By Laurelle Walsh
The Methow Valley Farmers Market opened for the season on Saturday (April 11) to sunny skies and plenty of smiles and hugs.
“We’re waking up out of hibernation here,” said Market Master Willie Getz. “We’re all glad to get back to the market. It’s kind of a reunion for a lot of people who only see each other here.”
Twenty vendors attended the first market day, mostly selling hand-crafted items or prepared food — no farmers yet. “That’s pretty typical for this time of year,” said Getz, who expected the first greenhouse produce growers to make an entrance “in the next few weeks.”
Among the vendors present were Bill and Joni Miller with Community Bicycle Services, a mobile bike shop that does repairs on site. Wayne Mendro was one of the Miller’s customers of the day, “getting a tune up,” he said.
Bonnie Stephens was selling her fancy little-girl dresses as well as her famous pickles. Stephens said she expected to begin canning the first pickled asparagus of the year in the Grange Hall kitchen “very soon.”
Shoppers could find baked goods, tamales and kettle corn, as well as Nan Walker’s vegetable and flower starts. Mike Melton was there with his display of rocks and minerals gathered “all over Washington state,” and Patrick Hannigan came with a selection of Nice Nests bird nesting boxes. “I had a really good day. Better than expected,” Hannigan said.
“Homemade and home grown” is what makes the Methow Valley Farmers Market unique, Getz said — resale and second-hand items are not allowed. “It’s not a flea market,” he emphasized. Prospective vendors can download the market handbook and vendor application online at www.methowvalleyfarmersmarket.com.
The market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m.-noon in the parking lot of the Methow Valley Community Center in Twisp. There will be 30 market days in the 2015 season, ending on Oct. 31.