Season of Mid-Columbia's farmers markets nearly here

By Loretto J. Hulse, Tri-City HeraldMay 4, 2012 

Almost half of the farmers markets in the Mid-Columbia will open this weekend.

"You can expect to find asparagus, of course, along with bedding plants and leafy lettuce, radishes, all the early cold weather crops," said Linda Hall, manager of the Prosser Farmers Market.

There will be a similar selection of produce at the Pasco, Walla Walla, Moses Lake and Pendleton markets Saturday.

Markets also will have vendors selling items ranging from handmade soaps to herb and spice blends, fresh-baked breads and pastries, honey, granola and gourmet cheeses.

On Saturday, the Pasco market will offer farm fresh eggs from Chera and Ryan Antos, owners of the Happy L'il Homestead in Benton City.

"We usually sell 30 to 40 dozen eggs at the Pasco market every week," Chera said. "We have over 200 hens in production now, with another 300 up-and-coming layers. They'll be producing eggs in about two months."

Customers will open up colorful cartons because Happy L'il Homestead is home to several breeds of laying hens that produce white, brown, blue and green eggs.

"We don't separate them, but mix them up in the cartons," Chera said.

Their chickens are free-range and fed a diet of oats and barley grown by a neighbor. Some vitamins are mixed in with the feed.

"We're not organic -- that requires a special certification -- but we are all natural," she said.

The Antoses also raise broiler chickens and hogs.

"We'll have a selection of frozen poultry and pork cuts for sale at the market, too," Chera said.

In addition to selling at the Pasco market on Saturdays, the Antos family also attends The Market at the Parkway, Richland's farmers market, which opens June 1, and has have taken over management of the Southridge Farmers Market in Kennewick, which opens June 7.

"If you shop the various markets, you'll find that not uncommon," Chera said. "Many of the vendors take advantage of the various markets being on different days and sell at as many as they can."

Farmers markets aren't limited to those who pay with cash. Those with EBT Quest Cards will find most markets are set up to exchange tokens for a swipe of their card.

The tokens then are used like cash to buy goods at the market.

The opening schedule for the markets is:

Pasco

The Pasco Farmers Market will run from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesdays and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays beginning Saturday through October. The market is at the corner of West Columbia Street and South Fourth Avenue.

For more information, call market manager Mike Someville at 509-531-7274 or the Downtown Pasco Development Authority at 545-0738. The market website is www.pascofarmersmarket.org. The market is on Facebook.

Prosser

The Prosser Farmers Market opens Saturday and runs through October. Hours are 8 a.m. to noon. The market is in the Prosser City Park at Seventh Street and Sommers Avenue.

For more information, call market manager Linda Hall at 509-786-9174 or go to www.prosserfarmersmarket.com. The market is on Facebook.

Walla Walla

Walla Walla Farmers Market runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at Fourth Avenue and Main Street in the city hall parking lot through Oct. 30.

For more information, go to www.gowallawallafarmersmarket.com or contact market manager Beth-Aimee McGuire at 509-520-3647. The market is on Facebook.

Kennewick

The Southridge Farmers Market will run 4-8 p.m., Thursdays, from June 7 through Oct. 25 at the Southridge Sports and Events Complex, south parking lot, corner of Highway 395 and Hildebrand Boulevard, Kennewick.

For more information, call market manager Chera Antos at 509-572-5908, go to www.southridgefarmersmarket.com or send an email to happylilhomestead@gmail.com. The market is on Facebook.

Richland

The Market at the Parkway, Richland's farmers market, will run from June 1 through Oct. 26. Hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Parkway between Jadwin Avenue and George Washington Way, Richland. For more information, call market manager Kathy Hanson at 509-539-7229 or send an email to herbsetal@pocketinet.com. The market website is marketattheparkway.com.

Boardman

The Boardman Farmers Market runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Mondays from June 4 through Sept. 17 in the Boardman Marina Park.

For more information, call market manager Mike Mathisen at 541-561-0731 or send an email to mike@mccommunitygarden.com. The market website is www.boardmanfarmersmarket.com.

Hermiston

Hermiston's Saturday Farmers Market runs from 8 a.m. to noon, beginning June 5, through October, depending on the weather. The market is in the conference center parking lot, 415 S. Highway 395, next to Tom Denchel Ford Country.

For more information, call 541-314-3751. The market is on Facebook.

Pendleton

The Pendleton Farmers' Market opens Friday and runs each Friday through mid-October in the 300 block of Main Street between Emigrant Road and Dorion Avenue. Hours are 4-7:30 p.m. or until dusk, whichever comes first.

For more information, call market manager Karl Neiderwerfer, 541-969-9466 or email pendletonfarmersmarket@gmail.com. The website is www.pendletonfarmersmarket.net, and the market is on Facebook.

Moses Lake

Moses Lake Farmers Market & Craft Bazaar will operate two days a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays. The market is in McCosh Park at 4th and Dogwood, near the Moses Lake Aquatic Center.

The Saturday market runs 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., from May 5 through Oct. 27. The Wednesday market runs 2-6 p.m., from July 11 through Oct. 17.

For more information, call the market manager at 509-750-7831 or send an email to mlfarmersmarket@yahoo.com.

The market is on Facebook. The website is www.moseslakefarmersmarket.com.

Ephrata

The Ephrata Farmers Market opens for the season June 2. Hours are 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays at Sun Basin Plaza and Basin Street in Ephrata.

For more information, call 509-771-0383 or send an email to ephratafarmersmarket@gmail.com. The market website is www.ephratafarmersmarket.org. The market is on Facebook.

Milton-Freewater

The Milton-Freewater Farmers Market will run from 4 to 7 p.m., on Wednesdays from June 6 to Sept. 26 in Orchard Park, 1221 S. Main St.

For more information, go to www.mffarmersmarket.com, call market manager Mike Mathisen at 541-561-0731 or send an email to mike@mccommunitygarden.com. The market is on Facebook.

Yakima

The Yakima Farmers Market runs 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., May 13 to Oct. 28, on South Third Street in front of the Capitol Theater in downtown Yakima.

For more information, contact the market manager Don Eastridge at 509-457-5765 or via www.yakimafarmersmarket.org. The market is on Facebook.

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