KINGSTON — Farewell, breezy summer mornings spent browsing through handmade and homegrown items at Mike Wallace Memorial Park. Adieu, local guitar strummers and pint-sized dancers stomping barefoot in the grass.
Goodbye, Kingston Farmers Market for this year.
The last market of the season is scheduled Saturday Oct. 6 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Market coordinators say the summer has been a good one. Like the produce and plant life its vendors sell, the market has flourished.
“It’s been really good. We’ve grown a whole lot,” said Clint Dudley, co-president of the market. Membership is up between 25 and 30 percent with nearly 100 members this year.
“Markets are growing nationwide as people become more knowledgeable about what goes into their food,” said Cindy Dudley, farmers market co-president.
The Kingston market in particular is growing as its reputation makes its way around the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas.
“The vendors seem pretty happy with how this year has gone,” Cindy said.
Shannon Thomas, who runs Domestic Goddess (a baked goods business), said it’s been a good year at the market and a good time.
“It’s a family market,” she said. “The kids like it with the music and you get to know your customers.”
Just down the sidewalk a ways, Art and Terrie Barrows of the Bare Rose Emu Ranch sell products made from emu oil. This is their first year at the market and they said the experience has been good overall. Last weekend they spent two days at a market in Port Ludlow which compared to Kingston was no comparison. The same could be said for Chico Days in Central Kitsap.
“There were more toilets than vendors,” Terrie said.
She said the Kingston market has nice people and is very accessible for people.
Shoppers will have one last chance to enjoy the fruits of the season at the Farmers Market’s “Harvest Market” Nov. 17 at Kingston Junior High.
Corena Chamberlain who designs luminaries, stationaries and conducts creative workshops encourages the public to support local artists.
“We support huge corporations, why not support local artists who have much more unique gifts,” she said.
Although craft vendors seemed to have a good season, it started off a bit shaky for organic produce vendors said Marilyn Bode, who oversees the Life Forms Farms booth at the market.
“Once people were able to depend on vegetables being here, the vendors did well,” Bode said.
She called the Kingston market the best one available thanks to its ferry traffic bringing in customers and the music which entertains everyone.