Poulsbo Farmers Market Celebrates National Farmers Market Week

A cash mob fundraiser at local Poulsbo businesses supported the Poulsbo Farmers Market from Aug. 8 to 12.

POULSBO — In celebration of National Farmers Market Week, Poulsbo Farmers Market organized a cash mob to simultaneously support local Poulsbo businesses and the farmers market. The Poulsbo Farmers Market, while supporting community spirit, had a different fundraiser at a different local business each day from Aug. 8 to 12. A culmination of the event will be held at the Poulsbo farmers market on Saturday, Aug. 13.

Customers who supported the market shopped at different local businesses each day of the week, including Fat Apple Bakery, Crimson Cove, Liberty Bay Books, Well Being Health, and more. But farmers markets are more than just an outlet for fresh produce and friendly farmers.

According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics, these grassroots venues have increased in number by more than 60 percent since 2009 to more than 8,500 farmers markets today. These markets preserve farmland, stimulate local economies, increase access to fresh nutritious food, improve community health, and promote sustainability. Kitsap County is home to seven farmers markets alone.

The Poulsbo Farmers Market began in 2004, and currently has 19 farmers selling a wide variety of products, including pastured beef and chicken, honey, mushrooms, cheese and yogurt, plus a great diversity of fruits, berries, and vegetables. In the most recent 2016 season, the Poulsbo Farmers Market generated nearly $500,000 in sales for their vendors, a valuable economic boost for the region.

“The Poulsbo Farmers Market is a living, breathing social machine. Not only is it a place for small businesses to gain traction and for farmers to sell locally grown produce, but it also serves as a meeting ground,” said Rachael Cleveland, Market Manager. “We see customers of all ages, backgrounds, and economic groups. We see families using our electronic benefit transfer (EBT) matching programs and turning in their WIC checks to feed their children and we also see distinguished members of our community supporting local businesses. We are so happy to provide a fun, safe, and welcoming environment for our customers and a business place for so many small businesses.”

In July, the Poulsbo Farmers Market and North Kitsap Fishline rekindled their Donation Station, a weekly table where customers can donate bumper crops from their gardens, make cash donations, and farmers can donate unsold produce at the end of the day. In the first four weeks of the program, the market generated over 700 pounds in donations for the food bank.

Also in July, the Poulsbo Farmers Market began operating the Fresh Bucks EBT matching operated, funded through the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant. This program allows low-income customers receiving SNAP benefits to receive a $2 promotional coupon for every $5 in EBT benefits they redeem from their card. Market customers are also able to spend their Farmers Market Nutritional Program vouchers, and the WIC and Senior checks at several different booths.

“Farmers markets play a vital role in forming healthy, local food systems,” said Jen Cheek, executive director of the Farmers Market Coalition. “By providing the opportunity for farmers to connect directly with consumers, markets serve as education centers. Vendors are teaching customers about agriculture, sharing recipes and exposing them to new foods. Markets are making people and communities stronger and healthier.“

The Poulsbo Farmers Market operates every Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Poulsbo Parks and Recreation building’s lower lot. Situated along the picturesque Liberty Bay and located on the edge of the Poulsbo Place development, it is convenient for both residential customers and visitors of downtown. The market is dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming environment for Washington’s farming families and customers.

To learn more about the market, visit www.poulsbofarmersmarket.org or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/poulsbofarmersmarket.

To learn more about the market’s efforts for National Farmers Market Week here:www.poulsbofarmersmarket.org/news/latest/national-farmers-market-week.html