Many benefits come with support of local farmers’ market

The market hopes to grow and offer even more options next year.

Did you know that instead of the usual plastic packages and automated checkout machines, you can actually buy your food directly from the farmers who grow it?

For another month, the Enumclaw Plateau Farmers’ Market is where customers chat with the people who grow their onions, make their jam, brew their beer or craft their earrings. At the market, you can choose from a variety of seasonal, fresh-picked and hand-made products from 20 to 30 vendors every week, including vegetables, meat, seafood, berries, cheese, honey, kettle corn, and even pottery, yarn, decor and more.

While the prices can’t always compete with the grocery chains or online outlets, by paying a bit more you receive quality in return. Farmers’ market foods are fresher, more nutritious and contain fewer additives than similar items purchased through chains or online. Farmers’ market crafts and goods are locally made and built to last. Every dollar spent at the farmers’ market is an investment in our community, supporting the dreams and livelihoods of people who live and work on the Enumclaw Plateau.

Even in a small town like Enumclaw, the neighbor-to-neighbor interaction at the market is something special that maintains Enumclaw’s legacy as an agricultural hub for local products, reduces the waste and ecological toll of commercial grocery stores, and strengthens our ties with each other.

The first season of the market is already showing real local economic impact, the result of the hard work of vendors and an all-volunteer organization. For next season and beyond, the market plans to grow by adding vendors, expanding product offerings, and establishing CSA and SNAP benefit programs to increase the number of ways we can all support local farmers, producers and crafters.

But to be successful, the market needs your support. A strong local farmers’ market requires consistent and returning customers. A steady customer base sustains and grows the market over time while supporting the the rural character of the community and increasing our relationships with neighbors and local small businesses.

So the next time you’re looking for ingredients for a fresh family meal or considering your weekly grocery list, stop by the Enumclaw Plateau Farmers’ Market first. Every week, you’ll find new or different vendors and seasonal products harvested or made in and around Enumclaw.

Show your hometown pride and stop by during the final month of Enumclaw Plateau Farmers’ Market – Thursdays through September, 3 to 7 p.m., on First Street (Kasey Kahne Drive) next to the library. Be sure to attend the 2019 Market Celebration on closing day, Sept. 26. For more information, visit www.enumclawplateaufarmersmarket.org.

Austin Schuver

Enumclaw

Farmers’ market volunteer and customer

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