After 26 years in the community, the Woodinville Farmers Market will be taking a hiatus due to continued COVID-19 restrictions.
Over the years, the market has been moved around to various locations in Woodinville, although most recently set up shop in DeYoung Park. First established in 1993, the market has evolved over the years and transformed into a well-respected, weekly event with a loyal following.
“The city of Woodinville is going to miss the Woodinville Farmers Market this year,” Mayor Elaine Cook said. “The market has always been a very important part of our summers. It's always been an opportunity for our local farmers and artisans to interact with and sell directly to the community.”
In past years, the open-air market offered fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers, honey, handmade arts and crafts, baked goods and much more. All produce was grown in the state of Washington and many farmers would pick on Friday to sell on Saturday.
Classified as a nonprofit organization, this local market is managed by a board of dedicated volunteers. The final decision to cancel this year’s market derived from a combination of concerns about staffing, safety, permits and ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, according to a public statement from the board.
The statement said the overall challenges to keep the market running, while also remaining true to the spirit of the market, were too great. With limited vendors and minimal contact with farmers, the board decided this hiatus would allow for the market to come back bigger and better next year.
Woodinville’s market would typically operate each Saturday from the beginning of May to the end of October. Cook said she looks forward to visiting the farmers market next summer upon its return.
“Farmers markets are one of the only ways for some people to buy fresh local foods,” Cook said. “The healthiest of foods are typically grown right here in our own community. Without access to it, our farms and citizens suffer.”
In replacement of the open-aired event, the board will be posting a “virtual” Woodinville Farmers Market to highlight vendors from past years. These weekly spotlights will provide options to purchase local produce online, in stores, at farm stands, or by delivery.
“While we will miss your faces, you will still be able to get some of your favorite products of the summer, albeit, not quite the fun experience we know as the Saturday market,” the statement said.