Palouse gets fresh with farmers markets

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Palouse gets fresh with farmers markets

BRIDGET OSBORNE | Evergreen reporter

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Long-standing summer traditions in Pullman and Moscow provide the opportunity to support local farmers, artists, craftspeople, and musicians.

Since it was established in 1977, the farmers market in Moscow has offered a variety of locally sourced products, from meat, produce and baked goods to nursery plants, flowers and handmade crafts.

“Even if you’re not coming to shop, you can still come and enjoy the entertaining environment,” Moscow market manager Barry McGarrah said.

Approximately 80 vendors will set up each Saturday from May to October on Main Street and Friendship Square. The market also features live performances by local musicians.

Leah Sempel and her husband own the Pokey Creek Farm, several acres of farmland in northern Idaho where they harvest a variety of vegetables that include 3000 pounds of garlic, two to three tons of potatoes, and nearly 20,000 onions.

“I love providing good, healthy food to people,” Sempel said. “It feels like the right livelihood to me.”

Another vendor is Lewis Payne, who has crafted items from wood for 12 years. Payne’s creations include chairs, coffee tables, bird houses, cutting boards, jewelry boxes, and other items made from local and recycled woods.

“I’ve just always been interested in creating something,” said Payne, who stains and sands each piece until he’s happy with the finished product.

Nels Peterson, with the Panhandle Artisan Bread Co., will sell freshly baked breads made from locally sourced ingredients.

Peterson described baking as a labor of love, noting that Panhandle bakers stay up late and wake up early.

“It’s fun and enjoyable. It’s physical,” Peterson said. “We make healthy stuff, and we feel good about that.”

The company has been a part of the market for six years, selling mostly sourdough and a popular whole wheat levain bread.

The farmers market in Moscow takes place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. with the entertainment beginning at 9:30 a.m.

The farmers market in Pullman takes place from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. each Wednesday from May to October in the Spot Shop parking lot on Kamiaken Street.