The Madrona Farmers Market will start its 13th season on May 18, with artisanal vendors popping up once again in the Grocery Outlet parking lot.
“We’re looking to have 35 vendors this year,” said Matt Kelly, operations manager with Seattle Farmers Market Association. “I think originally starting out it was maybe a handful, eight or a dozen booths.”
The farmers market has traditionally run from May to September, with organizing for the next market starting immediately after the last. People can come by 3-7 p.m. every Friday during the season.
“There’s a great mix of artisan foods, local farmers, ranchers and fishers,” Kelly said. “We do host a bit of craft, as well.”
Its first iteration was as the Madison-Capitol Hill (Mad-Cap) Farmers Market in 2005, in the Mount Zion Baptist Church, and then along the street on East Madison. The Madrona Farmers Market has operated out of the Grocery Outlet parking lot for the last decade. Kelly said Grocery Outlet owner Steve Mullen is big on community events, and they hope to have the farmers market there for many years to come.
“New this year, we’ll be staying open two weeks later in the season,” he said, the market running through mid-October.
This is in response to customer feedback and commitments from farmers and vendors to stay on later.
“It should be pretty great to stick around,” Kelly said, “It does start to get a little dark after Labor Day, but we have ample light in the parking lot to still be able to operate.”
The last market counts provided the Seattle Farmers Market Association with an estimated 46,833 market-goers in 2017, or roughly 2,050 people per week.
“It’s neat, because there’s so many different faces coming through,” Kelly said, “and we also do a lot of food access at the market.”
People can charge their EBT cards at the information booth and also receive Fresh Bucks, which is a King County program that matches food stamps dollar for dollar. The Farmers Market Nutrition Program lets people with WIC vouchers to spend them like cash at market. This also applies to qualifying seniors, Kelly said.
Find out more about Madrona and other Seattle farmers markets at sfmamarkets.com.