Enjoy the Bounty at Local Farmers Markets

Published: July 15, 2021

Enjoy the Bounty at Local Farmers Markets

We’re surrounded by productive farms here in Yakima, and summer is a great time to check out the offerings at our local farmers markets! Here’s what you’ll find:

The freshest produce. Fruits and veggies at the grocery story may have traveled long and far before they show up on the shelf. Having been bred, packaged and treated to survive the journey, their taste and quality can suffer from the trip. But because their produce doesn’t have to be shipped or spend time in a storehouse, farmers market vendors offer fresher, and sometimes more delicate varieties of, fruits and veggies. A grocery store tomato vs. one that’s right off the vine? No contest!

Great prices. When a certain crop is ready for harvest, it’s ready right then, and a vendor may have it in abundance! For example, this time of year many tomatoes are at their moment of absolute perfection. Make sauce! Buy a big basket of cucumbers and make pickles. Take home a huge bunch of basil and make pesto. Of course, you don’t want to waste food; consider going in with a friend to purchase a whole bushel of peaches or that giant box of chard that you could never finish by yourself.

Local farmers and vendors. When growers sell their produce themselves, they’re likely to take home twice as much money as they’d get through a middleman. This difference can help them stay in business—and in many growing communities, it means they can keep their land growing crops rather than selling to developers. And how fun to meet the family who grew your food.

More than just fruits and veggies. Fresh produce is the true heart of a farmers market, but vendors also sell baked goods, yummy sauces and jams prepared in small batches, honey, meats, ciders and artisanal cheeses. And you may find gorgeous plants and cut flowers at a fraction of what you’d pay at a florist. You might find food items you’ve never tried before. Vendors often offer advice and recipes.

It’s a great outing. Just walking around taking in the sights, sounds, scents—and tastes!—is a feast for the senses in itself. And this can be a great outing for older loved ones who are dealing with memory loss or vision problems. The trip might well inspire fond memories of farms or gardens from their past.

Yakima farmers markets

You’ll find our local bounty here:

  • Downtown Yakima Farmers Market: Every Sunday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., through Oct. 10. Located at 22 S. Third St., between Yakima Avenue and Chestnut Avenue, in front of the Capitol Theatre. More info at https://downtownyakimafarmersmarket.com/
  • Yakima Farmer’s Market (Union Gap): Every Sunday, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., through Oct. 31. Located in the Sears parking lot on the corner of East Valley Mall Blvd. and Main St.

Learn about other Yakima Valley-area farmers markets here.

In Washington state, people who are not vaccinated against COVID are encouraged to wear a mask when in large groups, even outside. Remember to wash all produce thoroughly, and be sure prepared foods have been stored properly.

Source: IlluminAge