plaza which hosts 40-plus local vendors and is an outlet for crafters, artists, farmers and food processors to sell their wares directly to the community. The market focuses on offering a variety of options, not limited to: plants and flowers, meats and seafood, fruits and vegetables, metal works, sculptures and handmade crafts. While initially offering curbside pickup, the market is anticipated to be open to the public in early June. Check the market’s Facebook page or visit Peninsula-Marketplace.com for the latest opening hours and regulations.

Patterson’s Farm Market, 3817 55th Street Court NW Seven days a week A family run business since the late 1970s, the bright colors and fresh options change throughout the season dependent upon what is fresh and local. Decorate your home with the wide selection of annuals and perennials, and treat yourself to the freshest berries, apples and locally grown vegetables. All produce is pesticide free and comes from small farmers. Come fall, locals love picking out the perfect pumpkin here, and it’s also a wonderful place to grab a unique holiday wreath or fresh garland. Patterson’s is open seven days a week throughout the summer.

Local Boys, Purdy Drive and Highway 302 Seven days a week This father/son team has been operating since the early 2000s and has created a one-stop shop for all your fresh, locally sourced ingredients, snacks, meats and produce. Washington apples, homemade preserves and syrups, and Northwest honey will hit your sweet tooth. Locally made chips and salsa, kettlekorn and berries make for a great snack, and regionally sourced seafood and steaks make for a fine dinner. Beer and wine is also available. You can shop in person or place your order online ahead of time and pick it up curbside.

Point Ruston Farmers’ Market, Grand Plaza Sundays, June through September, 10am to 3pm If you are looking for a leisurely Sunday morning, consider a trip over the bridge and a stop by The Point Ruston Farmers’ Market. One of three markets operated by Tacoma Farmers’ Market, the Point Ruston location is the perfect stop after a morning wandering the miles of paved trails alongside Commencement Bay. There are many vendors in the open-air market, offering the freshest produce, crafts, premade foods and other unique items. The market also offers an Apple-a-Day program where each child 3 through 16 years old receives a $1 Apple-a-Day market token to buy a fruit or veggie of their choice. The program helps create lifelong healthy eaters.

Fresh foods make all the difference in your home-cooked meals. You’ll not only taste the difference but also know you are helping out your local businesses, which in turn keeps money flowing in your local economy.

Make a point to seek out freshness this summer, and bon appétit!

#goodnews #local #gigharbor

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