Stanwood farmers market opens Friday

STANWOOD — Across the country, the number of farmers markets has doubled in past 10 years to about 7,000. This week, you can add one more.

The Port Susan Farmers Market opens Friday afternoon on the lawn at Viking Village in downtown Stanwood.

The market is part of an effort by the city and the community to encourage agriculture and economic development in the northwest corner of Snohomish County.

The Mount Vernon-based Northwest Agriculture Business Center helped Stanwood officials win a $77,000 federal grant in 2011 to get the farmers market open and plans started for a cooperative local food processing center.

Mayor Dianne White and county Executive Aaron Reardon plan to be on hand for the grand opening of the market, an event that includes the presentation of a $5,000 grant from Northwest Farm Credit Services to help farmers sell their produce there.

Market manager Leslie Collings said people in Stanwood are excited about the new outdoor market.

“The community really needs this market,” Collings said. “It’s been a long time coming.”

People who shop at the market Friday can expect to see a lot of produce and cut flowers from local farmers, along with some prepared foods. A minimum of 70 percent of the market has to be food, Collings said.

“From our investigation we learned that farmers markets tend to decline when they are too heavy with crafts,” she said.

The arts will have a place at the market, however. The backdrop to the market is a mural painted by volunteers with the Stanwood-Camano Arts Guild. It depicts a market scene from about 100 years ago.

It takes plenty of volunteer help to put on a farmers market, Collings said. Among them is Viking Village owner Robert Cole, who is hosting the farmers market at his shopping center, she said.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.

Port Susan Farmers Market

The grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the Port Susan Farmers Market is set for 3 p.m. Friday in Viking Village, 88th Avenue NW and Viking Way in Stanwood. The market is open from 3 to 7 p.m. on Fridays through Sept. 21, with a season finale from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 22. More info: www.portsusanfoodandfarmingcenter.org.

Also, a new farmers market in Clinton runs from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through August at 6320 Storkson Drive. Walk on the Mukilteo ferry, hop on the free bus once you get to Whidbey Island, and hop off at the Dairy Queen. In addition to fresh produce and crafts, the market features entertainment by a marimba band from the island. More info: 425-308-1894 or www.communityofClinton.org.

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