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From the farm to your table
With summer in full swing, browsing goods at local farmers markets is one way to enjoy the warm weather and sunshine.
The Bremerton Farmers Market is in its second year as a member of the Washington State Farmers Market Association and many people are highly impressed with the small, local market. In fact, customers said the Bremerton Farmers Market is the "best backyard community farmers market," according to Kim Schleis, Bremerton Farmers Market board member and owner of Kim's Gardens of Silverdale.
The Bremerton Farmers Market sets up in the Seaside Church parking lot at Evergreen Park in Bremerton from 4 to 7 p.m. every Thursday. The market will be open until Oct. 9, giving customers plenty of time to shop for produce, flowers and a wide variety of other goods.
The growing market features vendors of all types ranging from homemade breads to clothing to candles.
"We actually have 30 vendors that are members and we average about 15-18 vendors every Thursday," Schleis said. "It definitely has grown."
Schleis said the afternoon time slot was what people wanted because they could stop at the Bremerton Farmers Market and buy fresh produce and other goods on their way home from work every Thursday.
"It's what the community was asking for. It's the perfect time," Schleis said.
She said many families and friends stay at the market for a while and enjoy a barbecue dinner from the CJ's Evergreen General Store tent.
The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition programs, who are part of the Washington State Department of Health's Farmers Market Nutrition Program, offer booklets of coupons to low income families and senior citizens at the Bremerton Farmers Market. Those who qualify for the program receive booklets of $2 coupons, up to a certain amount during each farmers market season, to be used June through October. The coupons can only be used at participating farmers markets, which includes the Bremerton Farmers Market, throughout Washington state and can only be redeemed for fresh, raw, unprocessed fruits and vegetables.
"Almost all of our farmers grow organically," Schleis said.
Schleis said the fruits and vegetables for sale at the Bremerton Farmers Market are "fresh-picked from that morning" and cost less than grocery store produce.
"There's no middle man. It goes straight from the farm to your table," Schleis said. "You're getting a better deal, a better price (at the farmers market)."
Schleis said the five-person Bremerton Farmers Market board foresees moving to a larger location in the near future.
"We kind of have a vision that by the end of our third year we'll have to move to a larger space to accommodate all our vendors," Schleis said. "We just have great hope for the market."