Earl Anders shares a story of his wares with Cailey Anne Fahey (center) and Jena Perry on the first day of the Snohomish Farmers Market. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Earl Anders shares a story of his wares with Cailey Anne Fahey (center) and Jena Perry on the first day of the Snohomish Farmers Market. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Snohomish Farmers Market kicks off the season of local food

Take your shopping outside now with more than a dozen options opening for the summer.

SNOHOMISH — Escape from the gridlock of canned goods and shopping carts.

Enter the open air arena of white tents and inhale the aroma of kettle corn.

Farmers markets make shopping festive, not frustrating.

The Snohomish Farmers Market opened Thursday for the season, with food, live music and bodacious bouquets of flowers. The giant tomatoes and potatoes aren’t ripe — yet.

Tents in Edmonds are set to spring up Saturday morning. Everett’s first market opens May 13 at a new location, Boxcar Park in the Port of Everett. There are a dozen more markets in towns around the county during summer.

The Snohomish market has more vendors this year, and there will be additional space in upcoming weeks when farmers unload produce, market manager Sarah Dylan Jensen said.

“We have five new organic farms that are local. Young farmers, which is always fun to encourage them,” she said. “And more baked goods, like Polish doughnuts.”

There’s even a tent with pastries for dogs, PupCakes. The treats are safe for humans, too, if you like eating dog food.

Bread and flowers bring Penny Seek to the Snohomish market every week, even if she has to bring an umbrella.

“The French bread is to die for,” the Lake Stevens woman said.

Vendors offer jewelry and jams, hula hoops and spine adjustments. There’s time to talk, too. You get to know the face behind the farmer who grew your microgreens.

“No chemicals,” said Travis Leamer, owner of Crooked Fork Farms in Clearview. “I am all bio-intensive. All organic. I do all my own composting.”

Leamer also will sell his greens at Mill Creek Farmers Market, which is held Fridays starting May 25.

Michelle Mahler mixes oils on the first day of the Snohomish Farmers Market. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Michelle Mahler mixes oils on the first day of the Snohomish Farmers Market. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Need utensils to stir all the produce from the market?

SunFire Artistry owner Alyssa Pries can fix you up.

She decorates wooden spoons and spatulas with hand-burned designs such as mermaids, cats and cowboys.

What began as holiday gift-making for relatives turned into a business that includes offering pyrography (wood-burning) classes. “I burned more than 1,100 spoons last summer,” she said.

The products are meant to be used, not just look pretty.

At the hot pink Pixie Dance Hoops tent, shopper Linda St.Clair of Snohomish paused to try on feathery fairy clip-on “ear wings” before moving on to the next booth.

“I dabble in a little bit of everything,” St.Clair said.

Peas are her must-have item.

“The peas are sugar-snap, but not like the kind you get at the store,” she said. “They are fat, bigger than my thumb and you pop them open. My daughter, she’s 13, she can down the whole bag, and she doesn’t eat vegetables.”

The Snohomish market is open 3 to 7 p.m. Thursdays on Cedar Avenue between First Street and Pearl Street.

The website has an interactive map with vendor profiles and location. So, if you regret not buying that sparkling hula hoop and can’t make it back to the market, no problem. Click on the tent for how to score that hoop.

Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; abrown @herald net.com. Twitter: @reporterbrown.

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