On Saturda, Ma 3, the KittitasCount Farmers Market kicks o the rst market o the season. Temarket is known or its arm-reshlocal produce, baked goods, nehand-crated products, rich heritageand local traditions. Located in thehistoric downtown Ellensburg onth Avenue between Pearl and Pinestreets, the armers market gives localresidents a treasure trove o productsto choose rom. Te market is heldeach Saturda beginning in Mathrough the last Saturda o October.“Te Kittitas Count FarmersMarket is a weekl event eaturingresh local produce and hand madecrats,” sas Pam Grueter, Farmer’sMarket Board Member.Te market was ounded in1994 b a small group o communitmembers who wanted to bring thebest o rom the count to the hearto Ellensburg. Te original marketwas held on Saturda at WashingtonSchool (Ellensburg’s current CitHall) with onl 10 vendors, several o whom still sell at the market. A ewears later it moved to the downtownRotar Pavillion where it wouldbe more centrall located. Ten,last ear, the market moved to 4thAvenue because additional space wasneeded.Loran Bollinger, a long standingarmers market vendor, remembers inthe beginning where the merchantswould bring their children along tohelp sell their resh produce, fowers,and crats creating a un amil da.Bollinger continues to sa, “Temarket is a great place or visitors tomeet local people, eat delicious bakedgoods, chat and come together.”oda, the Kittitas CountFarmers Market has grown to include62 dierent vendors. But the market’sgoal remains the same as in 1994 —creating venues where local armerscan connect directl with Ellensburgresidents and visitors while providinga communit gathering-place orthe celebration o local cultureand cuisine, and to suppl publiceducation on regional arming,gardening and ood preparation. Temarket is committed to the artisanood communit and ostering thevalues o that communit here inEllensburg.Kittitas Count Farmers Marketis a member o the WashingtonState Farmers Market Associationand ollowsthe rulesor marketsales. Aspart o theWSFMAall itemsoered mustbe grownor madeb the seller which ensuresqualit, reshness, and thatall items sold are hand-crated orgrown. Tis ear the Kittitas CountFarmers Market board o directorshas juried in more vendors givingthe communit a wonderul line-up o local gardening gurus andcreative artists to share tips anddemonstrations.Aside rom the wonderulitems at the market, each ear themarket has plaed host to a varieto communiteventsincluding theChildren’sMusic Daon Ma 10,a da ull o un childrenactivitiesthroughoutthe downtown.In Jul inconjunction with Jazz in the Vallethe market will present the live musico Jazz Quartet eaturing local jazzmusician Chris Hull. In Augustit will pla host to the Dog Wash(August 2), and Dog Das (August19). Te market will also launch itsrst Kittitas Count Farmers MarketCookbook and have its rst AnnualHarvest Dinner eaturing localproduce rom the market’s vendors.I something with a kick is whatou want, then the salsa contest onSeptember 20 will be the right t.Volunteers and communitinvolvement are essential to carringout the mission o the KittitasCount Farmers Market. Withinthe next ew ears the market’sboard is committed to expandingits vendor list to 100 dierentmerchants, obtaining storage space inthe downtown or easier setup, anddeveloping a list o volunteers to helpwith setting up and closing downthe market. I ou are interestedin assisting the market, contactthem at 899-3870 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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