For 12 years, local vendors have sold their goods at the Pullman Farmers Market every Wednesday. Even through COVID-19, the market was deemed essential and was allowed to stay open.
The market organizers do not know if it will be allowed to stay open through the winter because of COVID-19 restrictions. Normally the market is moved into the Brelsford WSU Visitor Center during the winter months. But with the current restrictions, market management is still uncertain, said Market Manager Morgan Sherwood.
Vendors are encouraging the Palouse community to take advantage and enjoy the last few weeks of the market, Sherwood said.
The farmers market was founded to help local businesses connect with the community, he said.
“Our number one focus is our businesses. I’m a firm believer in the rising tide lifts all boats. The work that we do, benefits [the whole community],” said Marie Dymkoski, Pullman Chamber of Commerce executive director.
Dymkoski said she has worked as the director since the beginning of the market and has lived in the Palouse area for the past 33 years. She has dedicated her life’s work to local nonprofits and focused on bettering the Palouse community.
“To create relationships ahead of time with those business owners [and] being able to have conversations [helps people] listen to you,” Dymkoski said. “My two favorite words are communicate and collaborate, right. You can’t necessarily knock on someone’s door and say I’m here to save the day [when you don’t have those relationships].”
The market has been passed through many hands over the course of the last decade, but tradition and a strong base of local customers have kept it running, Sherwood said.
The market is a main source of income for many local businesses, he said.
“It’s a system I care about a lot,” Sherwood said. “These interactions are valuable to me.”
The market is partnered with Backyard Harvest to make organic produce and goods affordable and accessible. Vendors can process credits for food stamps, he said.
“[People] bring their kids [to the market], so [their] kids are learning where their food is coming from,” Sherwood said. “When you’re buying directly from the person who’s growing your food, you know you’re supporting them. It’s connecting you to your food in a way that a grocery store just can’t do.”
The market meets Wednesdays from 3:30-6:30 p.m. outside the Paradise Creek Brewery on Paradise Street. The last farmer’s market of the 2021 fall season is Oct. 13, Sherwood said.