Flowers, food and slugs at the Gardener’s Market

Published on Wed, May 30, 2012 by By Angela Hamilton

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The Blaine Gardener’s Market at the H Street plaza opens this Saturday, June 2.

Vendors can register day-of and set up their own 10-foot booth as early as 8 a.m. for a $4 advertising fee (free for nonprofits).

The market will open at 10 a.m., and live music by the Polka Pirates Accordion Jug Band is scheduled for 11 a.m.

Market founder Ron Snyder said he and his wife Cathy Taggett first got the idea of introducing a local market in Blaine when gas prices spiked five years ago. Since the Red Apple market closed, people had to spend a lot of money to get to Bellingham and back.

“The ability to get food had moved to the other side of the freeway, and it occurred to us that we needed to create more resilience,” Snyder said. “There was a need for local food, and the way to do that was to create a local market.”

Snyder and Taggett are also founders of the Circle of Trees Art Studio and enjoy having a marketplace where others can offer handmade goods.

“It opened up opportunities to sell arts and crafts. In most cases it has to be either something you grew or something you created to give it a homegrown local flavor,” Snyder explained.

Fans of the International Slug Races will want to be there by noon to participate or watch. Snyder has a “stable of fine racers,” or you can bring your own slug. Prizes include chocolate bars from Totally Chocolate, and the winner will get one with a collector’s wrapper featuring three artist renditions of slugs.

Other upcoming Market events include a Fourth of July celebration, Kid’s Day and Drayton Harbor Days at the Market in August. Vendors and visitors can enjoy the market every Saturday until it closes this year on October 6.

“We certainly welcome more vendors and more shoppers,” Snyder said. “We really encourage people in the Blaine community to just come on down and have a cup of coffee (sponsored by Pizza Factory).” He emphasized that if the locals support the market, passersby will be more likely to stop and see the city.

No one can be sure what to expect this summer but Carroll Solomon from the Blaine Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center said opening day will have a festive atmosphere and the International Slug Races and prizes will be a big attraction for the kids. She said participation at the Market varies every month but there can be anywhere from eight to 25 vendors setting up booths with a variety of goods.

For more information on the Gardener’s Market, contact Solomon at 360/332-4544.