Spokane, Washington – Did you know that there is a farmer’s market somewhere in Spokane County, every day of the week except Sunday? It’s quite amazing when you think about it.
The Inland Northwest Farmers Market Association worked hard on behalf of farmers and organizers to keep the markets going during COVID, and now that restrictions are lessening the markets are booming and full of locally grown produce.
Buying foods that are grown nearby benefits the environment and cuts down on energy use: The distance local fruits and veggies travel on a truck is short, consuming less fuel and there is little use for cold storage; There is no need for local produce to be packaged in boxes and crates that are expensive to produce and purchase; and you support the local economy as you purchase right from a farmer who lives maybe 20 miles away.
The growing season is short in the Inland Northwest, but that’s just an incentive to get to the market while the season is on for, say, strawberries.
Early farmers market veggies include lettuce, spinach and green peas, various sprouts and radishes and carrots.
Rhubarb is also early – probably peaking right about now – and it’s quickly followed by raspberries and strawberries in mid-to late June. Cherries and peaches follow soon after.
Beans come in next, together with garlic (which also does not like the heat very much) followed by cucumbers, early tomatoes, and onions.
Early August brings tender new potatoes, and the fall belongs to squash and pumpkins, as well as apples and pears.
Farmers markets are a feast for the senses with each season bringing its own fresh flavor profile. Most of the markets also feature eggs, bread, cheese and some meats.
Here’s a fun thing to try: go to inwfma.org and look up your neighborhood market, then visit and try to purchase everything you need for dinner at the market that day.
Monday is the Hillyard Farmers Market from 3-7 p.m. Tuesday is the Fairwood Farmers Market from 3-7 p.m. Wednesday is the Millwood Farmers Market from 3-7 p.m. and the Spokane Farmers Market from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., as well as the Kendall Yards Night Market from 5-8 p.m. Thursday is the Market in the South Perry District from 3-7 p.m. Friday is the Emerson-Garfield Farmers Market from 3-7 p.m. and the Spokane Valley Farmers Market from 4-8 p.m. Saturday is the Liberty Lake Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and also Spokane Farmers Market from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Wonder Market inside the Wonder Building at 835 N. Post Street is also on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. All the details are available on Inland Northwest Farmers Market’s Website.