Gardeners to form Saturday market downtown

Published on Thu, May 28, 2009 by Jack Kintner

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Those wishing to support local farmers will soon be able to do so on a whole new level.

June 13 marks the first of eight planned Gardener’s Market days in downtown Blaine, thanks to the Blaine Chamber of Commerce.

 “We don’t have a lot of farmers in the Blaine area but we do have a lot of gardeners,” said Blaine resident Ron Snyder, who, with his wife, Cathy grows about a quarter of their food on their Sweet Road farm and plans to do more. “The community sharing resources is a step toward a more viable downtown, and it’s a fun thing to do, a great way to meet and share with neighbors, a good community builder,” he said.

The market will be held on the second and fourth Saturdays from June through September  from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the H Street Plaza. Spaces are free, first come, first served. Snyder said that people are invited to sell any product that is locally grown, made, created or prepared, such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, honey, compost, plants, cuttings, arts & crafts, firewood, eggs and even small livestock and pets.

Food vendors are welcome, but any food products sold, such as breads and baked goods, jams, jellies and so on must be prepared in a certified kitchen.

“I hope for the first one that anyone who plays any kind of musical instrument will feel free to come on down, put their hat out and become a busker,” Snyder said, adding that non-profits and regular food vendors are also welcome and will also get free, first come, first served spots. “Just check in at the chamber tent,” he said.

Snyder added that he thinks sharing local resources is one way to counter the effects of diminishing energy supplies.

“We’ve passed peak oil, that is, the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction has been reached, sometime around 1965 to 1970. That effects everything, especially when we get our melons from Chile and our tomatoes from Mexico. We have the resources locally to generate a higher quality and more reliable source  of fresh, high quality food, and besides that we can help create community – you get to meet and chat with your neighbors.”

Carroll Solomon of the Blaine Visitors Center plans to have a number of prize drawings on the first market day to help draw a crowd, and local businesses are being encouraged to offer coupons and other promotions that the chamber with distribute for them if they do not plan to have a booth.

For more information contact Snyder at 360/332-8286 or Solomon at the Blaine Visitors Center at 332-6484.