Nestled between the Olympics and the Cascades, the Western Regional Climate Center estimates that the Puget Sound breadbasket averages around 822 hours of measurable rain per year! This abundance of water makes for bushels of the freshest, most nutritious groceries around. So channel your inner European, stretch your legs and get to know the humans that whispered sweet nothings to your dinner fixings. You can even picnic with a freshly baked baguette and bottle of local vintage, if that’s your style.
With over 15 unique farmers markets on the Eastside alone, fresh food and community are available six days a week. To add pizzazz and build a fun atmosphere, some markets have added activities such as cooking demonstrations and contests as well as crafts and special themes. Others have invited eccentric food trucks, gluten-free treats and unusual vendors into the fold, like wild foragers or goose and quail egg producers. Two exceptional events are forging new paths as institutional markets, one restaurant and one shopping mall, directly advocating for local farmers and artisans by spotlighting their products.
Why Farmers Markets?
While we are fortunate to have supermarkets nearby that source local, ethical and organic whenever possible, it is institutionally impossible for them to support the many small farmers that cannot fulfill a large enough order by themselves to reliably provide for the supermarket’s needs for year-round availability and stable pricing. This poses an exceptional challenge for newer or small-scale farmers to get their foot in the door and make ends meet. When you buy at a farmers market, no middleman takes a cut and your money goes directly to the farmers, funding their overhead costs and basic human needs in a way that is empowering and builds relationships.
Buying local also cuts down on the vast carbon footprint of shipping refrigerated produce from California or even eastern Washington. And seeing that nearly all growers use organic or sustainable practices, the healthy soil they’re building actually sequesters carbon from the atmosphere and mitigates our own carbon footprint in the concrete jungle. Shopping at farmers markets is the least we can do!
Lastly, and more immediately, the food you buy is more nutrient dense and delicious the less time it takes to travel from vine to mouth.
Market Seasonality Calendar
Apricots, artichokes, basil, beans, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, chives, cilantro, cucumbers, dill, eggplant, fennel, gooseberries, loganberries, marionberries, mint, nectarines, peaches, peppers, plums, raspberries, rhubarb, stevia, strawberries, summer squash, tarragon, tomatillos, tomatoes, zucchini
Apples, artichokes, basil, beans, beets, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cilantro, cucumbers, daikon radish, dill, fennel, greens, kiwi, melons, mint, onions, parsley, peaches, potatoes, pumpkins, stevia, sunchokes, sweet potatoes, tarragon, tomatillos, tomatoes, turnips, winter squash
Apples, beets, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cilantro, collard greens, daikon radish, garlic, greens, leeks, mushrooms, onions, parsley, parsnips, peas, potatoes, rutabaga, shallots, spinach, sunchokes, sweet potatoes, turnips
Bellevue Farmers Market
Thursdays, 3–7 p.m. until Oct. 27
1717 Bellevue Way NE
Bothell Farmers Market
Fridays, noon–6 p.m. until Sept. 30
23718 Bothell Everett Highway
You can’t get more country than Country Village with its resident flocks of chickens and ducks, a community garden, and plenty of eclectic and vintage stores. Face painting is available for kids and you can sample herbal medicine from Julia’s Good Medicine, infused oils and vinegars, jerky, preserves, locally roasted coffee, and fish and chips.
Carnation Farmers Market
Tuesdays, 3–7 p.m. until Nov. 22
Stossel Ave NE & W Bird St
Thirty minutes from Bellevue, this market offers a chance for nourishing a midweek escape to purchase food grown directly in the valley. Buy produce from SnoValley Tilth’s Experience Farming Project, a new-farmer incubator program. Try made-from-scratch ice cream and bona fide goose eggs!
Crossroads Farmers Market
Tuesdays, noon–6 p.m. until Sept. 27
15600 NE 8th St
Duvall Farmers Market
Thursdays, 3–7 p.m. until Oct. 13
Brown Ave between NE Richardson & NE Ring
On the north end of the Snoqualmie Valley, this historic farming town has the most local sourcing of all: flower bouquets from Carnation, honey from Monroe, meats from Snohomish, wool from Duvall and more! Also find produce, dairy products, wine, baked goods and natural pet food.
Issaquah Farmers Market
Saturdays, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. until Sept. 24
1730 10th Ave NW
Outside the quaint gardens of Pickering Barn, shoppers can peruse over 100 vendor stalls weekly, offering teas and countless prepared foods to artisan crafts and apparel and more. Three plant nurseries and five wineries are present to indulge your gardening and wine-tasting needs!
Juanita Farmers Market
Fridays, 3–7 p.m. until Sept. 30
9703 NE Juanita Drive, Kirkland
Prime for a relaxing weekend with a Friday night at Juanita Beach Park, complete with loads of parking, live entertainment and large playground. Stop by for themes like Health Fair Day (Aug. 26) and Harvest Festival (Sept. 30).
Kirkland Farmers Market
Wednesdays, 2–7pm until Sept. 28
25 E Lakeshore Drive
Little Brother’s Farmers Market
Saturdays, 10am–3pm until Oct. 15
450 Central Way, Kirkland
Assembled by the folks at DERU Market, this chef-curated weekly event highlights their favorite local producers with the goal of creating an even deeper relationship between customers and the plate. Highlighted are a few farms from Snoqualmie Valley, produce from Steel Wheel Farm and dairy from Cherry Valley Dairy.
Mercer Island Farmers Market
Sundays, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. until Oct. 9
7700 SE 32nd St
Redmond Saturday Market
Saturdays, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. until Oct. 29
7730 Leary Way NE
Renton Farmers Market
Tuesdays, 3–7 p.m. until Sept. 27
233 Burnett Ave S
Sammamish Farmers Market
Wednesdays, 4–8 p.m. until Sept. 21
801 228th Ave SE
The Landing’s Farmers Market
Thursdays, 3–7 p.m. until Sept. 22
828 N 10th Place, Renton
Held in the wings of a large shopping mall, the Landing’s market provides an opportunity for restaurants and businesses to interface with local growers and even offers hands-on culinary class experiences: go out with a shopping list, buy from the market and cook a gourmet meal together!
Woodinville Farmers Market
Saturdays, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. until Sept. 24
13680 NE 175th St