Fresh food and fresh space at this week's Farmer's Market

Ian Thomas of Heritage Farms hands a purchased cucumber to Birgit Kriete. - Contributed photo
Ian Thomas of Heritage Farms hands a purchased cucumber to Birgit Kriete.
— image credit: Contributed photo

The bright sun bounced off the red onions, orange carrots and luscious green lettuce.

Potential customers perused different vendors’ stands looking at everything from colorful bouquets, to fresh seafood, to burgers, to baked goods and jewelry.

“This is our first time here and we’re really excited to see everything,” said Mark Carlson on vacation from Portland, Ore. “The market really looks like it has always been here.”

But for vendors and islanders, the Farmer’s Market in its new location at Brickworks Plaza, on the corner of Nichols Street and Sunshine Alley in downtown Friday Harbor, is a celebration of time and effort and new beginnings.

“It’s beautiful... everyone’s energy is very high,” said vendor Frank Raue of Westcott Bay Oyster Farm. “It’s been a long road to get here and now we all get to get together and enjoy it.”

Friday Harbor’s Harold Kawaguchi hopes the new location will encourage more vendors to join the market.

“I look at the contrast between the parking lot [the old farmer’s market space] and this dedicated space... it’s amazing, almost a Euopean market feel,” said Kawaguchi, who comes to the Farmer’s Market every week to buy fresh produce like eggs and vegetables.

For islander Liz Illg, the market reminds her of a successful party.

“To throw a good party you invite interesting people and put them together in a close space,” said Illg as she ordered a piece of pizza. “It’s just so much fun.”

Ian Thomas of Heritage Farms, spent most of the morning restocking the vegetables on display thanks to a steady stream of customers.

“It’s a fantastic atmosphere and I’ve seen a lot of new faces today,” he said. “The new space also makes us [the vendors] feel like we have more ownership over our stalls.”

For customers like Less Gunther of Friday Harbor, the setting has him reaching deeper into his pockets.

“For some reason, the market gives me the urge to buy more,” he said purchasing a small basket of bright orange and red tomatoes.

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