Enjoy Whatcom County’s Local Bounty at the Wednesday Farmers Market in Fairhaven

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Settled on the Village Green behind Village Books in Historic Fairhaven, the Bellingham Farmers Market’s Wednesday Market provides easy-going access to Whatcom County’s abundance. A mainstay for 15+ years, this miniature market offers shoppers produce and farm products, prepared food, and craft vendors, all with a bit more room to breathe than the popular downtown Saturday market.

“It’s a more intimate setting,” explained Bellingham Farmers Market Director, Caprice Teske. “It’s slower-paced, so vendors have a chance to engage customers a bit more.”

Bellingham Farmers Market Wednesday Market Fairhaven Village Green
The intimate Wednesday Market is tucked behind Village Books on the Fairhaven Village Green. Photo courtesy: Bellingham Farmers Market.

Every Wednesday from June through August, around 25 vendors do business nestled between the small shops and restaurants nearby. Shoppers will find market regulars like Mount Bakery, Terra Verde Garden and Cascadia Mushrooms, plus new vendors who are testing their business idea before growing.

“The Wednesday Market can be a great proving ground for new, smaller vendors wanting to test their product or waiting for space to become available at our Saturday Market,” said Teske. Buying goods from start-up vendors gives shoppers early access to up-and-coming artists and farmers, as well as providing much needed financial support and confidence to new businesses.

And thanks to the Fresh Bucks program, anyone can afford to shop at the Bellingham Farmers Market due to maximized EBT and SNAP benefits. Shoppers can simply go to the info booth at the market, swipe their EBT card, and receive tokens and Fresh Bucks to use at any vendor.

“We match up to $10 per day,” explained Teske. “So if you purchase $10 of on EBT benefits, we’ll match $10 in Fresh Bucks.” Fresh Bucks can be used to purchase fruits, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, and fruit and vegetable starts.

If you’re looking for a fun, family-friendly outing you can bring the kids down to the Wednesday Market to enjoy the live music and grab snacks from a few vendors for a relaxed picnic on the Village Green. Have a budding entrepreneur in the family? Kids Vending is available during Wednesday Markets for a small $5 per day vending fee.

Bellingham Farmers Market vendor Skuter Fontaine
The Wednesday Market is a more intimate, slower-paced setting that allows vendors like Skuter Fontaine from Terra Verde Farm to engage with customers more. Photo courtesy: Bellingham Farmers Market.

“When school is out we allow kids to come out and set-up a small table on the green and sell their wares,” Teske said. “Just make sure to bring a small umbrella to keep out of the sun!”

If you’re more in the mood for a kid-free day, I recommend shopping for your favorite seasonal produce before grabbing a bite to eat while you read a book on the Village Green.

“You can lounge around and park yourself for the day and enjoy the environment,” Teske said. And it’s easy to let your mind wander while you shop, eat or work al fresco with the Fresh Local Music series featuring talented local musicians. In addition to performing at the Wednesday Market from time to time, local musician Amber Darland is in charge of booking the great acts who add ambience and entertainment for shoppers. She takes great care to build a lineup that will appeal to a wide variety of listeners.

“I look for enthusiastic musicians who can provide two hours of family friendly entertainment,” said Darland of the Fresh Local Music. “The series makes it possible for folks to plan to come listen to their favorite performer or spontaneously show up and discover a new band.” And the intimate setting of the Wednesday market allows shoppers to enjoy the music whether they decide to sit or wander.

“I always love performing at the Wednesday Market

Bellingham Farmers Market Amber Darland
Amber Darland organizes the Fresh Local Music concert series at the Wednesday Market. “I love being able to offer this opportunity to up and coming musicians who are enthusiastic about performing and who may have never played in a market setting before.” Photo credit: Mary Burwell.

because the vendors are so nice and so appreciated,” shared local musician Chad Peterson. He performs regularly at the Wednesday Market because of the positive environment. “It’s a lovely, festive atmosphere and I always have a good time.”

“This is a market that exists because the community wants it here,” shared Teske. And it’s easy to see why: The relaxed pace and easy access makes it a joy to support local vendors. Community support will ensure that this magical market continues to grow and thrive. And free two-hour parking on the street and in the adjacent dirt lot means ample time to support market vendors and nearby small businesses.

The Bellingham Farmers Market’s Wednesday Market runs noon to 5:00 p.m. every Wednesday from June through August on the Village Green in Fairhaven.

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