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Farmer’s market back in Silverdale

Silverdale Farmer
Silverdale Farmer's Market vendor Chueneng Cha sells produce to Courtney Caton.
— image credit: Photo by Rachel Brant

Spotty rain greeted vendors and customers on the opening day of the farmer’s market in Silverdale Tuesday.

The farmer’s market, located in the Silverdale Beach Hotel parking lot, opened for business April 17. It is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays until September.

“This will be one of our best years for variety and vendors,” said Monica Phillips, owner of the farmer’s market.

This year’s market features at least 26 vendors including farmers and crafters. Craft items include stained glass, wood crafts, birdhouses and oil paintings. Fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits, including more than 65 varieties of tomatoes, are offered by various vendors. Flowers, eggs, jams, jellies and baked goods also are for sale at the farmer’s market.

“Vendors are selected on uniqueness and added value to our market,” Phillips explained.

Market vendors pay an annual membership fee of $30 which goes toward advertising. They pay $10 a week to open a booth at the market.

The farmer’s market has been open for nine years. Originally, five farmers sold their goods on Saturdays at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds.

“We’d have to pick midweek to get a Saturday crop,” Phillips said. “We decided to change it to a midweek market so we would not be throwing away our midweek pick.”

The farmer’s market has space for 35 vendors. Some vendors do not set up every Tuesday because their produce may not be ready for sale.

“We have to save space for them because we want their strawberries and raspberries,” Phillips said. “We will constantly be getting a nice variety of produce.”

Chueneng Cha is entering his fourth year as a farmer’s market vendor. He sells flowers and will have produce come late May. He formally sold goods at the Kingston farmer’s market.

“I’m very happy with the business here,” he said.

Cheyenne Stallings, owner of GoddessWorks Massage Therapy in Seabeck, is a first-time market vendor. She and her mother share a booth.

Stallings sells blue-green and brown eggs, goat’s milk soap, custom massage oils and plans to offer chair massages. She will add herbs to her booth around June or July. Her mother sells nurses’ scrubs and jewelry.

“We have more eggs than we need,” Stallings chuckled. “Our family can only eat so many.”

Stallings enjoys setting up every Tuesday and meeting other vendors and customers.

“I hope the market does well,” Stallings said. “I would like to do this every year.”

Phillips is looking for a new location for the market. She has singled out a few possible locations.

“We are looking for a permanent place where vendors won’t have to pack and unpack (their goods),” Phillips said. “We don’t expect to move for at least a couple years.”

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