Fans of fresh foods are sure to flock to 1st Street as fairer weather foretells a farmer’s market fete.
Try saying that three times fast.
All alliteration aside, the Enumclaw Plateau Farmer’s Market’s third year is ready to kick off June 3, and continue every Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. until Sept. 30.
And although there will still be some coronavirus safety measures in place, the market is going to look (and feel) a lot more like pre-COVID days, say organizers Liz Clark and Lance Smith.
“We are returning to a double row of vendors lining the curbs of 1st Street with pedestrian traffic in the center,” Smith wrote in an email interview. “Physical distancing will be encouraged by our volunteers and masks will be required within the market per Public Health Seattle & King County requirements; however, there will be two-way flow in the center of the street.”
Last year, vendors were positioned in the middle of 1st Street, with one side of the market for one-way foot traffic, and the other for drive-through traffic for those who pre-ordered their goods and wares. This year, the drive-through option will not be available, Clark said, though vendors have been encouraged to continue offering pre-order/pre-pay options for walk-up pickup.
Customers can go online to https://www.enumclawplateaufarmersmarket.org/vendors/2021-vendor-list/ for a list of vendors and their websites for possible pre-ordering.
Additionally, “Prepared food vendors are now allowed back at the market,” Clark wrote. “Locations for these vendors will be inside the market footprint. However, no consumption of food can take place inside the market space. Customers must purchase any edible items as to-go and consume those products elsewhere.”
Finally, the market is required by Public Health to maintain a customer capacity of four people per vendor stall, meaning there may be a line to enter the market as volunteers keep track of how many people enter and leave.
“Since there will be more entrance/exits this year, we anticipate any line that might form to be brief, if at all,” Clark continued. “Public Health still encourages minimizing the number of family members shopping together to remain as small as possible.”
FOOD STAMPS, FARMER’S MARKET NUTRITION PROGRAM
While the market has been a successful venture every year it’s been open — including last year, despite it being a slower season — one of its main goals remains unfulfilled: allowing customers to use food stamps.
“At this time, we are still in the process of obtaining authorization for 2021,” Clark wrote. “We are hopeful that this program can be up and running later in the season.”
However, seniors, women, infants, and children can take advantage of the fact that there will be some vendors that are a part of the Washington State Department of Health’s Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program (FMNP). According to Clark, eligible customers can use FMNP funds to purchase produce at authorized vendors at the market.
“Last year we had four vendors that [were] FMNP authorized sellers of produce, and this year we are anticipating adding a few more vendors to that roster,” she wrote. “We look forward to seeking more WIC/Senior customers at the market this year.”
For more information about or eligibility requirements for the Farmers Market Nutrition Program, head to www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/WIC/FarmersMarket.
NEW HARVEST MARKET
In addition to the summer market, the Enumclaw Plateau Farmer’s Market is planning its first-ever Harvest Market for the fall season.
Details are sparse, but organizers are aiming to host the market under the large tent on the corner of Cole Street and Myrtle Avenue during October and November.