BELLINGHAM - Fruit pies, oysters and Indian-style street food are among the offerings from 26 new vendors at Bellingham Farmers Market, which opens for its 21st season on Saturday, April 6.
"It's a nice selection of folks," Caprice Teske, market director, said of the new faces joining the returning vendors. "There are some interesting crafts in there as well."
Nine of the new vendors are farms, including Bow Hill Blueberries, LUNARia Farm & Gardens, Mount Baker Berry Co., Rancho El Jadal, Skagit Valley Farm, Wishing Well Farm and Wind Poppy Farm & Nursery.
The Saturday market kicks off at 10 a.m. at Railroad Avenue and Maple Street with the traditional cabbage toss from Mayor Kelli Linville. The market runs through Dec. 21.
The Wednesday market in Fairhaven begins June 5, with two live music performances planned for the weekly afternoon market.
Other farmers markets in Whatcom County will start later in April or within the following two months.
At the Saturday market in downtown Bellingham, hungry visitors buying the season's first produce from area farms will also be able to munch on organic fries from Kurly's and shop for glass art from Skar Glass.
Also new this season are fruit pies from Alice's Pies - "It's pie, how could you not be excited?" Teske said - and the return of oysters from Drayton Harbor Community Shellfish Farm, which had been absent from the market in recent years.
The Bellingham market experimented with a winter market this past year, opening one Saturday a month in January, February and March at Depot Market Square - with good results.
"We consider it a success," Teske said of the test run, which attracted enough vendors, including farmers, and shoppers spending money.
She said the winter vendors' average sales were comparable to a "shoulder season," such as spring or late fall.
"We were super excited about it, and the crowds were phenomenal," Teske said, adding that board members will decide soon whether to organize a winter market for next year.
FARMERS MARKET OPENINGS
- Bellingham Farmers Market will open for the season Saturday, April 6, at Railroad Avenue and Maple Street. Hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 21.
- The Wednesday market will begin June 5 and run through Sept. 25 at Fairhaven Village Green, behind Village Books. Hours: noon to 5 p.m.
- Blaine Gardeners' Market begins June 1 on H Street Plaza, at the intersection with Peace Portal Drive. Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through October. Events include live music and the fourth annual International Slug Race.
- The new season for the Ferndale Public Market kicks off Saturday, April 20, at 5667 First Ave., along Centennial River Walk. Hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 12.
- Lynden Farmers Market starts Thursday, June 20, in the downtown parking lot next to Centennial Park, at Fourth and Front streets. Hours: 1 to 6 p.m. Thursdays through September, and perhaps into October. Details: email@example.com.
- Lummi Island Farmers Market begins May 25 and runs Saturdays until Labor Day weekend next to Islander Grocery, about a half block south of the island ferry dock. Hours: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.